I got a letter last week letting me know I have been picked for jury duty! My last letter came in 1995 and and at that time I was lucky enough (sic) to be picked for Grand Jury. For three long months, each Tuesday morning I listened to testimony from victims of sex abuse. Sitting in that room, hearing the gory details was very sickening. Add to the fact that the victims were all under the age of 18, made me cringe as a mother of three beautiful young girls. This experience left an indelible mark upon my psyche along with the fact that my mother passed away during my duty.
I learned a lot about many things in those three months. I mourned for the innocence that was ripped from these young victims and the subsequent tearing of their souls. I also learned how these children were manipulated and groomed as part of their abuse and why they remained silent while they were victimized over and over. So, when I heard women crooning over the book, “50 Shades of Grey”, I was curious.
I really wrestled with the subject matter of this blog. Yet, I felt I had to weigh in and express my thoughts and opinions on a subject that affects how women are viewed in the 21st century. As a coach, I inspire women to create better versions of themselves, so it was only logical that I speak on this topic. What version are we creating and projecting into the world about how we want to be treated?
I am going to say it right up front – “I did not read the book!” “I did not watch the movie!”
I actually have no desire to do either one. I love movies, fantasy, action, romance and even an occasional animation from Disney or Pixar. I’m curious about what is popular in both movies and television shows. Once I did a three hour marathon of Jersey Shore just to see what all the hoopla was about. For me, it was just a bunch of young adults getting drunk and “hooking up” every day. Oh, yea and then there were the screaming matches, punches thrown, hair pulled and the “F – Bomb” used as a noun, verb, adverb and adjective. I have to admit I even watched some episodes of the Kardashian’s to get an understanding of why the world buys their look, products and drama.
My conclusion – Heightened drama sells. Creators take an everyday problem and exaggerate it with every conceivable pathway imaginable to create a shockwave of surprise and amazement to entertain its viewers. This is what sells. This is what has always sold, just in varying degrees of intensity. Who remembers the antics of Erica Kane on All My Children; the romance of Luke and Laura on General Hospital and now the real life soap of Kim and Kanye? I could go on and on about reality shows and my ultimate disdain for “Honey Boo Boo”! But today, today it is Mr. Grey!
From my research (since I didn’t read nor watch the movie), I discovered it is based on a book written by British author, E. L. James. From what I could glean from interviewing women who have read the book, and various articles online, 50 Shades of Grey is supposedly a love story between a young college graduate and a business magnate. Here’s where it got interesting for me. The “romance” involves elements of sexual practices that involve bondage/discipline, dominance/submission and sadism/masochism. I don’t know about you but ROMANCE and BDSM are complete opposites in my world.
My personal conclusion, bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism and masochism sit next to rape, verbal/physical abuse, cruelty, violence, and brutality! There is no ROMANCE associated with this behavior! It is about dominance and control and in my world it is demeaning, deplorable, vicious and degrading to the spirit.
So, I had to ask myself, what is the attraction? Romance! “The 16 Basic Desires Theory” is a theory of motivation proposed by Steven Reiss, Psychology and Psychiatry profession emeritus at the Ohio State University. In his research, he found that there are 16 essential needs and values he called “basic desires”, all of which are drives that motivate all humans.
- Acceptance – the need to be appreciated
- Curiosity, the need to gain knowledge
- Eating, the need for food
- Family, the need to take care of one’s offspring
- Honor, the need to be faithful to the customary values of an individual’s ethnic group, family or clan
- Idealism, the need for social justice
- Independence, the need to be distinct and self-reliant
- Order, the need for prepared, established, and conventional environments
- Physical activity, the need for work out the body
- Power, the need for control of will
- Romance, the need for mating or sex
- Savings, the need to accumulate something
- Social contact, the need for relationship with others
- Social status, the need for social significance
- Tranquility, the need to be secure and protected
- Vengeance, the need to strike back against another person
Even Professor Reiss concluded that #10 and #11 should have their separate listing. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am not sure how you feel, but I think “manipulation” in any form is despicable and deploring. In a world where we hear about young girls being raped, sold as sex slaves, sexually mutilated and murdered, what message are we sending to the world about women? Today, I’m taking a stand! I declare romance and sex is here to grow and stay – Mr. Grey and his fellow narcissistic manipulator archetypes are free to go back to their caves!
I guess I am a “romantic” at heart and I always will be one. Thank goodness I have someone in my life that enjoys romance as much as I do! How about you? What do you think?
For now, I’m going to go and give my husband a hug and remind him what a “romantic” dude he is! (He is thoroughly engrossed in the reality show “Gold Rush”! Wish me luck!) UGH!