Disclaimer: The contents of this article are NSFW and may include the use of vulgar or explicit language. The thoughts and opinions shared in this article belong to that of the author, and are not reflective of Paperback Paris.
This article also contains spoilers from the 2017 film Fifty Shades Darker.
BREAKING (9/10): Watch the first teaser for Fifty Shades Freed, out Valentine’s Day 2018!
Honestly, I saw this coming already: disappointment. I don’t know why I do this to myself; I’ve learned boredom will do a person very dirty if they don’t manage their time efficiently. Which was exactly the case last night, when a friend and I went to dinner and ended the evening by seeing Fifty Shades Darker. Or as I like to call it, Fifty Shades of Mind Control, Misogyny, Anti-Feminism, and Repulsion.
Case in point: Y’all, this movie REALLY had me feeling some type of way.
Now listen, I don’t hate E.L. James, nor do I think her books speak to her character; in fact, I’ll even go as far out to state that James isn’t all that bad. Nevertheless, much like Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker was two and a half hours of bullshit.
While the bullshit is still fresh in my memory, let’s have a serious discussion about all the problematic tropes that were used in Fifty Shades of Darker:
Anastasia is probably better off killing herself at this point. And no, I’m only half-kidding when I say that. Even you have to admit that would be one helluva plot twist that (most) all of us would rather see than watch her kneeling to every man who wants to dominate her, right? At least if she did, she’d regain some sense of control over her life.
Ana is seriously one of the most ridiculously created female characters I’ve ever read. She is, by definition, the Antichrist for all feminists. Her actions and responses are just as despicable in the second installment of the Fifty Shades franchise as the first. Ana is practically stalked, nearly sexually assaulted, literally sexually assaulted, almost killed, coerced into marriage, and every probeable orifice of her body has been probed indeed.
If you didn’t watch Fifty Shades of Grey already—and trust me, you don’t want to—Ana finally gets a taste of what she’s been asking for when Christian invites her into his Red Room (of Pain) for an albeit mild spanking that proved too much for her. She runs out like the pathetic crybaby she is, and the movie ends. That is where this movie picks up, with Christian yearning to get her back in the form of stalking her… Of course, like the fucking coward she is, Ana takes Christian back and becomes his sex slave all over again. Obviously, because this movie would be nothing without its muted heroine and her sadistic, asshole companion.
Anyways, all seemed to be going really well for Ana, for once; she started working at some publishing company or whatever as a pretty trusted editor, whom we realize thanks to her vanilla boss, Jack, who looks like every other white boy in this movie. No offense, but whatever. For the first time, it appeared Ana was making her own way without Christian. We see her working, she seems successful for the most part and happy about what she’s accomplished for herself. But all of that is jeopardized when Christian comes back into the picture. He stalks her to earn her “trust” and “promises…no more contracts” after their last bedroom blunder. Girl, bye.
So whatever, they’re back together again and fucking like passionless baboons as usual, and Christian begins to have nightmares about his dead mother… blah, blah, blah. Christian starts interfering with Ana’s work affairs when he notices Jack starts making moves on her by inviting her out for drinks and to a book tour in New York or something. Well, as we already knew, Jack was, in fact, an asshole and he even tried to rape (?) Ana in his office when she declines to go on the New York trip with him.
Let’s have a sidebar really quick:
Okay, I’m not going to defend Jack—he did try to assault her, after all—but was I the only one who sort of thought maybe Jack’s intercepting Ana and Christian’s relationship was a good thing? I know, I KNOW, but just hear me out for a minute: Ana is so wrapped around Christian’s little finger that she hasn’t even really experienced anything besides something with him. Need I mention, Christian was her first and only sexual encounter.
This was a huge issue for me because not only does Ana not know what she wants—she may never get to know if Christian is what she wants because he won’t have it any other way. So Jack’s telling her that he could do things to her that Christian couldn’t might, at first, sound really creepy and disgusting to someone as gullible and unsuspecting as Ana but I think she really needed to experience something else. Not in that moment, obviously, but why is everyone so okay with Christian being “the one” for Ana when she never gets to experience anything else? Isn’t that a bit suspect in and of itself; Christian is giving himself full agency over her body and her mind and her choices. Ana will never know what meaningful sex will be like if she’s only having sex with one person. Am I making any sense here?
