I have had the pleasure of coming across multiple posts regarding the new movie 50 Shades of Grey. Strangely, all I have read are the opinions of men who are either against women watching it and the men who are for anyone seeing it at their own will. I’m sure Rachel Held Evans has written on the subject before, but I’ve yet to come across it. And as a huge disclaimer: I have not read the book and do not plan on reading the book.
You have not summoned for it, and I write this with confidence and squeezing for brevity, but here’s my very female opinion on the matter.
I call myself the “kind-of feminist.” I believe in the rights of women, but I also believe in a fine balance of equality, too. Whether this is shown in the workplace, relationships with friends, dating or marriage, seeing the role of men and women as equals is such an important thing to me. Equality also plays a very important role when it comes to a healthy outlook on sex. Allow me to pull back the curtain on my own life for a bit.
I became sexually active at a very young age. I was too young to understand why sex mattered beyond the fact that it got the attention of a boy and it kept it, even if for a short while. For a very long time, I thought sex was the only way a relationship could work; as if my body spoke for me instead of my intellect, because that’s what mattered.
Until I found out that that was a lie.
While I was too young to grasp the fact that it was, and is, a lie I am thankful I arrived at the truth when I did. I found truth in the fact that, as a woman, my words could move hearts and my personality was enough, and that men did not need sex in order to have a healthy relationship with a woman. In not living in regrets, I can say that most of the decisions I made in that stage of life have ultimately turned the direction of my present. It is a direction that leads me towards working with adolescents – counseling, loving and nurturing that ever-searching spirit that is so awake.
My hope is to stress how valuable they are outside of sex, but also how valuable sex is. How sex, as a branch of Physical Touch, is a language of love, but so are Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, and Quality Time. Perhaps the young mind isn’t yet fitted to experience these things in full, but to know them in a healthy light is worth it. Gaining knowledge of who you are speaks to your worth as a human being. 50 Shades of Grey only offers damaging outlooks of human worth – like pornography, it is just an example of slavery to the heart, soul, and mind.
Which is why this movie disturbs me. I think it can be easy to speak to the adult minds and rant about how this is garbage for your brain, but it is another thing to talk about what this says to adolescents. 50 Shades is another perversion of truth about sex that young minds can get a hold of and begin to believe that love is chains, manipulation, and pain. I’m talking about both young women and young men. A wide acceptance of this very rotten perception of “love” and “sex” is frightening. There is no firewall installed in our hands or on our eyes. It is instead the very innocent, underdeveloped part of the adolescent brain that takes it in and registers it as pleasurable and normal.
This is where the lie is planted.
No matter what, this movie will hit the box office and you still may go and watch it. This post is merely an opinion serving as a reminder that this view of love and sex is not normal. Sex is intended to make someone known to another, to bring a freedom of sorts. And in this opinion, the symbol of chains or whips serve as anything but. The worth of a human being and their body is far more than even we can begin to imagine.
I’m certain that I could write this entire blog without showing the relationship between sex and spirituality. But that would be a disfavor to me and to the reader. One of my favorite reads is Sex God by Rob Bell. In it, he intertwines sexuality and spirituality, showing why God created sex, His intentions for sex and why it is a spiritual experience. Sure, there is the release of dopamine, the feel-good drug, but it’s much deeper than that. If you haven’t already, I recommend reading it, because it gave me the knowledge to see why knowing our worth and the worth of sex is important. One of my favorite quotes from the book is this:
“The danger is that in reaction to abuses and distortions of an idea, we’ll reject it completely. And in the process miss out on the good of it, the worth of it, the truth of it.”
Lastly, Bell says this:
As a follower of Jesus, who has already known the perversions of sex, I cannot stress enough how the support of this 50 Shades of Grey view on sex only damages us. What is comes down to is this:
No matter what age, we all want to be known.