PTSDiaries: 50 Shades of I Can’t Run Away.

eye1

I didn’t want to do this.

I filmed the vlog (told you guy I’d do it) corresponding to this video first, and figured that was probably good. However, I realised that I probably should attempt something eloquent, since the video is mostly me ranting and pausing awkwardly so I don’t vomit hatred and frustration everywhere. I also realised that I haven’t heard anything about the movie/book/subpar toilet paper that is 50 Shades of Grey from any actual abuse survivors. I’ve heard from dumbfounded men, angry Christians and outraged parents, but no surivivors. So here’s my take. Any other survivors reading this are free to comment on this post with their opinion of 50 Shades. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

I still didn’t want to do this. I just want this shit to go away.

*

I’ve noticed a problem with romanticising abuse for a long time. The biggest place I’ve seen it is in the fanfiction community. I read and write fanfiction (which I will post about at a later date), and have been doing so for around seven years. Not all of it is smut, but for real, a lot of it is. That’s okay. I’m not one of those puritan Christians who lose their minds if sex is mentioned. Some of the fiction dealing with sexual abuse is examining the thoughts and recovery of a survivor, and society’s reaction to them. And that’s awesome. However, a lot of the material dealing with sexual assault and abuse is meant to be erotic and sexy, or it begins non-con (the fanfic term for non-consensual sex) and ends with the victim enjoying it. Words do not even begin to describe how MESSED UP that is.

It’s not surprising, then, that 50 Shades began here. It isn’t news that the story was originally Twilight fanfiction.

A few names get changed, and bam. A best seller.

I wasn’t really aware of 50 Shades of Grey until it became huge. My writer friends were ranting about how something with such bad writing was a best-seller (hint: it had sex in it), my sister was reading it (and forcing big sis Kelsey to get it from the library for her due to age restrictions) and there were suddenly sex toys everywhere. I had read some excerpts and found the sex laughable and frankly unsexy (sniffing panties? wha….why?). I enjoyed the celebrity readings. I ignored it.

Eventually it was announced that a movie was being made. I was pretty sure, somewhere, that a porn producer had already adapted it so I thought the movie was unnecessary. I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to get made, but somehow it was. It was more “ha-ha, what a stupid looking movie” than “what the actual fuck”.

I started to look more closely at the story. After all, if it was making so much money, there had to be something to be learned. Plus, as a psychologist in training, I’m interested in what makes certain stories “click” in the minds of many.

I was horrified.

Grey stalks Ana and emotionally manipulates her. He’s jealous. He uses her naivete to force her into sexual situations she’s uncomfortable with. He berates her. He uses expensive gifts to win her favour. He shows no regard for her comfort. He threatens her with violence. He makes her feel bad for expressing her discomfort. He keeps going when she says no.

It isn’t hard to see where this is going.

I remember learning all of this and thinking, “this guy is basically a rich R.”

He’s a fucking rapist.

Let’s let that sink in.

This romantic “hero” is a rapist.

A.

Fucking.

Rapist.

Does this mean that all women who read 50 Shades want this kind of behaviour? I sure as shit hope not. But that’s the message that’s being sent.

All of this is an example of rape culture, but a more subtle example than victim blaming. It’s telling women that this behaviour is romantic, that it’s something to be cherished. It’s telling women that doing what your man wants, no matter how awful it makes you feel, is what love is.That you can change a man with your love, even if he wants to give you 50 shades of black and blue bruises.

This is the attitude I held. Look where it got me. PTSD sucks ass.

Everywhere I look it’s 50 Shades of Grey. Every time I turn on the TV it’s the trailers, or the reviews, or the box office numbers.For everyone else, it’s harmless fun whether you enjoy the movie/book/excellent kindling or are making fun of it. For me, it’s like a giant, festering sore that’s starting to attract flies. It’s constant reminders of the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. And it’s eroticised.

All I have to say is this: what the fuck is wrong with you people?

Sorry that was so negative. Here’s some survivor love letters to show that not everyone has a distorted view on sexual assault. Want to read some romance and erotica that doesn’t suck? Check out Nola Sarina!

10 Ways to End the World: Documentary

I FOUND IT

I KNOW IT’S NOT MY NORMAL UPDATE DAY BUT I DON’T CARE I FOUND IT I FOUND IT I FOUND IT

Phew.

Okay.

