Thursday, March 1, 2012

Discussion notes for the article "The myth of the Latin woman: I just met a girl named Maria" by Judith Ortiz Cofer

The article by Judith Ortiz Cofer discusses the struggles of both cultural differences and stereotypes that Latin women face here in the united states and abroad. Judith bases these struggles in the idea that because of the cultural differences of Puerto Ricans and Caucasians, certain cultural identifications for the Latin female are often misinterpreted by White males and are thus perpetuated in mainstream society through the media. For the dominant white male culture all that is seen are these stereotypes instead of a consideration for their cultural differences and personal individuality. This occurs both publicly and within the business sector in which women are taken advantage of as a result of these misinterpretations and because of their lack of education. Judith emphasizes the importance of education for young Latin women as a means for social transformation first on an individual level and then in society at large.
Questions: Are the issues of misinterpretation presented by Ms. Cofer truly issues of misinterpretation or could this be a segway into a larger discussion that should be centered around gender roles and feminist arguments? How have you individually processed a situation where an individual identified you by a cultural stereotype? 

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