This article was updated on February 17, 2015, 4:45 pm
The much-talked about movie Fifty Shades of Grey premiered this weekend – in time for Valentine’s Day – and many trooped to the cinemas to see the movie adaptation of the book by E. L. James, Australian mom Michelle Lewsen included (with much reservation, she notes). She writes about her Fifty Shades of Grey experience in theycallmemummy.com, from the point of view of a woman whose children might soon be old enough to watch the movie themselves.
“I am writing this so that when that day comes, you’ll recognise Fifty Shades of Grey for what it is, rather than what it pretends to be,” she begins her letter.
She breaks the illusion many have come to see the movie for: that it is a love story, a romantic novel, noting that “Romance is glaringly absent, in fact,” expressing how deeply disturbing the experience was for her.
She says, addressing her kids in the message, that she felt “terrified” and “sad for your generation … if this is the movie that you base your ideals of love and romance on.”
Below are excerpts from her letter:
"Please, my son, don’t watch this one day and believe that it’s ever okay to intimidate, manipulate or disrespect a woman like the ‘hero,’ Christian Grey. Nobody, male or female, wants or deserves to be disrespected, manipulated or violated against his or her wishes.
“Please, my daughters, don’t allow this romanticizing of sexual domestic abuse fool you into believing that you should ever allow yourself to be treated like Anastasia Steele.
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“If you say you’re a virgin and he responds by violently deflowering you, that’s not love. That’s assault.
“If he turns up inside your apartment uninvited, it’s not romantic. It’s breaking and entering.
“If you tell him you’re not interested and you ask him to leave and he responds by tying you to your bed and having violent sex with you after you repeatedly say “no,” all the while threatening to do worse if you make a noise, it’s not passion. It’s rape.
“My precious children, know this: Love is gentle. Love never takes. Love does not demand. Love waits for consent. Love doesn’t need helicopter rides and expensive gifts. Love is enough.”