I have a confession to make. I read the 50 Shades of Grey books. All 3 of them. In spite of the horrible writing, and the fact that I skimmed through at least 1/3 of the contents, I devoured the books. Now, several years later, I am reading all of these articles that are vehemently against the series and the movie, set to premiere in theaters this weekend, but some of them aren’t setting well with me. I know, in the midst of the kinky and dangerous sex scenes, there is a story to be told. A story of a man, but not just a rich and handsome man - Christian Grey was a broken man who finds hope and peace.
Now, I am certainly not trying to say this is a Christian film. In no way am I advocating that you read these books or go see the film. I have to admit that I was in a very dark place spiritually, and Ray and I were going through a pretty rough patch, when I read the series, and I have no desire to see the movie. Quite frankly, the previews make me feel nauseous.
In fact, I could list all of the reasons why, based on the previews, this movie is the antithesis of all I know to be true, honest, pure, and just. I could tell you that I agree with the majority of articles touting this movie to be nothing more than soft-core porn. I could argue that I believe porn to be an assault on marriages (not just a Christian viewpoint any longer, by the way), and I know many of you wouldn’t want your spouses watching porn, so why the double standard?
Yes, I could say all of that and more. But, I can also say that it has become frustrating to me that the majority of outcry against Christian Grey is from people who never read the books. And, I will say that I honestly don’t think Hollywood is capable of getting Christian and Ana’s story right.
My friend Elizabeth – mother of three and foster mom to almost two dozen - has some thoughts that I would like to share with you. She has dug in to the story, beyond the sex and twisted romance, and by all intents and purposes asks a great question – Why aren’t we talking about Christian Grey’s past and his story of redemption?
I would consider myself a conservative Christian. I have conservative values and a beautiful love with my husband. As the release of the movie “50 Shades of Grey” is nearing (on Valentine’s Day of all days) I feel there are some things that we should be discussing that we are not. I think there are some themes of the book the media conveniently, and the Christian conservative community naively aren’t talking about. (Did they even read the books?)
Before I go on any further, let me just state that I have no desire to see this movie. But before I say anything else I will say that I will certainly not tell you that YOU should or shouldn’t see it. With that it mind, I ask that you think about some things on your way to the movie theater, if you choose to watch. There is a story here. One that may not be touched on at all in the movie adaptation, simply because the story is not as obvious in book 1 as it is in books 2 and 3. (Yes, I read them all.)
Christian Grey was a Victim of Sexual Assault
Christian Grey was a troubled foster child who was adopted and loved by “well off financially” and loving parents. He was, however, abused as a teenager by a “friend” of the adoptive family! Men and women alike have a hard time talking about being sexually abused. In the book, this problem was revealed to the family during a discussion with Christian and Ana. Ana knew that what the older woman had done to Christian when he was younger was 100% wrong. Ana called her out on this. The perpetrator (that is truly what she was) was no longer welcome in their house and, at this point, I believe is when Christian and Ana could start to move past the abuse and gain some closure. Maybe it is time to bring up that conversation and how that stigma is raining in society, but happening in homes all across America still today?
Ana is a Consenting Adult
Unlike Christian, Ana was a consenting adult: Although misguided, she was not powerless in the relationship. She was curious. She was enticed by the exotic lifestyle and the new car. She loved the expensive oils and the new clothes. Even though a sexual relationship like the one that was shared in the first book between Christian and Ana was at times repulsive, and one I would consider very unhealthy, Ana, signed contracts, she consented, and she created a safe word and boundaries in the contract that she and Christian discussed together. She was well educated. She was a college graduate. Although young, in our society we would consider her an adult. She was not powerless, like Christian Grey was when similar things were forced upon him. In the end of the first book, Ana held the most power and walked away from Christian. (It was a book after all and that is part of fantasy. The reality of this scenario actually happening SAFELY is slim. Remember this is fiction and Hollywood.) In our society, these relationships can cause much destruction. I do feel Ana knew this, however I do not want to encourage anyone to feel Ana had a realistic experience.
Christian’s Journey Towards Healing Was Aided by Ana Through Therapy
Ana fell in love with Christian and then was able to help him. She held his hand through therapy and he began to heal. Is this love story broken? Yes. Is it possible to heal from sexual abuse? Yes. Ana helped Christian get through this. Ana saw something – a potential for Christian to become a better man. Isn’t that what we want in life? To find something good about people and bring them into the light? Ironic this Character’s name is “Christian” and Ana saw the possibility for a healed man in him. Yet, I have read “no” correlation to that in any Christian articles I have read online.
Christian and Ana Grew to Share a Healthy Sexual Relationship
At the end, (spoiler alert) Christian and Anna shared loving sex, multiple times, like a “normal” in-love couple. They got married and then later found out she was pregnant. They found the love that God created man and women to have. They enjoyed it. She helped him through his nightmares, and he protected her.
Christian Grey Matured as a Man
Christian built a new home for his family. He built a home without a “red room of pain.” He built a home with a yard for his children to play in. He built a home in which he could grow old with Ana together. He left his bachelor ways behind. This was a story of growing up, discovering real love, and enjoying real intimacy.
Bottom line is that “50 Shades of Grey” is a work of fiction. A story that is twisted, crazy, sometimes unrealistic, and sometimes too realistic in today’s world. I would not recommend reading the book, because I don’t think sex should be experienced like this. That is my opinion and I formulated it by reading the books myself and not taking someone else’s words as a narrative to my own belief. (Some thing I believe happens way too often these days on the internet.)
I will not watch the movie, because sex is something between a husband and wife. It don’t think it should be watched with girlfriends on Valentine’s Day either, but I guess it could provide discussion on topics that women need to talk about openly. Maybe we should, as women have a talk about what real love is. I wouldn’t drag your guy too it, either. What if he gets the wrong idea about the movie and things truly become 50 shades of grey in your sex life? Something to think about while checking movie times and ordering your popcorn!
50 shades of Grey – it was a book that was turned in to a movie. It portrays what could be a dangerous life style. Hollywood is at play here, though. After all, sex sells. Be responsible buying in to what the media wants you to hold dear, but when given the circumstances see the story for what it is and not what someone tells you it is.