TheMyth of a Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Called Maria
TheMyth of a Latin Womanis a narrative that recounts on the stereotyping attitude Americanshave about women of Latina origin. The author uses her personalexperience to portray the Americans stereotype mentality towards thePuerto Rican ethnicity. The author reflects on various stereotypesituations she has encountered such as the boy that took her to herfirst formal dance suggesting that she was supposed to kiss in agrown-up way because Latino girls mature early. She also recounts ofan experience she had in a Miami boat-restaurant. An elderly womanordered coffee from her. She mistook her for a waitress – misled byingrained stereotyping that Latinos are waitresses and house helps(Cofer, 102).
Ichose “stereotyping” as an object in the story since it is themain theme addressed in the story. In addition, the author uses hercase to show that stereotyping is challenging to humans, but itcannot stop individuals from achieving success. Cofer is subjected tostereotyping based on various issues such as clothing, physicalappearance, and movie characters. However, that does not hinder frombeing successful (Cofer, 103). I also chose the stereotyping objectbecause it is rampant in the US. The author portrays that eveneducated people who should be capable to distinguish stereotypingattitude portrayed by movies from reality are no exception to thedeception. For instance, she recounts of an incident in a classyhotel frequented by well-educated people. A man that appeared welleducated, and accompanied by his daughter, blocked her way. He begansinging, “Don’t cry for me, Argentina”. The song intended tomock Cofer Latina origin based on the behaviors portrayed in themovies (Cofer, 109).
Afterreading the narrative, I felt challenged by the artifact because Ialso held stereotyping attitude towards the Latinos. I am a movieaficionado such that I tend to associate Latinos with menial jobssuch as house helps, waiters and masters of romance. The article wasa revelation that only the uneducated Latinos with poor mastery ofEnglish language, and no professional skills, specialize in the pettyjobs (Stangor and Crandall, 14). However, there are many successfulLatinos working in big institutions as managers, lectures, andbusiness executives. The movies have also shaped the attitude ofpeople towards the Latinos. Similarly, the films have made me developan attitude that all Latinos prefer wearing flashy clothes, plenty ofjewelry, and vibrant colors. Probably, I have developed the attitudebecause the movies portray Latino women in the movies wearing brightand flashy colors (Stangor and Crandall, 23).
Thestereotyping attitude accounts for some of the greatest atrocities inthe world such as the Holocaust. The ethnic hatred of the Germanstowards the African Americans and the Jews can be associated withlong-term stereotype attitude. Similarly, the present Islamicfundamentalism in the Middle East is based on stereotype attitudethat Islam is the best religion in the world. Besides, the Islamistfighters also believe that non-Muslims should be killed (Schneider,29). I also believed that I was not performing well in maths,science, and computers because I am a girl. However, I discoveredthat a girl could perform well in mathematics and sciences.Similarly, I also had a stereotyped attitude that playing with dollsis only for girls. On the contrary, girls that play with dolls maybecome sissies. Almost everyone has a stereotyped attitude towardshis or her community or people from other societies. Sometimes, thestereotype attitude can significantly contribute to personalbehaviors and beliefs.
Schneider,David J. ThePsychology of Stereotyping.New York [u.a.: Guilford Press, 2005. Print.
Stangor,Charles and Crandall, Christian S. Stereotypingand Prejudice.New York. Psychology Press, 2013. Print.
Cofer,Judith O. TheLatin Deli: Prose and Poetry.Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2010. Internet resource.