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.”