Dominant Masculinity And Objectification Of Women In Fifty Shades Of Gray

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

In this essay, I will discuss the representation and objectification of women in the media. And Dominant Masculinities in media not only in sports as we discussed, but it can take other forms. The trilogy of Fifty Shades of Gray that I chose for this assignment will give an example for normalizing hegemonic masculinity behaviors. Hegemonic masculinity is a term that emphasizes men’s dominant position in society and justifies the subordination of women. Fifty shades of gray are a trilogy based on a novel written by a British author in 2011. And the first part was made by the American director Sam Taylor Johnson in 2015.

The story is about a college middle-class junior editor as Anna Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) who begins a relationship with a young businessman Christian Grey, played by Jamie Dornan. And their relationship starts to develop into the mainstream love story and like the fairytale love story. Ana and Christian begin seeing each other, and after visiting his ‘playroom,’ a room stocked with a variety of BDSM toys and their relationship begin to evolve from here.

I will discuss in this essay the last part in this trilogy which is ‘ Fifty Shades Freed’ is a 2018 and it markets itself as a Cinderella erotic romance story. This assignment will argue about its poisonous antifeminist messages; it kept sending the whole movie. Also, it normalized the aggressive masculine behavior from the actor towards the actress in the name of love and jealousy. As one scene shows, after Ana and Christian got married, they went for the honeymoon on the beach, so she asked him to take off her swimsuit to take a suntan, but he refused. But she took it off after he left, then came back, he was furious and covered her up, and when they went home, He took her into their ‘Playroom ‘ and ‘ punished her’ for not obeying him with hard sex and beating her. The shocking thing that she was happy and asked for more. The film plays all of this off as if it’s acceptable behavior. Yes, Anastasia gets mad about it, and they fight a lot about it. But still, she also giggles when he calls her seven times while she’s out with her friend despite the fact that he knows where is and who she’s with. But It doesn’t end here when he came home he was angry of course of because his ‘wife’ didn’t answer back his phone calls, so he decided to revenge, he tied her up in their playroom and kept torture her while was screaming and crying their safe word. After letting her go yet, she stays and hugs him. Also, he demands that she change her name to his name as now she belongs to him, he doesn’t want to ‘share’ her with the possibility of a child, he told her that ‘you belong to me and this child will take you away from me. ‘

This kind of movie is trying to manipulate people’s mind by giving them the fairy tale story of middle-class women loving a rich guy who married her and brought her a big house. They even spent their honeymoon in many different countries using their private plane and how it’s trying to change people perspective about sexual relations using the BDSM toys. But actually, it shows us how its poisonous antifeminist that represents hegemonic masculinity. Although media plays a massive role in normalizing this kind of aggressive masculine behavior, we cannot decline that this is another tool which emphasizes the social acceptance of those acts. As Malher (2013), noted ‘Part of the allure of competitive sports is that it doesn’t require self-awareness. Your only job is to win’. And as a proof on that, the fifty shades of gray Grey grossed $166. 2 million in North America and $404. 8 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $571 million. Also, they made three parts of the movie that mean that there was a social acceptance for the masculine behavior in the trilogy.

On the other hand, the way the producer shows Anna naked and showing her body the whole movie while she is a successful editor, and she is developing in her career, but he didn’t focus on this part at all. This kind of acts can be translated in objectification, depersonalization, and fragmentation of women as De Ridder &Dhaenens (2014), mentioned on their analysis of masculinity in contemporary art. If I were a media producer, I probably would focus more on showing Anna’s professional, emotional and personal life.

Focusing more on their daily working days and how they deal with their problems, not from a very shallow perspective like the producer did. I would show a healthy relationship between Anna and her husband, how he respects her job and her personal life with her friends and how she expresses herself when he tries to oppress her and If he keeps doing that, of course, I will make Anna leave him.

To conclude, the trilogy of Fifty shades of Gray and especially the last part fifty shades freed can be understood as being part of a media culture that reflects the social acceptance of masculinities behavior. On the other hand, there are a lot of other media examples that are trying to change this perception and to resist different forms of hegemonic masculinity.


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