I’m a little late to this controversial Fifty Shades discussion. But, having been referred to earlier this week as a “stupid Christian pro-lifer” because I stated that I didn’t care to see the film, I feel I must defend myself. And perhaps “defend” is the wrong word choice. Guess we’ll see.
I am a Christian. Anyone who has eyes and has read my blog knows that I am staunchly pro-life. However, I fail to see how either my religious or political/moral stances can vouch for my personal conviction for watching or not watching a movie. Initially, I found myself somewhat offended by the lady’s remark. That passed quickly and moved on to agitation. I was with my oldest for a doctor’s appointment when the statement was made, and I was flabbergasted at how unprofessional and militant her attitude became when she realized that I had not read the books and did not plan on sitting in a cold, dark theater with thirty other lonely women for the movie.
Usually, I do not talk with office staff if for no other reason than they have other things to do than to occupy me. However, on that particular day, Gabe and I had been in the waiting room for three hours and we were both antsy. The receptionist turned on TV for Gabe, and since I don’t personally care for Doc McStuffins, I opted to speak to another adult who was literally staring at her desk. Not paperwork — just her desk. So we talked. We talked about The Hobbit and other entertainment news that I actually knew something about. Enter Fifty Shades. I should have known better, I guess. But I didn’t, and proceeded with our formerly pleasant conversation.
When I say the gears changed, I mean they changed faster than you could blink. She turned hostile, quickly. According to her, I didn’t know the character back-story (I do, too. But whatever.), and I was basing my opinion off my POLITICAL PARTY’S CONSERVATIVE SPECTRUM. Um, what? How many Republican senators, governors, etc. have cheated on their wives and hooked up with prostitutes? Sexual morality/purity/conservatism has no party. But instead of allowing myself to deliver an angry response in front of my son and the rest of the waiting room, I smiled and wished her well (through gritted teeth) and we left. I’ve had some time to think of a rational response, and here is my reason for not watching ‘Fifty Shades of Grey':
I have two little boys. I have two little boys that I am raising to be kind, sweet, courteous, and gentle, but also tough, masculine, and strong. I want my little guys to grow up to be good men. Men who are not stepped on by women, or anyone for that matter, but who are good to women. I’m bringing up little boys who will hopefully be supportive and not emasculated by a strong mind in women. I want them to stand their ground and be the man in their future relationships. However, I do not want them to confuse “being the man” in a relationship with being cruel and vicious, or unsupportive and cold. I don’t want them confusing “strong man” with sexism and rigidity. I am “training”, for lack of a better word, my boys to be good men. I am doing this not only for them and their personal future, but also so that they will in turn find a good woman.
I am not a perfect mom. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. But I do not do things in front of my kids that I wouldn’t want them to do when they’re young or older adults. I try to not do those things when they’re not around. If I would or could become embarrassed by my actions if Gabe or Connor walked in and saw me… oh, I don’t know. Being obliterated-drunk. Or watching or looking at porn. Or…. whatever. If I think I’d be embarrassed or would have to come up with an excuse… I try to avoid doing whatever it is. I’m not always successful. They see me overeat. They hear me swear. They’ve witnessed my awful road rage. They’ve seen me do things that aren’t necessarily damning, but they’re things I wouldn’t want them to do. I don’t dress provocatively or behave inappropriately in front of them, or without them, because I want them to grow up respecting a respectable image.
I’m not bashing anyone for their sexual preferences. I’m not downing anyone for how they derive pleasure. That’s none of my business. You’re into sadomasochism? Good for you; I’m not. Obviously, my young kids aren’t either. While I would never watch that in front of my kids, and I’m pretty sure most parents wouldn’t either, I have a hard time watching it without my kids. Because I’m a mom. And because I see my kids both as babies and future young men. And the image that Christian Grey portrays is not an image that I would ever want my children to imitate. Mr. Grey is, from what I can tell, a predator towards this specific (virginal) young lady. The fact that he’s into S&M isn’t an issue for me. Again, it’s all about preference. The fact that his “partner” is a young, inexperienced girl… that’s a big issue for me. And it’s big for me not only because I have two young boys, but it’s an issue for me because I have nieces. And because I was that young, naive girl at one point. And because of the on-going issues of sex trafficking and sexual abuse. To me. . . . the hype of the hit books and movie is a bit of a double standard. Not because of the sex — but because of the horribly mismatched “partnership”. Here you have a barely out of adolescence young lady and lurking, sexually charged older guy. How this has not hit everyone in the face like a brick is beyond me.
I’m not saying the author intended the story to pan out creepy or victimizing — but in my opinion, it’s exactly that. There are romance novels, and then there’s this. My point in all of this is not to offend. My point is that I wish to produce and raise good, upstanding little boys so they will grow into good men. Decent men. Who would never raise a hand to a lady, but who won’t back down from their dreams and allow themselves to be stepped on. If one day my kids are into S&M, fine. I hope to God that they will be decent enough to not tell their momma. I also hope that whomever they are involved with is on equal footing with that.. preference. That’s all I’m saying. So, out of respect for myself, my boys, and their future spouses — I won’t be watching, or reading, Fifty Shades. Take it how you will. This is just my preference.