Tag Archives: Vicki

Heroines of Hometown: Vicki Powers

angelina-and-vicki

Victoria Powers (the redhead on the right) is the only child of Brenda Powers, a single mother who lives in a trailer park on the edge of Belford (the town where Hometown is set).  In 1994, at the time Hometown begins, Vicki is just shy of eighteen years old.  Brenda is thirty-five.

In stark contrast to Angelina, Vicki is one of Belford’s Bad Girls.  Not that she’s ever hurt anybody (okay, there have been a few brawls, but they totally started it, and she only ever fights people who can fight back) or stolen anything, or done anything unduly destructive (at least by the standards of a bored small-town teenager).  She does like to drink and smoke (smoke what?  What’ve you got?) and screw (more on that later), but those things are incidental, really.  She’s the daughter of a drunken trailer park slut and an unknown or run-off father.  She was always going to be one of the Bad Girls.  People (mostly her classmates, but they’re certainly not alone) have been calling her a whore since she was in seventh grade.  Authority figures from teachers to police officers consider her a troublemaker who needs to be put in her place.
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Angelina and Vicki At The Last

angelina-and-vicki

The brave young women you see before you are Angelina Santos-de la Cruz and Vicki Powers, the heroines of my novel Hometown.  I can’t tell you exactly what they’re facing because, well, that would be telling.  This scene is from the end of the novel, and Angelina and Vicki are facing the final horror with nothing but a flathead screwdriver, an injured leg, and their indomitable wills.

The thing they’re facing might be in more trouble than it thinks.

Thanks to the talented MJ Barros for this marvelous interpretation of my two heroines.

 

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Tough Girls, Class Differences and Rape Culture (Trigger Warning)

Salander

Salander was not like any normal person. She had a rudimentary knowledge of the law—it was a subject she had never had occasion to explore—and her faith in the police was generally exiguous. For her the police were a hostile force who over the years had put her under arrest or humiliated her. The last dealing she had had with the police was in May of the previous year when she was walking past Götgatan on her way to Milton Security. She suddenly found herself facing a visor-clad riot police officer. Without the slightest provocation on her part, he had struck her on the shoulders with his baton. Her spontaneous reaction was to launch a fierce counterattack, using a Coca-Cola bottle that she had in her hand. The officer turned on his heel and ran off before she could injure him. Only later did she find out that “Reclaim the Streets” was holding a demonstration farther down the road.

Visiting the offices of those visor-clad brutes to file a report against Nils Bjurman for sexual assault did not even cross her mind. And besides—what was she supposed to report? Bjurman had touched her breasts. Any officer would take one look at her and conclude that with her miniature boobs, that was highly unlikely. And if it had actually happened, she should be proud that someone had even bothered. And the part about sucking his dick—it was, as he had warned her, her word against his, and generally in her experience the words of other people weighed more heavily than hers. The police were not an option.

She left Bjurman’s office and went home, took a shower, ate two sandwiches with cheese and pickles, and then sat on the worn-out sofa in the living room to think.

An ordinary person might have felt that her lack of reaction had shifted the blame to her—it might have been another sign that she was so abnormal that even rape could evoke no adequate emotional response.

Her circle of acquaintances was not large, nor did it contain any members of the sheltered middle class from the suburbs. By the time she was eighteen, Salander did not know a single girl who at some point had not been forced to perform some sort of sexual act against her will. Most of these assaults involved slightly older boyfriends who, using a certain amount of force, made sure that they had their way. As far as Salander knew, these incidents had led to crying and angry outbursts, but never to a police report.

In her world, this was the natural order of things. As a girl she was legal prey, especially if she was dressed in a worn black leather jacket and had pierced eyebrows, tattoos, and zero social status.

There was no point whimpering about it.

On the other hand, there was no question of Advokat Bjurman going unpunished. Salander never forgot an injustice, and by nature she was anything but forgiving.

– From The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson

I was in a bookstore, flipping through a copy of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo when I first came upon this passage.

I’d heard about Dragon Tattoo’s notorious rape scenes (and equally notorious rape-revenge scene), but I’d decided to brave it anyway. I’ve since picked up a copy, and added it to my stack of books I need to read – I’ll get to it one of these days – but that one passage struck so much of a chord in me that I need to talk about it now instead of later.
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Filed under Feminism, Fiction, Hometown, Inspirations, My Life, Politics

Hometown Part 1: Last days of Summer – Lazy Days

Trailer park

“Hey, Val!”  Vicki shouted, hammering on the door of the beige trailer. “Get your fat ass up off that couch and let me in!” The door flew open almost immediately, revealing her best friend in the whole world since Kindergarten, Valerie Robard.
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Hometown Part 1: The Last Days of Summer – Partying

Field Party

Vicki

“Well, this party sucks,” Victoria Powers pronounced as she looked around the clearing in disgust.

Vicki had been at parties that summer where there had been dozens of cars, each packed full.  Music blasting, people dancing, people drinking, people smoking pot, people slipping off into the woods or disappearing back into the cars.  Tonight, there was maybe five cars, maybe a dozen people.  The fire was already burning low.  The entertainment consisted of Randy Summers showing off with his Diablo sticks.  Again.  And the booze supply was simply pathetic.  She could probably drink the whole thing herself and still be on her feet.
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