It’s the perfect disguise: being an attractive woman. No one suspects—even fathoms—that you’re adept in the art of any wrongdoing. They just want to ogle you as you walk by and then return to their own sins—sins they assume that an attractive woman might never be capable of. Your body is their right, your unpaid job is to be their eye candy. So wasn’t it only moral for Dolores Mancha, a 23-year-old emigré from Mexico City, to cull together her own arsenal of fed up bodacious babes for the purpose of violent subterfuge?
Sure, New York was safer than it had ever been, but what was meant by safe? No one got stabbed or mugged openly, but women could still be gaped at and beckoned to like call girls? No, Dolores insisted to her militia, this was not “safe” by any means. Least of all by mental preservation standards. And their twenty-strong army needed to do something about it.
She had plucked many of them, surprisingly, from Hunter College, where she attempted pursuing a number of courses of study before finally dropping out. What the fuck did they know, anyway? Every teacher there was only doing it to afford their shitty one bedrooms in bum fuck places like Washington Heights. She didn’t desire their passionless instruction, she herself such a passionate person. But one thing she could attribute to learning from Hunter was all about the Kalashnikov, which one of her World History teachers enjoyed referencing extensively in his discussions of illegal arms dealing. He even made a point of showing that far too underrated Nicolas Cage movie, Lord of War, solely for Yuri’s waxing on the weapon: “Of all the weapons in the vast Soviet arsenal, nothing was more profitable than the Kalashnikova model of 1947…more commonly known as the AK-47, or Kalashnikov. It’s the world’s most popular assault rifle, a weapon all fighters love…”
And love it Dolores did, she soon discovered after a routine trip to some unexpectedly remote warehouse in the recesses of the Bronx where she purchased her first one with funds acquired from months of stripping at Private Eyes, where the clientele was hit or miss, and the high rollers few and far between. Still, it was enough for her to begin what the news media would eventually dub the Kalashnikov Klub, which, at its peak, possessed six hundred women in its ranks.
Her converts started out small in number and minimal in drive and commitment. But as the cause spread throughout the city, Dolores was at the helm of what could at its most basic be called a gender war and at its most complex a bubbling to the surface of sexual tensions that were inequitable in aim. For the men, the tension heralded from a biological need for insertion. For the women, it was a centuries long conditioning of protecting the only source of power they had: pussy. A tale as ageless as Lysistrata, females innately intuited that their most ironclad form of clout was the only viable hole on this earth that could lend orgasm (well, at least until the hole in question became too loose with age). Dolores, indeed, read sections from Lysistrata daily both in private and out loud to her army of scorned women. It was the exchange between Calonice and Lysistrata that she most emphasized, as it spoke to her motives for encouraging the “anti-feministic” regulation of having all her women dress in scantily clad garb. The younger ones were especially skeptical of this practice as “nouveau” politics dictated that to be feminist was to don what amounted to a paper sack so as to be “taken seriously.” Dolores didn’t play that game, the game that the patriarchy had invented to pit women against each other based on looks and the expression of sexuality. No, no. This is why she always quoted with particular gusto, “‘But what can mere women do that’s intelligent or illustrious? We sit around the house looking pretty, wearing saffron dresses, and makeup, and Cimberic gowns and pleasure-boat slippers,’ to which Lysistrata replies, ‘Exactly! That’s exactly what I think will rescue Greece: our fancy little dresses, our perfumes and our slippers, our rouge and our see-through underwear!’” It was there she would take pause to say, “Don’t you see my Kalashnikov sistren? It always was and will be our looks that we can use to our advantage. To lure in the naive male still convinced that we are nothing more than our faces, bodies and pussies. They will never see beyond the surface—and that’s how we go for their jugular when they least expect it.” She would then set her book down, retreat to the closet and present new recruits with “the uniform.”
