February 17th, 2012
Was Sor Juana de la Cruz an early feminist?
Sor Juana de la Cruz lived in a time where woman could not speak their minds. At that time, the woman’s role was to serve her father as she grew up, marry, serve her husband and bear children. The woman was not supposed to read or write or obtain any knowledge about anything. However, she chose a different path. I do believe that Sor Juana de la Cruz was an early feminist and it was her decisions to live a life that went against the norm that brings me to believe she set the foundations for modern feminism.
On page 49, she states “ I remember that in those days, though I was as greedy for treats as children usually are at that age, I would abstain from eating cheese, because I heard tell that it made people stupid, and the desire to learn was stronger for me that the desire to eat –powerful as this is in children.” She continues to tell how when she was six or seven years old, she already knew how to read, write and other women skills such as embroidery and sewing. At an early age, Sor Juana’s love for learning begins. However, young girls were not supposed to learn how to read and write. They needed to know how to be a housewife. She already shows the she has the power to go against what people expect of her and do what she believes in.
On page 73, Sor Juana says “I confess that I am far indeed from the terms of Knowledge and that I have wished to follow it, though “afar off”. But all this has merely led me closer to the flames of persecution, the crucible of affliction; and to such extremes that some have even sought to prohibit me from study.” She goes on to describe a time that a mother superior did manage to keep her from studying. She obeyed however, only for the three months that her authority lasted. Although she could not study books, she still studied all the things that God created. This example shows that she clearly understands the...
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