SBCC Feminist club discusses ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

BENTE VAN ANDEL, Channels Staff

City College’s Feminist Club met to discuss “50 Shades of Grey”, stereotypes, domestic violence and rape during its third gathering of the semester Monday, Feb. 23.

The club came together in the Sports Pavilion to discuss the amount of violence and sex that has been portrayed in the new movie and raised questions as to why women are attracted by these types of stories.

The members of the club wondered why it is that men are always projected as the hero of the story of the tale, and women as the submissive characters.

“It’s very stereotypical. The woman is always submissive and the man has all the power,” said club President Caroline Guldbrandsen, referring to the movie. “You have this shy girl Ana that of course is going to fall for the rich hotshot Mr. Grey; it’s inevitable.”

The conclusion was quickly drawn that the amount of sex in the movie was limited, but the abuse that came along with it was romanticized and not realistic.

“It didn’t come across as abuse, but you could see that she wasn’t comfortable with it and I think that’s the biggest concern for the BDSM community,” said Asiel Al-Aas, co-leader of the feminist club. “It’s constantly being romanticized in Hollywood.”

The feminist club came together in the Spring 2014 under the main supervision of Danielle Swiontek, chair of the history department. The club is starting their third semester now. The club came together as a need for women to express their thoughts and feelings with the need to be heard. Now they are a group of students dedicated to the equality for people of all races, ethnicities, genders and social class.

The conversation shifted from violent sex to domestic violence and rape after a video was shown where Leslie Morgan Steiner talked about her own domestic violence experience. The women talked about this briefly but then the conversation took a more local turn.

There were concerns about the rapes in Isla Vista and the amount of alcohol that is being consumed. Also about how the community accepts this and considers it part of the college life.

“It’s such a habit and a common thing. I was at a point where I was taking shots and thinking to myself why am I drinking this?” said club member Nona Polk. “I went to high school here and I know the culture, but I didn’t see this happening.”

The Feminist Club is having a fundraiser 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday  hoping to get more attention and awareness for its club.

“The first semester was the best and we had a lot of students, but of course lots of people transfer and graduate,” Guldbransen said. “It would be nice to see some new faces around here.”