Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover
There are many different types of stereotypes throughout society. In the essay “The Myth of the Latin Woman” by Judith Cofer readers can analyze the rhetorical elements to help get a better understanding of the essay, and become aware of the stereotypes in society. Cofer uses personal experiences to help get her point across. By recognizing Cofer’s intended audience, considering the message, and exploring the context, the readers will recognize the stereotypes that are given to Latina women.
Cofer wrote this essay in order to inform her audience about the stereotypes given to Latina women. She explains within her essay about how Latina women are sexualized, for example when they are called a “Hot Tamale” or “sizzling,” people compare them to food in a sexual manner (105). Men specifically are the ones comparing Latina women to food referring to how they are to be consumed for pleasure. Women in Puerto Rico on Saturday nights would get dressed up in their best party clothes and walk around town and men were allowed to express their feelings towards the women and according to this ritual, “…if she is “decent,” she must not acknowledge the man’s impassioned words” (106). She shares this to show how she can understand the confusion for other men that it is acceptable to react in such a way to how a Latina women dresses, when in reality it isn’t acceptable at all. A final example is how Latina women are stereotyped as being unintelligent and that jobs such as waitresses and maids are jobs made for them because they aren’t as intelligent as others to do any other job. Cofer feels very strongly when it comes to this subject because it affects her personally in a negative way. She wants the audience to recognize that this stereotyping is going on if possible end it.
The audience that Cofer is trying to get her message across to is men, specifically white men. She is writing to address the issue to white men about how Latina women are people too and they aren’t here just for pleasure for others. Cofer uses the essay form of writing to get her message across because in this way she is able to use personal experiences to get an emotional appeal from her readers. Readers can tell that this is her primary audience because women are seen as objects to men and she uses the examples of how Latina women dress is a part of the culture and how men in America believe they are dressing as if they are trying to seduce them. The other example used is...