In the essay, "The myth of the Latin Woman: I Just met a girl named Maria" author Judith Ortiz Cofer expresses her view of the stereotypes that she and other women of Latin and Hispanic descent have had to endure. She begins the story by relating an experience where a drunk pub patron started singing "Maria",from "Westside Story' to her, while she is on a bus trip to London from Oxford. As a Latin American woman, Cofer shares her opinion regarding the stereotypes that have occurred throughout her life. Cofer reflects on her childhood and recognizes differences in the way people interact with her and other non-latino females. She relates her cultural experience to like being on an island When Cofer is confronted with a career day at school and is faced with the challenge of deciding what is appropriate to wear.
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Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Log in or Sign up. This essay can be a great way to get your students talking about stereotypes and assumptions. The following discussion is intended for high school, but can be adapted to other ages as well.
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Save Save Save. Want to watch this again later? Questions about Content Based on the title, what did you expect this essay to be about? How did this title frame the way you approached this essay? How does The Myth of the Latin Woman begin? Why do you think the author starts with this anecdote?
What does this story represent? How does it connect to the title of the essay? Why was the author distressed as a child over the prospect of what to wear for career day? Why was this a challenge for her? How do we encode our identities using our clothing? What messages do we try to convey through our clothing? How does this change when you are dealing with stereotypes and assumptions people make about you?
How does the author explain the differences between life in Puerto Rico and on the continental United States? How does she connect these to the experiences of Latina women? What was the purpose of the story about the tuxedoed man in the fancy hotel? Why did the author present this story? Why combine this with other stories of people accosting her to sing songs about Latina women? What does a single incident like this mean to a person? What do repeated incidents like this mean to a person?
Are you tired of reading about these experiences? Can you imagine to what it would be like to experience these personally, and consistently? Is it tiring? After having completed the essay, what do you think was the main message? How would you summarize this essay in a sentence? Try it risk-free No obligation, cancel anytime. Want to learn more? Where do we see these themes? How are they introduced? How are they developed throughout the course of the essay?
What kinds of stereotypes does the author detail throughout this essay? How many of these were meant to be cruel or vicious? Does that matter? Do stereotypes have to be intentionally malicious in order to be harmful? Which story in this essay do you think best illustrates that? How does prejudice impact a person's impression of themselves? At what age do you think the author became aware of the stereotypes of Latina women that she would have to deal with? Does this take something away from children, if their experiences in discovering their own identities is wrapped up in racial assumptions they must be aware of?
Why do you think so many people were so confident in confronting the author with songs or other expressions of stereotypes? How does she explain this? How do stereotypes inform the ways we greet and interact with other people? Did you connect with this essay on a personal level? Do you think that Latina women are the only people to deal with experiences like this? Think about when you first became aware of assumptions that people were making about you, without getting to know you.
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Stereotyping In Judith Ortiz Coher's The Myth Of The Latin Woman
The Myth of the Latin Woman Discussion Questions