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Naomi Weisstein died a few days ago - PWME, neuroscientist, feminist, activist

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Kyla, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. Kyla

    Kyla ᴀɴɴɪᴇ ɢꜱᴀᴍᴩᴇʟ

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    you can read about her below:

    DEATH OF NAOMI WEISSTEIN 10/16/1939-3/26/15
    ME patient since 1983
    By her husband, Jesse Lemisch

    Pioneering neuroscientist, among the initiators of the Cognitive Revolution:
    See her “Neural Symbolic Activity” in Science, and many other papers

    Feminist
    Co-founder, Chicago Westside Group (1967)
    Many papers available at Chicago Women’s Liberation Union Herstory website

    A sampling:

    “Kirche, Kuche, Kinder as Scientific Law: Psychology Constructs the Female” (40+ reprints around the world)

    “’How Can a Little Girl Like You Teach a Big Class of Men?’ and Other Adventures of a Woman in Science.” https://www.uic.edu/…/cwluhe…/CWLUMemoir/naomiscientist.html

    Weisstein essay in Feminist Memoir Project

    “Our Gang of Four,” https://books.google.com/books…

    Rock Musician
    Founder, Chicago Women’s Liberation Rock Band, 1970-73. Weisstein’s history of the band: newpol.org/content/chicago-women’s-liberation-rock-band-1970-1973

    Brief clip of the band in Mary Dore’s film, “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry.”

    Two records: “Mountain Moving Day,””Papa, Don’t Lay that shit on me.”

    Comedian
    Came this close to running off with Second City in the 1960s.

    Beloved Wife of Jesse Lemisch 1965-2015

    Survival and Death

    Naomi fell ill with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in 1980 and became completely bedridden in 1983. We fought America’s most powerful insurance companies in court and in the press (see Lemisch, “Do They Want my Wife to Die?” New York Times, April 15, 1992http://www.nytimes.com/1992/04/15/opinion/do-they-want-my-wife-to-die.html) and defended her 24/7 home nursing, which continued until the day of her death. Among her most heroic works are her creative articles in science and feminism, written in this period, entirely from her bed. In March 2015 she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at New York City’s Lenox Hill Hospital. In every way possible, LH expressed ignorance and contempt for her underlying ME/CFS. (See Gina Kolata’s “Doctors Strive to do Less Harm, New York Times, February 18, 2015 http://www.nytimes.com/…/doctors-strive-to-do-less-harm-by-…, which, without naming LH, fit precisely the harms committed by the institution; not a soul who I encountered at LH took cognizance of this front-page article, published during Naomi’s hospitalization.) Whatever strength Naomi had assembled during her 30+ years of careful nursing fell victim to Lenox Hill’s abuse and utter inattention to this underlying condition. Discharged in grim condition on March 17, in agony, she required hospitalization only two days later. We chose Mount Sinai Hospital, a far more humane institution. But it was too late: she died at 11 PM Thursday March 26. As death approached, I sang to her: “September Song,” “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” and, as she had always sung to me in troubled times, “Hush, Little Baby, Don’t You Cry.”
     
    ahimsa, Sean, Mij and 30 others like this.
  2. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @Kyla I was not familiar with her but thank you for posting this and how horribly sad.
     
  3. Kyla

    Kyla ᴀɴɴɪᴇ ɢꜱᴀᴍᴩᴇʟ

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    @Gingergrrl
    I didn't know this story either before hearing of her death.
    Goes to show that even a person this accomplished can be made invisible by this disease.
    And indeed, the story of her mistreatment is devastating but unfortunately not surprising.
     
    PNR2008, CantThink and Gingergrrl like this.
  4. SDSue

    SDSue Southeast

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    From her husbands 1992 op ed in the NYTimes:

    1992, and we're still waiting. Shameful at best. Criminal if you ask me.
     
    MEMum, ahimsa, jimells and 8 others like this.
  5. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @Sushi Can this be moved to the memorial section? Maybe there is some way to let her husband know that we honor her life and suffering and all her accomplishments?
     
  6. Kyla

    Kyla ᴀɴɴɪᴇ ɢꜱᴀᴍᴩᴇʟ

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    @Gingergrrl
    Oops. I guess I put it in the wrong place

    Also that sounds like a wonderful idea!
    I looked online and couldn't find a public memorial or anything.
    The above text from her husband is just up on a few Facebook pages as far as I can tell.
     
  7. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I think that section is for people with whom we have personal connections. There is an ME memorial site online, but I don't have time to look it up now.
     
  8. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @Sushi I wasn't sure so was just checking what the rules are and Kyla you didn't put it in the wrong place at all! I was not sure myself who we can put in the PR memorial section.
     
  9. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Here is one--there may be more.
     
  10. 5150

    5150 Senior Member

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    on the other hand, those patients with $15,000USD would be the winners in this ...unless a miracle happened that paid for all our lack of care up to now. But this is not the goal of the USGovt as I can see it.
     
    SDSue likes this.
  11. sianrecovery

    sianrecovery Senior Member

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    What a remarkable woman she sounds. Thank you for posting this. I take from it that the human spirit can endure, despite illness, pain, marginalisation.

    Travel in the light, Naomi.

    My thoughts are with her husband and family.
     
    Wildcat, maryb and SDSue like this.
  12. Kyla

    Kyla ᴀɴɴɪᴇ ɢꜱᴀᴍᴩᴇʟ

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    Here's the Obituary from the New York Times:
    http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nytimes/obituary.aspx?n=naomi-weisstein&pid=174545758

    and an older bio that touches on her illness:
    https://www.uic.edu/orgs/cwluherstory/CWLUMemoir/weisstein.html

    "By 1981 she needed a wheelchair. By 1983 she was bedridden. She lived the nightmare that she had written about in "Psychology Constructs the Female," as an insane and sexist medical profession offered psychojunk to explain a woman's illness. The sharks now morphed into greedy drug companies, and medical insurers that wanted Naomi dead because she was so expensive. We fought and fought and continue to fight."
     
    Wildcat likes this.
  13. Kyla

    Kyla ᴀɴɴɪᴇ ɢꜱᴀᴍᴩᴇʟ

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    Wondering if there is some sort of tribute we can pay?

    A letter to her husband?
    campaign to get something named after her?
    ME/CFS fund in her name?

    It seems her and her husband have fought for this community, and I think it would be fitting to honor that.
     
    MEMum and Wildcat like this.

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