Steve doesn’t really get online dating. He doesn’t know what to put as his age- late 20s? Early 90s? So many of the questions seem irrelevant (and strangely biased). The only pictures he has are the ones from the news websites. He hangs around, but he just gets creepy messages from people mainly, and the people who are really only interested in Steve the Superhero, or want Steve the Husband (which almost weirds Steve out more- let’s crawl before we can walk, alright?) So after like 2 weeks, he abandons it as a lost cause.
A few days later, Nat comes back from something in South America. She’s bruised and quiet, so Steve fills up the silence with random minutiae from his last few weeks. He tells her about how he got lost on his way to the greenmarket, all the dogs he met, the zucchini bread he made. He mentions the dating website in passing (Nat, she asked me if my eagle was bald, I don’t even know what that means) and Nat makes a face like she was electrocuted and blurts out DO YOU SERIOUSLY HAVE A DATING PROFILE SHOW ME I NEED TO SEE IT.
It’s the most words she’s strung together in a week, and combined with her expression, Steve doesn’t dare deny her this small pleasure, so he grabs his tablet and loads up the page.
I’m a woman and I work at a public library. I’m slowly working on feeling better about myself with changes to my physical appearance (short hair, working out, etc.) and so far so good. I’m starting to become more androgynous and I’m really happy with that! The other day at the library, a kid approached me with a concerned look.
Kid: “Are you a boy or a girl?”
Me: “I’m a girl…mostly.”
Kid [without missing a beat]: “Oh, okay. Can you help me find a book?”
If you are a writing about a modern witch and you are tempted to announce her ancestors were burned at Salem…
No witch was ever burned in any of the English colonies. That includes Salem. Nineteen were hanged in Salem. One, an accused wizard, was pressed to death between stones—the legal term for it was peine forte et dure (“hard and forceful punishment”) and it was done in cases where a person refused to plead one way or another. Four to seventeen others—accounts differ—died in prison of illness. But no one was burned.
And the last burning in any Latin American country was that of María Francisca Ana de Castro, most often called Mariana de Castro, in Lima, Peru on December 23, 1736. And she wasn’t accused of witchcraft. She was accused of secretly being a Jew, of willingly having sex with others despite being married, and of being beautiful and tempting others. De Castro was considered a heretic and was burned by the Inquisition.
That’s not to say that Americans didn’t burn people alive. It usually happened as punishment for slave revolts. (Which is just as vile, if not more so.)
E.L. James knows as much about BDSM as she would have found in a five minute Google search, which is to say that she knows precisely jack shit.
50 Shades of Grey does not depict a realistic kinky relationship, nor does it depict a healthy relationship of either the kinky or vanilla variety.
It is a Twilight fanfic, and has all the elements of Edward and Bella’s abusive relationship with kink added for extra flavor. Just as Edward and Bella are not a healthy or realistic couple, neither are Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.
Christian Grey is an abuser who manipulates a young woman with zero knowledge of BDSM into a relationship with him. He knows she is ignorant of what a healthy BDSM relationship looks like, and uses this to:
- ignore and override her attempts at negotiation,
- play without a safeword (since she doesn’t know that they exist),
- create a false dichotomy of “either we’re kinky my way or we just don’t have sex at all,”
- threaten and stalk her,
- rape her,
- prevent her from discussing her relationship with anyone other than him,
- and control aspects of her personal life, including what car she drives, what medications she takes, and how she spends her free time.
This is not BDSM. This is not sexy. This is abuse.
Using 50 Shades as your basis for how a kinky relationship works (for critical or practical purposes) is like treating Titanic: The Legend Goes On as a historical documentary. Don’t do it.
I was hoping that we’d be over the 50 shades frenzy but I’m sure the new movie will make it crop up again, so here’s a reminder that it does not depict a health relationship or a BDSM relationship.
Darcy became Tumblr famous for her never-before-seen pics and videos of the Avengers. Some of her most popular pics include The Avengers with Flower Crowns (that Thor and Darcy made), Sleepy Steve and Bucky, Bird Bros pics, and her selfies with all the Avengers.
Her vids include Avenger Slap Cam, which ends with Clint running for his life from the Hulk, Old Man Barnes which is a reaction vid of Bucky watching girls twerk, Iron Dork, and Why My Brothers, which is a video of Clint and Sam getting shit on by pigeons in Central Park.
The Avengers all gave Darcy permission to post these things.
50 Shades of Grey was originally fanfiction based on the Twilight series, which was then published as a novel (along with 2 subsequent books). It sold over 100 million copies around the world and topped best-seller lists everywhere. It’s about to be adapted into a film, set to come out early next year.
It follows a college student named Ana Steele, who enters a relationship with a man named Christian Grey and is then introduced to a bastardised and abusive parody of BDSM culture.
While the book is paraded as erotica, the relationship between Ana and Christian is far from healthy. The core mantra of the BDSM community is “safe, sane and consensual”, and 50 Shades is anything but. None of the rules of BDSM practices (which are put in place to protect those involved) are actually upheld. Christian is controlling, manipulative, abusive, takes complete advantage of Ana, ignores safe-words, ignores consent, keeps her uneducated about the sexual practices they’re taking part in, and a multitude of other terrible things. Their relationship is completely sickening and unhealthy.
Basically, “the book is a glaring glamorisation of violence against women,” as Amy Bonomi so perfectly put it.
It’s terrible enough that a book like this has been absorbed by people worldwide. Now, we have a film that is expected to be a huge box-office success, and will likely convince countless more young women that it’s okay not to have any autonomy in a relationship, that a man is allowed to control them entirely. It will also show many young men that women are theirs to play with and dominate, thus contributing to antiquated patriarchal values and rape culture.
I know it would be dangerous for a lot of them, but I hope that folks in the BDSM community who can be out about it will be able to use this travesty of a film to raise awareness of the reality of BDSM.
Is there a novel that has some of the same story structure (naïve young woman swept off her feet by attractive, rich older man, lots of sex) but is less rapey?
Not a novel, but I feel like the anti-50 Shades movie in terms of BDSM commmunity representation is probably Secretary. I haven’t see it in a long time though and will defer to anyone who’s an actual member of the BDSM community to comment on its accuracy.