Feminism, Spanish Enlightenment, theology, Age of Reason


Ines Joyes y Blake penned this plea in 1798 in a losing battle of Enlightened theology against Enlightenment hypocrisy: "Let the men say what they will, souls are equal!" This author of one of the most notable and radical essays on feminism of the Spanish eighteenth century, entitled simply Apologia, or "Defense," had joined the growing chorus of voices that were appealing to Enlightenment thinkers to apply to the historically neglected half of the population those principles of natural rights and human equality that had reshaped the era's theology and politics. It was only natural that some would seek to broaden the application of those rights of mankind to all rational beings-including women.