But then, there’s a bit of a monkey wrench that is thrown into the equation that I hoped would be more climatic than it was. One of Christian’s former, clearly damaged submissive follows Ana in an attempt to warn her of the dangers of being with him, or so I thought… Leila, his former slave, actually threatens to kill Ana because she is with Christian and because she can’t have him back. Like, what the fuck is wrong with these girls?! Is the D that good—don’t answer that, because I will in just a minute—that he has these girls wanting to kill each other over him? This some really fucked up shit, Mrs. James.
In short, Ana makes herself a tool to pacify Christian and his mommy issues. As my friend pointed out, in one scene from Fifty Shades Darker I overlooked, that Christian even tells Ana he likes her so much because “[you] remind me so much of [my mother].” Like, this is some twisted shit right here. I don’t think Ana understands just how dysfunctional this man is. Not even that, the woman who allegedly sexually abused him in his youth even tried to warn her about him. Now whether that was for her own personal gain or Ana’s best interests, we don’t know, but as I stated earlier, someone needs to interfere because their relationship doesn’t make sense. And what doesn’t make even more sense is the fact that this bitch hasn’t even been with this man that long and she agreed to marry him… Girl, fuck you, this movie, and everything it stands for.
Sexual Abuse as an Excuse
Ana offers herself up several times to Christian because he’s such a scarred individual due to his “troubled” childhood, what with his mom dying and some old-ass cougar pinching his dick when it was hardly developed. I’ll admit, the man has some issues, but that’s no excuse for the way he treats these women.
And don’t come to me with some psychological or mental illness as an excuse for why Christian such a flawed and helpless character; he is just as complacent in his actions as Ana. I refused to sympathize with him in the first book, and this movie really solidified my hatred an disdain for him. The fact that he uses his body and his toys as a sexual weapon to “punish” these images of his mother is fucking sick, and no, I will not accept any explanation for it.
Let’s also not forget how much he objectifies Ana throughout this movie? He tells her to take off her panties in public; fondles her pussy in an occupied elevator; and he makes her wear anal beads to his family’s ball. Is this what we’re calling chivalry now? Not only that, Christian is so much of a fucking dickhead about Ana, or any woman for that matter, touching his own body, especially his chest bears scars from when his father burned him with cigarettes as a child.
Okay, yeah, whatever, that’s a sensitive zone for Christian. But why is it that we make so many fucking excuses for Christian’s sick behaviors when he’s practically raided every orifice of this woman’s body just 30 minutes intot the movie? And did you see that fucking scene where Christian allows Ana to draw a “map” of his no-touch zones on his chest? Get the fuck out of here! You mean to tell me you can shove yourself into any part of me but I can’t grip your fucking pecks? Christian Grey is full of absolute dog shit.
And ALSO, did you catch that scene when Christian makes Leila kneel on her fucking knees?! That shit was insane, right? But what’s even more absurd, though, was when Ana asked what he did with Leila, and where she was; he told her she was sent to a psych ward “where she belongs” or some shit like that. Oh, the fucking irony! Like, are kidding me?! Where she belongs? This is coming from a man who willfully exhibits all the characteristics of a fucking lunatic-sociopath-slash-borderline-slave-master and he has the fucking audacity to think he’s the person to deem whether or not someone is fit for mental rehabilitation?! Someone shoot me. Or better yet, shoot Christian. Leila, pass me the fucking gun. I’ll do it myself.
Christian’s Lack of Sexual Satisfaction
Have you ever noticed that we’ve yet to behold Christian Grey’s “big dick”—not even the slightest glimpse of that “well-endowed” shaft Ana speaks so highly of? Y’all remember it, right? In the first book, Chapter 8—YES I REMEMBER THE CHAPTER BECAUSE AS MUCH AS I HATED READING THE BOOK THAT FIRST SEX SCENE WAS 🔥🔥🔥—when Christian drops his underwear and reveals the D? Ana is all like, “Oh my!”
