Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Is MSR femslash?
I get this question occasionally from readers.
Is MSR femslash, or gfs? or bffs? or sisterhood?
Well, what is it?
That's what Rosalie would ask you as you read this story, wouldn't she?
That's the question you ask yourself when you look at a girl you're looking at, right? Is she The One? Is she even gay? or curious? will she like me? will I like her?
Do you know the answers to ANY of these questions before hand?
I don't think you do. Or, if you do, you're already judging her. If she has to be The One, then she can't be herself, and you've already doomed the relationship, because she can't be herself if she has to be The One for you, right?
If Lizzie HAS to be femslash with Rosalie, then all this wind-up is pointless, and they should've been in bed at chapter 2 if I was a slow writer and by the second paragraph in the first chapter if I wanted to get right to the goods, right? That's what femslash is, right? Skip the preliminaries and get right to it.
Well, that's what the usual fare of femslash is, but the really, really good pieces actually do let Bella and Rosalie get to know each other, get to cry a bit because college is hard and Bella's dad dies and Rosalie has commitment issues and a bit of a b-tch and maybe a little (too) slvtty because she's compensating for these wounds she carries in her heart that she has to be that way to receive love, even if it's fake or physical. And you learn to love these girls and when they do fall into each other's arms, it's because they love each other, not because it's femslash and that's what they're supposed to do ...
You know the story I'm talking about? Read: Mechanical Difficulties by HopelessRomantic79.
Now, my BxR story is a little different than that. Okay, it's WAY different than that, and different than most of what I've read on this site.
As you have seen.
But do you see where this is going?
Yeah, you do. Maybe. The thing is I have the whole story mapped out: all three books of it, but Lizzie and Rose are surprising me at every chapter. I had written three chapters ahead of this one (ch 66: Schadenfreude), and I had to throw all of that out, all 12k+ words because Rose just broke down and told Lizzie her name. She wasn't supposed to do that. And Lizzie wasn't supposed to take charge like this and start to arrange things. She wasn't suppose to do this until halfway into Book II.
But here they are, and they refuse to let the plot drive them, no: they are two people, two scared people wondering if this can work, and wondering what 'this' even is! One of them has no experience whatsoever in love, never had a bf, never been kissed, and dropped out of school because people are just too weird for her, so she'd rather live at home with her Pa, who is quiet and safe and predictable. The other girl was raped and murdered by five men, so her whole view of love is twisted and filled with hate: totally unromantic. She's given up on love, seeing it as a power-thing, useless to her, and she's given up on herself, seeing herself as hateful and broken: unfixable, unloveable.
Put those two together and what do you get? femslash? friendship? sisterhood?
Well, what you've gotten so far is 66 chapters of MSR with a lot of anger on Rosalie's part and a lot of tears on Lizzie's part. Both of them have a long way to go before they can ... what?
Well, they've started to heal, just a little tiny bit, they've started to hug some, they've started to open up, just a bit to each other, and ...
And, well ... it's a start. A real start. There's false starts because you try something, and whoops! that didn't work, but instead of being cool about it, Lizzie breaks down in tears and Rosalie gets furious, so there's plenty of backsliding.
But are they trying? And what are they trying for?
Rosalie was right: Lizzie is a little chicken-sh-t, and she has no idea what she wants.
But Rosalie? All you have to do is read my side story: Rose by a Lemon Tree to know that any criticism she has of Lizzie is nothing to the problems she's saddled herself with.
Rosalie knows what she wants. Just ask her. Or, actually, she says she knows what she wants, and is very sure and confident in saying exactly what she wants and how she wants it all to work out.
The thing about Rosalie is that what she says she wants, and what she really wants, may be two different things, but her own pride so blinds her to that difference that she doesn't even know nor acknowledge that there exists a difference at all. So she says she wants to keep her distance, that she would rather have Lizzie hate her than draw any closer to her, for, after all: she's a monster, twisted and evil and incapable of love.
She knows this: just ask her.
But then she gives Lizzie her name, and says she never had a sister ... that is, she never had a girl close to her. She never gave anyone else her heart. Not really. Not to Royce. She planned her future with Royce, with their perfect wedding and their perfect family with their perfectly well-behaved children, but she never gave Royce her real heart, her true love, and maybe Royce sensed this, her aloofness, her haughtiness, and maybe he felt threatened by that: his manhood was called into question, because no matter how much of a man he was(not), he was never able fully to possess 'his' Rose, never fully able to own her nor to make her scared of him and grovel like everybody else did, all this employees and sycophant friends.
Who has had Rosalie heart? Not even Vera, her friend. Because Rosalie could feel superior to her. Vera married low and moved on and left Rosalie behind, because Vera followed her heart.
And Rosalie never did.
Rosalie never gave her heart away, and Lizzie was never given the chance to.
So, can Lizzie muster up the courage to say 'I love you, Rosalie Hale'? because for sure Rosalie's not going to say that. Ever. That is: first. Rosalie can't give her heart away now. It's far too painful.
It really, really doesn't look good, does it?
But Lizzie has grown, and Rosalie, even though she won't admit it, has, too.
So, maybe ... maybe.
And that's my answer. It's not definitive, but does live give you a priori definitive answers? If it does, is that living life, or going through the motions in a limited little box of a maze and calling that life? Life is lived in the questions, isn't it? and finding your own answers to the questions you dare to ask. If someone else spoonfeeds you answers, then do those answers have any meaning? or any worth or value? That is, being given to you instead of earned.
You can be handed a person and told: you're sleeping with her tonight. And many, many girls in the world are told just that. But it's up to them to find in the person they choose the things to love, be in that person in their arms right now, or the one they go out, seek, and find. Or the one that comes to find them.
But you have to choose whom to love, and you have to choose why, right? And you have to make it work, every day.
Is MSR femslash? or friendship? or sisterhood?
That's up to Rosalie to let go of her pride and 'what's right' in her eyes, and up to Lizzie to let go of fear and embrace her hope.
Just as it is for you to give up your pride and fear and embrace your hope, and write your own story. That's what Lizzie and Rosalie are (tentatively) doing, and isn't it an exciting, hopeful, just so different read? And for them, living it, so, so scary, so new?
Is your life femslash, friends or sisters? Do you want to keep living the safe ho-hum life everybody else lives? Or throw your heart out there, get hurt, badly, and, maybe, just maybe, let her catch it and cradle your heart, and you, in her arms, as you cradle her?
geophf, writer of that really weird story MSR signing off; I have to get back to writing that next chapter.