opinion

50 Shades of Grey

February 17, 2015 | 0 Comment

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From Lisa Wilkinson’s scathing review on the Today Show to other articles I’ve come across warning that this film glamorises violence, another claiming 50 Shades of Grey could “normalise abusive relationships” and today’s beauty, A Psychiatrist’s Letter to Young People About 50 Shades of Grey, which is a warning not to see it because this type of relationship (I hope you’re sitting down) is destructive and NOT NORMAL!

Now I don’t have a problem with movie reviews, but I don’t like over dramatisation of anything. As someone who has witnessed and experienced (to a lesser degree) domestic violence for a decade, these articles frustrate me. In light of recent real life events, awareness has been raised about domestic violence. It cannot be taboo. It must be stopped and we need to know what exactly what it is. What it isn’t, is 50 Shades of Grey.

Firstly, domestic violence isn’t a consensual practice written up in a contract for the other party to agree on. You don’t get to call out safe words when things are starting to get out of control and you want your partner to stop immediately. Domestic violence is not only physical violence but emotional abuse, of name-calling, the slow destruction of your self-esteem and threats so terrifying that you believe there’s no way you could possibly leave.

I don’t know what movie the critics were watching but I didn’t see anything like this in 50 Shades of Grey. I honestly can’t comprehend the backlash. If it’s about violence, I saw much more of that in the critically acclaimed Best Picture winner ‘The Departed’ and much more graphic sex in ‘Monster’s Ball’ of which Halle Berry took home Best Actress for her part. I’m not implying that 50 Shades of Grey should win any Academy Awards, but is depicting this movie as the most dangerous thing to ever happen to modern human relationships really warranted?

Secondly, it’s the first movie in a trilogy, and unless you’ve read the whole series and can place this first movie in context with where the story goes, you cannot judge it. Since when did we read books and watch movies expecting them to include perfect story lines and only healthy relationships? Why are people acting like this film is a documentary or an after school special on how relationships should look? My 17 year old niece saw it and I don’t for a second think that she walked out with a deranged view of love. I mean, were we this up in arms when Twilight was released? A beautiful romantic love story in which Edward’s natural desire was to drain Bella of all her blood and leave her for dead. No, of course not, because vampires aren’t real and it was fiction. Well, so is 50 Shades. Need further proof of this? In the book Anastasia achieves orgasm every time. Every. Single. Freaking. Time. Like a modern day Samantha Jones in Sex and the City and unless you’re a freak of nature, sorry to burst your bubble, but that just doesn’t happen.

To be perfectly honest, movies about sex and S&M doesn’t exactly run parallel to my Christian beliefs either, but hey, curiosity got the better of me. I read the books and the movie certainly didn’t leave me feeling dissatisfied with the intimacy in my marriage nor did it have me fantasising about some on-screen character. It was entertainment and although it wasn’t a comedy, there were plenty of unintentional laugh out loud moments, because everyone there knew how ridiculous some of the scenes were. If there is anyone out there watching 50 Shades and believing that the majority of healthy relationships look like that, then I certainly hope these same people aren’t going to be watching the new drama ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ and taking notes.

Finally, 50 Shades isn’t THAT shocking, I took my mother in law (a grandmother!) for goodness sake. If people choose not to see it – great! I’d just love to see everyone calm down about how ‘dangerous’ it is and give people a little more credit that they can be entertained by a movie, have a laugh and take it at face value, which is what millions of viewers (including myself) have done.

Tell me, did you see the movie and what did you think?

The Facebook Cull

October 29, 2014 | 0 Comment

“The awkward moment when you notice you’ve been ‘unfriended’ on Facebook.”

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I signed up to Facebook in 2007 and so much has changed since then. In the beginning you were limited in what you could do. You could upload a photo, post a status (that had to start with your name and then ‘is’) and people could write on your wall. Likes, and the ability to reply to a comment, were non-existent. In those days it was all about how many friends you had.

7 years later and Facebook is a completely different platform than it used to be and we are smarter users. We are much more savvy about our privacy protection and it’s more about quality than quantity where friends are concerned. I couldn’t even tell you the number of friends I have now, because I never check. Though because we added every man and his dog** in the early days, or throughout every job we’ve worked, there are times when we want to trim down our friend list.

**I’m not kidding. I am friends with a dog. I like him because he always looks like he’s smiling and he doesn’t send me game requests.

So we want to cull someone, but how do we do this without offending them?

