The Many Shades of Discussion


It seemed like the whole world was talking about the opening of the 50 Shades of Grey movie this past weekend. There were as many different perspectives as there were people talking.

Some see in this cultural phenomenon a tale of sexual awakening and pushing the boundaries of conventional sexual mores.

Some see a level of sexual explicitness not appropriate for mainstream culture.

Some see an abusive relationship where an older, more experienced man takes advantage of a naïve college student. Exerting power and control over her life even when they’re NOT engaging in sexual activity, Christian Grey’s abusive actions are polished under a veneer of money, success, and class.

Some see the books and movies as a misrepresentation of BDSM relationships which should always involve the consent of all parties involved, and critics argue that the interactions that take place in 50 Shades of Grey do not show that level of mutual consent.

What do you see?

Whatever your feelings about the books and the movie, the conversations happening provide an opportunity for dialogue. It seems that the culture at large keeps presenting us with these opportunities, whether it’s the PSA that aired during the Superbowl, or Katy Perry and Brooke Axtell’s powerful performance during the Grammy’s followed by President Obama’s inspiring call to action, water cooler conversations and social media are buzzing about domestic and sexual violence in our society.

In next week’s blog post we plan to offer some concrete ways to engage friends and family members in conversation whenever these opportunities arise. But in the meantime, we want to hear from you! Have you had meaningful conversations based on these or other high-profile examples? Or, have you encountered questions that you found difficult to answer? Leave a comment below or on our Facebook post and let us know.