So does Christian Grey not have a dick or something? Cause it's movie two and we ain't seen shit yet #FiftyShadesDarker
— Paris Close (@ParisSpeaking) February 11, 2017
So with that being said, why the fuck are we in the second movie and we’ve yet to see Christian’s third leg? Is there something you’re not telling us? Because at this point, I’m very convinced that Christian really ain’t got no dick like that. He isn’t packing as much as Ana thinks he is, which brings me back to my earlier point about her not even having experience with other men. Hell, for all she know, Jack probably would’ve had her walking side to side by the time he was done with that thing. I’m just saying…
I'm thoroughly convinced Christian has been fucking Anastasia with a strap-on this entire time, be honest #FiftyShadesDarker
— Paris Close (@ParisSpeaking) February 11, 2017
If all we get to see in the next film is Christian Grey’s bare-naked ass thrusting four or five times before passing out on top of Ana for another two hours, I’ma tell you right now, you can keep that shit because I’m not watching it. I want to see this man’s dick because the damn book would not shut up over it so show us whatchuwerkinwitzaddy!
Hold up: You can do all them damn pullups and balance on that beam but you can't swing the D for more than 30 secs, sus? #FiftyShadesDarker
— Paris Close (@ParisSpeaking) February 11, 2017
I later learned it’s called a “pummel horse.” Or, as I like to call it, “another unnecessary tool that isn’t Christian’s dick.”
Speaking of what Christian is (or isn’t) working with, have you noticed that he can’t sustain a nut for longer than 5 minutes? I’ve said this before already, but the simple fact that Christian has to use toys and other inanimate objects to get his woman off speak volumes of how horrible he truly is in bed. The truth is, folks, Christian himself is an inanimate object, a useless sex toy. Let’s not mistake Ana’s moans and groans for evidence—she’s a virgin, you dumbasses!
White Male Entitlement
As someone who finds white men attractive himself, I can’t help but fear these sorts of situations: white men thinking they own you, and everything else around them. As much as I am attracted to white men, I would be lying if I said there wasn’t this lingering thought in the back of my head that didn’t shoot up red flags whenever I notice how white men exert their “knowledge” and power over other people; it’s frightening to know that the person you take the bed with you could also be bolting the shackles as you sleep.
Of course, this isn’t the case with everyone and I don’t mean to offend anyone by my saying this but it’s an honest, understandable fear that a lot of people have, including myself. Trust me, I know this concept is not applicable to every white man but I also know that the probability of such a is not so unbelievable. Figuratively speaking, when I see such relentless white savior tropes as this being used to depict white men (who are already at the top of the social food chain), I can’t help but cringe. I cringe not because I believe it, but because I don’t want to.
Not to mention, Christian, an admitted sadist, exhibits all the qualities of a power-hungry white boy with mommy problems who also wants Ana to save him by allowing her to submit to all his needs. And while we’re on the subject of maternal figures in this movie, let’s talk about that for a minute.
Must I remind you that this man selects his victims, I mean, his submissives, based on how much they resemble his own mother? Case in point, Christian only fucks women that look like his mother, but only because he hates his mother for dying on him when he was younger. Therefore, we could associate (or “blame,” your choice of words) Christian’s sadistic interests to his desire to punish his mommy… by fucking women who look like her. Psst, did you catch that? I think Christian wants to fuck his dead mother. Just let that sink in.
Another thing I noticed that offended me more than Christian and Jack—two white men—and their blatant entitlement and ownership of the people around them, was how the women in the audience that night were awing over this shit. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that most women would think Christian’s behavior was charming or romantic, which is exactly the fucking problem. Like, what the fuck is wrong girls these days?
I literally don’t know what else to say about this subject other than I feel bad for the really cool, sweet white guys who don’t treat women this way. And more importantly, who don’t feel the desire to want to treat women this way in order to validate their own importance or absolve their pain. I’m not going to sit here and say all white men in this film have it easy, it’s clear they’re under a lot of pressure, too. In my honest opinion, I believe there are just as many white men reluctantly thrust into positions of power as those who willingly accept it.
Whatever you do, charming white men of the world, please don’t be like Christian Grey.