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6 real quotes from 'Fifty Shades' that could make you rethink how you feel about it

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.

6 real quotes from 'Fifty Shades' that could make you rethink how you feel about it

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.

[SPOILER ALERT]

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.

Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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