Over the last few weeks, we’ve been asking our fantastic followers on Twitter and Facebook to email us with a letter written to either Ana or Christian from the Fifty Shades trilogy. We told them they could write whatever they liked, from whatever perspective they wanted. Throughout the month of March, we’ll be posting these letters on our blog (usually anonymously, unless specifically asked to use the contributors’ names). Should you wish to get involved and are worried you’re too late – don’t panic! We can probably squeeze in a few more, so if there’s anything you’d like to say to Ana or Christian, email us at email@example.com and we’ll post your letter on here for you.
Our first letter comes from a Dom, who addresses Christian’s behaviour…
It must seem odd to you to receive so much unsolicited advice. There again, you’re a fictional character, so it’s not as if you’re going to ask the police to deal with all these people harassing you..
Let me tell you a little about me.
Like you, I enjoy dominating those whom I have sex with.
Unlike you, I regard consent as being absolutely necessary, and I don’t believe that any woman can be made to be submissive – life is better, I find, if one deals only with those who know they are submissive and seeking a BDSM relationship.
That’s not really why I’m writing to you though Christian – lots of people will tackle the issue of whether what you do is BDSM, or legitimate, or just a kind of stylish rape, but I want to tackle who you are.
In the books Christian, we’re told lots of stuff about your childhood, and abuse, and early sexual experiences that may not have been entirely consensual, as if that contextualizes the fact that you’re a rapist and a stalker.
Now, I believe those accounts of your childhood Christian, even if I wonder about the motives of your creator. I believe them, and I want to share with you some of my experiences of living through my childhood experiences.
I know you’ll feel that your experiences are unique, and of course they’re different to my experiences, but that’s not the issue. Whether your mother was a crack whore, or my virginity was taken by a man three times my age who didn’t care that I was not yet a teenager, and was quite probably aroused by that fact, each of us was a victim.
Learning not to explain my mistakes in later life by reference to my childhood experiences was not easy, but it had to be done. You need to make that step too.You have to, because you are accountable for the things you do, and the things you overlook, like consent.
I know you’re a fictional character Christian, and you only really exist to enable a rather turgid plot to move through a series of melodramatic episodes that are shallower than the average summer time puddle, but the point has to be made. You would have no reason to complain if Ana called the police on you, and no defence. Repeating your childhood history won’t help.
Take responsibility Christian. Take responsibility for the things you do, and put your childhood behind you, not as if you can forget it, but so you can keep it in its context.”
We want to say a massive thank you to the author of this letter. We’ll be posting more as the month progresses. Watch this space and remember, if you want to send your own letter to Ana or Christian, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If writing’s not your thing, you can still get involved in raising awareness. In April, we aim to take over Twitter with a photo campaign, telling the world exactly what we think of Fifty Shades. The photos will then be collected and used in a video, which we hope will take our message even further. The photo doesn’t have to feature your face and can therefore be totally anonymous. If you want to get involved, all the details you’ll need are here: http://50shadesisdomesticabuse.webs.com/apps/blog/show/41496305-fifty-shades-is-.