Different Women Doing Woman Different: Simone Weil

 Simone Weil (1909-1943) wore female as differently as she did the human spirit. She was a child prodigy, a proletariat cloaked in a bourgeoisie upbringing, a philosopher, mystic and saint without canonization. She was a French Jew who unlike the forefathers of America didnt merely write that "all men (and women) are created equal," she cast off her upper class privileges and toiled in factories working AND educating factory workers in effort to see to it first hand that ALL through education will one day will become equal!

Despite suffering debilitating headaches, a small frame, lack of gracefulness and general over all poor health since childhood, Simone never allowed her body to limit her strong held beliefs of righting, wrongs. When she was about six years old, during the first world war, she refused to eat sugar in solidarity with soldiers who were at war. As a young woman, Simone even called out Trotky who was visiting her family while on the run, telling him "You are the idealistic one. You are the one calling a servant class the dominant class."

Regardless of a top notch education, Simone got factory work where she educated factory workers, used her education to pen pamphlets advocating for better worker's conditions and worker's rights. Yet due to Simone's clumsiness, she frequently received injuries while working in factories, but this never stopped Simone in her factory endeavours anymore than it stopped her from later joining a Republican faction and fighting in the Spanish Civil War.

But Simone's poor health, pure altruism and self of right over wrong eventually took their toll, she died in 1943 suffering from tuberculosis and starvation from wanting her food rations given to those more needy in Nazi occupied France.

I first discovered Simone Weil when I was 16, she has been a source of both inspiration and righteousness to me for the past 30 years and will continue to be if by chance, luck or destiny I live another 30.



  1. She was such a strong and independent woman.

    Below are a few Weil quotes..


    "I can, therefore I am."

    Simone Weil

    "To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul."

    She was way ahead of her time with this quote...

    "Petroleum is a more likely cause of international conflict than wheat."

    Simone Weil

  2. Please stick to these inspirational posts instead of bullying. :)

  3. @January 20, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    It doesn't take long for the p.c. thought police to come snooping around.

    The last time I checked free speech was still legal. That is, in the United States and most European countries. It could be different in places like China. I don't know their policies on the dissemination of information and free speech on the internet. Any speech or thought that doesn't meet with government approval is forbidden in countries like North Korea.

    Bullying? Does this individual mean stop having the audacity to speak candidly about "transitioning" ("T", "top surgery", "bottom surgery", etc.)? Or, stop mentioning the sterilization of healthy children through GnRH agonists and cross gender hormones?

  4. "The last time I checked free speech was still legal. That is, in the United States and most European countries."

    True, but you must know that European countries, while differing among ourselves about the limits of "free speech", also (mainly) disagree quite radically with US constitutionalists about its definition and scope. It seems to me that by lumping us all together, you are yourself (albeit unwittingly) making yourself an enemy of free speech, or at least of discussion on this issue.
    I sniff a whiff of US hegemony here, where "...and most European countries" can just be appended to justify your domination. I would like to be wrong, so explain why I am.

  5. Dirt, I'm enjoying your “Different Women” series, and look forward to each new episode the way I used to look forward to the new issue of the partwork magazines I wasted my pocket money on as a child: “Build a model of the Kremlin in 135 easy steps (and weekly subscriptions).”
    Hard for your younger readers to understand, but when I was young, we were asking “Where are the female heroes?” and rooting around in libraries to uncover them. Now I have to make a decision a male should never have to make, and determine which of them I should push on you. For no good reason other than my own localism, I would encourage you to have a look at Claude Cahun and her partner Suzanne Malherbe. The Wikipedia article on Cahun is accurate, if sketchy: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Cahun. I could write you up something more comprehensive, if you think she/they are interesting enough. I declare my “localist” interest here: I was born in (yes, islanders say “in” not “on”) the little island in the English Channel where Cahun and Malherbe made their home and died.
    It's easy to feel dispirited by the backlash against 2nd-wave feminism, and as a gay man, by the apparent breach of any connection (sexopolitically) between gay men and feminist women. But we can now refer to our history and histories, and draw what conclusions we want: that we owe to 2nd wave feminists.


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