Cofer – the Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria

Published: 2021-07-01 08:20:00
essay essay

Category: Myths, Gender Socialization

Type of paper: Essay

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As Judith Ortiz Cofer says in her essay “mixed cultural signals have perpetuated certain stereotypes” (49). Since something can be natural in a determined culture and offensive in another, it is easy to find a variety of behaves that are misunderstood. This misunderstood is what promotes the existence of prejudice. The stereotypes should be ignored and forgotten by people. Each individual should be judge by its work and personality, and not by its clothes, physical appearance or place of origin.
People should know better about distinct culture before believe in stereotypes. As a Brazilian woman (and therefore Latina). I can talk about the stereotype created about women from my country. Brazil is known for its soccer team, carnival, and beautiful women. It seems nice characteristic to be identified with. Although, those characteristics make people believe that in Brazil the women are always or at least most of the time naked. Brazilian girls are believed to be easy ones, because they kiss in the mouth on the first date.
In some countries (as the ones in Europe) people also believe the Brazilian women that move to there are all prostitutes. Those and much more related kind of stereotypes make the Brazilian women to endure a lot prejudice not only as a Latin but also as a Brazilian. It is very sad to know that people are so influenceable but that is how it is. And it is very difficult to change such an old idea that is attached to the people’s mind. But we should not give up of the transformation.



Cofer emphasizes that “we cannot change this (the myth of Latina as whore, domestic or criminal) by legislating the way people look at us. The transformation, as I see it, has to occur at a much more individual level” (56). I fully endorse her idea about the change be made in an individual level. I believe that each Latin woman should try show with her own example of life and behave that the stereotypically idea that people have about Latinas is wrong.
We must show them that we are misinterpreted because of the unlikeness between our cultures. Something that is natural to me can be vulgar to someone else. That is why we should try to clarify our culture. We should make people understand it better and stop make judgment based on stereotypes. I assume that prejudice comes from the unknown. If a person knows more about the differences, he/she would be able to understand it better. And maybe the pattern created by the media and folklore about the Latinas would not be so easy accepted as a true.

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