Comments & Discussion

Boston University moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (EST) and can only accept comments written in English.

There are 27 comments on POV: Fifty Shades of Grey Reflects Continuing Inequality for Women

  1. This article is ironically incredibly demeaning to women. Yes, there are themes in 50 shades of grey that can be seen as not empowering to women and mysoginistic. As far as sexual health goes, please do your research on this issue before promoting your ideas. Here is a great article (that contains REAL research and facts):
    http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/news/a31879/rough-sex-november-2014/
    Essentially it is saying women who are comfortable being dominated are actually more confident and healthy in their everyday lives.
    I understand this is an opinion article but your opinion is so incredibly narrow-minded. Articles like these only contribute to the entire reason women still are not comfortable talking about sex and their sexual preferences.

    1. Please, tell me more about your sound fact checking from the very reputable Cosmo. BDSM can be very healthy and rewarding if done correctly, but the lack of clear definition of consent in the books is problematic at best. No one is saying sadomasochism is bad, the author is pointing out the poor writing and lack of human understanding in this glorified fan fiction can give people the wrong idea about healthy, adventurous sex.

    2. Ok, tell the well respected sexual health educator with 20+ years of experience to “do her research” and then link to an article from Cosmo. An article that, for the record, briefly mentions only one study and does not link to it.

    3. Thank you, ‘L’, for demonstrating clearly just how research-challenged most BU students are. Try citing Cosmo in a paper and see what reaction you get from your Instructor.
      Sigh.

  2. I’d love to see the response if the genders were reversed. The movie would have been blackballed faster than you could say “rape culture”.

  3. I’m also quite impressed that once again this has been made into an issue all about women when it is clearly an objectification of men.

  4. Unfortunately people have always enjoyed lousy movies and there is nothing that anyone can do about that. I think that the real cultural problem that needs to be discussed is why do we as a society feel the need to regulate an individual’s sexual decisions and preferences?

  5. The real problem is education. I hope BU faculty can enlighten and enrich their students’ lives by actually trying to educate rather than just pat lip service. BU is increasingly moving into a research first education later type of school. Leave that to the MITs. Please take your mission of education seriously. And reward your adjuncts and affiliates and post docs and Ra’s.

    1. While ab’s comment is off topic regarding the article, it hits the mark where BU is concerned. BU was among the first universities to embrace the business model. They still hold it in their clammy embrace.

  6. In todays edition of BU Today, we pick the low hanging fruit!
    For real, M above me is right. It’s an erotic novel. It’s for people to masturbate to. In bed, people like what they like. It’s not up to you to decide. It’s a personal preference, the same as liking marinara sauce on your pasta over olive oil.
    On top of that, your argument is weak to the point of nonexistent. You go on for a long time about abstinence-only sex ed, and then somehow link that to dom sex (without any sources or even a basic explanation of this strange link), and then take dom sex as literally as humanly possible and say it’s a man “repressing” a woman. And all of this somehow means the Patriarchy is in full swing. Are you people even trying any more?
    Pointing at something and saying that you’re offended doesn’t make the thing evil and it doesn’t make it a women’s issue. It makes you oversensitive.

    1. Agreed. It’s common knowledge that the book’s writing is crap. We know it’s not supposed to teach us any profound lessons about sexuality, it’s literally just one woman writing about her fantasy. It got published, and a lot of people happened to like it.

  7. I agree to some extent with L. Yes, women who are comfortable being dominated are potentially more confident in their lives. But when I read the book, it didn’t feel like a consensual BDSM relationship. She didn’t really know what she was getting herself into and he didn’t introduce her to it in the proper fashion. I mean, she leaves him because she thinks it is abusive after he spanks her really hard. I am a submissive and I don’t think that what they were doing was at all something to feel good about.

  8. Everyone always talks about “education” when this issue comes up. What would that even consist of? Abstinence got us nowhere, and I don’t think the opposite practice (the thoughtless pleasure-seeking you see too often today) is in any way superior. Real freedom does not exist divorced from responsibility. When people (all people) finally come to realize that sex is something other than a transaction, a mere exchange of pleasure, and so stop using other people and pursuing it for entirely selfish purposes, then maybe we’ll see some results. This issue transcends mere sexuality: this self-destructive, pleasure-seeker attitude reduces all others to mere objects of utility and will come to destroy us a la “Brave New World” if left unchecked. People who know a lot about the how-to of sex as an act are too often, ironically, the least suited to educate about this. There’s got to be so much more involved in any “education” on this issue than the idea of consent and methods of birth control.

    1. At a personal level, I agree with many of these sentiments but there are entire philosophical works that attempt to achieve a definition of “freedom” to no avail. I think when it comes to sex, individuals need to be left alone to decide what sex means for them. I don’t see how sex could ever come to destroy us all (war does this), and I rue the day that we are forced to experience sex on any other terms but our own. I think we should all agree that this is an integral part of consent!

