As the TV credits state 50 Shades of Grey is a "worldwide phenomenon".
A phenomenon is a remarkable wonder, something impressive or extraordinary. In today's age what exactly is extraordinary about the fact that the 'sex sells' mentality continues to dominate (no pun intended) the choices of society at large?
Who wants a piece of Mr Grey more than Ana? Retailers. So much so that Target thinks putting the Fifty Shades of Grey blindfolds and vibrating 'love rings' right next to kids' toothbrushes is a good cross-marketing approach.
Nothing quite so 'phenomenal' about a conversation with your young reader about why they can't have a vibrating love ring.
The response to this photo from people - "oh, who takes their kids to the toothbrush section"... um, clearly you don't have children that want full autonomy over toothbrush decisions.
But what's the big deal about a movie promoting kinky sex - isn't this just an erotic movie? No, it's not. And here's the part that no one is talking about. It's in the trailer, and it's in the book, if you read it.
Now, imagine if the movie started with that part of the story. A little boy having cigarettes put out on his skin. A teenager 'seduced' by an adult and shown the ways of bondage, whips, and pain as a means of coping with his issues.
Sexy, huh? Who doesn't want to watch that guy act out on his past by sexually controlling another person? Who needs therapy when you can just continue the cycle and dominate and abuse other people under the guise of consensual sex?
Fifty Shades of Grey is not about a loving, respectful relationship that has some kinky sex - it's a story about a man who seeks to control women because he feels out of control in his life.
Now, some people know this about the story and feel this is what gives the story 'depth' - but this isn't a drama with deep character analysis - this is a book and movie that is set to appeal to the masses that don't know or don't care to empathize with Christian's past abuse.
But, it's just a book, right?
But Ana Consented!
But her love saves him!
Because I'm Terrified For My Kids
You can't just say it's a parent's job to talk to their kids about this. Sexual messages are like second hand smoke for our children. They cannot look away, their brains are literally hardwired to ingrain what they're exposed to as normal - good or bad.
This isn't just about us.
We need to get our priorities in order. We can't say domestic violence and sexual abuse are wrong, and then promote the very things that glorify sexual objectification and abuse. Turning a person into a thing is the first step to any form of abuse. Not respecting a person's emotional needs is the first step to objectifying them.
People have a right to their own sexuality, but we also have a responsibility to protect the vulnerable, first and foremost - our children, who have a right to a nurturing and wholesome childhood.
We feed the machine that produced and turned Fifty Shades into a 'worldwide phenomenon' we better be prepared for what is next, because when it comes to profit over people, they will only seek to go bigger and more shocking. We have the power - it's our money they want. Don't give it to them.