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Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
A self-taught scholar and one of the most widely published writers of her period, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was a nun who wrote what is considered the first feminist manifesto, and was a scholar of scientific thought and philosophy, as well as a composer, playwright, and poet.

Cruz became a nun in the 1600s not because she was a devout Christian, but because that was the only way to further her education. Not only would it stop men from marrying her (and in turn, take away her freedom), but in the convent she had her own study and library, and the freedom to meet with male professors, scholars, and philosophers without supervision.