Well, I watched this documentary on TV about the end of the world. Depressing, right? Why am I so excited about it? The narrator uses words like “super volcano”, for one thing, that makes me think of a volcano in a cape.

Supervolcano

(Artist’s rendition)

The best part? Why I love this documentary? Aliens are more likely than asteroid collisions. You read right. Aliens. Other sci-fi scenarios pop up–no zombies though, sorry. The narrator’s drol British humour just makes the documentary. Looking for some apocalyptic fun? Watch 10 Ways to End the World https://www.youtube.com/watch and 

-Kelsey J.

Great Opening Sentences: An article

Guten tag! Or Nacht where I am.

Since I posted a heavier post outside of PTSDiaries I thought I’d share another article, just to even things out. This article shares some of science fiction’s greatest opening sentences. Writers are constantly told to write great opening sentences, and this type of article can either be really inspiring (“Wow! What great sentences!”) or really disheartening (“I’ll never be able to write anything that good”). Either way, it’s super cool to have all of these in one place. Thanks io9!

God Bless,

Kelsey J.

On Legacies: Two Articles

Guten tag!

The Bill Cosby scandal is still receiving international attention, but has been out of the headlines due to more “newsworthy” headlines (like the recent Grammy awards). This has happened before in similar cases, but the conversation is far from over. One of the questions that inevitably get asked is the effect that the accusations will have on the artistic legacy of the accused. Is this a question to be asked at all, as the effect on the victims is a legacy of it’s own? Can you separate an artist from their personal life or legal troubles?  This article from Sarah Seltzer of Flavorwire and this article from Frisky (author anonymous) both discuss this question. The Flavorwire article makes the point that damaged people deserve a chance to speak through art, and that a great artist who is  terrible person may leave the world better than they found it. The Frisky article deals with the author’s own abuse at the hands of her father, who was a pianist. She says that one cannot separate an artist’s work from their life, because life informs art.

I don’t know how I feel about this. I know that, in high school, seeing R’s art hanging on the walls didn’t bother me. But that was in one part of the building. How would I have felt if it was everywhere? If he were on TV? If everyone around me spoke about him as a great person, even knowing what he’s done?  I doubt I’d feel the same. But, at the same time, I believe art should be equal. I believe art is a tool for transformation and expression; this is the core of why I want to be an art therapist if this whole writing thing doesn’t work out. If we’re willing to work with prisoners and showcase their art, is that any different?

I don’t have an answer. Nobody does. But that doesn’t mean we should stop talking about it.

God bless,

Kelsey J.

On Vlogging

Guten tag reader, and welcome to the new update day!

So I’ve been at a bit of a crossroads in my internet “career” for some time. I’ve read many articles that say that vlogging is a great way to grow your following and gain fans and fame and all that wonderful stuff. I’ve written before about my experience with video editing, and given that you’re reading me right now I probably have something halfway interesting to say. So why haven’t I started vlogging yet?

I think it’s a combination of things. At a very internal, personal level, I have self-esteem problems. I’m getting better, but most days I look in the mirror and I hate what I see. I know I plaster my picture as my background or as my banner, but I get to play with filters to make them look the way I want. If I try that with my video editing program my computer will crap itself. I hate the idea of a whole bunch of people getting to see what I look like and have the ability to anonymously make fun of me. I worry that I look terrible, I sound terrible and that I come across as a ninny.

My computer isn’t spectacular either. It’s due an upgrade, but at the moment I can’t afford one so I’m stuck with a machine bordering on obsolete. The nice webcam and microphone I bought won’t mean dip if the playback is choppy because Windows Media Player keeps nodding off.

At the end of the day, it really comes down to a fear of trying new things. I mean, I have clothes that I wore in high school. I don’t like new things. That’s a human thing. Most people, deep down, fear the unfamiliar. It doesn’t make you a coward or a loser or whatever. I’m afraid of failing. I’m afraid of succeeding. I’m afraid of things that represent a shift from what I’m doing now. But if I want to grow up into an actual adult instead of wearing the body of one, I need to change.

So, as you all are my witnesses, I’m going to film a vlog this week.

-Kelsey J.

New Update Day

Guten Tag party people,

When your inbox isn’t lit up with my wondrous and oft pretentious words tomorrow, don’t be alarmed. I’m switching my update day to Tuesdays to accommodate my schedule this semester.

I’ll see you cool cats in two days,

Kelsey J.