“It is clear that some men are by nature free and others are by nature slaves, and that for these latter, slavery is both expedient and right.
So suck it.” Aristotle, Politics, 350 B.C.E.
If you can pardon jumping on the innuendo bandwagon, after a buoyantly thrusty opening, Fifty Shades of Grey has quickly shriveled and wants to go to sleep. Still, I think we need to have some pillow talk about it, so try to stay awake for a few minutes, would you? The new movie, directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson with E.L. James’ popular novel adapted by Kelly Marcel, fits into the vexing trend of otherwise intelligent people ridiculing a movie they haven’t seen (fair or unfair, the other defendants in this 2015 case include American Sniper, Blackhat, and Jupiter Ascending). Even if the final product is the progeny of pop trash, in this case some Twilight fan fiction by a bored middle-aged housewife whose fantasies clicked with tens of millions of readers, this offspring is at the very least interesting, conducive to discussion, not to mention passing through the hands of some fine artisans (cinematographer Seamus McGarvey, production designer David Wasco, even editor Anne V. Coates, an Academy Award winner for Lawrence of Arabia, mind you). Its associations with bondage has caused some BDSM hobbyists, ever protective of their turf, to cry foul at the details; there’s genuine worry about consent in sex between partners; and most tacitly, hiding behind some dude-bro chicanery regarding these supposedly silly girl fantasies, there’s the notion that men are downright scared by it.