Learning to Like Torture in Shades of Grey
What’s the appeal of Fifty Shades of Grey? As I’ve written before, release from power, fetishizing disempowerment, and random happenings may all play a part.
Internalizing a culture that eroticizes the degradation and torture of women surely plays a role, too.
A post from Feministing reads:
I am in no way surprised that many women, who have been socialized in a culture in which male sexuality is linked to domination and in which women are taught their sexual power comes from being wanted, have fantasies of submission.
When you are bombarded by images, ideas subconsciously get inside your head. And we are drenched in “male dominance is sexy” imagery.
A Tom Ford eyewear ad seems to say F-you to a woman, in a BJ kind of way.
Fashion ads suggest that black and blue is beautiful.
At Superbowl XXXVIII Justin Timberlake slapped Janet Jackson around before ripping off her bodice.
Rhett Butler “takes” Scarlett in an act of marital rape – and she awakens sexually satisfied in the morning. Luke rapes Laura on “General Hospital” — and they fall in love.
Meanwhile, The Secretary indulges in a little D/s on the side.
Or go to the ballet and watch a man overtake a woman in “Petite Mort” or “little death” (in idiom: orgasm).
On the music scene sexy women are routinely debased as bitches and ho’s while Eminem chants “I’m in flight high of a love drunk from the hate” while Rihanna submits saying, “I like the way it hurts” — and periodically returns to a lover who beat her.
Women are also watching more porn these days. Now showing: violence and degradation of women. Watching, they increasingly find it all arousing.
On the High Court Justice Breyer asks why thirteen-year-olds are protected from Playboy while video games that let boys bind, torture and kill a woman are just fine – so long as the she’s not topless.
As a kid I checked out Grimm’s Fairy Tales at the library only to read a tale about a woman who was punished by being stripped and driven through the town in humiliation as sharp spikes pierced her skin. Another childhood memory emerges of a woman being thrown over a man’s knee to be spanked on TV.
When young girls are steeped in these sexy images, is it any surprise that they come to see male domination and violence as sexy, themselves?
So really, it is no surprise that so many women are enthralled by the domination and submission of Fifty Shades of Grey.
I’ll talk more on what I make of all this later.
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Posted on June 17, 2013, in feminism, psychology, sexism, violence against women, women and tagged advertising, feminism, Fifty Shades of Grey, psychology, sex and sexuality, sexism, violence against women, women. Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.