Is Fifty Shades really glamorising sexual abuse as entertainment in the age of Harvey Weinstein?

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List of alleged sexual harassers in Hollywood grows as Steven Seagal is accused by Portia De Rossi

This is an era where everyone is raising their voice against sexual assault by powerful men ever since the Harvey Weinstein story by The New York Times.

Recently many people have taken to various social media platforms to share their own experiences of sexual misconduct using the hashtag #MeToo.

Also read: Oh my! New Fifty Shades Freed trailer promises more BDSM actions between Ana and Christian

In the meantime, the third instalment of the Fifty Shades trilogy is gearing up to hit the screens. It involves some BDSM action between its two protagonists— Christian (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia (Dakota Johnson).

Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades series
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades seriesFacebook/ Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy

Katherine Blakeman, the Director of Communications at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation in the US, seems to have taken umbrage to this. She wrote a column for Townhall: "The idea that violence perpetrated against (college student and eventually Mrs Grey) Ana Steele by (wealthy businessman) Christian Grey is either healthy or loving is just that – a fantasy."

Calling it "horrific", she raised the question: "Why is Fifty Shades glamorising this type of abuse as mere entertainment in the age of #MeToo and Harvey Weinstein?"

Blakeman wrote: "Women want and deserve healthy and consensual intimate relationships.

"So, Fifty Shades author EL James dressed up a sadomasochistic, abusive sexual relationship as just that – one that ended in true love, was based on consent, and was healthy for both partners."

She further explained the reason for questioning the series in her column: "This unconvincing lie becomes all the more repulsive in the third part of the trilogy, when Christian Grey tells his wife, Ana, who suspects him of cheating, that he 'made a vow to love [her] faithfully, forsaking all others, to comfort [her] in times of need, and to keep [her] safe'.

"Apparently Christian Grey's definition of 'safe' doesn't include physical, emotional, or psychological safety for Ana, just ultra-possessive jealousy on his part that keeps her 'safe' from other men."

Later in the article, she said of the series/ movies that it was incredibly socially irresponsible to uphold Fifty Shades as mainstream entertainment as at the same time everyone is also busy expressing their outrage at the Harvey Weinsteins of the society and their behaviour.

Meanwhile, the trailer for Fifty Shades Freed has garnered millions of views on YouTube in the space of a day.

The movie is slated to be released in theatres on February 14, 2018.

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