‘Es mucho hombre esa mujer’: género y cuerpo en la prosa femenina de la Revolución Cubana
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A well-known nineteenth-century declaration regarding the writing of Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, “¡Es mucho hombre esa mujer!” [She’s quite a man, that woman!], exposes the binary underlying the sex-gender system in a patriarchal society used to categorize women’s literary production. This paper examines the potential for change in that system after the Cuban Revolution. Ileana Rodríguez’s reading of Latin American revolutionary thought constructing the ideal leftist guerrilla revolutionary posits the thwarted possibility of a revolutionary subject constructed as “different” rather than based on gender difference. A window of populist mobilization and reconfiguration of the body politic in Cuba after 1959 displaced the traditional binary for a short period. A study of women’s fiction from the period reveals an alternative imaginary for the female revolutionary body ultimately limited by the consolidation of patriarchal power under the Castro regime--under which an echo of that same nineteenth-century sentiment regarding women writers can still be heard.