You'll never be able to walk past a grape vine…
Yes, the comment Christian Grey makes while standing by the window is right. He is “fifty shades of fucked up”. The film, Fifty Shades of Grey does illustrate this. The guy’s creep factor is high, however smoothed over with sexiness and good taste. He is a man with complex psychological issues he is unwilling to work through. Instead, he attempts to drag Anastasia, the young and seriously inexperienced protagonist down to his inhumane level. He uses and manipulates her initial innocence and sexual desire, with the goal of mental and physical enslavement. He displays some superficial sympathy towards her needs, but it falls flat with the remark that her prize for suffering through his abuse is the gift of himself. I’m assuming this reference is to his penis. Every move he makes is calculated to produce a certain outcome. He quickly inserts himself in most of her life, like a dog, urinating on everything to mark their territory. He has a persistent, and annoying habit of rushing in to take care of her when she doesn’t require his assistance. He showers her with extravagant gifts, not because he likes who she is, but to hook her and solidify her dependence on him. It reminds me of how well Kobe Wagyu are treated. At the end of the day, the farmers are not tenderly caring for the sake of the cows. Their sole interest is a better product for their own consumption.
When Anastasia’s computer ceases to work, he buys a new one, not for her sake, but because he needs her to feel beholden to him. He wants her feeling guilty if not in obsessive communication with him. He sells her car without her knowledge or permission and buys another totally different brand, not because he worries her antique VW bug will break down somewhere, but because he wants to create in her a need to be managed. His gestures are selfish, and though he doesn’t hide this fact, due to her initial naiveté, she interprets them as gallant romantic gestures. Why else would he insist that she move into a suite inside his home, if only to be there to satisfy his every sexual whim at any hour of the day or night. He seems to gauge her shyness as a potential mark for his predatory pursuits, but later realizes she is much stronger than she appears. Initially, because he is a good looking man, she goes with the flow, and why not. She is young, attracted to him, and has nothing to lose. To her credit, she learns quickly that he is a narcissistic man who doesn’t care for anyone but himself and his own wants; even going so far as to take massive pleasure from abusing her physically. She is crying while he is flogging her, yet he doesn’t stop to ask if he is hurting her. I admire the way she kept part of herself separate from him as the silent observer. She took risks, watched, tested, weighed outcomes, and ultimately decided for herself what was right for her own life. The thing is, this movie is considered erotic because it is shot from a western perspective, and includes beautiful people and locations, coupled with all the fantastic trappings money can buy. In this culture, these types of fetishes are condoned if both parties are equal, willing players.
However, there are countless real world stories about women rich and poor in situations that are similar in nature to the dominant and submissive relationship depicted in this film. The difference is many women are not necessarily equal participants in the arrangement because they are arriving already at a “one down” position. The reality for many women is that it’s more a pleasureless domestic existence consisting of habitual abuse by men who take away their possessions and livelihoods to make them completely dependent; easily abusing them sexually and physically. The film gives a hyped up, glamorized version of the subjugation and abuse of women . How many women have entered into similar situations unknowingly. Most men won’t spell out their intentions as explicitly as Christian Grey. Manipulators choose easy targets. They are good at finding people who allow themselves to be twisted and used. They choose those who are more concerned with others feelings than their own, and that is how they enslave them. However, Anastasia is not an idiot, she’s not damaged, and she doesn’t have a terminally neurotic need to please. She sees Christian for who he is, and walks away.