“Mayim Bialik wrote a NYT op-ed that came across as victim-blaming” links

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Mayim Bialik wrote a stupid victim-blaming NYT op-ep about Harvey Weinstein and Martha Plimpton trashed her for it. Good. [Pajiba]
Jennifer Lopez organized a great telethon for Puerto Rico. [LaineyGossip]
Kate McKinnon did Kellyanne Conway-as-Pennywise. [Dlisted]
I still don’t know what I think of Kate Hudson’s hair now. [Go Fug Yourself]
Larry Flynt is doing the lord’s work. [Jezebel]
Roger Goodell’s wife has too much time on her hands. [The Blemish]
Shahs of Sunset recap: A Persian Winter Wonderland. [Reality Tea]
Kylie Jenner is trolling her fans for some reason. [Starcasm]
Kim Kardashian is good at designing makeup brushes. [Celebslam]

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165 Responses to ““Mayim Bialik wrote a NYT op-ed that came across as victim-blaming” links”

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  1. Hazel says:

    Martha stated what I thought about Mayim’s piece much better than I could have.

  2. HH says:

    This piece… girl. Also, she later apologized and said things were taken out of context. It’s an op-ed, that SHE wrote. YOU, ma’am, are responsible for the giving the appropriate context and ensuring people know what the hell it is you’re trying to say. We’re all guilty of not elaborating, but then recognize that it’s not an audience problem. This also brings me to my second pet peeve, when celebrities (or anyone) says that their words weren’t taken out of context but then a) can’t elaborate how this was done; and/or, b) the explanation they do give doesn’t match one iota of their original statement.

  3. Neelyo says:

    Shame on the NY Times for publishing that thoughtless piece by Bialik. It was awful and Plimpton’s response was awesome.

    • magnoliarose says:

      NYT should publish it. She put it out there and she is getting what she deserves. It also shows people who think the same how silly they sound.

    • Spring says:

      At first I, too, was mad at the NY Times for publishing this & giving Bialik such a big audience for her awful victim-blaming. But now I’m glad they did, so that more people can see how insufferably condescending & full of herself she is. (It’s not the first time.) By failing at the meaning of “out of context,” she further shows us that she lacks the skills of critical thinking, self-awareness & empathy so necessary for stepping outside of herself to seriously evaluate both her own behavior & others’ perspectives. Nope, she just reflexively doubles down to defend the indefensible.

      On the other hand, go Martha Plimpton! Her response was indeed awesome. I respect & admire her so much. And she seems like she’d be a hell of a lot more fun & stimulating to hang out with.

      • Roci says:

        I always thought Mayim Bialik was condescending, pretentious, and dismissive towards opinions other than her own. This op ed confirms how full of herself she is. Book smart she is, no doubt, but she spews a lot of nonsense and lacks humility.

    • isabelle says:

      Opinion pieces, shouldn’t be published based on its agreeable or not. PC or not, it is suppression of the press if opinion pieces believe it should solely be based on your beliefs. I in no way agree with Mayim on her article and tone defeaness but she has the right to say as she believes.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        That’s nice, but it’s also a red herring. This isn’t an argument about Mayim’s right to say as she believes, it’s about the damage those beliefs about women and sex crimes do to society. Like most celebrities, her response to the backlash is all about her feelings and intentions, without addressing the conversation about what she did and why it’s harmful.

      • Courtney says:

        But did her op-ed really add anything to the conversation? Not everyone’s dumb opinion needs an official, high-profile outlet.

      • Veronica says:

        It’s also a strawmans argument. People have a right to write what they want. They do not have the right to have it printed by the NYT and accessible to such a massive audience. That’s a privilege. Part of being an editor is being discerning about the kind of material that represents your newspaper. They may have wanted to exercise that discretion a little more here.

      • magnoliarose says:

        The NYT made a decision not to over police their Op-ed section to make it “PC” anymore. If other celebrities were able to have their’s printed, I believe it would be censorship not to print hers. I am firmly against censorship because we end up in an echo chamber and nothing gets challenged.
        The backlash has been definite and swift, and it offers other viewpoints to consider beyond Mayim’s. I want to know how people think even if I disagree with them.
        I wouldn’t like it flipped around, and Sarah Polley’s excellent Op-ed was rejected because it seemed too radical.

      • Veronica says:

        I understand what you are saying, but you need to be very careful about utilizing that argument where the press is concerned. Equality of coverage does not and should not mean equivalent access to information when the other side of the argument does not present fact-based evidence. An opinion that reflects more bias than it does true reality does not deserve to be granted the same weight as an informed one. That fallacious reasoning is how people with agendas (like, say, congressman who don’t want to pass climate change legislature) undermine the true intent of the press by convincing people it’s oppressive not to give their side equal coverage, when that’s a false dichotomy if there ever was one. (My experience is that people who rail most loudly against “PC culture” are the ones most likely to be benefiting from those social power discrepancies, as it is.)

        Mayim Bialik did not get into this paper because she’s a particularly articulate writer or informed about this issue. She got in there because of her celebrity status and because her PhD gives her the appearance of being generally well educated, which is possibly MORE dangerous because it convinces people to give greater weight to her words than they should. Yes, she got plenty of backlash on it because we live in the age of the Internet with vast access to a variety of different opinions (for better or worse) – but imagine 20-30 years ago when that sort of global communication was unheard of and how something like this could be extremely damaging if it wasn’t met with proper recourse.

  4. minx says:

    Martha should write, she’s extremely articulate.

  5. Lucy says:

    IT’s producer loved Kate’s sketch! She posted a screencap with a really nice caption on IG.

  6. KBB says:

    Mayim Bialik is the most condescending egotistical actress in Hollywood. It’s comical that she thinks she’s down to earth and normal. She’s more pretentious and self-righteous than Gwyneth.

