Stereotyping Essay

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Stereotyping exists in every society and permeates through every level of intellect. It can cause a multitude of misunderstandings, struggles, pain, and even war. Two authors, Judith Ortiz Cofer and Dave Barry, present their viewpoints as well as the causes and effects of stereotyping in their vivacious writings: "Don't Misread My Signals" and "From Now On Let Women Kill Their Own Spiders", respectively. Cofer reveals her personal struggles as a young Puerto Rican girl growing up between her "island" culture and the American world, often being stereotyped by both American men and women. Barry, on the other hand, humorously discusses the differences between the two sexes. Both authors call attention to the dangers of stereotyping, and the need to be aware and respectful of each other, which will be more productive in the long run. Judith Cofer uses many personal anecdotes to exemplify and support her arguments against stereotyping of women of Latina descent. The young man who sang to Cofer in a "...Irish tenor's rendition of 'Maria' from West Side Story." opens the essay's tone. Agonizing over how to dress for "career day" proves that "It is custom, not chromosomes, that leads us to choose scarlet over pale pink." Cofer's reaction toward her date for her first formal dance highlights the point that Latinas are non-promiscous. The middle-aged man in the classy hotel who exclaimed "Evita" to her demonstrates that stereotyping does not recognize social classes, although the man would not behave the same way toward a "white woman." On the other hand, Dave Barry uses many rhetorical questions and engages in hyperbole to satirize the war between the sexes, especially the use of stereotypes. He begins the humor by asking why women buy new shoes "...for virtually every event in her life." The silliness continues with the question of why women ask men
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