Post-Weinstein details have had people around the world distraught and angered upon hearing the allegations of the Hollywood producer. Many actresses have shared their own traumatic experiences regarding the sexual-predator, while other actors and actresses alike have shared their condolences to the victims and outrage toward the producer. Many, such as Mayim Bialik, have spoken from a feminist point of view. That view being that many women and young women are taken advantage of in the film-making industry while few people so much as speak on the issue. However, Miss Bialik’s comments differ ever so slightly.
Mayim Bialik is a fairly influential actress, best known for her role on “The Big Bang Theory”, while also sporting a doctorate in neuroscience might-I-add. Maxim seems to be the perfect example of kick-ass women in feminism; successfully conquering two job fields overridden with men. She proudly wears feminism on her sleeve and this simply completes the outfit. And true to character, she had a few words to share in regards to Mr. Havery Weinstein.
“As a proud feminist with little desire to diet, get plastic surgery or hire a personal trainer, I have almost no personal experience with men asking me to meetings in their hotel rooms,” said Bialik in an Op-Ed New York Times article. “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,” she later goes on to say. “I dress modestly. I don’t act flirtatiously with men as a policy.”
These words personally leave a bit of a sour taste in my mouth prior to reading her thoughts. And while she ever so graciously addresses this sort of backlash (“I am entirely aware that these types of choices might feel oppressive to many young feminists…….. But we can’t be naïve about the culture we live in”), I cannot help but feel that her words seem a bit one dimensional. Reading her comments brought on a sense of familiarity and repetition in her story- “I do not see myself as as attractive as many women in Hollywood, nor do I act promiscuously. This has kept me safe from abuse and will do so for another woman,” to sum up. While this is a generalization of her views, it, to me, feels as though it was her aimed-for main idea.
Throughout the article, Mayim continuously details her unfamiliarity with harassment due to her “not being a perfect ten”. That, despite women’s wants to be free to act and dress and be as open as they deem fit, it is necessary to regulate ourselves as to avoid situations such as those with Mr. Weinstein (“we can’t be naïve about the culture we live in”).
In the plainest words possible I will describe what is wrong and upsetting with this “solution” being suggested from a self-proclaimed feminist: this mindset is dangerous to the feminist movement. Not to mention coming off as a bit unsupportive to stereotype conforming women, the insinuated precautions women and girls should take to avoid these dangers are a bit worrisome. By these standards of “policing” ourselves for self-protection, we are simply allowing men to control our choices and thoughts and lives through fear. The solution is not to change women, but to change men. And to change the stigma around sexual assault in order to prevent a criminal like Harvey to remain prominent for years. But, I will repeat myself, to change men. Women need to be able to make their own choice and men need to help accountable for their choices despite what provoked them. To be protective as to “not be naïve” will keep society at a standstill in its ways of dealing with these issues.
Do not allow fear to challenge your choices as a woman. In order to provoke change, we must continue to stand up for ourselves, be confident, be supportive, and encourage society to hold the oppressors accountable.
This article’s information is pulled from Mayim Bialik’s Op-Ed New York Times piece. You can view it here.