  7. Shambles says:

    Omfg. Mayim Bialik is— and always has been—a smug, pretentious, self-important asshole. It has never been more clear than in that piece of rotting TRASH she calls an op-ed. F*ck her. I will never watch TBBT again, not that it was ever a good show in the first place. She made the Harvey Weinstein situation completely about herself. She basically made the case that we should feel sorry for HER, because she was ostracized for not being one of the “pretty girls” growing up, but at the same time we should look to her as a paragon of virtue because she had the good sense to not be sexually assaulted. I’m so angry I could scream. She’s lucky I’ll never be in a room with her because I would literally try to rip her hair out. I’m headed to her Instagram comments as we speak. I love NYT but I’m damn pissed at them for publishing this infuriating garbage.

  8. Skittlebrau says:

    I’m glad she is getting dragged up and down the interwebs for this. Bialik’s has many, many garbage opinions. She loves to boast of her science degree but is antivax and a huge supporter of homeopathy and other forms of pseudoscience. Who would have thought her feminism was just as shitty?

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      Same. I’m thankful to live in a time period where people will publicly call out rape culture when it’s promoted like this by our public figures. Think of all our ancestors who didn’t really have that. Here are two other responses calling her out:
      Gabrielle Union-“Reminder. I got raped at work at a Payless shoe store. I had on a long tunic & leggings so miss me w/ ‘dress modestly’. Though I was raped by a stranger who raped me at gunpoint after robbing the store, I was still asked by a female “friend” what I had worn.”

      Patricia Arquette- “Is choosing to portray complicated characters an invitation for predators? Does that mean [you’re] fair game? Should we all just chose to tackle material that doesn’t explore that side of different women? Because Hollywood (and the world) has predators, is it a woman’s responsibility? I have to say I was dressed non provocatively at 12 walking home from school when men masturbated at me. It’s not the clothes.”

    • JG says:

      She isn’t. She is getting all the support on the yahoo website I saw. Like thousands. It’s all #HollywoodHypocrite, etc. (referring to actresses going to meetings in hotel rooms to advance their careers). Go look.

  9. Otaku Fairy says:

    Her response to the valid, necessary, and feminist criticism she’s getting is: “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.” Bullshit. Those of us who know you and your “feminism” know that up to this point, it has mainly consisted of 1.) Slut-shaming one famous woman for daring to wear- gasp- a modest bathing suit in a black-and-white photograph on the cover of one of her albums, 2.) trying to spin patriarchal religious modesty as ‘real feminism’, 3.) your own hypocritical history of posing in outfits just as revealing as the one you attacked Ariana Grande for wearing, plus flashing your tits on television for publicity, and 4.) hi-jacking a blog where another pop star’s cultural appropriation was being discussed to make it all about your conservative religious good-girl ‘Well, I don’t want my 7-year-old-son to live in a world where women are able to dress immodestly anyway, so that alone makes her not a feminist,” complaint. It’s not surprising at all Bialik would internalize and perpetuate the dangerous myth that modesty is a protective amulet that wards off rapists. Her essay is smug, navel-gazing, problematic drivel all about patting herself on the back for her ‘purity’ and basically saying if da younger wimmenz were rational like her, we’d all just accept the fact that women need to avoid accidentally or deliberately turning men on with immodesy and beauty in order to be protected from sexual violence and exploitation. And of course, misogynistic victim-blaming men all over the internet applauded and defended this essay.

    I know there will be a chorus of conservative and liberal women- many whom have secretly or not so secretly internalized some of her toxic patriarchal beliefs- or at least think this part of rape culture is ‘not that bad’- rushing to her defense. They’ll express more discomfort and irritation with the fact that her harmful statements are being criticized, than they will about the long-term harm that these attitudes about women and sex crimes do to society. She may even get inaccurately portrayed as some kind of ‘brave truthteller expressing unpopular beliefs.’ But shouldn’t we be grateful that this sort of thing gets criticized in the 21st century, instead of blindly accepted as good, moral advice? Do we really want girls being conditioned to blame themselves and other girls for this kind of behavior from males? Better yet, do people really like the idea of males growing up in a culture where they’re constantly told that sex crimes are a natural and understandable response to a girl’s physical appearance and sexuality?

    • Sasha says:

      Spot on. She and Donna Karan should do lunch so they can pat each other on the back.

    • Betsy says:

      You’re spot on with that “amulet” line. My mother was, we think, molested by an uncle. We wore just dumpy, modest clothes growing up and I think that she wanted all of us girls to be protected. Not that it actually is a protection, but any amulet against a world that doesn’t care, right?

    • detritus says:

      Ooooh, bring that fire.
      Bang on.

    • Lindy says:

      Yes, yes, yes to ALL of this. I used to teach at a major Catholic university where they tried to espouse some fake version of feminism that basically was a re-tread of the patriarchal crap that most religions peddle. The argument was that their version of feminism (which is a cousin of Bialik’s–also rooted in a conservative religious tradition) was better than secular feminism. Why? Because their fake feminism required men to cherish and protect women, to see them as “helpmeets” who should be cared for and adored. In return, women ceded autonomy and decision-making power over their own bodies, dressed modestly so as not to tempt men to sin, and agreed to use their bodies for the purpose god apparently intended–making babies.

      Bialik can sit down. Yesterday. She’s also been active in the mommy-blog world peddling non-science, anti-vax craziness and pushing a theory of child-rearing that essentially requires mothers to give up their careers and be permanently and constantly available to their children. No thanks. (And I say that as a mom who love her kid to pieces).

      Also, can someone give Plimpton a column or some kind of space/regular voice? She is awesome.

    • jugil1 says:

      @ Otaku Fairy, I can’t add anything because you said it all. Brava!

  10. Myhairisfullofsecrets says:

    She may have a high IQ and be very book smart but she seriously lacks social skills and empathy for other women. She was definitely victim shaming in her piece and if she doesn’t understand then she is either lying or lacks complete self awareness. I’m glad she’s getting the good dose of social media backlash that she clearly deserves. She’s so smug it makes me sick and she has always been that way.

