Fifty Shades of Male Power? That’s what Zoe Margolis sees in a new film

February 18, 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey, the movie based on the book, was released over the Valentine’s Day/President’s Day weekend.  It smashed audience records, created  considerable buzz, provoked some protests, and  grossed around $90 million in box office sales in the United States and another $158 million in other countries.  According to studio figures for the U.S., women comprised more than two-thirds of the audience.

Commenting on the film in the New Statesman, a British magazine of politics, culture, and  current affairs, Zoe Margolis writes:

“The film will undoubtedly be as successful as the books, with sold out screenings all over the globe. But as much as I want to applaud a movie written and directed by women, I can’t condone one which idealises male power and emotional abuse as something seductive and sexy. They’re not. With the kinky-sex as a saucy distraction, the central message of this film— that it’s okay for men to control and manipulate women— remains unquestioned, and that’s not just bad, it’s dangerous.”

Read Margolis’s complete article, “50 Shades of Grey: a film about male power, idealising emotional abuse as sexy when it isn’t.”


Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.