The Grey Area of Christian Grey


Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

Iyana Jones, Staff Writer

Christian Grey became a household name since the original release of Fifty Shades of Grey in 2015. The films, based off the book series, follow Anastasia Steele navigating her BDSM relationship with Grey. Combined with physical good looks and intense sexual prowess, Grey has become a worldwide sex symbol that cannot be matched.

Despite its success, raking in over $1 billion dollars in three years, the films have come under scrutiny for depicting a mentally abusive relationship on such a massive scale. Grey is portrayed as controlling and manipulative in their relationship, going as far as not allowing her to go out without his permission and making herself available to him when he wanted her to. Even with this outcry, the films have a cult-like following, opening the question what do women find so appealing about this relationship?

“It’s not healthy. He is so controlling and won’t let her do things without permission,” said junior Paraskevi Leonardos, who has seen all the movies. “As spicy as it is, and as much as she might love the attention he gives, not being able to go out with friends without his permissions is scary.”

Despite his massively controlling behavior, the largest counter to the idea of Grey being abusive is that their relationship was consensual. Both Steele and Grey signed a contract which stated all of the rules of what their relationship was going to consist of. Steele did not go into this blind, and did sign the contract. If she consented to all of this, can it still be defined as abusive?

“It’s not abusive because she consented so who is anyone to tell her that she is being abused,” said fan of the films and junior Nia Grey. “Relationships are hard, and putting feelings onto words on a contract isn’t possible. Their relationship has grown into something more than just sex and the contract after a while, didn’t mean anything.”

Grey and Steele did eventually decide to end their contract and try to start a real relationship, where Grey was forced to learn how to be her equal in real life and her dominant in the bedroom.

“Initially, it’s about the sex, but through the movies it’s about the relationship as a whole,” said junior Gina Lippolis, who has seen all three movies. “It’s how they’re connected and how she taught him to love and not just about sex.”

Grey’s sexual and personal habits have been differentiated through the movies, which is what seems to make “abusive” seem like the wrong word to describe him. His relationship with Ana is built on trust and consent, which cannot be disputed.