    • nic919 says:

      She acts like having a PhD is the hardest thing in the world. It isn’t really and she keeps claiming she is a neuroscientist, even though she has never done anything in that field.
      Maybe she is smart compared to actors, most of whom don’t go to university, but in the world beyond that, she isn’t anything special.

      The worst part is that she is on a show that has the worst stereotypes about women and it has never been funny. Female nerds exist, but it took years for the writers on this show to even understand that.

      And she needs to deal with her issues without blaming the victims of sexual assault. Most women who are victimized are not “perfect 10s” and how does she explain what happened to Terry Crews? Was he dressed provocatively when that producer grabbed him?

      • lala says:

        I have a PhD, so does my husband – it’s not exactly a walk in the park, so let’s not minimize that accomplishment please. That being said, she can totally be intelligent and devoted to her research, and still be a complete a-hole jerk. I used to read her blog and some of her opinions are pretty terrible. Some of her opinions of parenting, and vaccinations are also pretty awful. She was cancelled in my books a long time ago.

      • third ginger says:

        Lala, My husband does,too. I did the course work for mine and did not finish it [shame on me] Only a very small minority of Americans have that degree. It is an accomplishment.

      • DSW says:

        Mayim Bialik is ridiculous if she thinks modest clothing or looking “nerdy” is an insulation against harassment. Growing up, I was as nerdy looking as they came, plus I struggled with a weight problem. Still, I was catcalled, groped, verbally harassed, and sexually assaulted at different points in my life. For the perpetrators, it was never about my looks. It was about having power over me. I was probably singled out by these abusers, because they perceived some vulnerability in me they could exploit.

      • Kath says:

        Yes, a PhD is an accomplishment, but I think the point is that Mayim Bialik brandishes hers like a shield – as if it magically grants her access to all knowledge and protection from criticism.

        In fact, she is grossly ignorant on a lot of subjects and seems to lack fundamental critical thinking skills – including the ability to undertake a basic critical reading of her own words in that stupid NY Times opinion piece, which was astoundingly narcissistic, tone-deaf, smug and clueless.

    • Wonderbunny says:

      I’m nerdy and prefer to look at things as objectively as possible and find solutions that might work in real life. So, sometimes I might come across as if I’m lacking empathy and emotion. I read her piece with readiness to defend her if perhaps she had approached it like I often do, but what she wrote was just weird! Smug and insecure.

      I really hate it when “hot women” are seen as lacking substance. You can “be hot” and still be a kind, wonderful person with a meaningful life. Besides, having a meaningful life is always personal and not for others to define. “Hotness” also doesn’t mean that you’re deserving of bad treatment (from men or women).

  11. MMC says:

    Curious if the headline was “Mayim Bialik wrote a thoughtful op-ed” if the comments would be different; so often on this site commenters take their lead from the header. I read her NYT piece and did not take it as victim shaming at all. In fact several national and state sexual assault and domestic violence prevention/education organizations linked to and promoted it. She wrote it from her perspective and experience, yet she’s getting bullied in the same breath many of you are expressing indignation for the very same actions. Come on already.

    • Shambles says:

      That’s the problem. It wasn’t thoughtful. It was self-important, smug, and absolutely victim shaming. When you say “well IIIIII was never assaulted,” you are victim shaming. End of.

    • Natalie S says:

      Nope. I read that op-ed over the weekend and I was stunned that Mayim made dozens of women being sexually assaulted into somehow being about Mayim’s appearance and personal choices. Sexual assault is about power and control, not about the victim somehow enticing and inviting assault.

    • nic919 says:

      I read it over the weekend and her article made this all about her own issues and how she isn’t a perfect 10 so she never was desirable enough to be harassed. And the women who are perfect 10 should try to focus on their brains like she did. She certainly writes from her Hollywood bubble, but she is also victim blaming. Apparently according to her, if you go to university, you value your brain and no one ever gets sexually assaulted there, because no perfect 10s go to university.

      (I don’t know what she did at school, but on campus sexual assaults were a huge thing when I went in the 90s and it hasn’t improved).

      Her orthodoxy is certainly showing up in a lot of this article. She has internalized that showing skin is wrong and means you are asking for it. Ignoring how victims comes in all shapes, sizes, ages and attire.

    • Lightpurple says:

      Nuns in full habit have been raped. Muslim women in chadors or burkas have been raped. 80 year old women and severely handicapped girls have been raped. It isn’t about sex. It isn’t about being sexy. It isn’t about what we wear or if we’re conservative or liberal or whether we’re pretty or have bad teeth. It is about power. The power to control. The power to harm. The power to destroy another human.

    • JustBreathe says:

      @MMC – I’m pretttttty sure most (if not ALL) the commenters here are capable of independent thought, and don’t just “take their lead from the header” but thanks for the patronisation.
      I am so so glad to see the backlash for her op-ed. It reeked of victim blaming. By her reasoning, the victims were somehow responsible, because she was able to avoid sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood? That she’s so grateful for being unattractive, because that somehow protected her? That her modest clothing made her immune? News flash, I’m a hijab wearing Muslim and a victim of sexual assault. Clothing doesn’t cause rape – rapists cause rape. I can’t believe it’s 2017 and we still have to say; WOMEN CAN WEAR WHAT THEY F*#%ING WANT AND HAVE THE REASONABLE EXPECTATION TO NOT BE ASSAULTED.

    • Reef says:

      I read it. And it basically came across as written. “Whoo, thankfully, I’m too ugly and modest for old creeps to harass me. Maybe ya’ll should try being ugly and modest too.” This isn’t the first time Blossom wrote a piece to dig at other women because they don’t fit her modest ideals.
      Also, the woman is a neuroscientist, if her intent/meaning was not conveyed properly to where she’s been getting dragged all weekend, it’s not our fault as readers, it’s hers as a writer. I shouldn’t have to “know her” to know her intent wasn’t to victim blame. That should’ve came across in her writing.
      Lastly, I’m reluctant to put my love for Martha Plimpton in the universe because the moment I do, I’m gonna learn she’s trash.

