You may feel worried about seeing the new Fifty Shades Darker movie for a lot of reasons, but there’s no need to feel like you’re letting your favorite Women’s Studies professor down! In fact, there are at least five lines of dialogue that your Women’s Studies professor won’t even mind that much. Here are the sentences, phrases, and words that didn’t leave Professor “Mel” Melanie Goldstein with a throbbing feeling of disgust at what you’ve just done.
No, this is not an answer to the question, “What’s your religion?” Christian is the name of the masochistic dom who manages to fulfill every Western beauty standard while normalizing abusive power tactics and coercive behaviors. All that is problematic, but his name isn’t! There is literally nothing un-feminist about his name.
“I’m not hungry.”
Our leading lady Anastasia may be problematic because of her questionably consensual submissiveness, but she really stands up for herself when she delivers this defiant line to Christian. Look out, Betty Friedan; there’s a new face of feminism in town! Your professor will be fine with this!!
“Did you get my email?”
If you remove the threatening tone, this line of dialogue from Christian is just an innocent question with equally innocent intentions. It’s just an email, probably work related or something. Actually, Professor Goldstein uses email all the time, so she probably can relate to this at least.
“I respect your decision to say no.”
Remember this line? Anastasia says it to Christian when she asks him if he can stop stalking her. Treasure this!!
This seems safe? Either way, the scroll moves fast. Seems like some women worked on this movie—a good step toward gender equality! This will get Professor Goldstein asking, “Why couldn’t you just watch Magic Mike?”
Just because you’re a feminist, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy problematic cinema. Just ask Professor Goldstein! And the next time you see her, tell her how much you enjoyed these five lines in Fifty Shades Darker. She’s bound to agree that these snippets passed the Bechdel test and the Self-Respect test, even if she declines to comment on the movie’s remaining 122 minutes.