I Dated Christian Grey article

50 Shades of Grey and its large female audience came up in a different thread (many, many pages in). I just saw this article and thought that it would be a good jumping off for discussion:


One thing I find very interesting is how common it seems to be for women to have abusive relationships around 18-20 years old.

Here are some quotes from the “I Dated Christian Grey” article:

"I met him my sophomore year in college. Tall, dark, handsome, popular, talented, articulate, and immensely charming, I formed a crush on him almost instantly. But, I knew to my marrow that someone like me could never be with someone like him. I didn’t move in his celestial spheres; I wasn’t worthy of his time or attention. I knew myself to be beneath him.

"So, when in my junior year he began paying attention to me, I was more than flattered. I was grateful. I couldn’t believe that he wanted me—nerdy, dowdy, me. That gratitude propelled me into three years of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse.

“He broke our engagement three months before the wedding; his only explanation was that he couldn’t trust me to be “properly submissive.” I had been willful, defiant, had disobeyed him in recent months, and because of that he would not bestow upon me the title of “wife.” In the religious subculture we came from, I had committed a grave sin when I told him he couldn’t treat me badly anymore, and in the view of most of my friends and leaders, I deserved to get dumped.”

“I’ve been Anastasia Steele. I’ve been swept off of my feet by what I desperately believed to be—but were not—grand romantic gestures.”

“In some ways, the film is an improvement over the books in that it removes the rape scenes, but in a way, those improvements make it all so much worse because the obviousness of the abuse has disappeared. What’s replaced it is possibly even more dangerous, because it’s easier to argue that what we’re being presented isn’t abusive—it’s romantic.”

“Fifty Shades of Grey does to its audience what Christian does to Ana and what my rapist did to me: it completely resets our expectations and what we believe to be acceptable. Christian makes it clear to Ana and to us that he is narcissistic, controlling, violent, and demanding, and we are not permitted to expect anything more from him.”

“The danger in Fifty Shades of Grey is that it does what an abuser does: it makes us think that abuse is normal.”

I’d like to piggy back on this post as well and add a blog post by a friend of mine.


Ok Hoosier Daddy, there are so many things I disagree with you on but this blog was awesome! I saw my own husband in many of the examples…

Lovely! Thank you.

Not to sidetrack this thread…A lovely tribute to her husband. And she is a lucky woman! Thanks for sharing.

Thanks, they are my most dearest and trusted friends.

Sour grapes?

Awwww! That makes me want to hug my husband!

The thing about this movie that confuses me is that despite the fact that they expect to make a fortune at the box office and that everyone will want to see this, I haven’t heard even one person that has anything positive to say about this franchise. My facebook feed is full of my friends decrying this book as disgusting and not one person who says, “Yeah, I can’t wait to go see it!” I have multiple friends at work that do nothing but read and discuss smutty novels of every variety, and they become enraged at the mere mention of the book. I have literally not heard a single person even go as far as to say, “Oh, it’s not THAT bad!”. So my question is, who the heck is going to see this movie? Why do they expect such a big turnout? Are all these people that can’t stop hating on this movie going to secretly don disguises and creep out of the house in the middle of the night for the midnight showing?

Well, it is breaking box office records. Drudge even pointed out that it surpassed the Passion of the Christ. And women are seeing it. Perhaps it is the only movie they can drag their porn addicted boyfriends and husbands to.:shrug:

I think that’s part of its success. No matter how awful it is, some guys are willing to sit through it because they get to see a lot of skin. I know one guy who saw Showgirls in the theater over a dozen times for just that reason.

One of my biggest concerns about this book and movie I think is reflected in what Xantippe posted. I know a lot of women–family, friends and acquaintances–who went through abusive relationships. Some turned it into a lifestyle. I think 50 Shades encourages women to enter into those sorts of relationships. Among my friends on Facebook, the biggest cheerleaders for the book/movie are the ones who have the longest history of serial abuse. The more they’ve been beaten down and abused, the more they love it. It sickens me to see some of these posts, knowing that their daughters are seeing what they’re saying. How can they honestly try to dissuade these young girls from hooking up with or sticking with guys who are abusing them, when they’re literally gushing over the same sort of abuse?


I think that people that take-take-take are often initially sexy or intriguing, just as narcissists can often make a strong positive initial impression (and there’s probably a substantial overlap between the two groups), but in both cases, I think that narcissists and takers almost always wear out their welcome. (Which is why I recommend steering clear of people that have lots of new friends and no old friends.)

