Pat Robertson: Women’s “Fifty Shades” Boiling-Oil Fantasies Are Promoting Sex Trafficking

Over the weekend, “The 700 Club” played a clip of an interview with Christian anti-sex trafficking activist Benjamin Nolot, speaking at Pat Robertson’s Regent University, who claimed that “Fifty Shades of Grey” is promoting sex trafficking. I’m not sure he’s seen the movie or read the book, because all it really promotes is neurotoxicity, but whatever; that’s exactly the kind of misunderstanding and misrepresentation any conservative Christian activist would make of a movie they probably haven’t bothered to actually watch that is ostensibly about a lifestyle they probably don’t practice (except at 1 a.m. on Sundays, but shhhhhhhhhh). Pat Robertson had this extraordinary insight about the movie:

“The amazing thing about that ‘FiftyShades of Grey’ is how many women have read the book and how many women are going to the movie. It’s about all kinds of sadomasochism — it’s about bondage, it’s about whips, it’s about boiling oil, it’s about various types of restraints. It’s an unbelievable story of sadomasochistic bondage of women. Women are objects. To think that everybody’s not taking it as, Oh well that’s just a quote ‘romance story’ — please!”

Boiling oil? What, are we defending our castle from raiders? You man the murder hole, Pat!

“Bondage” and “slave” are obviously loaded terms, but failing to differentiate between an explicitly consensual sexual practice and a horrifying network of real enslavement dilutes how seriously we consider the latter. But concern over real sex trafficking really isn’t the point to Nolot or Robertson when they bother spending their time talking about “Fifty Shades” — ratings are.

Finally, I never cease to be amazed by Pat Robertson’s ability to take five completely unrelated ideas and string them into an argument about how women are doing something wrong. Here, Pat: Mice, New Zealand, frying pan, gramophone, The Battle of Hastings. 1, 2, 3, GO!

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Send me a line at rebecca@thefrisky.com.