I haven’t read “Fifty Shades of Grey,” but like everyone else, I’ve heard plenty about the racy bestselling book, which has even inspired a Pinterest board with ideas for themed dishes such as “Bow TIE ME UP Pasta” and “Arti-CHOKE’ Dip” to bring to a “Fifty Shades” book club.
With all the hubbub, I’d been 50 shades of curious to read it, but after reading this essay from Relevant magazine columnist Halee Gray Scott, I don’t plan to.
Now, I’m no scholar on erotica and feminism and I know porn/erotica is a very divisive subject in women’s studies. I’m also certainly very supportive of liberated sex/sexuality, but I would like to hear a feminist defend this contract, which the main female character in the book willingly signs:
“The Dominant accepts the Submissive as his, to own, control, dominate, and discipline during the Term. The Dominant may use the Submissive’s body at any time during the Allotted Times or any agreed additional times in any many he deems fit, sexually or otherwise.”
Though I don’t identify as a Christian, I think Relevant magazine is one of the smartest out there, and this article, written in an empowered, seemingly feminist manner, is a good example of why. It’s not the sex that disturbs the author; it’s the violent sex, which inevitably blurs the line (either in the minds of the individual reader or in the public discourse, where people clearly have a hard time resisting even the most offensive rape jokes) between bonafide domestic violence and sex for pleasure.
The ultimate irony: In other, less-progressive Christian circles, this Dominant/Submissive relationship isn’t a portal into a world of subversive sex; it’s how one might define, using scriptures in the Bible as evidence, what roles men and women are supposed to play in a marriage.