Valentine’s Day plans do not typically include domestic abuse.

Yet thousands of couples are already pre-purchasing their movie tickets for 50 Shades of Grey, a film which many critics are saying romanticizes and attempts to normalize violence against women.

The film is set for an international release on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day. The film is based on the first installment of a three-book series by British writer E.L. James, which has topped best-seller lists all over the world, including in the United States and the United Kingdom. In the series, wealthy, 27-year-old Christian Grey grooms naive 21 year-old Anastasia to engage in a sadistic sexual relationship.

The book series the film is based on is being called “Twilight for grownups”, as well as “Mommy porn”.

More than 100 million copies have been sold worldwide, and the series has been translated into 52 languages, but its reception has been fraught with controversy. Christian leaders and Catholic bishops are speaking out against the upcoming film, calling it misogynistic and a dangerous portrayal of violence as romance.

(Editor’s note): “In his reflections on Theology of the Body, Catholic apologist and founder of Totus Tuus Ministries, Jim Seghers, notes that “twisted notions of love disconnects the body from personhood and becomes exploitive, selfish and violent, ultimately cheapening and belittling the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit.” When we accept the lie of Shades of Grey and all types of pornography, we are ultimately left unhappy, disillusioned, confused and denigrated. Why? Because we are seeking something that has been designed to prey upon our human weaknesses and draw us away from God. It then becomes harder for us to recognize ourselves as children of God and temples of the Holy Spirit”. –from a Catholic Exchange article by Judy Keane.

Dr. Gail Dines and others in her feminist organization Stop Porn Culture came up with a social media campaign to boycott the movie, but with an ingenious twist: take the $50 that would be spent on dinner and movie tickets for two, and instead donate it to a shelter for victims of domestic violence.

MIM_50ShadesOfGrey_50not50shadesDines said she credits the huge response to the #50dollarsnot50shades campaign in part to women are tired of being silent in a pornography-obsessed culture.

Learn more about the #50DollarsNot50Shades campaign at:

This article comes from a Febuary 11 Catholic News Agency article by Mary Rezac