Fifty Shades of Ghomeshi and American Sniper

Posted: February 18, 2015 in Entertainment
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Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle in American Sniper

By Peter Guenther

I have a confession. I have not read or seen Fifty Shades of Grey and I do not have any desire to do so. All I know about it is from reviews and trailers. It is a fictional story about a billionaire, Christian Grey, seducing a young, naive woman, Anastasia Steele, and drawing her into a submissive role as his BDSM slave. By many objective accounts it glorifies an abusive relationship. Many others think it is just a very bad movie.

Enter Jian Ghomeshi a real person who thought he was living out a real life version of the fictional Christian Grey. In real life, Anastasia Steele is an abuse victim. Even large portions of the BDSM community think so. Some scenes conform to a “no means yes” mentality. Consent is tricky, as Ghomeshi is finding out. But many women seem to love the book and movie, which have been described as Mommy Porn. The same demographic also loves romance novels that feature dashing, dominating, well endowed, male protagonists. Go figure.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no anti-porn prude. Whatever floats your boat.

So what does American Sniper have to do with all this? In short, it’s a romanticized fictional portrayal of a real person. It has broken box office records, like Fifty Shades of Grey. Both aren’t what they seem on the surface. One glorifies sexual abuse, the other glorifies killing. Both portray troubling issues in a simplistic way that appeals to the lowest common denominator.

American Sniper is War Porn. It glosses over American war crimes in Iraq. It revels in portraying ALL Iraqis as savages deserving death. It is propaganda that makes Americans feel good about a brutal and unjustified invasion of a foreign country. It takes a man who bragged about his obvious psychopathic tendencies and portrays him as a hero for killing 160 people. He becomes the victim and his victims become human dreck.

I am willing to bet that victims of sexual abuse and bombed into oblivion Iraqi’s aren’t flocking to support these movies. A few plot and dialogue corrections could have gone a long way towards fixing both. Ignorance is not an excuse.

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