After the conquest of Latin America, Spain and Portugal ruled over the land and people for three centuries. Rulers had dreamt of a place where the King and God were cherished. However, what they received was resentment from the start because Latin Americans wanted a future of independence. After time, citizens of the Latin American countries became accustom to the Catholic faith and developed respect for their rulers. One outstanding individual at this time that helped shape womens right and go against the norm, at an early stage, was Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (1648-1695). Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz by Miguel CabreraAdded by Mmj7163Sor Juana's early life was remarkable, she was a bright child ahead of her time. When the University of Mexico had opened she had announced that she wanted to attend at the age of seven. But during this era, women did not have the option of attending universities because the education would be "over their head." Women were cornered with only two options for their life: Devote the rest of her life to the Catholic faith as a nun, or devote the rest of her life to a husband and children, through marriage.
Sor Juana chose the life of a nun, seeing that there was more room for independence in a convent than in marriage. this is when she was finally able to spread her wings and show all of Latin America how equal women can be in comparison to men. Her poetry was philosophical and critiqued the judgement of women's sexual ethics by men. Sor Juana colleceted her own library and read hundres of books, expanding her knowledge and curiosity of who really sinned more, men or women? In the beginning Sor Juana was able to fly under the radar of patriarchy because she was a woman of God. She took care of God's children and held on to her chastity, making her an "ideal woman" in the eyes of the church. However, at the peak of Sor Juana's greatness, the fathers of her church grew worried of her quick rise in influence and denounced her actions as unnatural for a woman, other than her religious devotion.
Unfortunately, this put an end to Sor Juana's primitive insight on a potential womens rights movement, but she is still a renowned "ideal" Latin American because of her actions, in-depth poetry, and inquieries that defended womens rights for education. All women during this time were persecuted and prosecuted. Women were expect to follow a code of honor which was a measure of how well they played their prescribed role in society. Women who went against this belief were violently punished for their independent minds. Women were seen as suspicious if they were living alone, whether it be as a widow or just a single woman. In the eyes of the church, which speaks on behalf of the citizens, the ideal woman was a quiet, clean, godly, and maternal figure.