Raising Generation Grey
It was the summer of 2012. I was in rehab when I first heard about the book 50 Shades of Grey because a couple of the women I was in treatment with were reading it. I had no interest in the book. I’m not big on fiction and to be honest, it seemed a little pathetic. Plus, I was in a treatment center for addiction. My mind was sick enough. I didn’t need to add anything else sick and twisted to the mix. Not to mention, I was trying to forget a lot of my own deviant behaviors. Rehab hardly seemed like the place to dive into a sexual sadistic novel.
I had not given much thought to seeing the movie. Like the book, I didn't have much interest in it. I saw a couple previews in the theater and thought it looked pretty lame, but I didn’t hold any kind of opinion either way. I read a lot of the blogs that my friends shared on social media. A lot of female Christian bloggers took pen to paper and shared their thoughts in a very WWJD kind of way. (Yes, I agree. Jesus would most likely not watch the movie). I sat in church on Sunday morning and listened to the preacher encourage us to not go see it. Most blogs I read from men were from a Christian viewpoint and gave all the reasons women shouldn’t see it, including scripture to back it.
I agreed with most of all I read. But I went and saw it anyway. Yes, probably because I am defiant and when someone says not to do something, it makes me want to do it that much more. I struggled with it a little but honestly didn’t see the big deal. Nobody seemed to have such strong opinions when everyone was reading the books, or at least I didn’t hear about them like I am now. I read several articles and heard people say that you shouldn't go see the movie because the scenes can’t be unseen. I thought..really? That’s the best argument you got? These eyes have been privy to some pretty sick scenarios. I hear a lot of real life stories that are incomprehensible to imagine the pain and abuse that some people endure.
So, I went and saw 50 Shades of Grey and here are my thoughts:
I sat through the movie thinking about I how pray that my 6 nephews never see this movie. I thought about how so many teenage boys would try and sneak in to see the nudity and their impressionable minds would think this is how a woman wants to be treated. That it’s okay to control a woman and hit her and punish her when she does something he doesn’t like. I thought about the young girls who would watch it and think this is what love is and would grow up thinking they don’t deserve more…that they don’t deserve to be respected and heard and loved. That they should settle for a man who “doesn’t do romance” and who’s taste are “singular.”
I didn’t think there was anything sexy about. I was more concerned with what happened to Christian Grey in his past that had him so troubled. I identified with Anastasia, who got so wrapped up in her own feelings that she sacrificed herself for someone who didn’t have the capacity to love her.
We are literally raising kids to look for "Mr. Grey" and "Ms. Steele." This makes me sad.
I left the theater sad. Sad for my nephews. Sad for every young boy or girl who will watch this movie that can’t be unseen. Sad for the kids who saw the droves of women, including myself, wait in line to see this movie. Sad for girls and boys who know their mom or sister or aunt went and saw the movie and will use that as an excuse to watch it someday. Sad for kids whose parents put them in "50 Shades" inspired onesies. Not sad for the housewives who should know that a movie isn’t going to save their marriage. But then again, I am not a housewives, I am an aunt who loves her six nephews more than anything and wants to protect them and their eyes and their hearts and wants them to know love for how beautiful it is, not what Hollywood portrays it to be.
I think the focus should be more about the message it sends to kids who don’t know better instead of the housewives who should.