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Chesler, Phyllis (1940–)

Chesler, Phyllis (1940–)

American psychologist, educator and writer. Born in 1940 in New York, NY; dau. of Lillian Chesler; Bard College, BA, 1963; New York Medical College, Neurophysiology fellowship, 1968; New School for Social Research, MA, 1967, PhD, 1969; children: 1 son.

Bestselling author, controversial activist and one of the founding voices of New Wave Feminism, taught at many colleges within City University of New York system (1969–98); founded Association for Women in Psychology (1969); taught one of the 1st accredited women's studies courses, at Richmond College in New York (1969–70), and established many services for female students at college; gave speech to American Psychological Association (1970), demanding that profession pay $1 million in reparations for women damaged by psychologists who had tranquilized, seduced, hospitalized, raped, electroshocked and lobotomized them; founded National Women's Health Network (1974); wrote about women's issues, including groundbreaking international bestseller Women and Madness (1972); earned Nike Prize for distinguished achievement in promoting rights of women (1998); over course of career, moved from far left of political spectrum to far right; turned to religion, beginning study of Torah (1989) and publishing 1st d'var Torah (2000); wrote with Orthodox feminist Rivka Haut, Women of the Wall: Claiming Sacred Ground at Judaism's Holiest Site (2002); also wrote The New Anti-Semitism: The Current Crisis and What We Must Do About It (2003). Other writings include About Men (1978), Sacred Bond: The Legacy of Baby M (1988), Patriarchy: Notes of an Expert Witness (1994) and Woman's Inhumanity to Woman (2003).

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