Pamela Anderson's Harvey Weinstein Comments Perpetuate A Damaging Myth About Sexual Violence

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In today's edition of "Blame the Victim," Pamela Anderson spoke to Megyn Kelly about all the reasons Harvey Weinstein's accusers are at fault. "You know what you’re getting into if you’re going into a hotel room alone," she told Kelly, as reported by People.
Anderson added that it's "common sense" to not enter a hotel room alone when greeted by a man in a bathrobe. In addition to the confusion and pressure these actresses allegedly experienced, Anderson fails to acknowledge that the "fight or flight" response is a myth and it's extremely common for victims of sexual violence to freeze up entirely, as reported by The Scientific American.
When Kelly pointed out that these young women were sent to Weinstein's room by agents that they trusted, Anderson shot back by stating the agents should have accompanied them: "There are easy ways to remedy that. It's not a good excuse."
It's worth pointing out that Anderson — who told Kelly she turned down private auditions when she first entered the industry — is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. In fact, earlier this month she told The Times that her advice to survivors is "don't blame yourself."
Due to Anderson's history, she likely arrived in Hollywood with a better sense of how to spot a predator than Weinstein's accusers. After being abused, many women and men keep their guard up in a way that others don't. But it's a shame that Anderson can't extend empathy to Weinstein's alleged victims and instead chooses to shame them for not exercising "common sense."
Later in the interview, Anderson also seemed to insinuate that sexual misconduct is unique to Hollywood and women put themselves in risky situations because they're desperate for fame. "I know that Hollywood is very seductive and these people want to be famous," she said. "Sometimes you think you’re going to be safe with an adult in the room. I don’t know where this security comes from, but somehow I’ve dodged it all."
It's become increasingly clear over the past several months that sexual misconduct is rampant in nearly every profession — primarily because the overwhelming majority of industries are controlled by men. It's wrong to imply that women knowingly put themselves at grave risk simply because they want fame and fortune.
Anderson's comments are certainly complicated by her own history with sexual abuse. But if she's going to use her platform to discuss sexual violence, she has a responsibility to discuss the topic in a manner that places the blame at the feet of the perpetrators and makes abundantly clear that victims are never at fault.
Like everyone else, sexual violence survivors are responsible for our actions and words — and none of us deserve a free pass to shame other survivors.
If you have experienced sexual violence of any kind, please visit Rape Crisis or call 0808 802 9999.

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