It’s Sunday. I was looking forward to a nice coffee, a few hours spent watching lazy Sunday afternoon movies, and catching up with the women in my online disability groups. We grumble about aches and pains, talk about daily life, and suggest products and things that will help each other. Instead I’m shoulder deep in discussions about rape, molestation, abuse, Mayim Bialik’s op-ed piece in the New York Times, and fending off people who don’t understand that they are perpetuating rape culture.
There has never been any scientific proof that clothing has anything to do with a person (yes person, men get raped too), being sexually assaulted or harassed. It is a perpetuated myth. And yet I’m still having to explain this to people.
The way a person looks doesn’t effect the likelihood of them getting raped either, Mayim, so thank you for that….
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’m not part of that impossible standard of beauty either, yet I was abused as a child and have been harassed as an adult but please go on. I wasn’t overlooked. These aren’t reasons for you to be overlooked. You. Have. Been. Lucky.
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.
So for those whose natures are naturally flirtatious they need to change their ways? Hmm. Let me think about that? Most women keep their sexual selves for private situations. And those who don’t deserve to have that choice. Modest dress is something I’ve always gone in for. So again please continue. I was harassed at work in standard fit jeans and a baggy hoodie.
When Mayim’s supporters use the old adage that people are making themselves more susceptible through their actions they are forgetting how manipulative rapists and abusers are. When they say that they aren’t including those under the legal age at the time when they were attacked, they are doing us a disservice as it discounts our experiences. How many young or child actors have been abused in Hollywood and are part of the bigger problem that Weinstein is currently the focus of?
When you tell survivors that they should have come forward sooner, you are refusing to understand that for some of us the fear of our abuser prevents it. You are again victim blaming. There is a judicial system in place in many countries in the Western World where rape kits have a huge backlog. Look at Mariska Hargitay’s campaign to get them processed. Not to mention a system where we have to face our abusers, are often disbelieved, and made to relive every detail, all whilst knowing our abuser will likely still receive minimum sentence if any at all. Just look how easily Brock Turner got off.
Mayim isn’t even entering conversation on her op-ed currently. She’s refusing to listen to our voices. Her supporters are just as narrow-minded. Such a shame that a woman who is a feminist and a scientist is refusing to listen to other women about something she has no quantifiable experience of, something I pray she never has quantifiable experience of.