'Big Bang Theory' star Mayim Bialik attacked for Weinstein column suggesting she avoids sexual harassment by dressing modestly, not getting plastic surgery
Mayim Bialik arrives for the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Exposition Center on January 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Mayim Bialik is responding to the criticism she is facing over an article she wrote about the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, insisting her words were taken out of context.
The Big Bang Theory actress wrote a New York Times article titled Being a Feminist in Harvey Weinstein’s World on Friday after more than 30 women came forward with allegations of sexual harassment and abuse against Weinstein.
In the article, Bialik wrote about her strong feminist stance and appeared to suggest she is “overlooked” in sexual harassment situations because she does not adhere to the classic standard of beauty in Hollywood.
“As a proud feminist with little desire to diet, get plastic surgery or hire a personal trainer, I have almost no personal experience with men asking me to meetings in their hotel rooms,” she wrote. “Those of us in Hollywood who don’t represent an impossible standard of beauty have the ‘luxury’ of being overlooked and, in many cases, ignored by men in power unless we can make them money.”
The 41-year-old also explained she makes choices she finds to “self-protecting and wise” to avoid any inappropriate situations.
“I have decided that my sexual self is best reserved for private situations with those I am most intimate with,” she wrote. “I dress modestly. I don’t act flirtatiously with men as a policy.”
“I am entirely aware that these types of choices might feel oppressive to many young feminists,” she added. “Women should be able to wear whatever they want. They should be able to flirt however they want with whomever they want. Why are we the ones who have to police our behavior? In a perfect world, women should be free to act however they want. But our world isn’t perfect. Nothing - absolutely nothing - excuses men for assaulting or abusing women. But we can’t be naive about the culture we live in.”
After the article was published, many people took to social media, including Patricia Arquette, accusing Bialik of victim blaming.
@missmayim229 I have to say I was dressed non provocatively as a 12 year old when men on the street masturbated at me. It's not clothing.— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) October 14, 2017
However, Bialik insists her words were misunderstood.
“I’m being told my N.Y. Times piece resonated with so many and I am beyond grateful for all of the feedback,” she writes on Twitter. “I also see a bunch of people have taken my words out of the context of the Hollywood machine and twisted them to imply that God forbid I would blame a woman for her assault based on her clothing or behavior. Anyone who knows me and my feminism knows that’s absurd and not at all what this piece was about. It’s so sad how vicious people are being when I basically live to make things better for women.”
Mayim has also revealed she will host a Facebook Live discussion with the newspaper to clear up the controversy.