Mayim Bialik Responds to Backlash Over Sexual Harassment and Feminism Op-Ed

Many had accused the Big Bang Theory actress of victim-blaming

By Corinne Heller Oct 15, 2017 2:00 PMTags

Mayim Bialik wants to clarify that she never implied that sexual assault victims are to blame for their own attacks due to their clothing or behavior.

The Big Bang Theory actress and Blossom alum had come under fire over the weekend for comments she made about sexual harassment in a New York Times op-ed, a piece inspired by several women's recent allegations of sexual misconduct against producer Harvey Weinstein. Many people accused Bialik of victim-blaming.

"I'm being told my N.Y. Times piece resonated with so many and I am beyond grateful for all of the 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," Bialik wrote on Twitter and Facebook late on Saturday. "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. I am doing a Facebook live with the N.Y. Times Monday morning. Let's discuss it then." 

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In her op-ed, titled "Being a Feminist in Harvey Weinstein's World," Bialik talked about her fashion choices and behavior towards men, saying that she dresses modestly and does not "act flirtatiously with men as a policy."

"I am entirely aware that these types of choices might feel oppressive to many young feminists. 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?" she wrote. "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 naïve about the culture we live in."

Bialik had also written in her op-ed that she has "experienced the upside of not being a 'perfect ten" and that "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."

Many women, including top actresses, recently accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault and many said the alleged incidents took place in a hotel room. Weinstein, who has not been charged with a crime, has apologized for past behavior towards colleagues and has denied allegations of non-consensual sex.