    • Veronica says:

      You are free to develop your own interpretation of the media, but the rest of us are not cattle being led by the prod. We are fully capable of coming to our own conclusions, too. I understood her point regarding the commodification of female sexuality, which is often used to justify sexual assault done even to young girls, but beyond that, I find that there is a very insidious thread of misogyny wound throughout the editorial that points to a lack of self-awareness. There’s no perfect standard of female behavior that can protect you from sexual assault, and suggesting otherwise shifts the blame onto the victim regardless of her original intent. It also ignores the complexity of the victim pool from which abusers choose. If this was purely a matter of assault stemming from increasing hypersexualization of young women, we wouldn’t see such high rates of assault in young boys/teens, elderly and disabled, etc. Rape is about power, and anywhere you find imbalances of power, you will find abuse.

      • JG says:

        We don’t. The rates are FAR, FAR higher rate of sexual assault for young people than for older people. All people are not equally at risk. This is a fact.

      • Veronica says:

        My intention was not to suggest that the rates were equal across the board, though I realize my wording was somewhat unclear. My point is more that it happens to all of those categories of people, so the issue of rape is not so simplistic as “pretty girls dress up in makeup” and she’s being reductive by approaching it in that manner. It’s “women being objectified as sexual objects.” It’s “girls being sexualized at increasingly younger ages.” It’s “power structures that promote aggression.” It’s women as property. It’s rape weaponized as a weapon of physical and psychological trauma during war time. It’s rape culture that teaches men that their sexual autonomy is the only form that matters. It’s economic and social power disparities. It’s a lot of different issues that are ultimately wrapped up in sexual function weaponized to further a power game.

    • isabelle says:

      People should definitely read through it before commenting. A lot of comments on here are written by people that didn’t read one sentence of it…..but she comes off very tone deaf and a self-focused. Her story isn’t everyones story and she basically says beauty was the only reason this happened to these women. She seems very fixated on looks and “modesty”. Plus her using her “feminism” as an excuse to shade other women is typical of a women still belittling other women to makes themselves higher up on the intelligence scale. She is basically shaming them, mean girling them but probably will never believe this about herself.

    • Bridget says:

      If you thought that was thoughtful, you have a serious problem. She literally blamed the women for being sexually assaulted.

    • Courtney says:

      I read the op-ed over the weekend as well. It did not add anything to the conversation.

    • Lisa Hicks says:

      Thank you for speaking out, MMC!

    • Lucy2 says:

      No. I read it prior to this post and my opnion remains the same. It was victim blaming, and so oddly focused on herself, which didn’t lend anything productive to the conversation.

  12. mm says:

    Corden, Woody and now Mayim Bialik’s being taken down?

  13. Merritt says:

    Mayim has a history of shaming other women.

    • Lithe says:

      Yes, she absolutely has a history of shaming other women! Remember her blog post criticizing Ariana Grande’s billboard in 2014: “[I have] “no idea” who Ariana Grande is, but [I don't want my] kids to see the singer’s latest billboard ad.”
      https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mayim-bialik-criticizes-racy-billboard-ad-featuring-ariana-grande/

      I’ve always found her tone deaf and way too self-congratulatory about her own academic accomplishments—which she always finds a way of shoehorning into any discussion.

      It’s really too bad that she doesn’t understand that her op-ed reeks of schadenfreude. She may be too unaware to see that her brand of self-professed feminism beats down women rather than lift them up, but she’s cunning enough to end her prissy, self-congratulatory diatribe with the disclaimer that of course women should be free to wear whatever they choose. She always does this: criticize women loudly and harshly but then in the fineprint declare “…but, you do you!”

      It says SO much about her that she doesn’t realize that Big Bang Theory reinforces misogynistic tropes. I used to watch it with my young teen because she is heavily into science. But we didn’t get far into the series because the objectification of women was making us increasingly uncomfortable. And what I found a bridge too far was Amy (Mayim’s character) once complaining “In college, I passed out at a frat party and woke up with more clothes on.”

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Oh my god, Schadenfreude. That’s what it is. “Weeell, I suffered because I wasn’t considered hot but NOW look what your beauty got you. I’m super modest and live a meaningful life. Suck iiiit pretty girls!”

        She’s awful. And I’m not going to lie, I enjoy TBBT for what it is. But I’m 33 and can sort through the bs. It’s also gotten a lot less sexist over the years.

      • Darla says:

        I agree, it has gotten A LOT less sexist. I do cringe at some early episodes, but these days, no.

  14. Electric Tuba says:

    I need a break from sex assault news and talk. Overwhelmed. Very overwhelmed. You guys have a good one and keep keepin it real. Peace ✌️

  15. HK9 says:

    Oh my f–king god. Did Mayim really just write an article about that fact that she’s conservative and not ‘traditionally’ beautiful which protected her from the casting couch?? So, if you’re prettier than her you deserved what you got??!!?? I’m sorry, but your rights end where someone else’s nose begins which is why sexual assault is a CRIME. It doesn’t matter how pretty or ugly the victim is. I’m so tired of her ill disguised self-righteousness. She can f-k off and shame on the publication/editor that published it.

    • Pumpkin (formally soup, pie) says:

      Yes, that’s exactly what she wrote. And I agree with your last sentence.

      I respect the fact that MB has a PhD, though I don’t know what she made out of it given that she was “forced” to get back to acting. However, whenever I read something she wrote or hear her opinions in interviews, she comes across as she’s the “ultimate authority”. I don’t think she has good social skills or the ability to connect to people who are not as “smart” as her. And I can’t help feeling she seems insecure about her looks.

