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Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars
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Mar/Apr: Fierce Femmes > Book Discussion - Part 3: Girl Gang [Spoilers]

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Frances (francesab) | 38 comments This chapter feels in some way like the climax of the book-the section where The Lipstick Lacerators discover their power-both physical and emotional-to take control of their lives and of their neighbourhood. But then, something goes wrong and something inexplicable occurs. What do you make of the death, and the fountain, and the vines?

What happens at the end of the dream diary section-what does the dream of switching places with the dead policeman represent, and the overwhelming swarm of bees?

We also see the narrator's relationship with her knife is changing, and that her relationship with her sister is also changing.

I hope it's OK for me to start this section-I'm wanting to discuss more of the book with all of you!


message 2: by Jo, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Jo (jo_9) | 373 comments Mod
Hi Frances, it's fine that you started this :)
You bring up some fantastic points, ones that I have pondered myself (esp re: the policeman, fountain & vines). This chapter is a real shift in character for many of the girls, we see different sides to them - and not always good!

I have questions for members about this section too:

- What are your thoughts and feelings about the girl gang? do you think they were within their rights to target men as they did?

-Did you side with the girl gang or were you on the side of Kimaya?


message 3: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 05, 2019 12:32PM) (new)

I'll probably reassess my thoughts while after reading this part again. As for now, I interpret this section as two fights both internal and external.


Thoughts about the girl gang

What struck me is the conflation between Justice and Revenge. I may understand the anger and the wish to make those people pay but it cannot be a good solution. As a result "peace" is held because of fear and danger and not thanks to respect/love/harmony so (in my opinion) it cannot last in a long run.

I do not believe they were within their right as long as there is violence or control just like the men who killed femmes in the street of miracles. The motivation may be different though, the men were motivated by hate the gang by revenge. I don't think it's possible to protect by using violence. In my opinion, the girl gang looked like a necessary evil (that I do not accept) regarding the murders of femmes and the police hunt was a necessary evil (that I do not accept as well) to end the girl gang. That's why I said there are two fights 1) external: girl gang vs men who murder femmes, and 2) internal: girl gang vs police.

Finally, the gang stops and Valeria leaves. Personnaly, I interpret all those characters being one person, different part of her self. Valeria representing the revenge. After being released, appeasement happens. I'm not quite sure of the fountain image. For now I'm believing that it is the safeguard, I mean it seems to represent a watchful entity related to the first femme.

I'm not quite sure of what represents the policeman, maybe her guiltiness about violence. Maybe the death of her violence, it could make sense.

relationship with her knife and her sister

I read some of your comments (in the other thread) and I must admit I don't remember who told that her sister represents innocence (maybe her innocence), I tend to agree with that now. I'll need to read again the poems and letters.


did you side with girl gang or Kimaya ?

None of them. The gang is violence and I do not accept violence. On the other hand Kimaya tend to control, she believes it's good but I have the feeling she wants the girls to be shaped like she wants to. Of course, I agree with the kindness of Kimaya but she seems too passive in my opinion and shacklef by her own limitations (but I like this chacacter). If I had to choose, I'd probably support Kimaya but I would side with the third option.


Kate (katetakate) | 96 comments I guess my reaction to this section changed somewhat after reflecting on it myself and reading Kai Cheng Thom's interview. I guess as a fantastical element - part reality, part fantasy - it can be seen as dynamic, fast-paced and perhaps even justified in a "tables- turned" imaginary way....
That said I think I agree with Florian, I personally can't side with either - I don't condone nor really enjoy engaging in that vengeful violence (even in make-belief films/books/computer games etc).

I felt the dream scenes about the dead policeman and the swam of bees links with feelings of guilt and remorse and feeling conflicted with emotions.
Overall this chapter left me feeling frustrated and I had to take a step back from the book, unlike the first two sections were I was fulling engaged perhaps spell-bound to the prose. I guess I can understand the want to write a fight scene to "fight-back" against the injustices which the author touched upon in her interview.
For me I hoped their would be a way to bridge the gap and find a way through the factions - but I guess like in real life there is a lot of conflict driven by hatred and ignorance.

It was intriguing though to see the shift in the main character's relationship with both her sister, the knife and her femme peers.


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