Media Release 7 Feb 2015
Family First NZ is calling on families to boycott the upcoming “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie and instead donate the admission fee to a local women’s refuge. They are also encouraging families to use the release of the movie as an opportunity to have a discussion with their youngsters about real respect and intimacy in relationships.
“The premise of the movie is that a woman who is humiliated, abused, controlled, entrapped, coerced, manipulated and tortured is somehow an ‘empowered’ woman. And a man who is possessive, controlling, violent, jealous and coercive is somehow showing ‘true love’. These are foul and dangerous lies. This movie and the book it is based on simply glamorises sexual violence and should be rejected by everyone who is concerned about family and sexual violence,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“In NZ, we’re asking for families to boycott the movie and make a special donation to any charity that is working to eliminate sexual violence and supporting the victims and families. Donate the movie ticket price to a charity of your choice that is putting the welfare and protection of families first,” says Mr McCoskrie.
Family First is also referring families to websites which help parents discuss the issues raised in the movie with their children.
US Psychiatrist Dr Miriam Grossman who visited NZ recently says that “Fifty Shades of Grey teaches your daughter that pain and humiliation are erotic, and your son, that girls want a guy who controls, intimidates and threatens. In short, the film portrays emotional and physical abuse as sexually arousing to both parties.
The good news is you can turn this to your advantage. Don’t dread all the hype, because it’s a chance to connect with and help your child in a big way. Every billboard, preview, and sound clip is a precious opportunity, a chance to warn your child about being manipulated. It’s a springboard for discussion about disturbed relationships – how to recognize and avoid them.”
The US National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE) has launched a campaign against the movie. NCSE’s website fiftyshadesisabuse.com highlights 50-plus ways that Fifty Shades harms and provides various actions that the public can take, including signing a boycott petition and joining the #50DollarsNot50Shades campaign, which calls on families to forgo the film and donate instead to programmes which target family and sexual violence.
According to a study published last August in Women’s Health, young women who read sexually violent fiction often display the same behavioral symptoms as those who have actually been victimised. The research team compared women, ages 18 to 24, who had read at least one novel in the Fifty Shades series with those who had not. They found that women who read the novels are at an increased risk of being in an abusive relationship, having an eating disorder, binge drinking, and having multiple sexual partners. Victims of sexual violence often show the same behaviours.
“Ironically, both the lead actors have admitted that they don’t want family members or their own children to view the movie. That should be warning enough to our own families,” says Mr McCoskrie.