      • Nic919 says:

        Her PhD is in neuroscience but she writes like it makes her an authority on everything. It does not. And her bag of issues about her looks permeates the article along with the internalized misogyny she picked up from her orthodox religion. She is not self aware in the least. She may know about neurons, but she doesn’t know about psychology or human feelings as a whole.

  16. Penelope says:

    Shame on Mayim and good for Martha, who’s a very impressive writer.

    MB’s always come off as a holier-than-thou, faux intellectual to me.

  17. third ginger says:

    I just read the op-ed. It is very odd and ultimately as offensive as it is depicted. She has the reader’s sympathy [at least mine] early on. Then she turns the corner into her “conservative choices” and it’s downhill from there. There is also the slippery creepiness of statements like “women should be able to wear whatever they want” but…. followed by why they shouldn’t. All in all, the essay is worthy of the complaints of its harshest critics. However, everyone should read it in order to offer a valid opinion.

    • Shambles says:

      IMHO, the fact that she was even trying to garner the reader’s sympathy in the first place is problematic in itself. If she was speaking out as a victim of sexual assault, of course. But this was a transparent attempt to make this issue about herself and why we should feel sorry for HER, and I’m disgusted by it.

      • third ginger says:

        No argument here, Shambles. It was one of the most oddly disturbing pieces I have read recently. I don’t think I said it very well. I was confused by the beginning because it’s almost another essay, about beauty standards or something. But it wasn’t. It was her platform for victim shaming.

    • detritus says:

      oddly disturbing is a great way to put it.
      There were moments in there I agreed with her, felt sympathy for how misogyny has deeply impacted her life. The comment about her face obviously still sits heavily with her.
      She still sees her coping mechanisms as the only ones though. She’s a perfect example of what happens when you view your choices as the only valid ones.

    • perplexed says:

      This is a good description of the article. Like, it started out fine, and then it took some kind of odd detour and just got weird. It was like she was trying to argue multiple things at once…I’m not even sure. Her writing wasn’t good. Then I wondered how she managed to write her Phd, if her writing isn’t that clear.

      I was a little surprised that she felt that insecure about her looks that she’d bring it up in an article about other women’s pain.

    • magnoliarose says:

      It is oddly disturbing.
      She has self-esteem problems and disdain for attractive women who are thin or decide to lose weight which is none of her business. What this is a passive aggressive slam against beautiful women who are victims. That is a horrible thing to do. It is almost like she is gleeful because she can one-up the pretty girl. A slam against women who dress fashionably or sexy.
      Ugh, this woman.

  18. Skylark says:

    All the applause for the beautifully expressed anger and disdain by the righteous Martha Plimpton.

  19. Darla says:

    Oh, Amy. I love TBBT. And I love Amy. Mayim I can do without.

  20. Jenn says:

    It’s stupid she thinks that modestly dressed and non flirty girls probably won’t get assaulted. Women in veiled countries get assaulted all the time. So do women and girls in conservative religious groups in the US like the Amish. It’s actually rampant in conservative religious groups. Mayim just got lucky. That’s it.

  21. tracking says:

    She really blew it here. A shame, because I was impressed by the video she did last week “How Not to Raise Boys Like Harvey Weinstein,” which I found very incisive. It was essentially about teaching respect for women and the necessity of consent, hard to believe the same person wrote this dumb op-ed.

  22. babykitten says:

    At first I couldn’t tell if the pic was Mayim or Scout Willis. I never realized how similar they are.

  23. JG says:

    And also, teen boys are far more likely to be victims of sexual assault than 40 year old women.

    • Jenn says:

      Yes teen boys can be victimized but “more” than a middle aged woman hmmmm …..
      that doesn’t seem apparent to me. A lot of women are still dealing with sexual harassment into middle age.
      And are frequently sexually assaluted as well.

      Also not sure why you are even stating this? Does Bialik say this … I didn’t read the article .

      • Veronica says:

        It’s only more likely as a result of the age. Sexual predators go after victims who are vulnerable, and teenagers are often capable of being manipulated and silenced fairly easily due to their own insecurities, inexperience, and social perception of them as troublemakers. Women in their forties are still at risk for sexual assault, but they’re more likely to have the self-confidence and experience to recognize red flags, as well as the support system that may protect them from such abuses.

  24. Jada says:

    It’s just awful what she wrote, and it’s all me, me, me. I’m so much better than those women because I don’t dress or flirt like them…. To be honest tho, all I heard (read) through this essay is a deeply insecure girl who is envious of all she consider better looking. Blaming us women for how we dress is just f*cked up. It’s like saying that all the abusers are right, and we deserve to be abused in one way or another because we don’t dress like nuns. For all the man I had to cancel this year, she can keep them company. By by girl.

  25. Bijou says:

    Wow. Mayim is proof that no matter how much of a genius you may be in one aspect, you can still be a completely dense moron in another. She sounds incredibly insecure, bitter, and like she is trying to lift herself up using sexual assault as a platform for which she has no relevance to (not that she mentioned anyway). Is she implying that having a brain and less than perfect looks will prevent a rape? No, I am pretty sure that I am not a 10, but was still raped as a frumpy and unfortunate looking 13 year old. I grew to be much better looking, as a lot of people do, but the rapes stopped once I was 16 and developed.

    Put a sock in it, Mayim, and save your shitty writing for conversations with other insanely insecure women.

  26. Littlestar says:

    Just goes to show you can be educated and still not “get it”. Glad Plimpton schooled her.

  27. happyoften says:

    Self congratulatory horsesh*t. She doesn’t dress to encourage that type of behavior, she doesn’t get her nails done, she doesn’t act flirtatiously, she did stuff with books… she is a little snowflake of feminist awesomeness unlike all of the rubes that fell into the gaping maw of the patriarchy willingly, so the patriarchy just left her alone.

    Utter hogwash. It isn’t just pretty girls that get attacked, buttercup, and and there is no magic behavior that protects you from it. The self satisfaction is strong with this one.

