Mayim Bialik Responds To ‘victim Blaming’ Backlash

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Mayim Bialik responds to ‘victim blaming’ backlash

“I have always had an uncomfortable relationship with being employed in an industry that profits on the objectification of women,” she wrote. “Though pressure to ‘be like the pretty girls’ started long before I entered Hollywood, I quickly learned even as a preteen actress that young girls with doe eyes and pouty lips who spoke in a high register were favored for roles by the powerful men who made those decisions.”
The actress went on to write about following the example of her first-generation American parents who warned her of the dangers of Hollywood.
“My mom didn’t let me wear makeup or get manicures,” Bialik wrote. “She encouraged me to be myself in audition rooms, and I followed my mother’s strong example to not put up with anyone calling me ‘baby’ or demanding hugs on set. I was always aware that I was out of step with the expected norm for girls and women in Hollywood.”
She added that today, as a 41-year-old actress, she makes choices “that I think of as self-protecting and wise.”
“I have decided that my sexual self is best reserved for private situations with those I am most intimate with. I dress modestly,” Bialik wrote. “I don’t act flirtatiously with men as a policy.”
The piece faced a great deal of criticism for those who viewed Bialik’s words as victim blaming.
Actress Patricia Arquette, whose sister Rosanna has accused Weinstein of harassment, tweeted Bialik.
“I have to say I was dressed non provocatively at 12 walking home from school when men masturbated at me,” Arquette wrote. “It’s not the clothes.”
Others also weighed in to take the actress to task.
On Sunday, Bialik tweeted a response thanking people for their feedback.
“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,” she wrote. “Anyone who knows me and my feminism knows that’s absurd and not at all what this piece was about.”
Bialik appeared on a Facebook Live Monday with “New York Times” editor Bari Weiss and said people misunderstood what she was seeking to communicate in her op-ed.
“There is no way to avoid being the victim of assault by what you wear or the way you behave,” Bialik said. “I really do regret that this became what it became because literally I was trying to speak about a very specific experience I’ve had in a very specific industry. I was not looking to speak about assault and rape in general.”

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