Where is my Christian Grey? This has been the main question asked by women and young girls who've read Fifty shades of Grey, all over the world. If I had a penny for every time I'd heard it, I'd be richer than the author. Surely, if the hunger games has children murdered for the sake of entertainment, then Fifty Shades of Grey is tame by comparison? But, The Hunger Games is a dystopian fantasy and some women are living through the horror of domestic abuse every day and night.
So why is this book so damaging? Well here are the trigger warnings listed in some of the chapters.
Chapter 4- Stalking
Chapter 5- Grooming
Chapter 8- Ana loses her virginity
Chapter 10- Threats executed
Chapter 12- First rape
Chapter 15- Second rape
Chapter 16- Ana is beaten and raped for the third time
Chapter 17- Ana gets blamed for her own beating and rape
Chapter 20- Ana is raped for a fourth time in a boat house
Before you begin to think, but BDSM is violent sex? Christian ignored their safe word on multiple accounts; had sex with her while intoxicated; and used his childhood as an excuse for his behaviour which is a typical manipulation technique used by many abusers. Here are only a few of the instances where Christian Grey is abusive and ignores consent.
1. Ana: "No, please. I can't do this, not now. I need some time, please."
Christian: "Oh Ana, don't overthink this."
2. Ana: "No," I protest, trying to kick him off, he stops.
Christian: "If you struggle, I'll tie your feet too. If you make a noise, Anastasia, I will gag you."
3. Christian: "Alaska is very cold and no place to run, I would find you. I can track your cellphone - remember?"
BDSM is an acquired taste, used by people who practice this carefully and always follow the rules of aftercare. Christian, didn't follow the aftercare rules and often did the exact opposite and left Anastasia feeling scared and in pain.
If Christian Grey wasn't a rich good looking young man and was in fact a 60 year old balding pensioner, then this wouldn't be erotica it would be a crime novel. Consequently, the next book would be him trying to find a place to bury Anastasia's body!
Often, people watch or read things that they can relate to as a means of reassurance that their life isn't as bad as they think it is but all that will come from watching or reading 50 Shades, is a sense of disappointment in the media and in society.
This book and film promotes rape culture. If a woman becomes pregnant as a result of rape there are 31 states in the USA in which it is legal for the rapist to sue for custody. A quote in the New York Times regarding one rape said, "they said she dressed older than her age." Tell me, a rape culture does not exist.
There are false allegations; they are serious and can ruin lives and it is possible that it can lead to imprisonment and ruin a person's life. However, according to The Crown Prosecution Service's new research of the number and nature of cases involving false allegations of rape or domestic violence; the rate of false allegations is 0.6% that leaves 99.4% of people actually being raped. On average, 12,000 men and 85,000 women are raped in the UK every year. Only 16,000 of those attacks are recorded by the police, only 3000 people are prosecuted and a mere 1000 people are convicted. By those statistics, even if someone did put forward a false allegation, it is unlikely they would be convicted.
So, where is my Christian Grey? In prison hopefully! Because shelters and graveyards are filled with women who met their own Christian Grey and if they had a second chance they would be keeping well away from their own Fifty Shades of Grey!
Meganne Openshaw is 16 and currently at college studying Law, English Language and Psychology. She loves reading, writing, blogging, crime shows and makeup. Her ambition is to be a criminal profiler for the FBI. Her role models are Marilyn Monroe, Angelina Jolie, Lana Del Rey and her mum.
For more on Fifty Shades of Grey - Mandy Marshall from the charity Restored wrote two blogs when the book came out. One addresses the abuse of power and the other the myths of abuse in the book.