Recently, I came across another Odyssey article about the "Fifty Shades of Grey" trilogy. Now, as someone who has read all three books and watched all three movies, I respectfully disagree with what this author has stated.
Firstly, the author clearly states "I have not and will never go see or read any of the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' trilogy." Just out of curiosity, how can you make such an accusation without having witnessed anything in the books or movies? Yes, we all know the basic plot line. Yes, it is about a BDSM relationship. Yes, it can be intense. Yes, the movie trailers show some of the crazy things the couple does, regarding their BDSM relationship. However, without having seen or read anything, you can't assume it is all abuse.
Secondly, everything that happens between main characters Ana and Christian is consensual. When Christian decides to pursue Ana, he tells her he won't do anything until she has agreed and gotten her written consent. In the first book/movie, they have a formal business meeting. Christian tells Ana to set her limits to what is comfortable for her. She has him cross off anything she has no interest in doing, and Christian respects the boundaries she sets.
Third, in the event of something going wrong, there is a safe word. There are actually two safe words. One means 'I'm overwhelmed slow down,' and the other means 'stop everything I am uncomfortable.' Christian constantly reminds Ana that she may use her safe word whenever she feels it is necessary, and the one time she used it, he immediately ceased all actions.
Also, Christian tells us that several of his previous submissives sought him out, unlike how he approached Ana in this case. However, they all also agreed to what they were getting into, and also set their own boundaries. In reference to the "abusive instances," which were "1. Stalking 2. Intimidation 3. Isolation 4. Sexual Violence," Christian never portrayed these characteristics.
As a powerful and wealthy man, Christian had background checks done on his possible submissives, making sure everything checked out okay. This is not uncommon among people of power. For instance, prenups are commonly drawn up for someone marrying someone, or the family, of a powerful person. This is to weed out anyone with bad intentions. This is NOT stalking. When him and Ana were married, he had security stay with each of them at all times in case something were to happen, which was the case for a third party.
Ana was a strong woman and her character grew a great deal from the beginning to end. She was never scared or intimidated by Christian. He asked his submissives to stay at his penthouse on weekends, but he never isolated them. In fact, he gave them their own bedroom on the opposite side of his penthouse, in reference to his bedroom.
Regarding a BDSM relationship, it can get pretty intense. Again, though, there are boundaries. Ana set her boundaries with Christian, and he never crossed them if she did not feel one hundred percent okay with it. He tried new things with her at times, but it was nothing that could harm her or make her uncomfortable.
I can definitely see how one could perceive this plot as abuse; however, it really isn't. This IS a love story, just not your typical one. There are many couples out there who have relationships like this one, but it isn't displayed in movie/book form so everyone turns a head. The relationship between Ana and Christian is crazy. They have so many obstacles before they end up where they do, they fight, they struggle, they adjust, but there is so much love there. There is not abuse.