The film version of Fifty Shades of Grey has broken all sorts of February box office records. It has made $93 million, which means it now holds the title of President’s Day Weekend champion. (Washington and Lincoln must be so proud.) It also tops a list called “Widest Opening” which sounds so dirty and is, thus, perfectly appropriate. Funniest of all, it surpassed Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ for the biggest February opening ever. Jesus wept.
Or did he? My understanding of Jesus is that he was a pretty cool, feminist-y guy. He didn’t ignore ladies or mansplain to them; he hung out with prostitutes and adulterers and seemed as comfortable with them as with anyone. He wasn’t a sex-negative fundy. Maybe he’d be proud that a movie starring a woman, directed by a woman, written by a woman based on material by a woman and inspired by other material by and about a woman has caused such a stir.
Though I haven’t contributed to its gross, and I think the book is breathless, poorly written, and almost laughably bad on a sentence-to-sentence level, I am on record as a supporter of the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon. Once upon a time, before I even tried to read the book, I defended its right to exist and the right of women to get off on it, if they liked. Because of that piece, I got interviewed by Geraldo, who asked me, on the radio, “What’s a butt plug?” Just like Ana Steele asks in the movie!