"Fifty Shades of Grey" opens amid calls for boycott


The hotly anticipated "Fifty Shades of Grey" is a classic love story, one certainly told before, but never with this much bedroom violence. It's that part of the R-rated story that has some advocates calling for a boycott, reports CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller.

The sex in "Fifty Shades of Grey" involves whips, chains and blindfolds, a submissive female partner who agrees not just to bondage, but also to spankings behind closed doors.

"Its a story of abuse, it's a story of violence against women," said Gail Dines, founder and president of Stop Porn Culture.

"Submissive" women who use softer approach to... 04:44

Stop Porn Culture is an organization that initiated a boycott against the book, and the subsequent film that will bring it to life.

"It kind of rebrands violence as romance. And what concerns us in society where 1 in 4 women are sexually abused we have a film that is eroticizating, glorifying and basically legitimizing violence against women," Dines said.

Stop Porn Culture is calling on filmgoers to forgo buying tickets to the movie, and instead donate $50 to a domestic violence shelter.

"It is not a fairy story; it's a horror story for the lives of most women," Dines said.

Dines isn't the only one who feels this way. Several domestic violence organizations have joined their boycott and a study published in the Journal of Women's Health "identified patterns in Fifty Shades that reflect pervasive intimate partner violence."

But "Fifty Shades of Grey" is part of a longer history of erotically controversial films. "Valley of the Dolls" mixed sex with drugs in 1967 and 20 years later "9 1/2 Weeks" introduced America to sexual props. Then, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman explored a sexual dark side in 1999's "Eyes Wide Shut."

"It's Cinderella in leather, I guess," Cosmopolitan.com senior writer Jill Filipovic said.

But she also said experimentation must come with consent.

"It can be really hard to separate out, if you're talking about hitting someone in a sexual way, how excited do you have to be about it to make it consensual? Is it a matter of saying 'yes' or saying 'no,' or is it a matter of showing up and saying 'I really want to do this with you?' I think at the very least this film offers an opportunity for women to think about their sexuality to maybe go see the film with their partner to say 'Hey that looks kind of fun' or 'Hey that looks awful, let's never do that.'"

The film is expected to gross $60 million in its first four days. Filipovic said it taps into a desire to explore satisfaction in the bedroom.

"I don't think women should ever feel guilty about sex or sexual desires or sexual pleasures," she said.

The film's opening on Valentine's Day weekend is sure to help its sales, and as we've seen, the film has received wide exposure.