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Thursday, February 12, 2015

8 things you can do about 50 Shades of Grey

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Yesterday, I wrote a post called "Fifty shades sick of this" describing my sadness and disgust over the existence of and hype surrounding the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. I didn't know what the response would be. Maybe people would call me a prude. Maybe people would call me out for being judgmental. Maybe people would just ignore the post all together.

What happened was the post resonated with a lot of people. It has been shared many times. It has started multiple CIVIL conversations on the topic. Not everyone is in agreement. A few see the story as a romance. Others find some redemptive value in the story as played out in the trilogy. The majority, however, expressed similar feelings to mine, that the film and the books are a glorification of sexual abuse and the permeation of the story into nearly every media stream is dangerous.

So now what? Do I sit back and just periodically check my blog analytics to see how many people have read what I have to say about Fifty Shades? Nope. Now, my mind is on to thinking about what can I do, what can you do, what can we do in response to both the movie and the media hype surrounding it.

The list below is a start. Although I compiled the list, the ideas and links were shared with me throughout the day today. Please, if you have other resources or ideas to share, add those in the comments.

1. Don't go to the movies. Well duh. Don't go see Fifty Shades. But maybe don't to the theater at all this weekend. Show the theater owners that you won't support a company that chooses to show the Christian Grey trash.

2. Go to the movies (hey, it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind) and see a movie called Old Fashioned.  It also opens this weekend in limited release. The website says "Chivalry makes a comeback." I could get behind that.

3. Educate yourself. Read from people far more educated than I am why Fifty Shades and the
circus surrounding it is harmful to young people. Dr. Meg Meeker, a pediatrician, said "There is no question that any child under 25 will be negatively affected by it." Read more of her thoughts here.

If you haven't read the books -- or if you have -- educate yourself about what's in them and why it is harmful. This article discusses 50 abusive moments in the novel.

4. Talk to your kids. Need some help? Check out this article written for young people by a psychiatrist.

5. Talk to your husband and your girlfriends. Share with them why you feel so strongly about this movie and the messages that it sends. Maybe they feel the same way. Maybe they don't. Just start the conversation.

6. Put your money where your outrage is. Huff Po shared an article about an advocacy movement #50DollarsNot50Shades which is encouraging people to make a contribution to a domestic violence shelter instead.

7. Have sex. This author suggests the best thing you can to combat a world that celebrates sexually abusive relationships is to nurture your own loving and intimate relationship.

8. Pray. If you are Catholic (or if you're not) there is an "event" on Facebook called the 50 Hail Mary Pledge, asking people to pray 50 Hail Marys on the show's opening day (February 13). Or set aside 50 minutes of time to pray, or even 5 minutes. You could even get radical and pray outside the theater.