Arizmendi Mejía, Elena

From Astro-Databank
Jump to: navigation, search
Arizmendi Mejía, Elena Gender: F
Elena Irene Arizmendi Mejía
born on 18 January 1884 at 09:00 (= 09:00 AM )
Place Mexico City, Mexico, 19n24, 99w09
Timezone LMT m99w09 (is local mean time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_capcol.18.gif 28°01' s_mo.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 10°49 Asc.s_piscol.18.gif 07°42'

Elena Arizmendi Mejía (1916)


Mexican feminist who established the Neutral White Cross (a volunteer infirmary and relief service organisation) during the Mexican Revolution. She was a part of the first wave of Mexican feminism and established the "Mujeres de la raza" (Women of the [Hispanic] Race) and the International League of Iberian and Latin American Women in co-operation with G. Sofía Villa de Buentello.

Arizmundi was both revered for her philanthropy and disliked for her leadership, at a time when women were expected to be docile and submissive. There were attacks to her leadership of the White Cross, such as when she had a photograph taken as a joke with the revolutionary crossed cartridge belts of male soldiers and soldaderas and was accused of violating the neutrality of the health organisation.

During the revolutionary era, she had a long-term affair with José Vasconcelos, who was married with two children; she has been described as "the first of many lovers in his life but certainly his most intense and madly beloved liaison." Arizmundi fled Mexico in 1915 for the United States, briefly taking refuge in a convent in Victoria, Texas to hide from the public scandal of her relationship with Vasconcelos. She soon made her way to New York City, where the relationship ended. According to one scholar, Arizmendi accompanied Vasconcelos to Lima, Peru and she broke off the relationship as he prepared to return to Mexico. He wrote about her in his autobiography, La Tormenta, giving her the pseudonym "Adriana." According to historian Enrique Krauze, Vasconcelos's description of the relationship "is the most famous depiction of 'mad love' in Mexican literature." When Arizmendi was in New York, Vasconcelos attempted an unsuccessful reconciliation with her.

Surrounded by feminists in New York, she recognised the Anglo-oriented perspective of European and US feminists. Wishing to give a voice to Latina women, she founded a feminist magazine, Feminismo Internacional (International Feminist) and began publishing articles reflecting Hispanic versions of feminism.

In 1927, Arizmendi published an autobiography with the purpose of airing her side of the affair and silencing rumors about her public life. Since Vasconcelos had published two works, Ulises Criollo and La Tormenta vilifying Arizmendi, though as a fictionalised character, Arizmendi's autobiography is a reflection upon the "double standard" women encountered.

She died in 1949 in Mexico City.

Link to Wikipedia biography



  • Death, Cause unspecified 1949

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield provided birth registry entry from Federal District, Mexico archives.


  • Family : Childhood : Family noted
  • Family : Relationship : Mate - Noted
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Wealthy
  • Lifestyle : Home : Expatriate
  • Vocation : Politics : Activist/ feminist
  • Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer
  • Vocation : Writers : Publisher/ Editor
  • Notable : Extraordinary Talents : For Leadership
  • Notable : Famous : Founder/ originator (Neutral White Cross)