    I understand the need to feel you have some control over such situations, I really do. But this kind of dismissive, insular, self referential screed is the sort of thing one expects from a 20 yr. old never been anywhere never learned nothin’ but knows everything girl child, not a 41 yr old feminist woman grown.

    Love Martha Plimton’s tweet storm of indignation.

  28. Radley says:

    It’s a shame that in 2017 smart women still think their bodies are somehow weaponized. Like you must cover up before the men folk lose control. They can’t help it. That’s absurd.

    One of the worst incidents of harassment I ever experienced happened while I was in sweats, hair in a ponytail with no make-up walking swiftly to my car because it was cold and drizzling. But some creep still stopped dead in his tracks in the cold and rain to catcall me repeatedly (and also yell “come here”, dude wtf??) until I got in my car and drove away. It wasn’t because I was a temptress. I looked like hell.

    Literally nothing is an invitation to harassment or assault. Because it’s everyone’s responsibility to police their own behavior and be decent human beings. Why is that hard for people??

    • Lisa says:

      This dude started making kissy faces at me when I was getting coffee with my mom. Let me reiterate, I WAS WITH MY MOM. She had her back to him, so she couldn’t see. He was raising his eyebrows and puckering his lips at awkward, 14 year old me. When I told her later, she said she saw the change in my expression as I looked over her shoulder. But she didn’t ask. I didn’t tell. This was in full view of customers and employees, in a public place, while I had an adult with me.

      I’d love an enlightened man to tell me exactly how I was asking for that.

      • anon says:

        Yep I can relate (unfotunately). 13 year old me got into a crowded subway car with mom and my younger sisters. We all managed to find (or be given) seats , but they sat together and I sat in seat across from them. It was packed so I figured that’s why this guy standing over me was pressing his knees into mine. Of course as the car emptied out he was still doing it.

  29. JG says:

    I am sorry to report that this site does not believe in freedom of speech. Wow!

  30. Lisa says:

    The one thing Mayim gets right is that we do not live in a world where we can always be as free as we want. Society has never been free of rapists and men who prey on women, young and old. We shouldn’t have to dress or act a certain way to get respect, and the onus shouldn’t be on us to watch what we say and do to avoid being the targets of unwanted attention, yet we often do. We take another route; cross the street early; add another layer, just in case. And it’s not always enough.

    But she can eff off for suggesting that looks play a part in assault and bragging about making “wiser” choices than her peers. WHAT YOU WEAR AND HOW YOU LOOK HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. The young, hot girl in the bar wasn’t ‘asking for it’ any more than the 90-year-old who was raped in her home. Nobody goes to a job interview expecting the boss to open the door in his robe and ask for a massage. These women have a right to be disgusted and to raise their voices.

  31. magnoliarose says:

    I wrote the other day how my mother was shamed if she complained about sexual harassment because she was a beautiful woman. When she wore miniskirts, she was humiliated and accused of vanity because she has gorgeous legs. She had to fight the blonde stereotype and to be taken seriously because of the kind of crap MB is spewing. It didn’t matter that she was highly educated and intelligent in fact she said men seemed even more determined to crush her spirit for not being weak or “stupid.” They said she was too outspoken and should be home with her children. Shamed all the time. She was also accused of being lesbian for refusing to sleep with men to achieve success, but she learned tools to dodge, and she learned to cry alone, but she also learned to be strong and to understand the system.

    This is what made her into the feminist she is because she knew it didn’t matter what a woman looked like they would find a reason to diminish a woman and exert power over her. Her life has been about women and empowering them and social justice. But I guess because she is attractive and refused to let sexism dictate her wardrobe she asked for it.

    Judging another woman because she is attractive is toxic to feminism because it is based on competition for male attention and envy. Men have made beauty a commodity, not women. They have decided what is considered socially attractive not women.

  32. Amelie says:

    I think the article started out thoughtfully but then it just seemed to focus more on her insecurities about her physical appearance as a woman working in Hollywood. To be sure, that is an important topic and many women have spoken out about the pressure to get plastic surgery, to lose weight, to do radical things to alter their appearance to look a certain way. But that isn’t the focus of the debate surrounding Harvey Weinstein and his gross abuse of power over women (and men to a lesser extent who he did not sexually harass but he definitely bullied). This comes across as “Woe is me, I was too ugly to be sexually harassed but this makes me superior because I made smarter choices.”

    I have made conservative choices too in my life. I dress conservatively, was not interested in getting completely sloshed at parties in college, and never experimented with drugs (and never smoked weed either and have not to this day). However, that hasn’t stopped me from encountering sexual harassement throughout my life (starting when I was 8 or 9 when I saw a man expose himself on a train and was too afraid to speak up to my parents who were sitting in front of him across the aisle) that can be qualified as such: getting followed from a bar, random cat-calling/lewd comments as I walk down the street, the guy who swiped my card at the gym trying to ask me in a round about way if I had a boyfriend, having my picture taken without my consent on the subway by a guy (that happened just a few weeks ago). It doesn’t matter how you are dressed or how you present yourself. You can be dressed like a Duggar and still get sexually assaulted/harassed (and as we all know Josh Duggar did that to his own sisters) for just being a woman.

    Mayim is privileged she hasn’t experienced any sexual harassement/sexual assault. However her “conservative choices” may have protected her, but they didn’t protect me.

  33. isabelle says:

    Mayim’s mother telling her “Men only want one thing” is actually troubling. Not letting her wear MU, get manicures, or “woman” frivolity. Then making it out like its healthy behavior and raising, explains maybe why she is such a woman shamer. Sounds like her mother maybe implemented a lot of her insecurity toward other women and maybe men.

