Born on November 12, 1657 in San Miguel Nepantla, Mexico, Juana Inés De La Cruz was a scholar and a poet. She began her life as a nun, which allowed her the freedom and ability to study, which was denied to women in her era. With access to a large library full of literature and plenty of time to study and write in the convent, she began writing plays and poetry, later becoming an advocate of Woman’s rights.
De La Cruz’s “Respuesta a Sor Filotea,” an iconic piece of literature, defended women’s rights to educational access. Her legacy and work are revered throughout Mexico and Latin America. She led the rise of feminist literature, officially becoming credited as the first published feminist in the New World.