Teresa Tomeo Reveals the Harm in "Fifty Shades"


UnknownAll the media hype over Fifty Shades of Grey is making me sick. Seriously, can so many women be that captivated by a sadomasochistic book series turned into a movie? The statistics say it is so.

As an antidote, it has been a relief listening to Teresa Tomeo, host of Ave Maria Radio’s Catholic Connection as she has peeled away the layers of this evil phenomenon on a series of programs. She also has an article in Catholic Globe that clearly dissects the problem with all this.

In an email interview Tomeo summarized her radio programs about the issues surrounding the Fifty Shades phenomena. Here is her message below.

The stories keep coming over the past few weeks from women who have gotten out of abusive relationships and are warning others not to take lightly the sadomasochistic story that Fifty Shades is about.

Many of the women who have called my show and posted on my Facebook page were involved with men who were entrenched in violent porn and the way their story played out was anything but make-believe. It was a real-life nightmare. Go on my program page on the network’s website for the archives section and listen to my interview Thursday with Deacon Jim was on the air promoting a Catholic men’s conference. Our conversation turned to pornography, and more specifically “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Deacon Jim shared how he is counseling a couple on the verge of divorce because the wife has been immersed in a “Fifty Shades of Grey” fantasy world for the last couple of years. Apparently since her husband doesn’t measure up to the kinky, very troubled billionaire in her favorite books.

If all of this isn’t bad enough, retailers are jumping on the Fifty Shades of Grey gravy train. Whether it’s a Christian Grey version of a Vermont Teddy Bear complete with a grey suit, handcuffs and mask or a special selection of grey O.P.I nail polish, everything seems to be very grey indeed. At least that’s what the devil wants us to think.

Thankfully, a firestorm of boycotts against the “Fifty Shades” movie— are so strong that even the secular news media is taking notice. ABC’s Good Morning America ran a story highlighting boycotts being conducted by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation as well as a boycott by domestic violence shelters around the country.

Women snapping up so many copies of Fifty Shades of Grey reveal a very sad attempt to satisfy the space that only God can fill. This is no time for in despair but rather the chance to get busy with the new evangelization. Below are some of the best resources available to help us pull down those ugly shades of grey and let the Son shine in.   I hope you join me.

Resources to Counter Fifty Shades of Grey

  1. National Center for Sexual Exploitation
  2. http://endsexualexploitation.org/fiftyshadesgrey
  3. Catholic Therapist Dr. Peter Kleponis   http://peterkleponis.com
  4. Covenant Eyes-Internet Accountability and Filtering http://www.covenanteyes.com/
  5. Old Fashioned, The Movie. http://oldfashionedmovie.com/
  6. “Extreme Makeover; Women Transformed by Christ Not Conformed to the Culture.” Teresa Tomeo http://www.ignatius.com/Products/EM-H/extreme-makeover.aspx
  7. Catholic Apologist Matt Fradd   http://mattfradd.com/
  8. Bought with A Price, Diocese of Arlington, VA. http://www.arlingtondiocese.org/purity/index.aspx
  9. Catechism of the Catholic Church on Pornography Paragraph 2354

Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.


About Author

Patti Maguire Armstrong, is the mother of 10, and has a B.A. in social work and M.A. in public administration. Her newest book is Holy Hacks: Everyday Ways to Live Your Faith & Get to Heaven. Others include Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families and the Amazing Grace Series. Follow her at @PattiArmstrong and read her blog at PattiMaguireArmstrong.com.


  1. I honestly have to say that I’m tired of hearing about 50 Shades from Catholic bloggers/sites/etc. I am Catholic, but I follow a full range of bloggers and this is the only “set” of people telling us not to watch it AKA “free advertising for 50 Shades” THIS is what is really getting annoying. Quit talking about it and giving them free advertising. Write about something else. Since you have 10 children CLEARLY you are in a loving, happy marriage. Share some of those tips…

  2. I also follow a wide range of blogs, and I have seen this addressed on Protestant blogs as well. It is an issue that is permeating our society,and no one group is immune to it. Thank you for addressing this issue and revealing the danger in ignoring the way this and other porn is hurting women.

  3. Heather, I am sick of it too. The media and sex today industry is saturating the market on this. If we don’t counteract this, we are silent in the face of their very aggressive marketing. I do write on many other topic and have written about marriage too. I will run one of my marriage articles soon.

  4. 50 shades markets sex toys-sheets-advertising the violence on woman and woman used as a sex slave. It is time to stop this. Thanks Teresa Tomeo for your counteraction plan..

  5. I’m so glad there is a backlash to this movie. What bothers me so much about it is that’s it’s normalizing something that is disordered and should be seen as such. The character’s (Christian Grey) behavior is born out of being abused as a child. He needs help, not encouragement that this sexy, hot and something to be praised.

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