Every night, all adorned in thick black liquid eyeliner, dramatic fake eyelashes with red feathers at the tips (red representing the color of blood, the only thing Dolores sought to collect), high-waisted leather shorts, a white crop top bearing the bold black letters “KK” and steel-toed black boots, the Kalashnikov Klub would prowl the streets. They would break off into groups throughout the city, separating to cover the most ground with their tantalization. They often took out the most hits in East Harlem, Bushwick, Sheepshead Bay and just about any part of the Bronx. The system was simple: if a man uttered anything of a lascivious nature to one of the KK girls—whether it was a mere sound or an elaborate pickup line (e.g. “Oye princesa, you lookin’ for your prince?”), a KK girl would simply turn around and pop him one with her Kalashnikov. That the men would still call out to them in spite of seeing them blatantly carrying a weapon (even one of this large and renowned caliber) further proved Dolores’ point that a man was physically and mentally incapable of viewing a pretty girl as anything other than a harmless little twit for the taking.
At first, many believed it was some sort of stunt. Maybe Pussy Riot was promoting a new album or something. But after roughly six months of bloodshed on the streets of every neighborhood in the five boroughs, the trend couldn’t be ignored. Reported on the news almost nightly, fear grew in the hearts of men everywhere. The problem was, it was only Hispanic and black men that had been targeted. This was a result of it being true that white men were not huge offenders of the cat call. They were too cowardly for such an act, preferring subtler methods of bodily trespassing—like Rohypnol. Yet Dolores knew they were, by and large, a diabolical sect. So she had to find a way to punish them for their more covert iniquities as recompense for their own covertness. The best place to find just the sort of white man representative of all the sneakily evil ones throughout the city was the Financial District. It was there that Dolores would enlist her best women to go undercover in more “professional” attire (form-fitting dresses with plunging necklines). Attempts at date rape would inevitably ensue. But Dolores’ girls were too vigilant for that, never letting on to the impending mark that they knew exactly what was going on, feigning the blackout until just the right moment—when he was unzipping his pants—to let out a banshee cry that would inform another Kalashnikov girl who had tailed them back to his apartment that the moment to fire was upon them.
A year went by and the Kalashnikov girls remained unchecked, having taken out most of the police force in the first weeks of their organization’s inception (these types of men are, as you know, the sleaziest and most sexually violating of all—Crash was mandatory screening for all new recruits as well, apart from Lady Vengeance, Kill Bill Vol. 1, The Bride Wore Blood, I Spit on Your Grave and, in a curveball but sensical move, Love Story).
No one could have predicted that their greatest downfall would come from one of their own, a promising ingenue nineteen years of age, Ravenna, who had become very close to Dolores, and allowed the latter to believe that she was some sort of surrogate mother figure. Dolores had lost sight of her one true skill as the leader of this unprecedented faction: never trust a soul, no matter what form of genitalia they’re packing. Sure, she despised men more than her own kind, but her success had been a direct by-product of refusing to let her guard down around women either, the women that frequented the Cubby Hole being foremost in the category of those she was wary of. So it was that every time Ravenna went out with a group, she would be the only one to return, claiming that one of the men they tried to dispose of was responsible. Initially, Dolores took what she said as the truth. It was only after the sixth time Ravenna returned from the streets alone—with flecks of dried blood on her—that the maternal cloud she had been delighting in was forced to be lifted. But when the recognition came, it was, as it so often is, too late. Like Selena trying to reason with Yolanda at the moment when she too tardily saw her mortality flash before her eyes, Dolores was doomed. She was in her office smoking a cigarette, tallying up all the dead bodies that were her women from the past month when it happened. It was then that Ravenna sauntered in, not wearing the uniform—a direct violation of being a Kalashnikov member.
When Dolores looked up and flashed a look of disapproval, Ravenna grinned. “Do you disapprove of me, Mommy?” The derision in Ravenna’s voice let Dolores know where this was headed. But as she reached for her diamond-encrusted Kalashnikov, Ravenna beat her to the punch with her own, popping her right in the chest. The cigarette still dangling from her mouth, Dolores demanded, “Why?”
“You’re what’s wrong with this world, Dolores. Trying to make women into little masculine army bitches when we could be sittin’ pretty doing our nails in some muhfuckin’ kitchen somewhere. I’m gonna set things right now. The Kalashnikov Klub will go on—oh how it will go on. But with a new purpose: to bring women back to their roots, to who they really are: servants of men.”
As Ravenna finished saying the word “men,” Dolores passed into the next realm. A realm more bearable than the current one, as gender did not present itself as a factor.