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                   Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
                                                                                México (1651-1695)
 
"...sólo intento
poner belleza en mi
entendimiento y no
entendimiento en mi
belleza"
 Sor Juana is without doubt the precursor
of feminism in Latin America. A highly gifted woman, Sor Juana points out in her writings the oppression of women in a very patriarchal society. Her writing is ornate, reflecting the baroque influence of the time, and her play with ideas is typical of conceptismo.  Her feminist stance is part of her work in general, especially in her sonnets, but it is more clear in her Respuesta a Sor Filotea. In this letter, written to the Bishop of Puebla who had criticized her writing, Sor Juan exposes why she had chosen to engage in intellectual activities. For her, women had the right to learn and had, as she has done, the right to reject marriage as the ultimate goal in their life. Unfortunately, due to increase pressure from religious authorities, Sor Juana stopped writing and died soon after.