Simone Weil Davis, an independent scholar, has the distinction of being one of the easiest-to-Google of Razor Wire Women‘s contributors. This is largely because of her very widely-read, -assigned, and -discussed article “Loose Lips Sink Ships,” which deals with the horrifying cosmetic surgery known as “labiaplasty.” (The procedure involves trimming, and sometimes fattening, vaginal lips that someone somewhere deems “excessively droopy.” I wish to God I were making this up.) “Loose Lips Sink Ships” traces the hidden cultural history behind this rich-world form of genital mutilation with wit and eloquence, making unexpected connections and discoveries along the way. At seventeen citations (for an article published in 2002!), it is already one of the contemporary classics of women’s studies.
Davis also has to her credit the book Living Up to the Ads: Gender Fictions of the 1920s (2000) and stints teaching English, gender studies, and American studies at Mount Holyoke, NYU and Long Island University. She is on the National Steering Committee of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, is the daughter of a HUAC non-testifier, and shares two-thirds of a name with one of the century’s great Christian mystics. How can she help being interesting?