Friday the 13th might not have been horrifying for everyone, but it did prove to be quite unlucky for actress Mayim Bialik. The Big Bang Theory star shared a controversial op-ed for the New York Times, expressing her take on sexual harassment in Hollywood.
Considering how sensitive the issue is in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations -- not to forget that Mayim herself is a self-proclaimed feminist -- the essay sparked multiple reactions and most of them were not positive.
In her attempt at trying to list down steps that are seemingly "wise" and "self protective", and supposed to keep one from getting sexually assaulted, Mayim's tone was perceived as condescending and victim-blaming of sorts.
The piece is titled "Being A Feminist In Harvey Weinstein's World." One expects staunch women empowering thoughts from a title like that and in no way should it have taken a hurtful turn, but it did. And Twitter did not stay quiet about it.
People went vocal stressing the fact that Mayim seemed to make the entire issue about herself, and instead of offering support and strength, she tried to dictate how not to get harassed. And this is exactly the root cause behind the prevailing rape culture in our society, said the critics.
"And if — like me — you're not a perfect 10, know that there are people out there who will find you stunning, irresistible and worthy of attention, respect and love," begins the last paragraph of Mayim's op-ed. Fair, precise and empowering to every person who has been insecure about their appearance.
But the tone changes to slight mockery and bitter condescension soon as she continues with, "The best part is you don't have to go to a hotel room or a casting couch to find them." This was a clear hit at the Weinstein scenario as multiple women were subjected to assault during their casting meetings.
Was it their fault, according to the 41-year-old actress? Were they fully accountable for being preyed upon while they were on something akin to a job interview? It's almost as if Mayim implies that it was a collateral risk every woman has to run, even though it's not something they "have to do".
That isn't all. Mayim's essay proceeded to explain wisdom in terms of how "modestly" one dresses. "I have decided that my sexual self is best reserved for private situations with those I am most intimate with. I dress modestly. I don't act flirtatiously with men as a policy," she writes.
That's two strikes on the list of being a pretentious feminist, believes Twitter and their reactions were hilarious and arguably made more sense than both of her "advises" on the casting couch scenario and the dressing "modestly" part.
And with all due respect, it only goes out to show that even the most educated, learned minds are a staunch believer in "sl*t shaming".
Mayim Bialik calls herself a feminist but trashes women for being attractive and works on one of the most misogynistic shows on television ?— Amy Elizadeath Kill (@amyandelizabeth) October 15, 2017
Mayim Bialik's piece is part of the problem w/ the myth of journalistic objectivity, which suggests even dangerous opinions deserve platform— Jamilah Lemieux (@JamilahLemieux) October 15, 2017
The schadenfruede that Mayim Bialik seems to have over the fact that she thinks that only pretty girls are sexually assaulted is gross— Ijeoma Oluo (@IjeomaOluo) October 15, 2017
What stuns me about Mayim Bialik piece is any feminist in the world could have told you this would happen. How did her editor not catch it?— Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) October 15, 2017
So, here is my hot take on Mayim Bialik: it is disingenuous AF to write about modesty without acknowledging religious roots of that choice.— Kate Harding (@KateHarding) October 15, 2017
However, multiple tweets and debates later, Mayim took to Twitter again to share her opinions on the backlash she was receiving. she posted this:
And Twitter was quick to catch her for her bland defense and the following thread of tweets is exactly a summation of reactions people came up with.
And it followed...
had to be making it up bc no one would touch an unattractive girl, no one took your bs out of context. We saw EXACTLY what you said.— claire (@VodkaAsSelfCare) October 15, 2017
Respectfully, I don't think people twisted your words. Your writing was what gave the impression of victim blaming.— Alice (@NYC_mama) October 15, 2017
Basically, this is all of Twitter right now.
One can only hope that Mayim, who stars on what's perceivably one of the most sexist, mysogynistic shows airing right now - with their shallow potrayal of stereotypical characters and women too weak without their men all disguised as humours - comes up with better explanations in her promised Facebook live soon.
Until then, as this user says: