John Wesley Reid

COVERED IN GRACE, ADOPTED IN ROYALTY

When We Celebrate 50 Shades Of Grey, We Abandon This Generation’s Women

I get it. Some people are into whips, chains and the occasional goat.

But the plot behind 50 Shades of Grey goes far beyond the scandal of domination and submission and into a cancer of devaluing manipulation.

(If you know the basic plot you can skip this paragraph) The plot to 50 Shades is a college girl who interviews a successful young entrepreneur. During the interview process she, having a sheltered background, is intrigued by his charm and mystery. He eventually establishes a relationship (non-romantic) with her with the intent to bring her into his home so he can perform domination and submission methods of sexual intercourse with her (chains, whips, “torture” apparatuses etc). She becomes accustomed to his treatment but ultimately realizes he has no intent for love but only to use her as a victim to his charm and object for his satisfaction. 

What’s the problem?
The problem is that millions are finding entertainment in a story of a girl being manipulated and abused by a man who has no desire to pursue her romantically.

Is this how we value our women?

Is this how we train men to be intentional and women to be confident?

It’s funny how we protest this behavior when our friends, sisters, daughters etc. fall victim but we justify and celebrate it when it pleases us. 

The problem is that we’re taking an engagement that should be rendered as sacred and intimate between two lovers and we’re reducing it to self-gratification instead of mutual-gratification. This perversion of sex is a one-sided appeasement of an unhealthy control issue that itemizes the victim and leaves her heartbroken and abused. 

I wish there was more of an outrage about this. This is such a barrier in our efforts to redeem confidence in our women and chivalry in our men.  Instead of restoring the aforementioned we are fanning the flame of misogyny. 

What does this have to do with misogyny? 
Men become misogynistic when they stop identifying women as women and start facilitating them as sex objects. Once the identity is gone, what is there to value? Respect? Appreciate? And once this value is gone it is less of an offense in their mind to objectify her. A large part of our society’s male population already boasts a sense of entitlement that they can have what they want even at the expense of female degradation. 

But John, she consented! 

She was manipulated! He literally capitalized off of his wealth, charm and Obama-level rhetoric to persuade her. She signed a contract for crying out loud! A contract that basically said he can perform the listed activities to her and she won’t say anything. Such legalistic agreements really identifies her as his property for self gratification. She was interviewing him due to his success, he is the one who initiated this saga. I’m not saying that she is off the hook but he definitely holds the majority of the fault here.

And this is something to be celebrated? 

This Film Mocks The Beauty of Sex
Such extreme methods of sex and indulgence in such entertainment greatly undermines the sex between the everyday couple. When one finds entertainment in these films they become less and less satisfied with what their spouses can put out because they become so accustomed to finding pleasure in the unattainable.

Christians…
I’ve observed a plethora of women in the Church who are raving about this movie. Love you sisters…but really!? Your husbands can’t watch porn but you can gather your fellow hens, reserve a limo and sip your wine on the way to see this filth? What kind of a double standard is this!? 

For Christians, our relationship with Christ is the most important part of our lives and allowing sexuality outside of his ordained plan for sex causes us to grow farther away from Him and deeper into focusing on the pleasures of the world. -Meredith Potter

How is this movie helping your fellow sisters in Christ? What about the girls who look up to you? What about the girls who are new in the faith and are trying to separate their new life from the old? How does it teach your beloved sisters self-respect? When we celebrate 50 Shades of Grey, we pardon the truth that all were made in God’s image. 

…but we boycott “Noah” because rock monsters are unbiblical? 

Some people aren’t affected by it!
I call shenanigans. If people knew that they were negatively affected by it then do you think most of them would still see it? Influence is subtle and it strikes in the most appealing ways. Many girls will become subconsciously enticed into this behavior as a means to fulfill an empty void left by an abusive boyfriend or a father who left them. Men may find his manipulative tactics appealing as well which is an influence that will likely leave the theater with him. 

Viewers, remember that we live in a society that has lost their view of each others individuality, beauty and value. Let’s make progress, not retreat. Let’s be a wave of morality. Let’s find value in what society has deemed objects. Let’s take the reigns back from our cultural downfalls and steer us back into a moral, valuing and an appreciative body. 