  34. Littlestar says:

    Amazing how she took the subject of women being victimized by a serial predator into how her dowdy looks and choices to remain conservative in dress and behavior have shielded her. How absurd and disgusting that she’s reiterating such a tired and untrue narrative to a large audience. Looks do not prevent or instigate sexual assault, if that were true we could all just drape ourselves in cloaks and be forever shielded. Children get assaulted, men get assaulted, women in modest clothing like burkas or long skirts get assaulted. Somebody come collect Mayim because she’s an embarrassment.

  35. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    It’s misdirection, like many people do whenever someone they support gets accused of a crime. I remember when the Polanksi petition was in the news, MANY people, including women, were saying “But what about the girl’s MOTHER?! Why is Polanski being targeted when the girl’s mother set her up in that situation?” And of course, the statements like “I’m not excusing Polanski, BUT, what about the mother . . . ” etc., etc. Classic misdirection.

    • Honeybee Blues says:

      A mother setting her own daughter up for rape is not a misdirection; it’s another part of the facts surrounding the rape. It does NOT excuse or distract from RP for anyone with even a modicum of critical thinking. The mother was ALSO guilty, not INSTEAD of.

      • Mrs.Krabapple says:

        First, the mother did not “set up” the daughter to be raped. That’s one reason rape victims are reluctant to come forward — either they or their loved one’s character and decisions will be attacked.

        But to the issue of misdirection, the mother was totally irrelevant to the question of whether Polanski should be extradited to the US. That is classic misdirection.

  36. Hunter says:

    Christ on a cracker, this woman is insufferable. I’ve been arguing for a week solid with people about this HW crap. Her underlying message of ‘these crimes wouldn’t have happened if women had dressed more modestly or focused solely on their brains’ totally ignores the fact that these crimes are based on misogyny (in the case of HW) and/or anger and power, hence his boasting to his victims about his previous exploits (CRIMES) and his lack of caution/concern in committing them. He knew he could reach into his pockets or make phone calls and make the women go away. HW is a little man, short of character and short of heart. He gets off on exerting power over women. The common denominator among his victims is that they were that they were women in his industry that he Had easy access to. Had HW been in any other industry in the world, you can be sure that he would have victimized the women he encountered in that position regardless of body shape and way of dressing.

    I was wearing layers of clothes, no makeup and totally sober when I was raped at knife point by a man I had just met years ago, as a very young woman. That decades later, people, including WOMEN still don’t get it, completely boggles my mind and infuriates me.

  37. MAC says:

    I was shocked the NYT published such trash.

  38. Mina says:

    Martha Plimpton’s response was perfect. Objectification is a problem, but it’s not this problem. The idea that only “pretty”, “flirty”, “sexy” women get harassed, assaulted or raped is horrible and one of the many issues that allow this twisted culture to exist. Rape is not about sex, it’s about control, power and dominance. Anyone can be a victim. I can’t believe there are still people so blinded to this reality, and it’s very disappointing coming from someone who claims to be a feminist.

    • KBB says:

      Not to mention the fact that multiple victims of Harvey’s have said he seemed to like seeing fear in their eyes. If you’re masturbating outside a locked bathroom door, on the other side of which is a woman trying to escape you, it’s not flirtation that gets you going.

  39. senna says:

    Just read Mayim’s piece, and I think the kernel of truth in it is being lost to people seeing her statements as “I didn’t dress like a whore, so I didn’t get harrassed!”

    Mayim’s saying that her relative physical unattractiveness made it difficult for her to succeed in Hollywood, and that she wasn’t sexually preyed on because people didn’t objectify her as much. I think this is inarguable – it’s true. Less-attractive women are often invisible. An unconventional looking woman in Hollywood is going to have a harder time than a conventionally attractive one. She encourages women to value their brains more than their looks. I don’t have a huge problem with this.

    Where she veered off into wrongness was in implying that by being modest and moral, women are the gatekeepers to their own harrassment. Plimpton is right to call her out on this. No one deserves to be assaulted because they looked like they were asking for it. The response to this sexual criminal’s actions is not to tell women how they should behave.

    What Mayim needed to do was to think about her audience and what she was telling them. Was her audience less attractive women, telling them how they can find value in themselves? Was it to call out a culture that places more value on women’s looks than intelligence? Or was it to all women, telling them how to behave? She, at times, does all these things, and so her message is unclear, and it’s why she’s getting dragged for it.

    I refuse to ever say anything like “we’re getting too reactionary” because I think it’s important to have these debates, and I know that screaming gets you heard more than subtlety. I just think it’s unfortunate we can’t have a conversation about such pieces without someone shouting they should never have been allowed to publish such a piece.

    • Mina says:

      She has a good point about the objectification in the industry, but as soon as she correlates that to the cases of harassment and rape we’re hearing about she shows that perhaps subconsciously she has this idea that only some type of women are victims of it. It’s undeniable that conventionally pretty women are going to get more attention but it’s very different to have male attention and maybe a perv offering you a job in the hope that some day he can have (consensual) sex with you than a man who forced women into do what he wanted. While it’s true that Harvey only stuck to a “type”, that invisibilizes all the people, men and women, that face harassment and abuse in other contexts. I think perpetuating that idea that you can avoid being a victim by dressing conservatively and acting in a certain way is very dangerous and misguided.
      I’m sure she didn’t mean to say what she ended up saying but at this point people need to be more self aware of what they are saying in the media and social networks.

      • senna says:

        I actually completely agree with this, and I agree that being invisible to a sexual gaze can render other forms of abuse invalid, too – or even be used as a cudgel, that a less attractive woman might not be believed because she isn’t “pretty enough” to have been preyed on. Thanks for your thoughts. In the end, the major problem with her piece is that it’s super myopic. She could have talked about her own experience only, or philosophized about the social problems at play, but to conflate both is to assign blame where it shouldn’t be assigned.

