Saturday, December 22, 2012

MSR ch 60: a question of rape

In this chapter, Rosalie was in a pickle. Doing what she 'had' to do, and getting caught in the middle of that and destroying a human person that she's trying to save: Bella.

By raping her?

And Bella, finally, calls this out.

Yes, Bella pulled the r-card, but the parallel was so right there for her: Royce raped Rosalie, and now Rosalie is doing the exact same thing to Bella under nearly the exact same conditions. That's what she saw Rosalie was doing.

And, in fact, Rosalie was doing exactly that. Bella said 'please,' 'no' and 'stop' over and over again, and Rosalie just kept going, ignoring Bella's pleas to stop, just to prove a point.

The next question is ... well, the next chapter, there's that question: 'Why?' and then how does Rosalie answer Bella's question if not through direct experience (as that worked SO well, didn't it) and how does Bella recover, ... or is she recovering already?

I struggle with this. A girl is nearly r-aped, so ... how can she stand to be in the same room with the person, the monster, who that morning lost control and wouldn't listen to her?

Ick. Here we go.

The thing is, this is an issue of fiction, but this is an issue that so confronts us today. You're a teenager, and you're trying to find yourself and your place in the world ... fit in? stand out? And the sexual identity is so tied up with all of that, because who are you sexually?

When you're asking questions, you open yourself up, and in opening yourself up, you play games with it, flirting, discovering, having fun, trying to fit in, or trying to stand apart. And you also open yourself up to the possibility heart break and to getting hurt.

Bella isn't, in this story now, ready to face the questions of her sexually identity, and isn't ready to have them thrust on her right this very moment and given the choice right now, whether she wants to not.

But how many of us had to face the same choices, and give in quietly and not make a scene so you can be cool and fit in, even as your very being pays a price for that? Or to scream and to fight with all your might ... and still have to pay a price for that?

And how do we recover from a scar that nobody can see, but you see in everybody's eyes when they look at you? Rosalie asks herself that question: how do I go on? How do I get a new boyfriend, when he already knows I've been raped?

Bella now has do her own recovery, and do it sharing a one room cabin with the very monster that this morning forced herself on her.

How does she do that?

How do we?

An answer: understanding and forgiveness

One of my readers has already answered the above question in her own way. If Bella understands Rosalie in what she was trying, and failed, to do, then, that doesn't make it acceptable, ok, or cancel what Rosalie actually did but it can pave the path to forgiveness. Other thoughts about this chapter (after you've read it, of course)?

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