50 shades darker


Fifty Shades Darker is showing in the cinemas just in time for the Valentine's. And I am disturbed that many young Muslim women are fans of this trash. I am disturbed that the fan base is as strong as when the books became best-sellers. I mean, until now you still haven't figured out that 50 Shades is not good at all?

Okay, first of all, if you are a woman with enough maturity and intelligence, read all the books you want. You have the mental faculty to see past the hype and the kilig. You will understand how sick the franchise is. But if you are a naive young girl with barely any experience in relationships, wag na. Hindi nakakakilig ang 50 Shades. It is not a love story. It is soft porn. It will give you a damaged concept of intimacy.

The internet is a treasure trove of pornographic materials. I am not even concerned of that fact because there is an understanding that porn is taboo. We don't talk about it openly in our social media because our sexual kinks aren't for the consumption of everyone. What is alarming about 50 shades is that it is wildly hyped. It is accepted and glorified. Given that there almost all love stories out here involves an element of sexuality but 50 Shades is ALL about sex, the unhealthy kind of sex that includes abuse, pain, and mental sickness. Many young girls unabashedly express their delight in Christian Grey. Please, don't!

The plot alone is enough to repulse any woman with self-respect. Why would anyone fantasize to be in Steele's shoes when the first thing that she did in the book is agree to be Grey's sexual slave who he can hurt and force with shameful sexual acts in exchange for money. Sure there is consent but at the end of the day, that is prostitution.

Grey's character is straight out of a horror movie. Imagine if Christian is not THAT rich. If in exchange for being a submissive, he can only give 1,000 pesos. If he is not THAT handsome. Nakakakilig pa rin ba? Let's be honest here, the closest you can get to a Christian Grey in real life is a poor pervert who have multiple cases of sexual harassment.

It is as clear as daylight, the book is about abuse and violence masquerading as romance.

Whenever I see one of my young Muslimah friends post how excited they are of the movie or how good the books are compared to the movies, I hear the Kraken being released.

Here are some reminders from Afshana Haque, MA, LMFT, of St. Mary’s University:

1. It is not okay to be sexually abused by someone and then accept the abuse as a lifestyle, just because the abused starts enjoying the abuse.

2. It is not okay for a man to lure a girl into marrying him with his money or good looks while expecting her to overlook his habit of objectifying women as mere sexual objects.

3. Decent men normally don’t stalk girls.

4. Grey is domineering, a control freak, a stalker, and a manipulator. In real life, these character flaws cause real marital problems. Unlike Ana, most women can’t endure being stalked, watched and forced into submission while compensated with wealth and erotic intimacy. In real life, most men simply do not have the luxury of gifting the company where she works to the wife while forcing her into submitting.

Read more here.

So before you let the book skew your perception of love and intimacy, take time to reflect. Read about the ideal marriage in Islam. A bad boy will always remain a bad boy. Do not have a bloated ego and assume that you can make him good. The best kind of man is he who will not hurt you because he has respect for women and fears Allah swt.

I am all for women liberation and empowerment. But as feminist Suzannah Weiss said,"We could do better to empower women. We could teach them to view sex as a mutually enjoyed activity, not a pursuit of men that women may choose to indulge or reject." Gaining power through sexuality, rather than cultivating a personality or talent, degrades women from an organism to merely an organ.

Lastly, I hope that as Muslims we become more open to talking about love and intimacy. Because if we don't guide our young ones, our youths will look at the wrong places to satisfy their curiosity. Wrong places like 50 Shades of Grey.