“Electing Hell” by Elizabeth Weaver

Elizabeth Weaver


As a feminist, there’s a special place
in Hell for women. I stand

with solidarity, ninety-eight percent
with gun control, birth control,

self-control, would never say
pussy. Such a progressive, bro

doesn’t stand a chance. One of us
speaks no Spanish, but vamos,

back to where you came from.
She’s too cozy with money

in that shrill pant suit. Damned
if you don’t milk it—social media—

but at least it wasn’t hotmail. That
and my mom issues, and the dame

surely would be doomed. Just listen
to the New York values in all

of those vowels. Hear the mess of him in that
whitesplanation hair. Something about

a man who just doesn’t care
how he looks makes me

hot for socialism. Take me
to where the boys are.

Poets Respond
February 21, 2016

[download audio]


Elizabeth Weaver: “Last Saturday’s GOP debate contained an interesting moment in which two conservative candidates battled over seemingly contradictory issues. On the one hand, they appeared to be competing over which of them could “out-Latino” the other through a command of the Spanish language. On the other, they were simultaneously fighting over who could promise to be toughest when it comes to giving immigrants (Latino/a and otherwise) the boot—as though this were a good thing. It started when Ted Cruz accused Marco Rubio of having said (in Spanish, on Univision) that, if elected, he would not immediately rescind President Obama’s policy on immigrant amnesty. Rubio then reacted by saying Cruz couldn’t really have any idea what he said—because Cruz doesn’t know Spanish. Cruz’s comeback, in turn, was basically to dare Rubio (in Spanish, no less) to continue the discussion—in Spanish if he preferred—right then and there. As a liberal, I’m generally not all that interested in how the GOP candidates attempt to tear each other apart. What does interest me about the exchange between Rubio and Cruz is how it fits into the larger picture when it comes to the primaries—a picture that seems rife with contradictions and complexity. As political figures all across the spectrum vie for the nomination, we examine not only their explicit past actions and stances on the issues but also (whether we’ll admit it or not) more subtle questions that may or may not be fair to ask. One might ask which Latino candidate (if either) has the best interest of Latinos in mind. We might also ask the question of whether a male candidate might be the right choice for feminists after all. One is confronted, as well, with the absurd idea of whether Sanders is somehow simply more appealing to young women because his campaign is “where the boys are.” At the same time, feminists who do support Bernie Sanders—and who are understandably offended by such accusations—acknowledge that Clinton, a woman, gets scrutinized for everything from her voice to her hair and how she dresses; meanwhile, people love Sanders for more or less coming off as someone who perhaps doesn’t even own a mirror. And then there’s the question of whether Sanders supporters might be guilty of “whitesplaining” the their candidate’s selling points to people of color. Sure, we can take quizzes on websites to see whose policies resonate most with us, but there’s clearly a lot more going on in this election than the issues when the discourse breaks down to questions of who’s more feminist, who’s more Latino, whose speech sounds more carefree and comfortable, etc. All in all, if nothing else, it’s an exciting time to be alive when we can say that those running include not only a woman and two Latinos but also a Jewish socialist Democrat from Brooklyn. (It’s also a hilarious time, considering that it’s not Sanders but Trump—a man appearing to have no filter when it comes to his sexist, anti-immigrant outpourings—who’s labeled as having “New York values,” which are evidently considered a bad thing for some reason).” (website)

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