Photo Courtesy Of The Dear Fatima
Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (1648-1695) is best known as a major Baroque literary figure of Mexico. However, her insatiable desire to understand everything around her, coupled with her studies in classical and medieval philosophy and her fierce assertion of a woman's right to fully participate in scholastic inquiry mark her as a philosopher as well. According to Mary Morkovsky, Sor Juana's philosophical poetry, (Sueno) indicates a coherent world view, and her critique of the Jesuit sermon reveals her mastery of logic. In addition, in the same decade that England's Mary Astell wrote her argument for the education of women, A Serious Proposal To The Ladies...,in Mexico, Sor Juana was hotly defending a woman's right to an education and intellectual prowess in Reply to Sor Philothea .
"Oh, how much harm would be avoided in our country if older women were as learned as Laeta and knew how to teach in the way Saint Paul and my Father Saint Jerome direct! Instead of which, if fathers wish to educate their daughters beyond what is customary, for want of trained older women and on account of the extreme negligence which has become women's sad lot, since well-educated older women are unavailable, they are obliged to bring in men teachers to give instruction...As a result of this, many fathers prefer leaving their daughters in a barbaric, uncultivated state to exposing them to an evident danger such a familiarity with men breeds."
(Text Via/ http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl302/philosophers/cruz.html)