The Effects of Discrimination and Stereotyping on Latinas

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As children, we all love it and wish that our parents and society accept us and feel proud of us the way we are, regardless of our appearance. It is virtually a basic human desire to feel acceptance and love from people that we admire the most. In light of this, both The Myth of The Latin Woman by Judith Cofer and Only Daughter by Sandra Cisneros present female characters who were discriminated and looked down upon by the family and society planting a feeling of loneliness and isolation upon them.

In The Myth of The Latin Woman, Cofer shares her personal views and experiences on how the society treated Latina women. She vehemently describes the struggles women had to face because of their Hispanic background and appearance. She revokes how in many occasions, profoundly intoxicated men had discriminated her, revealing how the Hispanic culture often contributed to her being judged and stereotyped, making her feel out of place (Cofer 204). Cofer details the numerous difficult experiences she went through, describing incidents where she was humiliated because of her looks (Cofer 205). Moreover, she narrates that she never felt fit due to her clothing. In such a way, Cofer felt uncomfortable and isolated due to the stereotypes that surrounded her background and appearance.

Similarly, Sandra Cisneros’s essay, Only Daughter, reveals how a parent’s lack of appreciation and acceptance can affect and shape the life of a person. In the essay, Cisneros shows how challenging and isolated upbringing have influenced her in several ways. Having grown up as one of the seven kids in an ethnic Mexican family, Cisneros was often looked down upon by her six brothers and her father for being the only girl in the family (Cisneros 69). Her brothers shunned her and were ashamed of playing with her, a girl, in public. As a result, she had to fight to gain recognition in the family. From a tender age, Cisneros had understood the meaning of loneliness. Throughout the story, she emphasizes how her family made her feel isolated. For instance, her father could tell people that he had seven sons that made her feel erased (Cisneros 71). Much as the discriminative treatment she received from her family saddened her, she managed to use the loneliness and isolation to her advantage - like to excel and thrive in creative thinking and a prolific writer.

In summary, Sandra Cisneros’ Only Daughter and Judith Cofer’s The Myth of The Latin Woman depict characters that are looked down upon, judged, stereotyped, and discriminated by society, based on their appearances and background. Such acts of discrimination negatively affect the characters by bringing upon them feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Works Cited

Cisneros, Sandra “Only daughter” Families in later life: connections and transitions (2001) California: SAGE Publications. pp. 69-71.

Cofer, Judith Ortiz. “The myth of the Latin woman: I just met a girl named Maria.” Accessed 13 February 2018.

August 21, 2023

Art Literature



Subject area:

Discrimination Hispanic

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Expertise Hispanic
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