Behind every tidal wave of culture is an earth-shaking pain. Everything that enrages us (or at the least offends us) as Christians, stems from a place of brokenness in the life of the offender. Somewhere a message was missed. Somewhere, we fell short of God’s glory and became OK with being there. The same is true when it comes to this new wave of erotica, spurred by the book, “50 Shades of Grey.”
Fifty Shades has revealed something in the subconscious of our culture. Like an MRI gives us a picture of the innermost workings of our brains, the trends of culture gives us a picture of the innermost workings of our minds.
I will admit, when this book first entered my radar, I was angry. I was angry that such sludge had made the best-seller list. I was furious that a woman had written this stuff. I was angry that people were promoting this type of ‘entertainment.’ It is entertainment at the expense of humanity.
I spent years addicted to hardcore pornography. I have watched BDSM, and I guarantee you it is not anywhere near as sexy and liberating as the world is making out that book to be.
It is repulsive, degrading, sickening. It destroyed my worth and value as a woman. Do not tell me it is liberating.
So, yes, I was angry. I was angry that hundreds of thousands of women opened their minds to this, and to a floodgate of mainstream erotica (because it will come).
Then I talked to my friend, Matt, and he said, “You should write about what draws women to this.”
My brain said, “Why!? It’s trash. I don’t care what draws women to it.” But I do care, and as I thought about that, I realized something.
Like porn (because it is), 50 Shades speaks to every desire we have as women. It gives us attention. It gives us a taste of the forbidden. It shows men in power, in control. It takes every dream we had and twists it just enough, stopping right before it breaks.
We want men to be strong, but we started stripping them of their masculinity. We started getting angry when they used their strength to cherish us, and now swoon when their strength is pictured dominating us.
Maybe I am just speaking for me, but I would much rather be cherished, not treated like an animal or a slave, or some mindless body that needs to be ‘dominated.’
But, it shocks us, and there is something is us as humans that just likes being shocked. There are such things as good shocks, but more often than not, we encounter bad shocks.
When the seedy underbelly is exposed, we can live a wild life vicariously through a woman perceived to be far more liberated than we are. Think about any reality TV show, any tabloid story, anything that seems to matter to anybody and there is a shock factor involved.
When it comes to things like Fifty Shades and Magic Mike, it seems to be all about liberation. Freedom from the mundane. Freedom from the boring.
More than being shocked, we long for the freedom to be shocking.
We want to be able to be us and have it capture people. We long to be captivating. It’s just like the devil to take that innermost desire to be hidden and enrapturing as women and to taint it with sex to the point that it makes us want to be dominated and exposed.
Fifty Shades draws women in because it is a taste of the forbidden, but also seems like a taste of freedom. Please hear my heart when I tell you there is no freedom there. I have been there. There is no freedom. True freedom is found in Christ. He loves us; He frees us, and we can surrender our lives to His control and find a life more fulfilling than any “Room of Pain” could ever promise to be.