    • Lindy says:

      But what Bialik COMPLETELY fails to see is that those are two sides of the same coin. The unhappiness she experienced because she was deemed unattractive or unconventional is a direct result of the objectification of women by a patriarchal system that assigns value to women based on their physical appearance. Conventional beauty becomes a commodity, and if you lack it, then yes–you’re going to get paid less, get fewer job offers, and have a harder time finding a partner. That is a terrible thing. (By the way, you’ll still very likely be sexually harassed or assaulted–being “unattractive” is not protection against that). The same patriarchal system that devalues “unattractive” women assigns value to “attractive” women. This value has nothing to do with their intrinsic worth as human beings, their characters or their qualities… And “attractive” women are just as disposable as “unattractive” women.

      The fact that the patriarchy has managed to pit women against other women is deeply sad. Bialik seems not to understand this. She perpetuates the false narrative that women can be EITHER smart and ugly, OR stupid and pretty. That’s bulls^&t and all that does is limit little girls’ horizons and reinforce patriarchal norms.

      • Sarah says:

        @Lindy, you hit the nail on the head, all of it is so true.
        What makes me sad is, that woman still fighting against each other, instead of standing up for each other. It’s all part of a toxic system.

      • senna says:

        Totally agree with this as well. It’s this contextualization of her experience within our social construct of femininity, which you’ve done so thoroughly here, that does not happen in her piece. She’s responsible for doing such thinking – and if not her, how about an editor who might say, “have you considered what message women might take away from this? If you don’t intend to advise women to be modest to protect themselves, why are you coming across as doing that – and if you think being modest will protect all women, WHY do you think that?”

    • Veronica says:

      She definitely had some good points in there about the commodification of female bodies. It’s her lack of self-awareness that I think gets in the way of her overall point.

  40. Meggles says:

    I’m not defending what she said, but I empathise with her. It sounds like her negative experiences in Hollywood really hurt her, and now she’s having to watch seemingly every actress in Hollywood vocalise (and receive catharsis and sympathy for) their pain, and she’s excluded from that. But she was also abused and bullied. Not sexually, but repeatedly telling someone (especially a pre-teen girl) that they are ugly and their body and face doesn’t fit, is absolutely a form of abuse. Obviously I’m not comparing being called ugly with rape, but it’s all part of the same issue: the patriarchy’s belief that female bodies exist for their pleasure.

    It’s a real shame Mayim doesn’t recognise this, because the entire article just screams “everyone thinks I’m ugly and THAT’S JUST GROOVY ACTUALLY NO REALLY I’M SO HAPPY I’M UGLY IT TOTALLY DIDN’T SCARE ME MENTALLY FOR LIFE.” It’s very hard to admit when we’ve been hurt and are still in pain. It’s easier to fake empowerment by pretending what others did to hurt us actually benefited us in some way.

  41. KiddVicious says:

    Can I be the shallow one here and say how much I love Martha’s outfit?! It looks comfy yet professional.

  42. Jenn says:

    So I read the article – The last line is the worst “and the best part is you don’t even have to go to a casting couch to find it ” (appreciation) – with the implication being “if you’re like ME” not these OTHER actresses…..

  43. Dally says:

    Mayim’s apology actually really bothered me… I could see how in the original op ed she could be just so oblivious to both the experiences of other women and the current narrative, as she seems a little bit like she got stuck in the well-worn groove of her own narrative of being the awkward odd-looking girl being true to herself and finding success her own way, which is fine, but there seems to be a bit of a chip on her shoulder against traditional Hollywood that also encompasses the typical pretty girls who she seems to see as being complicit in that system. She’s so stuck in her own narrative about Hollywood that she doesn’t dig deep enough to realize that right now the conversation is about the bigger picture of how to change the system, how to make that predatory behavior unacceptable in every industry, not about how individual victims can avoid that stuff, or how girls need greater self esteem or to go into STEM instead of acting. Because did she read that article about the abusive Prof in Antarctica? The problem is not specific to Hollywood, or to pretty girls, or to girls who try to look hot or leverage their beauty in some way. It’s like someone’s talking about global famine and she’s trying to pivot the discussion to her great vegan goulash recipe.

  44. Naddie says:

    I am shocked. Just finished reading and wow, that’s victim-blaming as its finest. And terribly self-centered.
    All my life I’ve been over serious, speciallya towards men, in order to dodge harassment, and guess? It’s NOT the way. The way is to put men like Harvey on blast, and educate boys to respect women, period.

  45. SM says:

    Oh my God!!! This from the op-ed: “I have almost no personal experience with men asking me to meetings in their hotel rooms. 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”. It sort of sounds like she is hurt that she is not sexualized for her looks and that she did not get the invitation to Harvey’s room. This is twisted as hell. It’s not only victim blaming but it also is a lack of self worth. Seriouslly she makes it sound like building her carriere not on looks was not her choice but the outcome of the system. So all that bullshit about empowerment and feminist sounds rather hipocritycal

  46. Parks and Rec says:

    Oh gawd. My mother is pretty Orthodox and she put that idea into my head too, that dressing modestly and not showing any signs of sexuality or femininity is the best way to prevent assault. But that’s bogus. First of all, it takes away the freedom from a woman to dress however she pleases while men can do whatever they want. And just because we wear makeup and show a little skin doesn’t mean that it’s an invitation to be assaulted. Why can’t men learn how to respect women and learn that no means no no matter how she dresses?

    I hung around a lot of feminists in Morocco. They confirmed that women are still targets even if they are covered head to toe. It’s not a question of attraction – it’s all about demeaning a woman.

    Despite all this, as I got older, I kind of dress like my mom and even cover my head sometimes too (for very personal and spiritual reasons). That doesn’t stop men from mistreating me. And in pains me to know that women are still being abused and cannot live freely. Hiding our sexuality won’t change anything – men need to start respecting our boundaries.

  47. paranormalgirl says:

    God, when will people become aware that it’s NOT about sex, beauty, unattainable women, etc? It’s about POWER. Plain and simple.

  48. jugil1 says:

    Mayim confuses being educated with having a degree. She’s clearly clueless about the subject of feminism & lacks empathy for the victims.