Portrait of Juana at age fifteen, painted in 1666.
Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651-1695) was the daughter of a Spanish Peninsular captain and a Creole woman. She was born in San Miguel Nepantla, Mexico on 2 December, 1651. For a woman of her time, Juana was well educated—and almost entirely self-taught, at that. She could read by age three, she mastered Latin, and she even learned Nahuatl, the Aztec language. She read many books and collected them for her library, and she wrote music and poems and became known throughout Mexico and Europe for her poetry. Juana asked for permission to dress as a man and enter the University of Mexico, but she was denied.
At age seventeen, the Viceroy Antonio Sebastián Álvarez de Toledo, the Marquis de Mancera, arranged for a jury of theologians, philosophers, and university professors to question Juana about a variety of scientific and literary subjects in order to test her knowledge. Juana answered their questions so brilliantly that she not only stumped these educated men, she also gained a reputation for her intelligence. She received several marriage proposals at the viceregal court, but she turned them all down. Rather than marry and devote her life to a husband and children, as was expected of most women in her day, Juana chose to enter a convent.
Sor Juana, as she was called as a nun, strongly supported women’s right to education. Many of her poems even criticised patriarchal social mores. When Sor Juana published an intelligent response refuting a famous biblical scholar, the leaders of the Church told Juana to give up all her scientific and educational pursuits, which they said were “unnatural” in women and told her to focus on her religious duties. Sor Juana finally agreed to go through penance, and she stopped writing and sold her library as well as all her scientific and musical instruments. She called herself la peor de todas las mujeres, “the worst of all women.” A few years later she died taking care of her sisters during a plague.
Fortunately many of Sor Juana’s writings have survived. You can read her poems here in Spanish, with English translations.
Frustrating drawing night… so I did a 5 minute doodle.
Harry Potter au where Harry didn’t lose being a parsletongue and Albus buys a snake as a pet one year because snakes are cool and one day just walks in on Harry and the snake having a deep conversation
Albus is 17 and loses his virginity in his room and forgets the snake talks to his dad and when Harry gets home the snake is all like OH MY GOSH YOU’D NEVER GUESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS WHAT HAPPENED