The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Naomi Weisstein

October 16, 1939–March 26, 2015

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Naomi Weisstein until we are able to commission a full entry.

Naomi Weisstein. ©Virginia Blaisdell.

Naomi Weisstein’s career ran the gamut from feminist rock musician to groundbreaking psychologist to stand-up comedian. Frustrated by the negativity towards women that she saw both in academia and in pop culture, Weisstein formed the funky, irreverent Chicago Women’s Liberation Rock Band while working on a post-doc in mathematical biology at the University of Chicago. She also helped found American Women in Psychology in 1970, which later became Division 35 of the American Psychological Association. In her pioneering 1968 essay, “Kinder, Küche, Kirche as Scientific Law: Psychology Constructs the Female,” she argued that psychology imposed cultural myths and ideologies on women without ever scientifically investigating what women actually thought or felt. Throughout her career, she straddled popular culture and serious scholarship, earning a Guggenheim and teaching at various institutions while working as a feminist cartoonist and stand-up comic. Despite being bedridden with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, she continued to collaborate with colleagues on experiments in neuroscience for many years.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Naomi Weisstein." (Viewed on September 27, 2021) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/weisstein-naomi>.

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