JWR
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You may also enjoy the following related posts by JWR: 

But I Really Love Him: Why Christian Girls Date Non-Christian Guys

Let’s Talk About Sex: Is Masturbation A Sin?

Purity > Abstinence

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superAbout the Author 
Hi, my name is John and I love coffee. As I write this I’m sitting in a local brewery sipping a “mudslide” espresso with cream and two and a half sugars. There are few things in life that I feel merit precise orchestration with no room for error, coffee is one of them. My life belongs to Jesus. I am his son and he is my King. His work in my life is reason enough for my faith to be made complete. He lived to die for me so that I may be credited righteous thus I will live for him. I don’t hold any radical theological views, other than I serve a radical God. I affirm scriptural inerrancy, infallibility and the Bible as God’s final authority in text. See full bio here  


10 Comments

  1. Amen to that! :)

  2. John, read the entire series of books. They get married. Selective use of the facts to support a forgone argument is manipulative. I know and respect where you are coming from but there are better examples to make your point. And I’ll say this, we have no business regulating what two consenting adults do in private.

    • John Wesley Reid

      July 25, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      Corrected* thanks ;)

    • Rape can still exist in marriage, and so can domineering and brain washing. I don’t see how marriage makes this any better. I know that I have no business regulating what two consenting adults do in private, but God does. God regulates everything, and John here isn’t talking about his own personal preference, he is instead talking about God and his mandate on Christians. Totally different, and very relevant. I would not want my daughter in this kind of relationship.

  3. Great post John! Whether or not to see this movie (or get on the bandwagon and read the books) is another example of how believers can stand apart from the world. Would we watch, or read, with Jesus by our side? …because He is.

  4. Thank you for the summary of the plot. I have girl friends who called this porn and others who said it helped strengthen their marriage! Hard to know who to believe but have erred on the side if not reading these books. Thanks for getting this message out.

  5. Great article John. I’m sure I’ll hear a lot about this movie as it comes closer to coming out. Since it is so popular there are a plethora of various perspectives I suspect. I agree with what you have written here, but I would be very curious to know what would compel a woman to say this book “strengthened their marriage.” As Kerry said, and how exactly it did so. Thats very interesting thing to say….anyway, great article.

  6. @ pooldog94 just because they got married does not mean he didn’t degrade her or would continue to do so. (well actually he wont cuz its a book and not real) And yes to consenting adults thing is well and good but is it really 2 consenting adults if one has been manipulated? If one person is overwhelmingly naïve an the other is a charismatic manipulator how consenting is it really? But the question I have is…and my son hates this question but realizes it’s significance….Consenting or not, would you want your sister, mother or daughter treated like this?

  7. I haven’t read the books and have no desire to see the movie. I see it as female porn (as so many of the bodice ripping romance novels are). then again, so many romantic comedies are as well. It leaves women wanting connections with their husbands that just don’t always happen in everyday life, but happen in a 2 hour movie. Unrealistic expectations.

    If this book gave someone better ideas for the bedroom, then great, but I have a feeling it left the wife imagining her husband as Christian gray, which isn’t really the emotional intimacy that sex was designed for. Sure, sex can be exciting, but really it’s about the emotional connection and intimacy first. I have a whole lot more to say on that, but really, I’ll leave it in my bedroom. hahaha For those wanting a better time in the bedroom with their spouse, go buy the book “100 nights of great sex” (which tells you things you can do, without giving you visuals of other people doing them) and then talk to your spouse. Connect. Ok, off my soapbox.

  8. First, thank you for tackling the topic. Your comments about the devaluing of women and the undervaluing of sex are well-said. Can’t we begin, though, by simply saying that 50 Shades is bad art? Having read portions of the book, and generally finding the writing to be poor, can we imagine a screenplay that is substantially better?

    What about the idea that Christians may be the most secretive consumers of porn outside of those who traffic in illegal forms of it? How can we now stand up and say that we want to treat women properly, while there is systemic, perhaps epidemic pornography use by both men and women in the church?

    What if we created a community in which porn use – no, sexual sin of any kind – could be confessed and forgiven, without stigma or gossip or putting people outside the camp? What if we could have healthy, open conversations about human sexuality and the image of God? What if we got over our obsession with sex? Maybe then the presence of the kingdom inside the church will be more keenly felt and experienced.

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