Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

November 1, 2017

Thanks, folks! Mayim Bialik admits her errors about poly and open relationships

Actress Mayim Bialik is best known as the nerdy Amy Fowler on "The Big Bang Theory," one of the most-watched shows on television. Bialik runs a site called GrokNation where she expounds on various, often geeky topics. Back on June 4th she posted this video about open relationships and why she thought they couldn't work:

Summary: They can't work because she can't imagine it, and because pop-anthropology theories. So real-world observations of, well, us, don't matter. This while Bialik claims to think like a scientist.

You gave her quite an earful! One example, from Matthew Facciani (who's not poly): Three Reasons Why Mayim Bialik’s Video About Open Relationships Is Terrible

The video is a bit hard to follow because her points are all over the place, but she first starts arguing that ... because men continuously produce sperm, they are wired to have sex continuously. Conversely, women have to be more selective with their partners because they have one egg. ... To make all this worse, she tries to justify her argument by stating she is a scientist, but cites exactly zero scientific studies.

...Polyamory isn’t just about sex anyway. Ask any polyamorous person and they’ll tell you. Also, open relationships do not always mean someone is polyamorous, but she conflates the two terms....

Cunning Minx of Polyamory Weekly took it apart in her Episode 521: Responding to Mayim Bialik (June 19). She lists six naive fallacies that Bialik blunders into, such as, "4. If a lifestyle wouldn’t work for me, it couldn’t possibly work for anyone else."

And Joreth Innkeeper:

Please sit down and shut up. You're making educated white women look bad. Your biology is outdated, your sex and gender essentialism is outdated, your anthropology is outdated, your psychology is outdated, and your sex education is way outdated.

AND you make the same mistake as so many others before you of believing that, assuming even all your so-called "facts" were completely true, that humans stopped evolving millions of years ago around the point at which we split from apes and that our brains aren't incredibly plastic and highly susceptible to non-genetic influences like culture and higher-order thinking.

You're just so wrong on so many points that it would take me forever to correct you on each one. You're not just wrong, you're fractally wrong. Every single thing you said was wrong. ...

Bialik heard from so many people that she did something remarkable these days: She admitted that she was wrong. Rather thoroughly, and she quoted some of you. This video (Sept. 14) has had 644,000 views, compared to 374,000 for the older original.

This kerfuffle was recently overshadowed by a bigger one, when Bialik wrote an op-ed for the New York Times remarking that she escaped harassment in Hollywood because she looks plain by Hollywood standards and dresses and acts modestly. She took shit for inadvertent victim blaming, apologized poorly, then apologized a second time better.

She also seems to have come around, I think, regarding her embarrassing past as an anti-vaxxer.

So, here's some respect for a rare public figure who's willing to correct high-profile errors made in public. (But it might be better to get stuff right the first time.)




Anonymous Anonymous said...

You wrote:
So real-world observations of, well, us, don't matter."

Yeah, that's a drag, isn't it? Same way I feel when people like you implicitly disparage people like me with words like these:

"...her embarrassing past as an anti-vaxxer."

You do get that "anti-vaxxer" is a pejorative, right? I guess you're saying that people in the mainstream should try to understand why we choose polyamory instead of stigmatizing us, but that doesn't apply to issues where you agree with the mainstream. I wonder how much time you spent with people who carefully research the vaccination issue and then decide, as I did, not to vaccinate their children. Even if you did your due diligence and still came up pro-vaccine, would that justify the name-calling?

You can't have it both ways, Alan. If you want to live in a world where people don't condemn you for your personal choices, try not casting stones yourself.

BTW, my kids are now healthy young adults, have never been seriously ill, and have never caused an epidemic. But that's not the point.

November 02, 2017 5:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweet. They got lucky with herd immunity. Great job with your roll of the dice. Must be nice to have antidotial evidence that flies in the face of statistics.

There's a difference between the personal autonomy in how you define your relationships and putting your children and those around then at serious risk for diseases we're trying to eradicate.

Besides the statistics that diseases we have almost completely removed from our society hot spotting in select communities because of anti-vaxxers - it's embarrassing not because of her personal decision, but because of her claims of being a scientist when the overwhelming majority of scientists support vaccines.

So while it's a bad stance to have in general - it's even more so when you're in the scientific community. I'm not going to try to force your kids to get vaccinated - but I'm sure going to ridicule you for it. The same way I would with anybody who ignored the evidence of climate change or other scientific evidence without circumstantial evidence to the contrary.

November 02, 2017 7:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But then you goofed, commenter #2. "Circumstantial evidence" in your last sentence. I think you mean SUBSTANTIAL evidence, because circumstantial evidence is what people use to argue with comments like #1, when they don't believe in real science.

Despite that glaring Freudian Slip, I agree with the rest of your comment and this post as a whole.

While I personally believe that there should be laws requiring vaccines in anyone who is medically able to receive them, I realize that this would open the proverbial floodgate to other controversial laws, and so I don't push for that.

November 03, 2017 5:50 PM  

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