Sally, you lied, you lied. He wouldn’t let me go. He said I love you, I love you, Spanish girl.
Esperanza says this in “Red Clowns,” after a group of boys has sexually assaulted her at a carnival. She repeats the accusation that her friend lied, blaming Sally for the assault instead of the boys who have hurt and traumatized her. Esperanza blames Sally for not returning after she goes off with an older boy, but the accusation goes deeper than that. Esperanza is angry that girls perpetuate the myth that sex goes hand in hand with love. “I love you, Spanish girl” is a taunting, violent refrain that has no place in the picture of sex that popular culture presents to young girls. Esperanza understands that popular media may never change, but at the very least the women who have more experience, like Sally, should debunk the myth so reality would not be such a surprise to girls like Esperanza.
Esperanza’s accusation here is the culmination of a theme
that is implicit in much of