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Naomi Weisstein: Making women important in psychology

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Today we will look at feminist psychology professor Naomi Weisstein.

Early years for Naomi Weisstein

Naomi stated that she was born into a radical Jewish Activist family. She identified herself as a feminist long before it was fashionable. Naomi gravitated towards science yet this world was pretty much an area that had not yet embraced feminism as a powerful force in society.

However, it was only during her doctoral studies at Harvard that Naomi Weisstein really got a taste of sex discrimination. It was the early 60s and Naomi Weisstein as well as the other female students in her class were told by the director that women should be at home being wives and mothers. Later she was told she couldn’t use the expensive equipment for her dissertation research because they were reserved for men. Being female she would most likely break the equipment in the end. She had to do her research at Yale University where she could use the equipment to get her work done.

She obtained her doctorate in 1964 and moved onto the University of Chicago to take a postdoctoral position in mathematical biology. She left her position in 1966 but had a hard time finding a new job. She couldn’t get a faculty position with the University of Chicago because her husband worked there and the institution did not favor the hiring of relatives. She was finally able to secure a faculty position with the University of Loyola.

In 1968 Naomi Weisstein published her famous article, Psychology Constructs the Female (PCF). She criticizes the field of psychology for failure to understand women. Remember psychology is the study of human behavior yet, the female sex was largely neglected.

Naomi Weisstein has also been a standup comedian and a cartoonist. She also founded Chicago Women's the Liberation Rock Band (CWLRB).

Naomi Weisstein has written over 60 publications, is a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Psychological Society.

Naomi Weisstein continues to serve women and enlighten the world on feminist issues even though she is bedridden with chronic fatigue and diabetes.

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