This article discusses the interplay between gender and memory in one of the canonical texts from the Spanish Republican exile. María Teresa León, a Spanish communist intellectual, published in 1970 in Argentina her autobiography Memoria de la melancolía. My reading looks at how gender is a fundamental social division, intersecting with others like class and political affiliation, impacting upon her self-narrative. Furthermore, I examine to what extent the important social changes promoted by the 1931 II Republic, as well as the conditions of the war first and exile afterwards, shaped León's subjectivity. My analysis draws attention to a fundamental question raised in León's text and absent in her male counterparts' autobiographies: an emphasis on how sexual and gender changes in the 1930s were threatening the traditional discourses of motherhood and domesticity.