The forward movement for fair treatment is ongoing. Whether it’s about gender, race, sexual orientation or other categories, the movement meets with continual resistance from power and hate mongers. Sometimes this resistance takes the form of popular entertainment, such as money-making novels and movies. This form is particularly onerous, since it attempts to gloss over the rotten and make acceptable what is not acceptable.
And so, here are five of my reasons for not accepting Fifty Shades of Grey.
1. I don’t like feeling pain – physical, emotional or intellectual. When I feel pain, my instinct is to get rid of it as soon as possible. Figure out what’s causing it and fix it. The only pain I can put up with is that which I know is temporary and has been caused by something worthwhile, like moving or gardening or starting a new exercise routine.
I don’t consider sadistic sex a good exercise routine. Inviting a sadist into my bedroom would be like going shopping with a kleptomaniac or to a barn raising with an arsonist.
2. I don’t like watching pain. Just as I don’t like to feel pain, I don’t like to see it inflicted on others, either people or animals. Especially if there is no other point to a story. And what is the point of Fifty Shades? That sadism, suffering and humiliation are necessary for human connection?
This is what I mean by intellectual pain. It transcends the physical and emotional. It’s outrage that in a world where women have made such progress, fought and still fight against all odds for equal footing on rocky terrain, they are being shown it’s exciting to lie back on the jagged rocks, bleed and feel degraded. Personally I’d like to see that author confined to a cave where she belongs with a huge hairy ape for company.
3. I am claustrophobic, so just the idea of suffocating in a burka, or being tied up and not allowed to move makes me want to run a thousand miles an hour away from kinky crowding.
4. I don’t like being told what to do – the mental equivalent of claustrophobia? Please don’t tell me where my mind or my body should go or how they should move or look. I like my mind and body and don’t feel the need to be punished or forced to enjoy sex or anything for that matter.
5. My colors are not black, white or grey. Black and white are too stark for me, too either/or. Grey is a mixture. We are all a mixture and sex can be a mixture of many things. But grey is also gloomy and foggy and sometimes hides the naked truth – that cruelty is cruelty and not a warped sense of power or sensuality. The only acceptable grey is the silver lining of mental respect that shines through if we see with clear vision. Those who prefer to live with pain are free to do so, but it makes me very, very sad. We deserve to enjoy our liberation without punishment and our true love without begging.
Excerpt from New York Times, March 10, 2015
U.N. Reveals ‘Alarmingly High’ Levels of Violence Against Women
by Somini Sengupta
Despite the gains women have made in education, health and even political power in the course of a generation, violence against women and girls worldwide “persists at alarmingly high levels,” according to a United Nations analysis that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon presented to the General Assembly on Monday.
About 35 percent of women worldwide — more than one in three — said they had experienced physical violence in their lifetime, the report finds. One in 10 girls under the age of 18 was forced to have sex, it says.