As part of the celebration of March 8, Women's Day, we remember some of the most iconic women in Mexico, their cities of origin, the environment in which they grew up and the way in which it influenced their development to become characters that changed history and that inspire us every day.
Here are some of the most iconic women in Mexico:
Sor Juana Ines De La Cruz
Juana Inés de Asbaje Ramírez de Santillana, a pioneer of feminism in Mexico, is one of the greatest figures of Spanish-American literature of the seventeenth century. She stood out for her intelligence, she was considered a child prodigy, she learned to read and write at the age of three. She was born in Nepantla, State of Mexico, but grew up in the incredible Hacienda Panoaya in Amecameca, also in the State of Mexico; she spent her childhood surrounded by forest and at the foot of the imposing Popocatepetl and Iztaccíhuatl volcanoes. Sor Juana died at the age of 46 in the convent of San Jerónimo in Mexico City, victim of an epidemic. Her influence and her works remain to this day.
Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez
One of the strong and influential women in the history of our country was María Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez. Known as ‘’ La corregidora ’’ this great woman helped bring about the conspiracy of Querétaro, thanks to this uprising the Independence of Mexico was born.
She was born in the beautiful city of Morelia in Michoacán, formerly known as Valladolid, when she was an orphan, she entered the prestigious and incredible Colegio de las Vizcainas in Mexico City where she developed her love for knowledge, later she realized the abuse towards Creoles and indigenous people at La Nueva España and that is why she decided to be part of the change by joining literary groups where they spread the ideas of freedom and slowly forged a dream of independence.
She risked her freedom for the fight against the oppression in which Mexico was subjected.
She died at the age of 61 in Mexico City and she was buried in the Panteón de los Queretanos Ilustres, located in Santiago de Querétaro. Her tenacious personality and her ideals made her a woman ahead of her time and thanks to that, she became one of the heroines of Mexico.
The most beautiful face of Mexico's golden cinema era, María de los Ángeles Félix is considered the most important actress in Mexico of those years. A confident woman with a firm character, María Félix was born and raised in Álamos Sonora where she spent much of her life until in 1940 she moved to Mexico City, where she would find her destiny in the seventh art.
The beauty of "La Doña" was impossible not to be noticed. At some point in her life she had to go to live in Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco, where she earned the title of student beauty queen, at the University of Guadalajara. This, combined with her personality, was what led director Miguel Zacarías to try to convince her to participate in the world of acting.
Already in Mexico City and surrounded by celebrities from the film industry, María Félix began her career as an actress with the film “El Peñón de las Ánimas”, where she shared credits with Jorge Negrete.
The most important contribution of María Félix is not in her films, it is found in her example as a person. She always sought the desire for autonomy, empowerment and education of the female population.
Today, in honor of her contribution and becoming an example for the women of Mexico, the Museo María Félix located in Álamos in the state of Sonora, possesses “La Doña” belongings such as paintings, accessories and some of her photographs with other artists. A tribute to the legacy that she left behind, kept in the land where she was born.
She was an emblematic character of the 20th century. She is known for being the representation of Mexican folklore, because her clothing was always made up of traditional Mexican textiles and a flower crown. Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo Calderón, artistically known as Frida Kahlo was born in Coyoacán, Mexico City, and from a very young age she had expressed her interest in art.
Unfortunately, as a young woman she suffered an accident, she underwent more than 32 surgeries due to that accident, that made her lie most of the time in bed, but that never stopped her, she wanted to let go of the world and she succeeded .
Ahead of her time
In addition to being a great artist, and being one of the first to present one of her works in the renowned Louvre Museum, she was also a woman with a different thinking than was expected of women in high society at that time.
Wanting to achieve more for women, she always defended her ideals until the end, breaking the scheme of the image of the submissive woman. She never denied her political ideals and she was harshly criticized for it, she was a member of the Communist Party and later became a left-wing activist. One of her struggles was in favor of the indigenous people of Mexico.
Her works always dealt with themes of pain, heartbreak and suffering, most of which were her own, representing what she suffered, adopting a surrealist and realist style. Today we remember her achievements, and what she meant to women of that time and continues today.
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