The Apprentice: 50 Shades of Grey
By Kizzy Katawonga, Uganda:
This weekend was Valentine's. A lot of women’s plans were rudely trampled on by the (UCC) Uganda Communications Commission’s ban on the highly anticipated release of 50 Shades of Grey movie.
The UCC has determined that this movie is pornography and goes against our morals therefore should not be shown in public arenas.
What I find interesting about this whole saga is the outrage at this book being banned. The question being shouted is, “How can such a bestseller be classified as porn?”
I haven't read the book but I have read the synopsis of the book. For those who don't know, it's an erotic story of a young college girl falling in love with a mysterious young dashing billionaire with unusual sexual tastes known as BDSM.
Decades ago as a young boy, my peers and I discovered the amazing world of sex through some old, tattered copies of Playboy magazine. It wasn’t something we celebrated and showed off. Quite the opposite. It was a thing to be consumed in top secrecy, only a select few were allowed in on the secret.
Meanwhile, our female counterparts were very openly sharing and discussing the latest Mills & Boon or Daniel Steel’s steamy romance novel.
As a young boy I never understood what the appeal of these novels was to so many girls. I could easily understand the feelings of arousal I’d get when I saw a bare breasted woman spread across a single page of a magazine.
But for the life of me I could never understand the draw of a 500 page novel describing a woman falling helplessly for the obligatory rough and handsome hero. Pfffft.
It is only in growing up that I learned about the different attractors between men and women. Men, we all know, are visually stimulated while women are emotionally stimulated.
Therefore, the porn marketed to men is literal visuals while the one to women is much more common in the form of erotic literature.
Some may argue that romance novels with their steamy fantasies aren’t pornography but I disagree.
That just about sums it up, I guess.
With men, it’s the film with a pointless story that serves a background for a surgically enhanced and botoxed woman to quickly strip naked and do anything that satisfies the sexual lusts and demands of her male partner.
With women, it is written characters like the mysterious, irresistible billionaire Christian Grey, whose intense charisma and manliness fulfills the shy or repressed woman’s wildest fantasies. The men are often mysterious, rich and forceful.
Both are promises of fantasy that are merely expressed in different ways to speak to different genders so as to elicit arousal.
A lot of women have erotic fantasies that they have held back silently due to the shackles of a society that says women are not allowed to have sexual desires as men do. Oh no, because that would make them sluts.
Men, however have always been free to express their sexuality. It's a sign of manliness, a badge of honor and so male porn industry has always been very much front and center for all to see.
Women's porn industry has been for the most part hidden in plain sight, cleverly disguised as erotic novels which we have all convinced ourselves aren't porn.
So in the end, was UCC’s decision justified in banning this movie? Yes, they are. Will it matter? Most likely not. This action will only drive the curiosity to peak and people will find other illegal ways to get the movie.
I don't think simply banning a movie is a solution. An awareness of the true nature of these materials and their negative effect on us as individuals and a society is what is needed more.
It's high time we addressed the issue that porn isn't just an issue for men but also women. Let's not hide behind semantics and loopholes. Porn is a destructive indulgence that warps the consumers mind leading to highly unrealistic expectations for sexual relationships and intimacy.
This has the net effect of destroying real world relationships and developing unnatural tastes and desires such as those of the tormented Mr. Grey with his Bondage and domination proclivities.
I shudder to think about all the high school girls having discourse about this wonderful romance story involving descriptive and perverted sexual acts and how it made them feel; because that is the exact definition of porn.