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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Life + Arts

50 shades of grey discussed at Gender Talk

The best-selling novel “50 Shades of Grey” was discussed at the weekly Gender Talk meeting held at The Women’s Resource Center.

Known for its erotic, sexual fantasy, some are attracted to the book but others are left guessing if it sends the wrong message about women and their sexual lifestyle.

“It reinforces negative stereotypes and unhealthy sexual relationships,” said Malkia Hutchinson, the WRC program coordinator. “It idealizes a romance that really has a lot of manipulation and abuse.”

The book is about Anastasia Steele, a young graduate who meets Christian Grey, a charming, wealthy man. Steele gets into a romantic relationship with Grey but realizes he is dominating in their sex life.

It may create a controversy about women, but it is harmful for men because they can be put out as dominant sex figures.

“I want people to have healthy sex lives, and the book doesn’t sound healthy for both men and women,” Hutchinson said.

The plot raised eyebrows when readers found out Steele knew Grey was a stalker and proceeded to find it flattering. WRC Director Beverly McPhail said women often think it’s okay to be stalked.

“We see all these movies and women get mixed messages. Should she be flattered that he tracked her down or is that a red flag?” McPhail said.

“A lot of women who are reading this book are falling into the bondage lifestyle and think it’s okay. It is reinforcing both male and female dominance,” Hutchinson said.

History senior Lyndsie Harris thinks the book might give people the wrong idea, especially women, who fall weak for men. People have their personal kink, but men shouldn’t think all women love this type of sex life.

“I think it might give the wrong impression to someone who isn’t completely verse in what the book is about and different fetishes people like.”

Although some women love to be spoiled with gifts, others will go to extreme measures to get them. In the book, Steele isn’t fully sure she should complete Grey’s sexual fantasies but is happy that he rewards her with expensive gifts.

“It’s not a healthy or long lasting dynamic to be in,” Hutchinson said. “It worries me, but I don’t want to think that all women who come across this book would fall into that.”

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