Bottom Line: Don’t be surprised penis is censored from Fifty Shades of Grey when women complain about naked men in public in real life
Last week, unsurprisingly to keenest of observers, the female tears came down hard when it was announced that unlike Wanderlust, a 2012 cult favorite among women, penises would not be aired in either the theatrical or unrated releases of Fifty Shades of Grey.
Danielle Chilton, of Daily Dot, lamented that the decision not to air the dick is policing women’s pleasure.
What was behind this decision by the filmmakers? Dornan explained it as this: “You want to appeal to as wide an audience as possible without grossing them out. You don’t want to make something gratuitous, and ugly, and graphic.” He goes on to say, “I’m aware of what we shot, and it wasn’t as if we shot a film without any action.”
Graphic sex scenes would be “grossing” women out? This move is not about shielding the eyes of its innocent viewers, but rather the filmmakers abandoning their base, just because Hollywood does not trust a sexualized female audience.
The film clearly caters to women in general and, specifically, those who have read the books. Its level of sexuality should not be a surprise to anyone who is already planning to see it in theaters. The books are clearly labeled erotic fiction and are filled with gratuitous and graphic sex. None of that stopped the novels from becoming overwhelmingly popular.
Gratuitous female nudity is incredibly prevalent in Hollywood, while male nudity remains fairly sparse. It’s so rare to see a big star nude that the Internet has been freaking out for an entire month about a glimpse of Ben Affleck’s penis in Gone Girl. Coming from an industry that makes quite a lucrative living from sexualizing women and even children, it’s telling that showing a full-frontal Jamie Dornan would perhaps be seen as “gratuitous, ugly, and graphic.”
However, if there’s one thing that the success of Magic Mike taught us, it’s that there is a demographic of women that are not afraid of sex at the movies. It’s an unfortunate mistake that director Sam Taylor-Johnson and Universal Pictures are abandoning the key elements of 50 Shades that garnered it so much success in the first place.
Not once in her whinefest does Ms. Chilton take into account the rash of ugly real-life incidents just within the past 24 months that necessitated this move by Fifty Shades: the nudity ban and subsequent illegal arrests of nudists in San Francisco; the illegal arrests of men for public nudity in the Myrtle Beach area during the summer – which has been documented extensively on here for the past 18 months; women proposing a nudity ban of their own in Spokane, Wash.; the illegal arrests of the Naked Rambler all over Europe by authorities in the United Kingdom; the women who complained extensively about the Naked Bike Ride in Missoula, Mont. this past August; and women complaining about a naked man exercising in Topeka just a few days later – leading to a proposal to outlaw public nudity that was beaten back by civil rights activists.
Female public nudity – be it full frontal, toplessness or breastfeeding – is legal in all 50 states, DC and all US territories as of July 1. If male public nudity was legal in all 50 states, DC and all US territories, Ms. Chilton would have an excellent point about the refusal to air dick on-screen as policing women’s pleasure. Fact and the matter is that I could find only 42 states in which it is legal for men to be naked in public, and three that completely outlaw male public nudity – unconstitutionally – under all circumstances, and municipalities scattered about the nation that also unconstitutionally outlaw male public nudity.
When women complain about naked men in public, don’t be surprised when women don’t see naked men on-screen. It’s debatable as to whether the lack of dick in Fifty Shades is bullshit, but what is not debatable at all is this: women who either complain about real life male nudity or refuse to advocate for the repeal of all unconstitutional (and discriminatory) bans on public nudity, but demand a lot of male nudity on the big screen, are full of bullshit.
Hollywood can and deservedly should be blamed for a lot of ills in the entertainment industry, but given the sheer lack of outrage outside of Aiken Area Progressive about the real life discrimination against male nudity that is enshrined in numerous local ordinances and three state laws, it is pretty safe to say that women themselves are the only ones to blame for why male nudity will be absent in Fifty Shades and many other R- and NC-17 rated movies.