@mypipsranout on Twitter has written the following letter to Glamour Magazine following their “Could you date Christian Grey?” Quiz.
Dear Natasha McNamara,
I am very concerned about the message your quiz sends out to women, especially young, inexperienced, impressionable women. Many of whom will buy your magazine. Fifty Shades of Grey romanticizes a very abuse and dangerous relationship. That is not a criticism of BDSM, in fact many from the BDSM community have voiced similar concerns saying the books are not about a BDSM relationship but depict abuse. As a survivor of domestic abuse and can clearly recognize the emotional, psychological and financial abuse that Christian subjects Ana too until she internalizes his distorted worldview. The book is dangerous as it promotes an abusive relationship as not only normal but something romantic to idealize. In reality Ana would be lucky to survive the relationship, if she did escape it would take a great deal of strength and time to recover from it. She would not tame him and spend her time shopping. Lets not forget two women a week die as a result of domestic violence.
I would expect a magazine that cared about their readership and women in general would want to do all it could to help raise awareness about the dangers of domestic abuse. That is why I was horrified to see your quiz asking readers if they are “‘Ana’ enough to sustain a relationship with Christian Grey?” As if an abusive relationship is some heroic test women should attempt to put themselves through. I know some may argue it is just a bit of fun, not to be taken seriously. I would agree with that point possibly if Christian Grey was some figure of fun and not a romantic hero for many women, especially young girls. Already men have escaped prosecution for prolonged sexually violent attacks because a ‘contract’, like the one Ana signed was signed by the victim of the attack. So we are already seeing women being hurt through naively thinking they are entering into a game that they have some control over, no doubt largely in part due to the amount of mainstream acceptance and promotion that the books have received, with their perpetrators escaping justice. All this undermines the tireless campaigning for coercive consent to be properly considered in cases of domestic violence.
To conclude, I do not think a quiz where the majority of choices are degrees you are prepared to be controlled has any place in a women’s magazine in the 21st century. I hope that you can publish an article that raises awareness of the warning signs for domestic violence and that controlling behaviour has no place within a in a healthy relationship. I look forward to your reply,
As yet she has recieved no answer from the magazine.