‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ a Woman’s View

'Fifty Shades of Grey' a Woman's View

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

Ally Perkins, Features Editor

Let’s get to the bare bones of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and why women can learn a thing or two from the film.

This is a love story; it has all the ingredients sprinkled with a twist.  Christian Grey, a charming, business savvy hottie falls helplessly in love with Anastasia Steele, a pretty, understated wallflower — a premise not far from other romantic classics.

Enter the twist.  Mr. Grey considers himself a “Dominant” and asks Miss. Steele to be his “Submissive.” In this type of relationship, a dominant is in complete control, and the submissive does whatever the dominant asks within the confines of the agreement — an agreement that can be terminated at any time.

Before venturing into any of these activities, participants comply to boundaries and create a safe place by establishing trust and limits. “Fifty Shades of Grey” does not depict, by mainstream standards, a typical relationship, but, to their defense, these exchanges between two consenting adults happen daily, all over the world.

Within the realm of S&M, otherwise known as sado-masochism, the act of giving and receiving physical and/or emotional pain for pleasure, these roles are not gender-specific, yet, many critics argue that portraying the female character as a “submissive” somehow tramples on the morals of feminism, illustrating women, like Anastasia, to be co-dependent, insecure and lacking in self-worth.  But, is she as unstable as they claim?

Who is Anastasia Steele?  She’s a college graduate.  She’s a virgin.  She’s a loving daughter and a loyal friend.  She’s opinionated and stands for what she believes in.  She’s open-minded and thinks things through.  She’s not the weak, accommodating victim portrayed by critics. Rather, Miss Steele is a role model, a woman who wants to explore her femininity and sexuality.

When Grey presents Steele with a lengthy legal contract outlining his desires, Steele takes her time carefully dissecting every detail, making note of what she does not understand and what she absolutely will not tolerate.  Her objections deal mainly with specific types of sexual toys, objects she’s not comfortable trying.  She also petitions for a real date, once a week, outside of the contract agreement.

In a meeting, the two discuss the new terms, her terms, to which he agrees, and she leaves to give it more thought.  She does not agree to everything he wants in order to please him.  She does not stay the night when he asks.  She is adamant about what she wants and presses Grey to compromise on the terms, a trait he has yet to see in other women — a trait more women should consider and more men should expect.

At the end of the day, “Fifty Shades of Grey” is a fairy-tale.  The same argument can be made with any of the Disney classics in terms of women being portrayed as inferior.  Ariel changed species for the man of her dreams, The Beast captured Belle and held her hostage until she fell in love with him, and let’s not get started on Cinderella.

People should view “Fifty Shades of Grey” for what it is: An erotic fantasy geared towards lonely housewives.  A modern day Disney Classic, for adults only.