Monthly Archives: February 2015

Fifty Shades of Violence Against Women

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There is nothing sexy or empowering about whips and chains, intimidation, humiliation, torture, and signing slave contracts. Fifty Shades of Grey is normalizing violence against women. Anyone who cares aboutthe plight of women facing oppression and abuse should NOT support this movie.(or the book)

This film is a public celebration of sexual violence, and it is important to understand the way that media changes societal norms. As one who is committed to battling the sexual slavery of women around the world, I find it necessary to comment on this film and call for others to see beyond the facade of “mere entertainment”, and understand the effect this kind of media is having upon our society.

Research has shown that there is a measurable phenomenon called the “media effect”. This is when visual media influences societal norms and even preferences. Research done over the past 30 years has demonstrated that viewing violent sexual content has the effect of powerfully and significantly changing attitudes toward sexual violence, including rape, for both men and women. After viewing violent sexual media, men think women deserve the treatment (even rape), secretly desire it, and enjoy it. Women who view violent sexual content begin to believe that they should accept that behavior, desire it, and that they should enjoy it (if they don’t, they should act like they do). Sexually violent media specifically in research has been shown to have the ability to CHANGE attitudes about violence and rape… It produces what is called “permission giving beliefs”… These are beliefs that make sexual violence permissible from both the victim and perpetrators’ standpoint.

Furthermore, the detrimental effect of sexually violent media and its ability to normalize abuse, goes beyond the bedroom. Women who are victims of prostitution almost unanimously report that violent pornography influenced the abuses that are done to them. Violent pornography changes the sexual template of men (and women) meaning it changes what kind of sex they desire. Sex buyers begin to desire the kind of sex they see, and they demand it from the trafficked women they have sex with. If you heard some of the horrific sexual abuses that these women face because men want to act out what they have seen on film, it would break your heart.

That is only the beginning of what I could say about this topic. But for the sake of time I’ll stop there.