There is a popular belief that good people are boring and villains are interesting, but I think that a little bit of villain goes a long way. Everybody loves Darth Vader in Star Wars Episodes 4-6, of course, but he doesn’t really get a lot of screen time in those movies, just a limited number of memorable scenes. Compare and contrast with the prequels, where Anakin Skywalker’s nonstop sulking and glowering gets old very, very fast. I have seen a number of other recent examples where too much villain comes very close to wrecking a movie or TV show. In Guardians of the Galaxy, there was definitely too much villain–the positive characters are way more interesting. Similarly, in Sherlock, I found myself reacting with horror to the revelation that Moriarty might be coming back. A little Moriarty is all very well, but too much Moriarty is boooooring. I’d prefer to have way more of Mycroft and no Moriarty at all, thank you very much.

Consider, for a moment, positive versus negative characters in movies, and how you would feel about getting trapped on a 15-hour flight next to one or the other. Would Darth Vader be a good seatmate? Wouldn’t it be more fun to sit next to Hans Solo or Lando Calrissian? How about Cruella de Ville versus the housekeeper from 101 Dalmations? Sure, Cruella might be more entertaining for the first hour, but I suspect that by mid-flight (after hours of cackling and selfishness) that anybody that chose her would be wishing they had chosen more wisely.

This is normally a dead time of year for movies, right? Christmas and summer are the two big movie seasons. So there’s really not a lot of competition this time of year.

Of course, one reason that box office records keep getting broken is that movie tickets have gotten so expensive so it is hard to compare receipts from movies in totally different eras.

Don’t worry. It only surpassed the “Passion” in the February opening category. (They apparently have that category) It might be because it opened in Europe the same day as the US. I’m not sure that was the case with “the Passion”.

I’ve been recommended this book. I told her no. She told me that Christian Grey was so attractive etc. (Yuck!)

Another lady I know wants to find a Christian grey (okay?).

I just do not get it.

I think it is fairly normal for people to have at least one spectacularly terrible relationship when they are young, inexperienced and naive about relationships and judging character. As I was saying in the OP, I’ve been noting that this often happens around 18-20–right at the age where people are both very eager to give new acquaintances the benefit of the doubt, little worldly experience, and when they have little experience in assessing risk to themselves. So, pretty much a perfect storm for winding up in a dangerous relationship. (And I think that a late bloomer might actually go through this same process, but later. And occasionally, people do the same thing in high school–my younger brother had a high school girlfriend that was restraining-order worthy.)

As I’ve mentioned in previous threads, I had a rape-y 35-year-old boyfriend when I was 19. If we were to write out all the things I didn’t know at the time–well, I could fill up a lot of CAF threads. At the time, the novelty, and all of the drama and the boundary-pushing was very exciting to 19-year-old me. 20 years later, the stuff he used to say and do looks totally different to me–I know enough know to understand the manipulation and how much of the stuff he said was lines, and that the relationship (such as it was) didn’t mean that I was somehow special. (The feeling special and important in an abusive relationship is a major problem.)

Even just 2 or 3 years later, I saw that relationship totally differently than I had when I was in it.

And no, that’s not “sour grapes.” That’s experience and perspective. I could have married that guy, which is a terrible thought.

I think this is often what people don’t get about abuse. People ask, well why do women stay with men that treat them so badly? The reality is the abuser makes the victim believe the relationship is normal - or at the very least, that the problems are all with the victim. I know in my own experience, the way I’d been taught about men’s and women’s roles certainly contributed to my staying in an abusive relationship. In large part because the impression I’d gotten was that men just were this way. Men, from what I’d been told, were naturally inclined to want to be in charge and not want women who would disagree or correct them. They also all wanted sex all the time and would continually push for it.

Ironically it was a lot of my male friends who helped correct these implications, by pointing out that they would never dream of treating a woman that way.


So, it’s paradoxically the case that one of the best ways to keep young women safe is to raise their expectations for male behavior. Rather than teaching them that any and every man interested in them is going to push-push-push at boundaries (which is more or less the impression I also had as a young woman), it’s more helpful to teach them to sort men out by how they treat the woman’s boundaries (and this could be with regard to very minor stuff) and to be very, very sure not to continue seeing men that don’t respect boundaries. And that goes for young men, too, of course, although there isn’t such a large personal safety dimension as there is for young women.

FSOG is just one of the more vivid examples of “romantic” movies where disrespect for the beloved’s boundaries is treated as a sure sign of this being the greatest love story ever. I think one needs to be very explicit when talking about good relationships and romantic love to the young to deromanticize boundary violations and abuse. Reading a book like “Why Does He Do That?” might be very helpful, because it talks a lot about how pragmatic and goal-oriented abuse is–the answer to the title of the book is, crudely speaking, because it works. Abuse is a shortcut to getting things that one wants from the other person against their will and without the hard work of convincing, making a compromise, or reciprocity.

That was SO beautiful it got me all choked up.

Just beautiful. Thanks for posting!

Yes, it was beautiful. Thanks.

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