Novella Review: Judith Ortiz Cofer, “The Myth of the Latin Woman”

Gregory Akerman

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In “The Myth of the Latin Woman” Judith Ortiz Cofer breaks down the many stereotypes America has against Hispanic women. She cites a couple of common incidents that happened to her, and many other Latino’s, because of the stereotypes people have against Hispanics. The author met a man who recited “Maria” from West Side Story and another time she walked in a boat-restaurant to give her first poetry reading, and an older woman mistakably thought she was a waitress. The way Latino’s dress comes from a tradition in their culture.

In Puerto Rica, there are many different colors all over and thus, the girls were colorful clothes and show a lot of skin because it’s hot. However, in America, people think that Latin girls were colorful clothes and show a lot of skin because they are whores or easy to get with. The author proves this is untrue after going to her first high school dance with a boy who tried to kiss her.

She rejected the kiss and he mentioned something about Latin girls maturing early. The author, having learned how to deal with these situations, simply walks away.

I think that most, if not all stereotypes, are simply incorrect and have no point. It is prejudice to think certain groups of people have to dress, behave, or do anything in a certain way. Everybody is free to act as they like. If a group of Latino girls were raised to dress and act a certain way, it is a cultural issue and should not be ridiculed by anybody. I firmly believe we all have the right to do what we feel is right, and others should not interfere with that

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