Victim or Victor

Mayim Bialik as Blossom Russo in season one of “Blossom.” Credit Alice S. Hall/NBC, via Getty Images


In her New York Times opinion-editorial (October 13, 2017), many understood Mayim Bialik’s conditional statement to read as:

If you’re beautiful, you’ll be sexually assaulted or harassed. Camouflage your beauty, shore up other qualities and you won’t be prey.

So, most women vehemently rejected Bialik’s syllogism.

Beauty wields power. Phi, the golden ratio is perfection in nature.
We worship beauty even as some attempt to destroy it.

Some women believed Bialik missed the mark.

But did she?

The cause of sexual assault is not the effect of beauty.  Bialik’s commentary rests on the posit that predators cause sexual assault.

She then outlined a course of action to eliminate vulnerabilities.

Do they disagree on what makes someone vulnerable to a sexual attack? Do they disagree on the various ways she offered to camouflage those vulnerabilities?

Or are they angry at the system that created those perceived weaknesses?

A predator uses sexual harassment/assault as a weapon to humiliate and render its prey powerless.

First, we must recognize the prey is not prey at all but a woman who possesses power.

The predator seeks to usurp that power.

So, is the vitriol heaped on Bialik about her advising women to voluntarily give up their power? If it were, aren’t they guilty of the same? They have accused Bialik of victim shaming and blaming.

Victims are powerless.

Can anyone expect Bialik to admonish a predator when others have already rewarded their attackers by accepting they’re powerless?

Bialik’s commentary stopped short of labeling anyone a victim.

She offered solutions to protect against the vulnerability. She mentioned a strategy of using other abilities to gain more power.

If they don’t believe vulnerability is a problem; it makes sense to disagree with her solutions.

It also makes sense if giving up power, beauty, in this case, is not an option.

Mayim Bialik has apologized for part of her commentary.

So, what did we solve?

Did we shun the predators? Or is shunning reserved for women who speak up with resolve?

Maya Angelou once wrote:

“A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy. A wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.”