- The Washington Times - Monday, October 16, 2017

Mayim Bialik responded to criticism Sunday after feminists described her op-ed about Harvey Weinstein and her childhood in Hollywood as “victim blaming.”

Ms. Bialik, who has earned four Emmy Award nominations for her role as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler “The Big Bang Theory,” wrote in The New York Times that her experience entering the entertainment business as a “prominent-nosed, awkward, geeky, Jewish 11-year-old” was a difficult one, as she was constantly being compared to the “pretty girls” and was offered roles designed only for “nontraditional” looking women.

Addressing the sexual assault allegations against disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, Ms. Bialik wrote that she was able to experience the upside of not being a “perfect ten” in Hollywood and had “almost no personal experience” with men asking her to meetings in their hotel rooms.

The actress, who described herself as a “proud feminist,” ran into trouble with other feminists after she pointed to her own modest dress and demeanor as a good example of self-protection.

“I still make choices every day as a 41-year-old actress that I think of as self-protecting and wise,” she wrote. “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.

“I am entirely aware that these types of choices might feel oppressive to many young feminists” Ms. Bialik continued. “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 naïve about the culture we live in.”

Ms. Bialik concluded by saying she plans to continue encouraging young women to appreciate their own inner beauty and not to search for validation in “a hotel room or a casting couch.”

Ms. Bialik’s piece was criticized as trying to place blame on the victims of sexual assault.

Ms. Bialik said in a statement that she would never blame a sexual assault victim for their clothing or behavior and that she was taken out of context.

“I’m being told my N.Y. Times piece resonated with so many and I am beyond grateful for all of the feedback,” she wrote. “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.”

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