I haven’t been shy about my dislike of the book 50 Shades of Grey and the message it’s sending. If you follow me on twitter you’ve heard me bitch about it even more over there when I get on one of my rants. There are many, many reasons why this book just plain pisses me off. Shitty writing, shitty fact checking, shitty editing, barely making an effort to change it from AU fanfic before publishing it… I could go on for days. But honestly, the thing that bothers me the most about this book is that it is so incredibly full of universal red flags for Domestic Violence (DV) and women all over the world are eating this book up like it’s cake.
BDSM is not domestic violence if both partners fully consent to it. That’s not by any means what I’m getting at. I think that when the DV term is thrown out there people automatically assume that you mean physical violence. That’s not at all what I’m talking about here. So let me give you my social worker rundown real quick.
Domestic Violence is not about anger management or just about physical abuse. It’s about power and control over another person. That can be physical control in the form of beating the shit out of someone, or emotional control through threats, isolation, and mind games. As someone who has lived through emotional abuse I can say that it royally sucks and it’s just as awful dealing with someone emotionally beating you up as it is getting physically beat up.
An alpha can be an alpha without being an abuser. Someone can assert themselves and be in control without having to control you. The person who beat me never touched me physically. But that person crushed my spirit, made everything bad in the world seem like it was my fault, blamed all of their problems on me, and kept me in this fucked up world where I actually believed that I was the problem. But I wasn’t. That is what domestic violence is about; having power and control over someone else and making them believe that they’re doing it for your own good.
I enjoyed the Twilight books and movies. I’m not a Twilight hater by any means. But the books were very hard for me to get through because of the little things that Meyer put in the books that screamed of DV. I mean come on, step away from your love of Edward for a moment and think about it. He would crawl through Bella’s bedroom window at night to watch her sleep and started that before he even was her friend. He was nice to her one moment and then mean the next. He got mad at her for tripping on the field trip to the greenhouse. When he saved her life and she wanted to talk about it he blew her off and said she had hit her head. He told her that he could kill her and how everything in him wanted him to. Even Bella’s mom says to her in the second book how Edward is so clingy.
Check this out and think about Bella and Edward’s relationship: Power & Control Wheel.
I can honestly point out something in nearly every spoke of that wheel that Edward does to Bella in the Twilight books. I’m not the only one either, there have been plenty of articles about DV organizations pointing out the red flags in Twilight.
Even though Twilight is full of red flags, I was able to separate it as fantasy and just enjoy it. Unlike when I rewatched Phantom of the Opera as a social worker and could not stop obsessing about how creepy the Phantom suddenly was! 🙂 But then we come to 50 Shades. A story that is not about vampires even though it was written about Twilight characters. A story that women all over the world are eating up and saying how bad they want a man like Christian Grey in their lives, how they wish their husbands were more like Grey. That, my dear readers, is where I have a really big fucking problem with this book’s success. Continue reading