Lolo Jones is not a fan of Christian Grey's "singular" tastes. The Olympian, 32, made headlines on Tuesday, Feb. 17, when she took to Twitter to voice her opinion on Fifty Shades of Grey — an opinion that did not sit well with some of the movie's rabid fans.
Jones tells Us Weekly, however, that the tweet was mostly meant for her family. She wrote it after hearing her high-school-age niece and nephew talk about their friends wanting to see it.
"That made me so sad, to think about high schoolers wanting to see this movie," she tells Us. "For me in my religion, God does not want sex this way. Especially with younger people, they're encountering their first experience with sex. And movies are very motivating."
Fifty Shades' depiction of sex is "extreme," she adds. "I don't want people to think this is the version of love, or that this is in any way acceptable…This movie isn't supposed to show how women should be treated. Men should be gentlemen," she says.
The championship track and field athlete — who revealed in 2012 that she planned to remain a virgin until marriage — admittedly has not seen the film, but is uncomfortable with the BDSM themes in the book. She says she initially wanted to read it, but was turned off by all the jokes about it.
"It didn't really resonate with me well," she explains. "It seemed like the book made a division between women and their husbands. Every joke was about a woman being secluded in a room and being 'tortured.'"
That perceived implication of "abuse" — which is a point of contention among critics and fans of the story — landed just a little too close to home for Jones. "For me, whose mom was domestically abused, that's not something I could stand for," she tells Us.
That said, she insists she meant no offense by her tweet, which told people to "watch another movie."
"I think a lot of people, because of my religion and viewpoints, think I'm judgmental," she says. "But I'm just trying to show where I'm at…I in no way condemn people or judge people for the path they take, because that's their path."
Jones expressed similar views in a Facebook post on Wednesday, Feb. 18. Noting the backlash she faced for tweeting her opinion, she wrote, "I just wish every woman would know she is worth more than what this movie depicts. And that every man knows being a gentleman is not outdated."
She went on to criticize the film for "glamorizing sexual violence, violence against women, abuse of power, or premarital sex," writing that "encouraging acts like that…can only influence and manipulate what is 'normal' as opposed to what is right.'"
She further addressed specific groups of "haters," including those who say she shouldn't speak about sex because she's a virgin, and those who say the movie is fiction and has no impact.
To the latter, she wrote: "The movie Natural Born Killers inspired some of the most gruesome copycat crimes. Also, the movie Scream encouraged teenagers to murder. Movies will always inspire [their] viewers…50 Shades of Grey, although seemingly insignificant, can easily encourage and/or inspire men, women, and children to act according to the behaviors that are represented…I just simply don't think that is good for the soul — for anyone."
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