A 17th Century Feminist
|Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz 1651-1695|
Today's post is on a pretty awesome lady, Sor Juana. Born in colonial Mexico she showed a love of learning at a very young age. She learned to read and write by age three and at age eight she was already writing poetry.
As a teenager she asked her mother permission to disguise herself as a man so she could attend university. Her mother forbid her from doing so and so she continued studying and writing in secret.
As a young woman, instead of marrying she decided to become a nun. Some attribute this to her very religious upbringing but others state that she didn't want to be forced to live under the rule of a man. So instead she chose to live with God in her heart and continue her writing and scholarly learning.
She wrote many works but today only a handful remain. The church grew wary of her outspokenness and threatened to censor her writing (she defended the right for the education of women and girls).
|Mexican 200 peso bill|
Today she is thought of as a very important figure in Mexican and Spanish literary history. One of the most famous books about her was written by Octavio Paz (who I wrote about back in "O") and you can find her face on our Mexican 200 peso bills.
We have a few books on her at home as well. My Dad is a big fan himself and who wouldn't be?
One of my favorite poems by her can be found here. It is an English translation for everyone to enjoy. It's a critique towards men and their expectations and impatience with women.