Stereotyping is a folly that almost everyone indulges in whether they
realise it or not. Of course many try to stop this by educating themselves to
be knowledgeable about worldly affairs but one can only equip oneself with so
much information in ones lifetime. Cofer talks about the stereotype that follow
Latino women no matter where they go. On the other hand, Eva Peron (Evita),
portrays how Argentinean women can rise up in life and defeat the stereotype
they face. Both Cofer and Evita have conflicting views of how one should beat
the stereotype that they face.
Cofer feels that education is the best way a Latino woman can oust the
stereotype of them being lower class citizens or as being easy. She realises
that not every Latino woman has the same educational opportunities as she had
and because of the majority of Latino women perpetuating the myth, the
stereotype will go on. Many Latino women invite this stereotype to themselves
as their behaviour and actions are of the result of their upbringing. Latino
women think that it is normal to dress flashily or bare their skin. Their
culture allows them to do so as they are protected by traditions and laws of a
Spanish/Catholic system of morality. The main rule in their culture is that
“You may look at my sister, but if you touch her I will kill you.” This system
has made Latino women more open and daring. Once they go out of their cultural
system, they practice the same actions which often tends to be misinterpreted as
being easy. Some Latino women have used this as a way to advance themselves
onto higher positions in the world just like what Evita did. These women are
not of the majority but almost all Latino women fall into the stereotype of
being easy just because of what a few women has done.
Evita is a typical example of how a woman can use her physical assets
to gain higher positions in the world. Even though she is treated like a saint
today, there is still a question of morality on how she has advanced herself.
True she gave hope to the lower class but how she went about it is morally wrong.
By treating her like a saint, it is almost saying that it is all right to use
your body to advance yourself. This is what Cofer is against. She feels that
women should prove themselves and get out of the stereotype by using education
to advance themselves.
Many Latino women fall into the term “sexual firebrand” (348)
because of the myth that follow them where ever they go. Some have resorted to
submitting to the advances of opportunists just to retain their position in
their jobs. Evita clearly shows that a woman can get anything she wants by
being manipulative and submitting to physical pleasures. Cofer actually has made
progress by using her intellect alone and has managed to accomplish many things
in life. She is a positive contributing member of society which sadly is not as
recognised as what Evita contributed.
While Cofer has actually contributed to society, what Evita really
accomplished is really questionable. Other than raising the hopes of the lower
class Argentineans that they too can rise from poverty, she did not give them
anything valuable at all other than the spirit to fight for their rights. I
feel that in comparison, Cofer is the one who has contributed more to society as
she is rallying for education as a way to advance oneself. Evita on the other
hand is just perpetuating the stereotype that women should use their physical
attributes to advance themselves. Both Cofer and Evita show conflicting views
on how Spanish women should come up in life. While both might have their merits,
a sense of morality should brings forth the question of what one should choose
and whether to perpetuate or go against the stereotype that Spanish women face.