Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!

50 Shades of Hypocritical Controversy

Over the past two and a half weeks, the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey has become a monster hit earning nearly 500 million dollars (against a 40 million budget) world-wide.  This should be too much of a surprise as the source material was already pretty popular, and the film falls into that “Mom Fiction” category where films are few and far between, but when they are released, they are huge.  Also not surprising is the amount of controversy surrounding the film and its overly sexual nature.

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And therein lies the problem.  Though the movie is not my kind of movie (and why should it be?), I have no objection to it.  Different movies are made for different audiences.  I am not the target audience for Fifty Shades any more than Taken is the target audiences for high school girls.  So, my critique isn’t on the film itself, but the controversy surrounding it.  And it is completely ridiculous.

With all the controversy (don’t worry – I’ll get to it), there seems to be a lot of hypocritical views at play.  The big thing that I notice is that the film is constantly been criticized as contributing to rape culture.  While I may not necessarily agree with that, I can understand the argument.  However, if so many women are upset about the rape culture aspect, how come women also have been flocking and fawning over it (or at least the idea of it)?

The reason is that the film provides a sexual thrill that really isn’t a mainstream thing.  Despite what social justice warriors otherwise think, people aren’t stupid.  They know what they are seeing is fiction and not close to reality at all.  However, it is still fun to daydream like that and Fifty Shades of Grey provides that outlet.

Plus, if these SJW are worried about young children seeing this and getting confused, then that’s just stupid too.  For one, who is letting their children in to see a movie clearly aimed at adults?  That’s just bad parenting/theater management.  What younger girls are going to see this and think “Yep, that’s the relationship for me”?  And finally, what young boys (who, apparently, will get a misguided idea of what relationships are) are going to even want to see Fifty Shades of Grey?  It is bullshit posturing.  If a movie is going to harm a child that much, then the child has other, bigger issues to deal with.

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It is also interesting that whenever a film has potentially graphic sex, people flip out and decry it claiming it is smut, trash.  However, if another film comes out that has graphic violence with people being riddled with bullets or blood spilling everywhere, there is a collective “meh” about it.  Wouldn’t that be more damaging to kids than sexual situations.  The even stranger thing about it is that one would assume that these complaints come from people with conservative view points.  It isn’t.  There are an equal amount of liberal idiots out there voicing how “wrong” sex is.

The bigger thing that gets me, however, is that people are quick the shame Fifty Shades for its depiction of sex, but at the same time, will jump down one’s throat if the negative aspects of pornography are brought up.  You criticize porn and you are labeled as being a prude, closed-minded, bible-thumper, and other negative stereotypes and the criticism is dismissed.  Does one not see the hypocrisy?  You cannot have it both ways.  That said, though I do not have any strong opinion on pornography one way or another, one can’t deny that it is much more harmful than anything in Fifty Shades given how degrading, misogynistic, abusive, or just plain weird it can be at times.  Fifty Shades is lightweight when compared with what you can find online and elsewhere.

And, finally, Fifty Shades has been accused of being inaccurate in its depiction of BDSM and that is damaging to people who practice it.  For starters, despite what they might say, people who are into BDSM are not an oppressed group.  They are into a kink.  Nothing more.  Secondly, who cares if it is inaccurate?  The film is meant to be a sexual fantasy; not real life.  If anything, it opens the door of BDSM to people and get them interested in the practice.  People are not going to go see the movie, race straight home, and start whipping their partner.  If anything, they will want to learn more about it before trying it out.spidy

Just like James Bond and espionage, Star Trek and science, or Fast and Furious and racing, it isn’t accurate in the least. However, it piques people’s interest to learn more about the respective subjects.

Plus, the film leans on the idea that BDSM isn’t for everyone and doesn’t promote that the titular Christian Grey in a positive way.  Though it is the movie’s hook, it isn’t really glorifying BDSM.  The fact that people are acting like BDSM is an oppressed group is embarrassing.

There have been hundreds of books and movies made before Fifty Shades of Grey that deal with risqué sexual behavior.  And hundreds are still to be made.  Why SJW are focusing their attacks on this movie and creating controversy is beyond me.  I guess it has to do with it being popular.  You can take a pot-shot at it and get away with it because it is big enough.  I suppose that’s fine, but the ridiculous and hypocritical nature behind the controversy just completely escapes me.

~N

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4 responses to “50 Shades of Hypocritical Controversy

  1. Arria Cross March 4, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    I liked the books. Don’t care what people think of me liking the books. I enjoy Shakespeare and Haruki Murakami, but I also like this kind of erotic fiction. I personally don’t think that it promotes rape culture. If they ever read the books, it emphasizes the importance of consensual sex and birth control protection which I think are extremely important. I have the feeling that those who are critiquing the series haven’t even read it. They’re just spouting all these criticisms without really knowing the whole story. I know that but everyone is comfortable with the story, but so what? They say they don’t like it when they’re going to the movies in droves. I haven’t watched the movie yet. I’m just waiting for the dvd, so I can watch it in the privacy of my own bedroom. Hahaha. You know what I mean.

    • Nick! March 4, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      You raise a good point in that most people complaining probably never read/saw the book/movie and are just going off of word of mouth (which is never reliable).

  2. Ben March 4, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Very well said. It feels as if people jump on the hysteria bandwagon without actually understanding what they are protesting in the first place.

  3. CultureCast-Z March 4, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Great write-up, Nick. Really enjoyed reading it, especially this line: “For starters, despite what they might say, people who are into BDSM are not an oppressed group.”

    Thank you for saying that. People just seem to *want* to fall into an oppressed group these days because it makes them feel singled out and hence, special in some way. Unless you are an actual minority of some kind (LGBT person, person of color, etc), please stop crying about being “victimized.” All those kinds of people do is ultimately make us, the people who really care, brush off the entire thing as capricious and ridiculous.

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