February 6, 2017

Fifty Shades Darker Romanticizes Domestic Abusers

Global human rights groups’ #50DollarsNot50Shades and #FiftyShadesIsAbuse campaigns call for support of women’s agencies

The London Abused Women’s Centre, Canada; Collective Shout, Australia; Culture Reframed, USA; and The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), USA are collaborating for the second time to reject the normalization of violence and abuse against women portrayed in the Fifty Shades of Grey book and film franchise. Following on the heels of the Women’s March, groups from around the world are speaking out against the Fifty Shades trilogy in advance of the release of the film Fifty Shades Darker on February 10th, 2017.

London Abused Women’s Centre, Collective Shout, Culture Reframed, and The National Center on Sexual Exploitation issued a joint press release stating:

“The Fifty Shades of Grey series revolves around a man who consistently threatens, stalks, intimidates, and coerces his ‘romantic partner.’ If this man lived in a trailer park there would be no question that he is a domestic abuser. But, the series packages its abusive lead character as handsome, wealthy, intelligent, and powerful—as if these attributes make domestic and sexual abuse acceptable. Despite the narrative of Fifty Shades, no amount of wealth or good-looks can transform an abuser into a prince charming.”

“Fifty Shades Darker also sends the dangerous message that women can ‘fix’ their abuser by loving them the right way, and that domestic violence can be excused because of the abuser’s troubled past. These are prevalent cultural myths that contribute to some women choosing to stay in dangerous and unhealthy relationships. No amount of appeasement will ever solve intimate partner violence in the real world. It’s time for public opinion makers and individuals alike to recognize that #FiftyShadesIsAbuse.”

In addition to boycotting the film and giving instead to women’s agencies, the public is encouraged to pledge a social media post to send the message “It’s time for Hollywood to stop glamorizing domestic abuse as sexy” through Thunderclap.

Thunderclap is a tool that creates a “virtual flash mob” in order to raise awareness about an issue. When you sign up you are scheduling the social media message to be posted on your Twitter, Facebook, and/or Tumblr. These messages will all be posted on the same day, at the same time, in order to reach a widespread audience.

You can also learn more at the campaign Facebook page, www.facebook.com/50dollarsnotfiftyshades, which highlights how the Fifty Shades franchise (based on the book series by E.L. James), normalizes and even romanticizes sexual and domestic violence.

The campaign page also provides various actions that the public can take, including social media memes and donating 50 dollars—or any amount—to women’s agencies such as shelters or counselling centers and using the hashtag #50DollarsNot50Shades to promote the giving campaign.

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