Do

  • Cull someone if they stop engaging in your life and you aren’t close with them. Of course it would be weird to like or comment on everything, but for the bigger events going on in your life, or your happiest announcements, do they at least throw a “like” your way? If not, then they should understand why they were deleted.
  • Cull if you realistically aren’t ever going to see them again. This is a tricky one with old colleagues for example. You don’t want to offend them and don’t want it to be awkward if you do run into them, but if you’re trying to keep Facebook for closer friends and family and the person in question isn’t someone you regularly hear from, you no longer have work in common and won’t likely see them again, then offence should not be taken.

Don’t

  • Delete someone in the first instance to end a friendship. It’s impulsive, petty and you’re likely to regret it. If they are someone you usually correspond with and you’re having a dispute, check in on them. Communicate. I will never unfriend somebody just because we may not be talking at the time.
  • Make a status telling people you’re about to dum dum dum… do the cull. I fail to see the point and you risk people perceiving you as attention seeking and desperate for your friends to comment with “please keep me!” and “I hope I make the cut!”
  • Restrict someone on Facebook unless you absolutely have to, and I understand that there are circumstances where this may be the better option. However, people can tell when they’ve been restricted and it’s unfair to the other party as you’re still technically “friends” with them and can see their profile, but they are very limited in what they see of yours. Tiny bit stalkerish. You’re better off deleting them altogether.

[runs off to check I don’t have anyone on a limited profile]

 

Belinda x

The Bachelor Australia… a few words.

October 22, 2014 | 0 Comment

We’re a judge-y lot aren’t we? I’ll admit I used to be judgmental. Then something (that I used to judge others for) happened to me that changed me forever, and now I think a lot more about whether I’m judging someone else by my thoughts or actions. I have to say, I like this ‘me’ a lot better.

My Facebook news feed, probably similar to yours, has been filled with one event over the last month. Blake + Louise + Sam and The Bachelor Australia.

Let me start with Bachie Blake. If you don’t know this, I am a huge fan of this show. Tragic fan. Like, seen most of the 20+ seasons that The US Bachelor and Bachelorette have screened, have a private Facebook group filled with a few girls and all we do is talk about everything Bachelor related. Are you worried about my state of mind yet?

Ok, so cliffsnote’s version. Blake let Louise go, proposed to Sam and obviously shouldn’t have because when cameras stopped rolling he got all confused (it’s hard being forced to whittle 30 women down to 1. Hashtag FirstWorldPolygamyProblems) and dumped Sam realizing that Louise was the one he was really in love with. Forevermore earning the nickname Dirty Street Pie. Such a party in three words. I defended you from night one, Laurina.

I’m getting to my point, I promise. So, Blakey was a mean man. Yes, I agree that he should never have proposed to Sam if he wasn’t 110% in love, therefore ‘stealing’ her first proposal and I totally get that. Although I’ve been engaged twice and having it happen the first time in no way spoiled the second time with my now-husband and she does get a big, very expensive BUNDA engagement ring to keep auction. What people fail to realise is the influence that the network and producers have on the lead and the outcome of the show. They can convince The Bachelor to do whatever they think is best, for the episode, for the ratings. Do I think they wanted this to happen? No, of course not. I don’t think they wanted the After The Final Rose episode scrapped,or their lead becoming ‘the most hated man in Australia.’ However, it’s no surprise that there are reports that they would have been in Blake’s ear about who would be best to choose/let down, and how magical it would be if he were to propose as that’s how the original American version almost always ends up.

One of the contestants on a previous American season wrote a book about her experience vying for The Bachelor and how editing and influence from the shows powers-that-be is a powerful thing. A very good read.

Some time after their season has aired, a lot of the Bachelor’s or Bachelorette’s have said they knew from very early on who they wanted to end up with. They can’t then dismiss everyone else, so yes, unfortunately for the amount of episodes they have to screen, there is a lot of leading on of the other contestants (for lack of a better word). So this makes the lead look disingenuous.

Admittedly, Blake made a big mistake, proposed to the wrong woman (for him) and I think it all spiraled out of control from there. In the end, he did the right thing by breaking off the engagement (and yes, it’s humiliating to have an engagement end, let alone one so new and in the public eye) and Sam is already so much better off. So for now, how about we all take off our judge-y pants and lay off Blake?

I’m off now to check my Bachelor Facebook group and see if the girls have found the new Bachelor Canada episode.

No, I’m not kidding. I told you. I have a problem.

Belinda x

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