50 Shades Myths: It's so popular

Fifty Shades of Grey is popular in large part because of the misleading way the the trilogy has been promoted. It has been marketed as "romance" and "porn for women" and defended as "playful fantasy encouraging women to become more daring in their sexuality." If the story was promoted for what it is - a powerful sadistic man grooming a naive young woman for sexual violence and abuse - we doubt it would achieve the same popularity. 

The popularity of Fifty Shades’ means it has even greater potential to perpetuate and reinforce damaging attitudes about abusive relationships.   

Throughout history many there are many examples of oppression, violence and injustice that were popular or socially accepted in their time, but are now strongly rejected. 

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Is Fifty Shades Triumphant for Women? Or Further Entrapping Them?

Amy E. Bonomi Department of Human Development Chair, Michigan State University

The Fifty Shades trilogy, the Western world's fastest selling paperback series, has been heralded as triumphant for women because of the influence that "plain looking" Anastasia has on the emotions and behaviors of "Greek god-like" Christian Grey.

Triumphant for women?

Our systematic analysis of Fifty Shades of Grey, the first novel in the trilogy, reveals pervasive emotional and sexual violence in Christian and Anastasia's relationship. Our analysis also shows Anastasia suffers significant harm as a result--including constant perceived threat, managing/altering her behaviors to keep peace in the relationship, lost identity and disempowerment and entrapment as her behaviors become mechanized in response to Christian's abuse.  Read more.


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