X Close

IOE Blog

Home

Expert opinion from IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society

Menu

Consenting or consuming? What kind of sexuality is 50 Shades of Grey selling to young women?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital12 March 2015

Emilie Lawrence and Jessica Ringrose
On 8th March we celebrated International Women’s Day – a day to reflect on just how far we have come in achieving equality. This presents a good opportunity to discuss how the intricacies of sexual and emotional relationships are navigated in two of the biggest blockbuster films and novels in recent times – 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight. These representations raise questions over how we engage in a meaningful dialogue with young people about sexuality in a world where stories like these reign supreme
From toilet rolls to sex toys, 50 Shades of Grey spin-offs show that the support for the trilogy has been huge and the backlash even bigger. The book has been criticised for romanticising domestic violence, mental health issues, and for its childish repertoire of words used to describe body parts, experiences and sex. But the pressing question about the enormous success of the book trilogy and now the first instalment of the movie is why now?
Why during a period of proclaimed postfeminist equality for women and girls in education, work, and the public sphere do (more…)