Latin Woman Stereotypes

Words: 906
Pages: 4

In Judith Ortiz Cofer's “The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria” and Brent Staples's “Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space”, each author discusses their experience of stereotyping throughout their life and their feelings towards such matters. Each author has faced similar situations due to their race, but also because of this do not come to the same conclusion on what should be done. While another thing to keep in mind is their gender, Cofer is a Puerto Rican woman while Staples a black man. Both have had much time to learn and reflect on these events in their lives. Also, both of these essays speak about the many stereotypes associated with appearances, but they fail to mention how other races are affected as well …show more content…
Staples truly makes the reader understand this from the beginning as he starts his essay with “My first victim was a woman” (394). Though it is also this incident that he feels “surprised, embarrassed, and dismayed all at once” (395) as the woman crossed the street to avoid him, but he learns that he lives in fear as being a “danger” puts him under unwarranted scrutiny by those who believe him to be “nasty” as with the police. He is judged for his appearance rather than the education that he carries which similarly Cofer did not carry her degrees with her everywhere she went. Staples is characterized by the idea of being “over masculine” and explains how in several instances while walking around at night and in some other situations, he would notice how individuals changed their reactions when they saw him, due to this, yet he believes himself to be “a softy who is scarcely able to take a knife to raw chicken – let alone hold one to a person’s throat” (395). This is furthered when rather like his peers live life by the streets he “chose, perhaps even unconsciously, to remain a shadow -- timid, but a survivor” (396); he is misjudged by his appearance like many today given recent shootings and why the Black Lives Matter movement exists is racial