Mayim Bialik's New York Times Editorial

Mayim Bialik's New York Times Editorial

Part of a series on Harvey Weinstein Sexual Abuse Cases. [View Related Entries]

Updated Oct 20, 2017 at 10:42AM EDT by Matt.

Added Oct 16, 2017 at 12:36PM EDT by Matt.

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Overview

Mayim Bialik's New York Times Editorial refers to the reaction and controversy created by the actor's op-ed, which the Times published in regards to the exposure of the sexual harassment and assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Bialik, the star of the hit television program The Big Bang Theory, wrote about the treatment of young women in Hollywood and made several comments styles of appearance, which some online perceived as victim blaming.

Background

On October 13th, 2017, the New York Times[1] published an editorial by Big Bang Theory actor Mayim Bialik, which details her experience in Hollywood and her thoughts on the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment and assault allegations. The essay, which tells of Bilaik's experience in Hollywood, explains her views on sexual harassment and assault, and seems to ask young women to consider their own dress. She writes:

"And yet I have also experienced the upside of not being a “perfect ten.” 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. 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.

I still make choices every day as a 41-year-old actress that I think of as self-protecting and wise. 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. 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."

Developments

Backlash

The day after the Times published the piece, many on Twitter began posting rebuttles to Bialik's arguments. On October 14th, Academy Award-winning actress Patricia Arquette tweeted[2] ".@missmayim 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." She then followed that tweet with another, reading, "It is also not outrageous for anyone to expected to be treated in a professional matter by anyone in a professional relationship." Within two days, the first tweet (shown below, left) received more than 4,400 retweets and 26,000 likes, and the second tweet received more than 1,300 retweets and 9,600 likes.


Patricia Arquette tweets out a response to Mayim Bialik's article Patricia Arquette tweets out again on the topic directed at Mayim Bialik

That day, Twitter[3] user @eveewing posted a quote from the op-ed and said Bialik's comments were "placing blame on victims." She continued, "'I have decided that my sexual self is best reserved for private situations with those I am most intimate with. I dress modestly.' This is disgusting. @missmayim is placing blame on victims and forgetting that rape and assault are about power, not about desire." The post (shown below) received more than 9,200 retweets and 26,000 likes in two days.


Wikipedia brown tweets out his feelings on the Mayim Bialik editorial in the New York Times

As the comments and responses to the op-ed mounted, Twitter[4] published a Moments page on the response. As of October 17th, the page has received more than 1,400 likes.

The op-ed became the subject of numerous threads on Reddit, with posts on /r/TwoXChromosomes,[5] /r/GamerGhazi,[6] /r/GenderCritical[7] and more.

Mayim Bialk's Response

On October 15th, Bialik responded to the backlash, promising to do a live question and answer with the Times on Monday, October 16th. In a tweet, she posted an image featuring the text:

"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. 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. lets discuss it then."

Within 24 hours, the post on Twitter[11] received more than 800 retweets, 5,300 likes and 2,700 comments. On Facebook, [12] the post received more than 7,300 reactions, 120 shares and 800 comments.


Mayim Bialik tweets out response thanking everyone for their feedback

The follow morning, Bialik hosted the live q & a on Facebook.[13] The video (shown below) received more than 830 reactions, 170 shares and 178,000 views within an hour of posting.



Apology

On October 18th, 2017, Bialik issued an apology for the op-ed on her Twitter[22] and Facebook[23] pages. Within 48 hours, the post (show below) received more than 1,100 retweets, 1,100 comments and 8,200 likes s on Twitter and 15,000 reactions, 400 shares and 1,700 comments on Facebook. She wrote:


Mayim Bialik * @missmayim I want to address my op-ed in the NY Times, and the reaction to it. Let me say clearly and explicitly that I am very sorry. What you wear and how you behave does not provide any protection from assault, nor does the way you dress or act in any way make you responsible for being assaulted; you are never responsible for being assaulted. I applaud the bravery of the women who have come forward. I support these women as we seek out and demand accountability from the only ones responsible for assault and r---: the people who perpetrate these heinous crimes. I am motivated and driven to work hard to empower women. I am truly sorry for causing so much pain, and I hope you can all forgive me.

