Naomi Weisstein Biography
feminist , her militancy was sharpened by experiences in male-dominated
science at Harvard and afterwards, she counts as her first women's
liberation demonstration the "distraction" she held in front
of Harvard's Lamont Library, still males-only, in 1962. Told that
women were barred from the library because they distracted serious
scholarship, she and her friends slithered in front of the library
windows in skin-tight leotards, playing a clarinet, two tambourines,
and an old trumpet.
"Distraction." They shouted. "We'll show you distraction!"
and civil-rights activist, she was a member of the New Haven Congress
of Racial Equality, (1963) the Chicago Student Non-Violent Coordinating
Committee (1964), the University of Chicago Students for a Democratic
Society (1965-1970), and the New University Conference (1969).
for her powerful oratory, she was one of the founders of the Chicago
Westside Group (1967; the first independent women's liberation group
in the emerging movement) and the Chicago Women's Liberation Union
(1969). She was organizer of, and comedian and keyboardist in the
Chicago Women's Liberation Rock Band (1970-1973).
helped found American Women in Psychology (1970; now division 35 of
the American Psychological Association); the Women's Caucus of the
Psychonomic Society (1972) and Women in Eye Research (1980; a caucus
of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology).
is an author and neuroscientist (B.A., Wellesley 1961, Ph.D. Harvard,
1964), is Professor of Psychology at SUNY, Buffalo. A Guggenheim Fellow
and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
and the American Psychological Society, she has written over sixty
articles for such publications as Science, Vision Research,
Psychological Review and Journal of Experimental Psychology,
and served on the boards of Cognitive Psychology and Spatial Vision.
best known for her pioneering essay,"Kinder, Kirche, Kuche as
Scientific Law: Psychology Constructs the Female", she has written
extensively on science, feminism, culture and politics. "Kinder,
Kirche, Kuche" is characterized as having started the discipline
of the psychology of women, and has been reprinted over 42 times in
six different languages. A festschrift commemorating the 25th anniversary
of the article appeared as a special issue of the British journal,
Feminism and Psychology, in 1992. her articles have been published
in Harper's, the Nation, and Newsday, among others, and she has served
on the board of Signs. Her papers are currently being collected by
Harvard-Radcliffe's Schlesinger Library.
sense of humor has been displayed both inside and outside of the scientific
profession . Her cartoons have appeared in a number of publications
debuting in The Voice of the Women's Liberation Movement (1968-1969),
and then appearing in The New University Conference Newsletter
(1969), The Rogers' Spark (1970), The Open Conspiracy (Stackpole
Books, 1970), and the National Forum (1999). Her comic monologues
have appeared in Cultural Correspondence (1978), Win Magazine
(1977) and Pulling Our Own Strings: Women's Humor (Indiana
University Press (1980). Her writings about humor have appeared in
Sister(1975, 1976), and in the introduction to the book of
cartoons by Ellen Levine, All She Needs, (N.Y. Quadrangle:
1973) which was reprinted, first by Know, Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA) under
the title "Laugh? I nearly died!" and then as the cover
story for Ms. Magazine, 1973, under the title "Why we
aren't laughing any more!". [Dreary title, but she didn't choose
it]. She also has an entry about humor in the Reader's Companion
to U.S. Women's History, (Houghton-Mifflin, 1998).
been performing comedy ever since her triumphal debut as best freshman
and then best sophomore class comedian at Wellesley (1957, 1958).
Sponsored by comedian David Steinberg, she came this close to joining
Chicago's Second City troupe (1965). She routinely brought down the
house with her comic monologues while touring with the Chicago Women's
Liberation Rock band (1970-1973). Her "Saturday Night Special--a
Salute to Rape" (1974) was in great demand during the late seventies.
In 1980, in collaboration with producer-playwright Eve Merriam, Naomi
was planning a one-woman comedy show in New York when she fell ill
with an incapacitating illness and has not been able to perform since.
Thanks to the Veteran Feminists of America and Naomi Weisstein for