"Fifty Shades..." and the Sexual Objectification of Women | CWR Staff | Catholic World Report
An interview with Catholic talk show host and author, Teresa Tomeo, about the disturbing "Fifty Shades of Grey" phenomenon
Teresa Tomeo is a syndicated Catholic talk show host and a motivational speaker with thirty years of broadcasting experience in both the secular and Christian media. She is also the author of several books, including Noise: How Our Media-Saturated Culture Dominates Lives and Dismantles Families, Newsflash: My Surprising Journey from Secular Anchor to Media Evangelist, and Extreme Makeover: Women Transformed by Christ, Not Conformed to the Culture. Her daily morning program, Catholic Connection, is produced by Ave Maria Radio and syndicated through the EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network.
In August 2012, Tomeo wrote a CWR article, “Grey is the Devil’s Favorite Color”, about the dangerous and degrading appeal of the Fifty Shades of Grey novels. The three best-selling books by E. L. James have now been published in 52 languages and have sold over 100 million copies worldwide. A major motion picture based on the first novel opens this weekend.
Tomeo recently spoke with CWR about the books and movie, why they are appealing, and why that appeal is so troublesome.
CWR: Why are so many woman attracted to the Fifty Shades of Grey novels, movie, and overall story? What are they looking for?
Tomeo: As a woman I have asked myself the same question: “What are they looking for?” I keep going back to the refrain in a popular 1980's country tune: women are looking for love in all the wrong places. There is a desire there, a natural desire to have a strong man lead. But because we have lost a sense of who we are—male and female made in God's image—we have confused sex with love, and now to the extreme of violent sex.
The good news in all of this is that the Church has the answers. We just need to be able to articulate them in a way the secular world can understand. That is why I always try to show evidence from non-religious sources; evidence that supports what we know to be true according to natural law.
CWR: Many defend or dismiss the degrading, even violent, practices depicted in the books and upcoming movie as simply “fun” between “consenting adults”. How do you respond to that sort of statement?