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50 Shades of Shit webIllustration by Georgia Burns

Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to preface this with a series of questions, and I implore you to answer honestly. Do you think it’s at all acceptable for a partner to:

  1. Find out where you work/live/go to school without your having told them after a single meeting and visit you there, even though it’s literally hours out of their way?
  2. Coerce you into sexual situations you are uncomfortable with because you feel you “owe” it to them?
  3. Dictate with whom you can or cannot interact based solely on gender, or even in general?
  4. Demand that you kowtow to their sexual preferences that you find uncomfortable, despite your verbal assertion that they make you such?
  5. Takes control of your financial independence by any available means?
  6. Threatens you with bodily harm when you ‘displease’ them, and then makes you feel guilty for having done so?

If you’ve answered “No” to any of the above, congratulations! Logically, you should detest Christian Grey! So why the hell are people flocking to “Fifty Shades of Grey” in droves to lap up what is essentially misogynist, exploitative, abusive dredge at its most potent?

Because, the internet protests: it’s just fiction! It’s harmless fiction!

Except that it’s totally not.

E.L. James has admitted that “50 Shades” was little more than her “Twilight”-inspired sexual fantasies, and that’s fine and dandy in theory. The problem is, and this is why it irritates me profoundly when its numerous fangirls blather on about how it’s “just fiction” is that it’s a prime example of how screwed up our fantasies can be – since when is it sexy to be stalked? Since when is it at all appealing to be abused? Why, most importantly, are we making the excuse that this is at all okay under the guise that it’s “just a fantasy?” Even as a fantasy, it implies that women are still living under the expectation that it’s okay to be dominated, it’s okay to be used, and it’s okay that our own base sexual needs and desires are secondary to someone else – and it’s okay just as long as we love them, because if we love them, we can change them.

No. That’s bullshit. Stop making excuses that this is just fiction. What it does is it shows young women and men that it’s okay, desirable even, to exhibit this sort of behavior and it’s going to perpetuate it. And you may think I’m full of shit, but look around on Twitter and Facebook – girls are actually posting about how much they want to find themselves a “Christian Grey” of their very own. They’re actively seeking out someone to use and abuse them, and it’ll be forgivable because love, you guys. It’s equally detrimental to men, because it showcases a sad stereotype that women are only intrinsically attracted to men who have wealth and power, regardless of how horrible his personality is.

You have to admit that the only reason Christian Grey and his spirit animal Edward Cullen are permitted to be portrayed as “romantic heroes” instead of their actual label, “abusive stalkers” is because they’re wealthy and handsome. If neither had money or raw sex appeal, can you honestly say that they’d have the same sort of appeal? It continues the cultural mindset that the wealthy are untouchable, and that they’re somehow more forgivable of sin. We decry when the wealthy abuse their power on grander scales, but then we somehow overlook them for things like, you know, domestic abuse, especially because emotional abuse is not as blatant as physical – and we forget that emotional abuse is just as damaging, even though it doesn’t leave marks we can see. If Christian Grey were a real-life mogul behaving in the same way, we’d be bashing him all over Facebook, but as a fictional character, we’re labelling him as “romantic.” The fuck? So no, it’s not “just fiction.” It’s disgusting, blatantly misogynistic tripe that is designed to perpetuate the mindset that women are put on this earth to be tools for sex, to be used and manipulated as saw fit, and that a man is only desirable if he’s abusive and rich. It fucks with both genders, and it needs to be destroyed, the sooner, the better.

 

Courses

We've got a fantastic range of courses on offer, from social media, to visual mapping, creative writing and photography!
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Our crack team of talented folk are ready to show you how to unlock your creativity and learn skills you never knew you had.

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Courses are hold at OLD RED BUS STATION, 104 VICAR LANE, LS2 7NL.

Social Media: 

ONE DAY INTENSIVE SOCIAL MEDIA MASTERCLASS @ OLD RED BUS STATION
12pm – 6pm (6 HOURS)
ON SATURDAY 14/11/15

The course is free for anyone aged 19+ who is unemployed and living within the Leeds area. However, the course is also open to anyone serious about getting into the music industry at extremely affordable prices of £25.

Want to reap the benefits of social media and broadcast your brand to a worldwide audience? Need to use social media but don’t know your Facebook from your Twitter? Develop your skills and learn how to get noticed online. Find out how businesses use social media and the tools they use to get ahead.

Delve deep into Facebook and discover how the site organises your news feed. Master Twitter’s terminology and use it to connect and engage your audience. Learn how to use LinkedIn, Google +, YouTube and how to measure your success.

Photography and Post Production: 

HELD @ OLD RED BUS STATION, LEEDS
FROM 11/11/15 – 28/11/15
2.5 HOUR SESSIONS ON WEDNESDAYS THEN ENDING ON SATURDAY 28TH
Wednesdays 11/11/15 + 18/11/15 + 25/11/15 + Sat 28/11/15

The course is free for anyone aged 19+ who is unemployed and living within the Leeds area. However, the course is also open to anyone serious about getting into the music industry at extremely affordable prices of £30.

Gain the technical skills and creative perspective to learn about the relationship between the digital camera, what it sees and what you can create through the power of your imagination.

You will be given hands-on interactive tutoring that covers the fundamental techniques needed to produce pleasing results every time and by utilising Adobe Creative Suite students will also learn how process their images quicker than ever before.

So get those settings right first time and immerse yourself within the creative possibilities and take your images to a higher level.

Starts Wednesday 3rd of June 6:30 - 8:30

Creative Writing: 

HELD @ OLD RED BUS STATION, LEEDS
FROM 04/11/15 – 02/12/15 (5 WEEKS)
6 – 8 WEDNESDAY SESSIONS

The course is free for anyone aged 19+ who is unemployed and living within the Leeds area. However, the course is also open to anyone serious about getting into the music industry at extremely affordable prices of £30.

This creative writing course will give you the tools to be able to write about your passions in an informative, interesting and insightful way. Over the course you will learn about research methods, article structuring, headlines, interview tactics, CV writing and how to create a writer's portfolio.

We will also focus on how you can market yourself as a writer through social media and blogging. 

This is a highly interactive and practical course, which aims to boost your confidence in your approach to writing and researching. 

Monday 25th May - Monday 8th June  (every Monday including those dates) 6:00pm - 9:00pm 

Visual Mapping: 

HELD @ OLD RED BUS STATION, LEEDS
FROM 9/11/15 – 07/12/15 (5 WEEKS)
2.5 HOUR MONDAY SESSIONS

The course is free for anyone aged 19+ who is unemployed and living within the Leeds area. However, the course is also open to anyone serious about getting into the music industry at extremely affordable prices of £35.

An introduction to visual mixing and 3D projection mapping. This will give you an overview of the equipment and skills required to mix visuals to music, generate simple motion graphics and map visuals to a basic 3D shape.



 

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