Parallels with American psycho and 50 shades

I watched American Psycho again recently and I thought to myself there are strong parallels with 50 shades of grey. The only difference seemed to be in 50 shades the man is a catch and romantic, while in American psycho he’s psychotic.

Zoe sums it up perfectly in her review of 50 shades.

All good relationships are built on respect, trust and consent – and the one at the centre of this film contains none of that.

50 Shades has been portrayed as a love story which has BDSM as central to its narrative. I disagree. The sex, kinky or otherwise, is actually irrelevant. This film, like the books, is solely about power – specifically, of a man having it and a woman not. It uses BDSM as a inaccurate metaphor to drive the story, but the sex is just a distraction for what is at its heart: an abusive relationship. 50 Shades is not about kink, but about control.

Let me be clear: Christian Grey is a stalker. An aggressive, jealous, controlling man. He is someone who, after meeting Anastasia Steele once, finds out where she works and shows up there unannounced; discovers her private home address and sends gifts to her; tells her to stop drinking when she is out celebrating her graduation; traces her cell-phone and turns up at the bar she is at. These are not romantic acts, they are abuse red flags.

And she is so right…

Patrick Bateman on the other  hand is a more real representation of what Christian Grey really is.

They both are very controlling (look at the way Patrick orders for Celia at the restaurant, and pleasure he takes in doing so. Then compare the with Christian picking the clothes of Anastasia), aggressive and over step any line of decency and humanity. BDSM is simply a smokescreen to mask over these troubled people but only one is classed as a psycho? I think not…

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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