Day 41 of doing something new – Mexican feminists from the 1660s, home hair colour and building a rhino

I am attempting to do something new every day in a challenge to motivate myself through lockdown 3.0.

Wednesday was a day of revelation. I decided to research Mexican poetry and came across Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. Man, that lady rocked! She’s considered to be the first feminist (which was appropriate considering International Women’s Day was this week). Her life story is wildly interesting. I can’t understand why Hollywood haven’t fantasised it yet. Here’s it in brief;-

She was born in 1651 an illegitimate daughter of a Spanish father and Creole mother. She wrote her first poem at eight years old. By adolescence her genius was knocking it out of the park. She learned Greek, Latin etc and then an Aztec language, just for the hell of it. She wanted to disguise herself as a male to go to University but her family forbade her (spoilsports). At 16, she was presented at a court of a Marquis who realised she was sh*t hot and assembled a panel of scholars to test her intelligence. She then became famous as not only Miss Clever Clogs but also because she was turning into something of a looker. However Juana knew better than to tie herself down in marriage in the 1660s, so she entered a convent where she could pursue her studies and not be distracted by any manhandling.

She wrote poems and plays, studied music, philosophy and natural science. However she became subject of criticism by her political and religious superiors (jealous naysayers). In 1690, she was ambushed metaphorically when a poem she wrote was published without her permission, coincidentally (ha!!), alongside a letter from a senior Bishop criticising her. She fought back with a famous “Respuesta a Sor Filotea”, which has been hailed as the first feminist manifesto. I mean, it actually defended women’s rights to things like reading and writing – this was ground-breaking, terra-forming stuff! All hell broke loose and the patriarchy insisted she give up all non – religious studies. But she was a tough bird and blithely kept publishing her non-religious works. What socks she had! Way to go Juana!

In 1695, a plague hit the convent. After tending to her fellow sisters, Juana died from the disease around the age of forty -four. Boo. But if she’d lived they probably would have burned her at the stake.

I read her poem “You Foolish Men”. It’s worth a read. Here’s the start:

So that was Wednesday. Thursday was my day off and today I dyed my hair with my mother. I thought it would be easy as I used to help my mom with hers. However I didn’t ponder my colour selection for long enough. It’s not great. My three year said “What happened to your hair?” When I said, “I coloured it”, she gave me a look that said “were you smoking something?” Anyway, it’ll be good enough for Zoom and that’s all that counts these days.

The nice thing was that the process was quite intimate. We weren’t continually interrupted by the kids or one of us wasn’t dashing away to tidy something or clean a spillage. I felt very comforted by the end.

Yesterday my son was determined to turn something into a rhinoceros. I’ve stopped asking why. I was fuelled by both exhaustion and a fervent wish to do as little as possible since it was Friday evening. So I took a hedgehog teddy bear and turned it into a rhino. See the top photo for my clearly substandard arts & crafts technique. It’s sad. I’m a bad mom.

So my mom had to come to the rescue and ended up taking a load of cardboard boxes and building them into…. I don’t know what.. a rhino? Please say it looks like a rhino because that’s what I told him – see below.

I am attempting to complete 7 resolutions over 6 days for 5 weeks:

  1. Continued embargo on crisps, fancy cheese and booze (except those used in cooking)
  2. Meditate for ten minutes
  3. Go for a run or a walk
  4. Do something new – I’ve never done before.
  5. Clean the kitchen every evening
  6. Do at least 5 sun salutations every morning
  7. No eating after 7pm (except Friday & Saturday)

Published by gillsheeran

Former CFO/COO who quit my job to emotionally support my family at the start of the pandemic.

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