For a few short years now, I’ve considered myself a gentleman. Having converted to Christianity after a long career of sexual evils, and having disposed of many women like used beer bottles, considering them as nothing more than a means to entertainment, I am experienced in modern romance as most playboys, and perhaps among the most realistic about my encounters. And though men need not experience the depths of depravity to know goodness, such experiences followed by conversion oftentimes leave the participant with a sobriety unknown by the innocent, a goodness oftentimes more fiercely defended by its possessors. As an experienced gentleman, then, having renounced the mindset that women are sport, and embracing them as sisters instead of toys, and knowing well the dangers of sexual evils, it’s my duty not only to consider the greatest good for the fairer sex, but to speak honestly when that good is directly assaulted. This is why I believe it’s necessary to speak about 50 Shades of Grey.
Most of you, by this point, have become well acquainted with the gist of the book: anyone remotely curious of its contents could simply flip to any page, and quickly assess the material. The content responsible for its infamy is written on practically every page, its filth restrained to no particular section, nor reserved as a climax. It is this depravity, the practice of abusive sado-masochism, the spiritual essence of all rape, to which the book owes its popularity.
Consider that this book has been a best seller for quite some time, now; enough time, at least, for it to come to my attention (a young man generally unconcerned with popular fiction), being carried in nearly every store where books are sold, and widely touted as an American sensation. And consider that when something of this sort becomes widely accepted, bought by young and old alike, placed on the public shelves of our dishonorable American merchants, it serves no purpose but to further embolden evil, and to give consent to something which was once taboo, but now may be safely considered mainstream.
Rest assured, by tolerating its success, you’ve sent a message – as a society, women have begged for consensual license for quite some time now, villainizing everyone who stood between themselves and sexual depravity, and now they’ve boldly gestured to every potential serial rapist, by making this book an American best seller, that American women feed on his same sick spirits. It doesn’t really matter whether you personally disapprove of the book, if you permit its enjoyment; when the majority of book-reading females in the nation approve of something, it makes a statement about all the nation’s women. And to ruminate upon these thoughts may be considered thought alone, evil as those thoughts may be; but thought gives birth to speech, and when thoughts are spoken, action oftentimes follows. The boundary between thought and act has been breached: you no longer have the security of taboo to protect you or your daughters. For when society, looking evil in the face, lowers its sword, there is nothing less for evil to do than advance, knowing well that the cost it might have paid in expression no longer applies.
By sitting silently, and allowing this book to be sold, you undress yourselves for the abusive, and make your protection all the more difficult. You may say that all was done in the book consensually – if indeed it was – and what of it? Will not more and more men be emboldened to abuse you sexually, knowing these are the thoughts on which American women dwell? We weep with dramatic movies because we hurt alongside the protagonists; we laugh alongside the comedian, because we share in his absurdities. Do you dare suggest that women enjoy this book, but do not sexually enjoy the perversions contained within? And do we not, by mass and ubiquitous consumption of this book, give consent to that enjoyment?
What is left of the American woman for a gentleman to defend? Is it innocence? Is it chastity? She’s lost both, neither to be regained. She slanders the upright in order to kill her children, and then publicly shares the fantasies of serial rapists; she herself revels in every evil, and then demands protection from them. She tears down the establishment of decency, and then demands sanctuary beneath it; she treads the pathways of the damned, and is surprised when accosted by perverts; she descends to the depths of prostitution, and wants to be called a princess.
Every act of female degradation may be viewed individually, but its effects are wholesale; a single woman may publicly act in immodesty and lasciviousness, but she objectifies the whole. When chivalrous men (indeed, the only males who can rightfully be called men) make war against pornography, against promiscuity, against adultery, against sado-masochism, and against prostitution, the warfare has nothing to do with dominating women, and everything to do with dominating women’s abusers. Gentlemen object to an individual “right” to depravity, because we know that the public’s perception of women is molded by the individual; if one woman is socially accepted as a prostitute, we as a society allow all women to be treated as such. When men are encouraged to consider women as objects, objectification permeates far beyond the disreputable woman, and ravishes the innocent.
Sado-masochism isn’t new, and neither is it an isolated incident of sexual depravity, but a symptom of a corrupted and thoroughly debased society, like the sore of syphilis, a sign upon the body of an already wounded soul. Our blockbuster movies openly idolize the playboy, nearly every television show reeks of sexual scandals painted as normalcy, and our top 40 stations will not broadcast the F-word, but willingly blare the most overt obscenities. So as I sit at my desk and write this letter, wondering who exactly will read it, and what she will do with it, I dare not waste her time with a diagnosis of a cancerous disease, only to leave her without the means of cure. The twofold remedy is simple, but difficult: first, we must stop funding the glorification of sexual misbehavior, from the socially-acceptable to the controversial. Second, we must publicly express our disapproval of those who glorify and consent to sexual misbehavior.
I don’t pretend that the forfeiture of all degrading entertainment will be easy, but women who prefer entertainment to honor are unworthy of respect in the first place: and indeed, I believe you, bearing the image of our Creator, are capable of honor. Consider the price at which you pay for such movies, a fee paid not simply in dollars, but in public esteem.
Secondly, those of you who detest your objectified state in American society, who know that respect doesn’t treat as prostitutes the willing, even should degradation be willed, I ask that you take your stand with me, and loudly protest not only the sale of this book, but all merchandise or media which reduces women from people to objects. We were chided into forfeiture of chastity; let us chide with greater ferocity in return, knowing we’ve been swindled out of innocence. Turn the tables: if Americans argued that women were dominated by sexual purity, we must loudly protest that women have been dominated by sexual objectification. Remember that our laws, representing the will of the majority, have already declared what Americans believe about women; you must defend with your voice what men have so cowardly thrown away by their laws.
For too long have we considered the individual as entirely individual, and evil as though isolated. Ladies, those of you with any respect for yourselves, your sisters, and your daughters, I beg of you: please listen. I cannot promise that you will be victorious in this life, nor can I promise that your goodness, should you choose to uphold it, will be considered as goodness by our depraved American public. It’s far more likely to cause you trouble; but what will you be, if you forsake virtue’s trouble for debasement’s comfort? As shown above, the choice lies before you. You can either take your stand, and embolden every true and embattled gentlemen around you – and I assure you, they exist –, or you can accept your place as a sexual object, and submit your sisters and daughters to the perversions of sickened men.
The choice is yours. Should you choose the former, I stand beside you.