In the 1960s Carmen Martín Gaite (1925–2000) began writing what she called her 'cuadernos de todo', one of her main preoccupations during this period being the situation of women and the family in society. However, the author always rejected the 'feminist' label, to the
extent that she even called herself an 'antifeminist'. In this article, I examine the first 'cuadernos de todo', focusing on the author's ideas about women in society. Drawing on Julia Kristeva's (1986) article 'Women's time', I indicate the emergence in Martín Gaite's notebooks of
some of the ideas that would be part of the second wave of the 1970s feminism that Kristeva's work helped to catalyse. Even though ideas of 'difference feminism' did not reach Spain until much later, I will argue that Martín Gaite nonetheless 'proposed' a new kind of feminism, different
from the man/woman dichotomy upon which much second wave feminism rested, a polyphonic feminism where women could, on the one hand, embrace maternity and, yet, on the other, envisage other social roles.
Journal of Romance Studies promotes innovative critical work in the areas of linguistics, literature, performing and visual arts, media, material culture, intellectual and cultural history, critical and cultural theory, psychoanalysis, gender studies, social sciences, and anthropology. The primary focus is on those parts of the world that speak, or have spoken, French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese, but work on other cultures may be included. Issues cross national and disciplinary boundaries in order to stimulate new ways of thinking about cultural history and practice.