"I want to address my op-ed in the NY Times, and the reaction to it. Let me say clearly and explicitly that I am very sorry. What you wear and how you behave does not provide any protection from assault, nor does the way you dress or act in any way make you responsible for being assaulted; you are never responsible for being assaulted. I applaud the bravery of the women who have come forward. I support these women as we seek out and demand accountability from the ones responsible for assault and rape: the people who perpetrate these heinous crimes. I am motivated and driven to work hard to empower women.

I am truly sorry for causing so much pain, and I hope you all can forgive me."

Several media outlets reported on her apology, including EW,[24] The Chicago Tribune,[25] Vulture,[26] Slate[27] and more. On October 18th, Twitter[28] published a Moments page archiving the apology and the reaction to it.

Media Coverage

Additionally, several news outlets covered the controversy, referring primarily to the criticism as "victim blaming," including CNN,[8] Fox,[9] The Chicago Tribune.[10]

After Bialik responded, the media coverage grew worldwide to local and international publications such as Times Of Israel,[14] The Mercury News,[15] and The Washington Times,[16] People Magazine in South Africa,[17] The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia,[18] The Chronicle Herald in Canada,[19] The Daily Mail in the UK,[20] Pulse in Nigeria, [21] and many more.

Search Interest

External References

[1] The New York Times – Mayim Bialik: Being a Feminist in Harvey Weinstein’s World

[2] Twitter – @PattyArquette's Tweet

[3] Twitter – @eveewing's Tweet

[4] Twitter – Mayim Bialik's thoughts on sexual harassment spark criticism

[5] Reddit – Harvey Weinstein: 'Big Bang Theory' star Mayim Bialik accused of 'victim blaming' in New York Times op-ed

[6] Reddit – Mayim Bialik's thoughts on sexual harassment miss the point: It's men that need to fix this.

[7] Reddit – Mayim Bialik's NYT Op-Ed: Being a Feminist in Harvey Weinstein's World

[8] CNN – Mayim Bialik responds to 'victim blaming' backlash

[9] Fox News – Mayim Bialik targeted for victim blaming, responds to backlash on Twitter

[10] The Chicago Tribune – #MeToo campaign proves scope of sexual harassment, flaw in Mayim Bialik's op-ed

[11] Twitter – @missmayim's Tweet

[12] Facebook – MissMayim's Post

[13] Facebook – nytopinion's Post

[14] Times of Israel – Mayim Bialik 'deeply hurt' over Weinstein comment backlash

[15] The Mercury News – Mayim Bialik stil deosn't get why people are mad at her

[16] The Washington Times – Mayim Bialik accused of 'victim blaming' in Harvey Weinstein op-ed

[17] People Magazine SA – Mayim Bialik 'My article about sexual harrasment has been taken out of context'

[18] The Sydney Morning Herald – Big Bang Theory's Mayim Bialik addresses criticism around her 'victim blaming' op-ed

[19] The Chronicle Herald – Mayim Bialik discusses Weinstein comments after backlash

[20] The Daily Mail – Mayim Bialik apologizes for 'victim-blaming'

[21] Pulse – 'Big Bang Theory' star Mayim Bialik has responded to the backlash over her Harvey Weinstein op-ed

[22] Twitter – @missmayim's Tweet

[23] Facebook – MissMayim's Post

[24] EW – Mayim Bialik Apologizes Again for Comments About Sexual Assault: 'I Am Truly Sorry for Causing So Much Pain'

[25] Chicago Tribune – Mayim Bialik apologizes for Weinstein op-ed: 'I am truly sorry for causing so much pain'

[26] Vulture – Mayim Bialik Apologizes for Her Controversial Harvey Weinstein Op-Ed

[27] Slate – Mayim Bialik Apologizes (for Real This Time) for Her Victim-Blaming Op-Ed

[28] Twitter – Mayim Bialik says sorry for NY Times op-ed

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Top Comments

BraveSirJimOfLawl
BraveSirJimOfLawl


I get the feeling that the kind of dude who masturbates at people on the street probably isn't picky about who he masturbates to. He probably would've been masturbating at whoever happened to be on the sidewalk at the time. Hell, he probably would've masturbated to an empty street. You just happened to walk in on his very public alone time.

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