50 Shades of Crime – A Retrospective on crimes masked under erotic movies and social stigmas!
On her way to school, a girl’s only concern should be whether she’s prepared for her upcoming test, or if she read the right chapters for class. Such is not the case in some parts of India, even today. The story of Nirbhya is especially tragic. She was gang-raped and beaten to death while en route home with a male friend after a movie one night in 2012. To rub salt in an already gaping wound, her attackers and their lawyer went on to say after that night, that Nirbhya was to blame. The comments they’ve passed are enough to turn any stomach, from saying things such as “decent girls don’t roam the streets after 9 o’clock” and “she invited it, her death was an accident since she tried to fight us,” and so on. As the old adage goes, it will all come back to you. All four men were given the death sentence last year. It is important to note, not all of India suffers such ignorance and not every Indian man shares these same disgusting values. For the past few years India as a country has been working hard on their feminism campaign, and has gained quite a platform on Facebook. It depicts Indian women dressed in both Western and traditional clothing holding signs saying things like “don’t teach your daughter to stay inside, teach your son not to rape,” and “the way I am dressed is not my consent”.
It may seem like since India is so far away, that this problem doesn’t exist for the Western world. Unfortunately, a similar problem has manifested itself here as well, but wearing a different mask. The 50 Shades of Gray series has taken the nation by storm and the new movie that just released has done well in the box office. This may seem like nothing more than a steamy love story, but a closer look makes it obvious to see that this is just a poorly veiled story of abuse. It may seem like erotica, but the way Christian Gray dominates and controls a more appropriate title would be 50 shades of domestic abuse! There is a fine line between being protective and being possessive, and Christian manages to cross it every time. What is even scarier is how many young girls are looking to this story as their “goal”, as a romance they aspire to have. As it is, girls here suffer from image issues and from what society expects of them, but now they are also being told violence and total control is love and is what they should not only accept from a man, but what they should seek out.
Crime Stoppers of Houston always does its part to create an atmosphere where people can share their ideas and learn from others. Recently there was a breakfast with Amy Bonomi, professor and chair of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University. At this event Bonomi presented her research that concentrates on the long-term health effects of domestic violence, and the intimacy dynamics that keep violent relationships intact. During this breakfast, Bonomi and colleagues also analyzed abuse in the national bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey, using the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s definitions of intimate partner violence, and also presented their second publication on the matter, a second study showing violence victimization and associated health risks in young women readers of the Fifty Shades series. Bonomi writes a violence prevention blog for the Huffington Post and her research has been featured in USA Today, MSNBC, Washington Post, Cosmopolitan and other major media outlets. For more information please visit www.crime-stoppers.org.
This can be a touchy topic, but when openly discussed, a lot of good can come from it. What are your views on the 50 shades series? If you have a teenage girl in your life, what are her thoughts?
Special Inputs By Natasha Naik