I'm not condemning you if you read the books as a guilty pleasure. I watch "Real Housewives," for goodness' sake. But if it's inspiring you to try BDSM, for the love of all that is safe and consensual, please know that the real thing is much more responsible than "Fifty Shades."Here are six reasons why this doesn't look like BDSM to me, and why it doesn't make me feel particularly Valentines-y.
1. Too many partners get talked to this way at home, and it has nothing to do with BDSM — just plain ol' disrespect and intimidation.
2. Even in BDSM (especially in BDSM), things like "no" and safe words are fiercely respected. Trust is key.
3. Are we collectively working out our issues through popular media with how we feel about being stalked? Because I guarantee lots of us have been stalked and never felt it was particularly romantic.
4. See #1.
5. See #1 again and again and again and again.
6. The oldest trick in the book. When an abuse victim finally starts to draw a boundary, the abuser calls into question the victim's sanity and relationship with reality. The victim then doubts him- or herself, and then they're persuaded to do what they "ought to do."
And ONE final point I'd like to make.
Someone said to me, "But Angie, don't you see? In the end, Anastasia liberates him from this and brings him to true love. She is the hero."
RIGHT. In this fictional fantasy book.
The most surprising thing about abuse victims is that they rarely see themselves that way at first. They often see themselves as strong people trying to rescue a volatile but salvageable partner. It's when abuse victims start to let go of the fairy tale that they alone MUST stay so they can "fix" this person that they can finally start to rebuild their lives and find a love that fortifies them.
If you think people should think about the other side of this popular book and movie, please consider sharing. And see the links below for more information on the themes in this book.