*disclaimer, I have not, nor do I need to see a movie to review its cultural impact*
I will never forget the time as a teenager I saw Jody Foster play a Sarah a woman who was gang raped in the movie, The Accused. I kept thinking how in the world could men stand by and cheer on the violence going on before them. Now, the spectators didn’t rape Sarah so somehow it was okay, but they didn’t stop it either. I would say guilty as charged and most of you would agree; would you not? I cannot be silent as these men in the movie were. I cannot be complacent and stick my head in the sand because I am afraid of the backlash or judgment thrown at me because I am sounding an alarm. As a woman, I am grieved in my core, and sickened beyond what I can stand.
Yes, by now, you have probably realized that I was not partaking in the movie 50 Shades of Grey this weekend. I instead watched my news feed blow up with the arguments of why we should and why we shouldn’t see it. I saw the reviews by Pluggedinonline.com, but didn’t even need to read it. I read the blog on http://www.scarymommy.com/ and have read many other reviews and that is what I base this opinion piece on. Here are some things I am asking you to think about as related to our culture and the upcoming generation of young women who will see this film.
1. Rape is ALWAYS rape, and no is ALWAYS no! You cannot romanticize, you cannot explain it away as acceptable on any level. Here is quote from the blog The Rambling Curl, ” Christian turns up uninvited. He proceeds to try to seduce Ana, given that that’s pretty much all he ever does. Ana tells him that she doesn’t want sex and would rather talk. “‘No,’ I protest, kicking him off.” But this is Christian Grey. The abusive scum bucket who only considers his own desires. So, upon hearing the woman he claims to care for saying a very definite “no” to sex, he replies with these words: “If you struggle, I’ll tie your feet, too. If you make a noise, Anastasia, I will gag you. Keep quiet. Katherine is probably outside listening, right now.” He then proceeds to have sex with her, in spite of her trying to kick him away and saying “no.” I don’t understand how people aren’t getting that this is at the very least sexual assault, but apparently, because EL James writes that Ana enjoys the sex that Christian forced on her, we’re meant to ignore the fact that she asked him to stop and he didn’t. I don’t even know how anyone can happily defend that scene, but I promise you, I’ve had plenty of Fifty Shades fans try.”
2. Abuse is not love, pain is not love. I found it interesting that the actress who played the innocent Anastasia in the movie chose these quotes when describing just the filming of the movie. ” “Sometimes I did walk off the set feeling a bit shell-shocked,” she told Glamour, admitting that while shooting the sex scenes, “there were some painful moments.” “I got whiplash once from him throwing me on the bed; so f–king painful.” And just in case you thought that maybe there was something sexy about shooting a sex scene. Nope. Definitely not. “It’s just sweaty and it’s not very comfortable. And on top of that, my hands and legs were tied, and I was blindfolded, and I was being hit with this bizarre tool. … It was emotionally taxing. At first I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is the worst thing ever,’ and then I was like, ‘All right, let’s get on with it.'” So, if an actress who is playing a part is feeling uncomfortable, in pain, emotionally taxed, and like it is the worst thing ever how would a women feel who is living with pain and abuse.
3. Real men protect, not rape, not abuse, and do not live life for their own pleasure! For the love of everything holy please tell me why any woman would want to be raped, tortured, stalked, and isolated for some mans pleasure?? Is this where feminism as left us? The complete neutering of the male species has left them desiring masculinity in ANY form, even abuse? What? I would never want a man to dominate me~ Excuse me, but I am worth more than that!
So here is where you will all argue with me that it is a movie, and you will say, “Becky, you started your blog about watching a woman get raped” so you can’t speak to this plus you haven’t seen the movie. Let me just say, the movie the Accused had a deep, profound affect on me for years. For years I lived in fear of being raped, and had nightmares over the movie. Since then, I have become more careful about what I put in front of my eyes including books, movies, and tv shows. I choose not to watch things like CSI, or SVU, or read books about the victimization of women.
Here is the real reason I am writing this, because I will not be one on the sidelines staying silent by saying this movie is just a movie for entertainment. No, not it is not~ It is a cultural dichotomy that this movie was even made, and then flocked to by thousands of women. As a woman I support causes that help women who have sexually exploited, and what grieves me beyond more than anything is how women are now buying into it. Remember that scene I talked about earlier? Those were men cheering on the perpetrators of violence against a woman~
Now, you have thousands of women cheering on the sidelines and even lusting after the perpetrator of violence against a woman. My how times have changed… Either you believe a woman has a right to say no, or you stand with the perpetrators of violence. Which is women of America? Please, ask yourself, is this what I want for my sons and daughters? I know that I don’t…