  9. But I don’t think she was criticizing the BDSM part of the book/movie. What concerns her, and also concerns me, is the apparent lack of consent. Say what as you may about BDSM, consensus is important nonetheless. She even didn’t get to choose her own safe word.

  10. The book is pure fantasy and shouldn’t be taken seriously. That being said, anyone who read the books knows that the real villain in the piece is the older woman and dominatrix and pedifile who corrupted the 15 year old boy who was Christian.

  11. Oh jeez, take it easy you don’t have to like everything out there at the movies or very popular books, if that would be the case we would have nothing to compare but with that being said the millions of readers that did love the book have been excited about the movie. At least people want to go the theatre, which piracy has token over according to the film industry. The best thing for haters is probably not go see these types of movies and leave it to the real fans of the book because the fact is women everywhere enjoyed the fantasy.

  12. BDSM is great. The only problem I have with the movie was how corny the scenes were. If you want real BDSM, check out the Secretary. Some women love getting dominated. DEAL WITH IT.

  13. What a hypocrite a person should be if one enjoys watching the game of thrones and all other popular TV shows and movies, which just happen to be filled with sexual scenes, and at the same time judges the movie and the book 50 Shades of Grey for its sexual content? The book itself and the movie does not picture something bad. It just pictures the love from different angle. The characters are extremely well developed and the storyline itself is beautyful. I have one live motto, which I like to follow: “First understand, then seek to be understood.” The things that may seem weird, are only present because people lack the understanding and appreciation of them.

    P.S. By the way, I am a man, and I truly believe that this movie deserves appreciation and the books are exceptionally well written.

  14. WAR ON WOMEN ! Ha ha ha I wonder how many wemen will read the book about a wimpy guy and his powerful wealthy girlfriend … Most women like their man strong and masculine its basic and sexy …feminism should stay out of the bedroom

  15. I think people just misunderstand others who practice BDSM. Fifty Shades of Grey happens to have woman as the submissive and man as the dominant, but in BDSM world, men often choose to be submissive as well.

    And only people who practice BDSM would understand the pleasure derived from pain. I had discussions with some of my girl friends about our sex fantacies, and I admitted to them about me and BDSM and showed them video. They didn’t get it because they thought the sex act was too painful to enjoy. That moment I realized BDSM is definitely not for everyone, not event to understand the pleasure behind it.

    I’m glad that Fifty Shades of Grey inspires discussion about BDSM nationally because it is hard to come out, admitting their BDSM practice. Many compared the emotions of coming out as BDSM similar to coming out as homosexual because there may be consequences to tell others about something that is not widely acceptable. Imagine a respected, well-known governor admits about his submission in BDSM, this news can destroy his career because society hasn’t accept the notion of BDSM as a normal sex practice.

    What I’m trying to say is that… for those of you who complain about BDSM makes women lose empowerment, you don’t get it. You can only say it if you interview those who commits in submission because they are the only ones who really get it. But of course it’s hard to find them in public because our society accept all BDSM.

    I’m just to end with my favorite lines here:
    “You think the only people who are people
    Are the people who look and think like you
    But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
    You’ll learn things you never knew you never knew”

  16. Thank you for offering this refreshing perspective. There is nothing challenging, deviant, or progressive about glorifying sexual abuse and violence against women, even when sometimes that abuse is accepted or praised by some women because it’s the norm. Part of fighting misogyny and making women’s lives better is by asking ourselves tough questions, and creating solutions that are often not easy. I hope more people will take heed.

  17. Now, I’m not an expert on this topic and I won’t pretend to be. What I would like to bring up is that I think people are a little to quick to judge this as a misogynistic and abusive book. This book isn’t some sort of attack on women or a book about “glorifying sexual abuse” -Lara. May I remind everyone that this book was not only written by a woman, but the primary consumers of both the book and the movie were women. Basically…I don’t see who’s doing the abuse here. Who’s being misogynistic? As far as I can see, the main contributors to this whole mess are women. With that in mind, I think this is less a book about misogyny and more just a shitty romance designed to be edgy. Put bluntly, I think women are bitching at women for oppressing women, and then crying patriarchy because the male in the woman’s book was dominant.

    1. Bravo. I don’t understand how this turned into a boys vs. girls conversation in the first place. That’s the stuff of grammar school playgrounds.

  18. Fifty Shades of Grey is a work of FICTION. It is not a how to manual for the perfect BDSM relationship- or any relationship for that matter. It is escapism-fantasy. The judgement shouldn’t be on if the content is enlightening, or even well written, but rather does it succeed at fantasy and escapism. So what if it’s a Harlequin (on steroids maybe, but still…). This is not meant to be the guide to a great relationship, and the sexual foibles Christian exhibits could have been drug abuse, or gambling, or physical abuse (unrelated to sex), or emotional abuse, and this could just have been another movie by another name. Apparently the inclusion of kinky sex (albeit between consenting adults) makes more people prone to be critical.

Post a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *