I would like to freely admit that I have never read the Fifty Shades of Grey series. Compelled by all the fuss about the upcoming film release, I recently watched the latest trailer. And I’m not sure what to think, or if I’m over thinking the whole concept. But it leaves me uneasy in the representation of sexuality and relationships.
Although I may not be in the best position to comment (as I have not read the books or had any sort of Mr. Grey experience) I still feel challenged by the 2 minutes and 37 seconds of the movie trailer.
I’ve always had the attitude of whatever ‘floats your boat’ – go for it – as long as you are safe, freely choosing and comfortable with what you’re doing. Female sexuality and the female body has always (and still is) a battle ground for control and autonomy. The idealised projection of a sexualised woman comes with a list of unrealistic expectations and tasks for herself and any relationship she enters into. But what does not sit right with me is the power relationship portrayed in the movie trailer is accepted as ‘normal’.
The act of submission – sexual or behavioural – should not be advocated as a healthy, female based requirement to have a fulfilling relationship or experience all of the time. In just under three minutes, the new trailer highlights the loss of the ownership of the female body and reinforces the paradigm of males being dominant and the only instigator of sexual experience and pleasure.
But it’s all just a bit of fun, hey?
Perhaps. But would it be acceptable to swap the genders around? How would we react if Anastasia strapped up Christian Grey? Would Anastasia loose her femininity in instigating and dominating a sexual encounter? Would she be labelled a slut, unhealthy or be labelled mentally unstable? You decide.
And that is exactly my point.
When it comes to your body, it’s your body.
When it comes to making a choice, it’s your choice.
When it comes to your sexual experiences, they’re your sexual experiences.
The female body and your sexuality is your own.
Submission on any grounds in a relationship, in my opinion, must be equated on both sides to ensure a healthy equilibrium. The repeated and constant submission to another person in any means, but especially sexually, without reciprocation and communication, gradually removes self-autonomy. And this is the danger zone.
But it’s just a movie!
Yes, it is just a movie, and that’s why I thought it was important to share my thoughts about it. For the next three months leading up to its release date, no doubt we will be bombarded with images, sneak peeks, articles, tips and giggles about all things Fifty Shades of Grey.
It is important to remember that as women we own our own body, our own choices and our own experiences. If you want to grab a blindfold, go for it. If you don’t, don’t. Your sexuality is not determined by expectations, partners or submission.
It is owned and determined by you.
Love Em x