A week ahead of its release, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation is launching a national boycott of Fifty Shades of Grey, calling it little more than a how-to for domestic violence.
The DC-based group, run by former Federal prosecutor Patrick Trueman, argues the book series and franchise “promote torture as sexually gratifying and normalize domestic violence.”
The group charges that “mainstream opinion-makers (like Oprah, Dr. Phil, the Today Show and many more) are telling the public that humiliation, degradation, and torture in sex is normal and to just give it a try.”
The book, the most popular erotic “novels” ever published, and the movie depict a rich and powerful man bringing a young woman under his sexual sway with deviant practices, including sexual bondage and domination. Women of all ages could be seen reading the book everywhere in public over the past few years. The movie is expected to be a blockbuster.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation says the relationship between Christian Grey and the virginal college student, Anastasia Steele, “maps onto what would be considered an abusive relationship rife with domestic violence in the real world. Christian puts Ana under contract to serve as a sexual ‘submissive’ and uses intimidation, coercion, humiliation, violence, stalking, manipulation, jealousy, and other controlling behaviors to groom Ana and keep her under his domination.”
The book and movie have been placed on the group’s annual Dirty Dozen list of the nation’s “leading contributors of sexual exploitation.”
Other groups have joined the campaign. Matt Fradd, who works for an Internet protection company called Covenant Eyes, has produced a video series called “4 Lies About Sexuality in Fifty Shades of Grey” which includes “violence is sexy,” “sexual brokenness is sexy,” “women should just put up with stalkers,” and “consent is a secondary consent when lust is involved.”
Boycott organizers ask sympathetic Americans to sign petitions to opinion leaders and show general disapproval of the movie. They also want women to share their stories of sexual violence, and for the public to make donations to women’s shelters. They call it “50 Dollars Not 50 Shades”.
The boycott has already received significant coverage. Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center, appeared this week on Good Morning America.