Not a Woman

Gabriela Mistral, the only woman in the Hispanic world to receive the Nobel Prize in literature, sometimes, in private correspondence, used masculine adjectives to refer to herself. Just like many female writers who wrote under male names in pre-feminist times.

That her poetry is deeply female and feminist is clear from even the most superficial reading. Mistral was a lesbian, which, in my opinion, doesn’t make her any less of a woman. Which is something I constantly point out to students who refer to Mistral as Gabriel (and to Emilia Pardo Bazán as Emilio and he).

But do you know what I discovered at the MLA? From an Anglo professor, obviously. That Mistral wasn’t a woman. Because of that couple of male adjectives in private amorous correspondence.

So now there’s no female winner of the Nobel Literature Prize from the Hispanic world. What a win for feminism. And what a win for gay people.

6 thoughts on “Not a Woman”

  1. “Mistral wasn’t a woman”

    Cheer up! It’s only a matter of time before someone claims Lorca was a trans woman…. The terfs were (at least sort of) right, radical trans ideology leads to the elimination of homosexual identity.

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  2. Oh, now I see. Jesus. I actually tell people to think of me as a man all the time, because I want proper respect and they sure won’t give it to a woman.

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    1. She didn’t even do that. This was a couple of adjectives in an intimate correspondence between two lesbian lovers.

      Honestly, like we needed any more Nobel prize winning dudes to promote the cause of feminism. What’s achieved with all this? What is the net good?

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      1. People don’t have to say they’re gay, and rigid gender roles are preserved. You figure out what you’re attracted to, call yourself the opposite and get into stereotypical dressing for that gender. It’s a convenient way of getting very very conservative without appearing to do so

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  3. …even as everyone claims to be “fluid” and “non-binary” — I just don’t know, it all seems so hung up, although who am I to know, I never had gender dysphoria

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  4. Along with the contempt for women, what I also don’t like about this is how unimaginative, literal-minded, and obtuse people can be when considering a text. As if people throughout history and in different cultures express themselves the way an Anglo woke academic would in the 21st century.

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