Campus panel examines ‘50 Shades of Grey’
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 00:03
During this panel, four guest-panelist women shared their opinions about the book and asked the audience thought-provoking questions. The four women were Kathleen Corley, Susan Rensing, Liz Cannon and Ashley Lamers.
“The panel will generate a conversation about why the book is so appealing to so many women, while at the same time remind us why it is important to read critically,” Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Resource Center, Cannon said.
The panel was designed to critically reflect on “50 Shades of Grey” and society as a whole, according to Murray. Each of the four women used examples of real life scenarios and related them back to the book.
The first speaker, assistant professor of women’s studies and history Rensing, talked about how the book itself could possibly help readers to come to terms with their own sexuality. She also talked about the actual story and whether or not the characters really do love each other.
The second speaker, Cannon, confessed to being a closet romance reader.
“This is a really poor example of a romance novel, but for some reason I couldn’t put it down,” Cannon said.
She kept trying to make a point of why women are so interested in this novel, using examples of her own personal life. She found Christian Grey to be very offensive and argued there is a fine line between fear and desire.
The third speaker, professor of religious studies Corley used various Bible references and related them to “50 Shades of Grey.” She said the New Testament had many examples of a woman being subject to her husband in order to get love in return.
The fourth speaker, UW Oshkosh alumna Lamers talked about the difference between abuse and BDSM. She showed models of abusive relationships and healthy relationships. According to these models, Lamers argued that the main character in the book was in an abusive relationship.
Once the four panelists were done talking, Murray asked the audience questions about its opinions on the book and what the panelists talked about.
“It’s important that we provide a forum for students, faculty and staff to explore issues in popular culture,” Murray said. “We’ve created our panels on popular culture this term to encourage discussion about how popular culture relates to our understandings of gender.”