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Pamela Anderson says “victimhood feminism” hinders the conversation on sexual assault

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Amy Swales
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She has refused to apologise for her controversial comments on Harvey Weinstein, which many see as victim-blaming.

Pamela Anderson says “victimhood feminism” is hindering the conversation on what women can do to avoid sexual assault.

Having recently been accused of victim-blaming when discussing the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Anderson has penned a statement saying she won’t be “coerced into apology” over her comments, which implied women should take some responsibility for putting themselves in situations where sexual assault could occur.

Speaking on Megyn Kelly Today last week (30 November), she said she wasn’t surprised at the amount of stories coming out about the Hollywood producer – who has been accused of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment by several women.

Referencing his behaviour as “common knowledge”, she said: “I think it was common knowledge that certain producers and certain people in Hollywood are people to avoid. Privately.

“You know what you’re getting into if you go to a hotel room alone.”

When host Kelly explained that many women may have felt safe given their agents had set up what was intended to be a professional meeting, Anderson cut in: “Send somebody with them, that’s what they should have done. I just think there’s easy ways to remedy that, that’s not a good excuse.”

She added: “If someone answers the door in a bathrobe, leave. This is things that are common sense, but I know Hollywood is very seductive and the people want to be famous.”

In a statement shared on her Instagram account and website, Anderson describes those criticising her as “pathetic” and denies she is shifting responsibility onto the victims of assault: “This is not victim-blaming but looking at the issue from the angle of women being aware of certain problems and how to spot them and fight them.” 

She writes: “I think this narrative […] is trying to coerce me (and others) into consensus on something that should be debated and discussed broadly.”

Anderson references her experience of “working on protection […] of journalists and human rights defenders and internet security” saying in those situations there’s an “understanding” of the need to not only “punish perpetrators but also to build resilience and ability of ‘self-protection’.”

Having mentioned self-defence courses for journalists, she then says: “There is even a well-known story of suffragettes learning martial arts and protection when doing activism for right to vote.

“I did not say that women deserved being abused or that the pigs like Weinstein were not to be punished. Quite an opposite, I said myself that Weinstein is a sexist pig and a bully.”

She ends her message by saying: “It is not helping anyone to ignore the realities in the society we live in. The causes of the problem and solutions are complex and women who do not live in the utopian bubble must be aware of what is going on. And that is what I have highlighted.

“I do not wish apologise for what I said. And will not get coerced into apology.

“This exactly what I am saying is a problem with the contemporary ‘victimhood feminism’! The people who subscribe to that notion tolerate and actually expect women to talk about the stories of abuse and experiences with creeps. But they would not tolerate a woman with her own opinion. So pathetic.”

Anderson, who has spoken of her own experiences of abuse in the past, initially wrote on her website that she believed some of the media criticism of her comments was designed to discredit her given her connection with Wikileaks, and that her “unique perspective” meant she was often subject to “consequence”.

Re- My interview on #todayshow #megynkelly Somebody had to say this. Please don’t worry. Refer people to my blog and long standing commitment to defending the vulnerable. We have the power to be safe and free by using common sense. My message is consistent throughout- I'm a deep thinker / I have a unique perspective. and consequence is part of my life. This is great. I am also an advocate for men. I just don't agree with it all. Backlash is good. - I like this. My position is not 'problematic' because I doesn't fall in line with the common herd or trend. I'm trying to tell women as a survivor of childhood abuse myself - It is important to be proactive as an adult who knows better - in defending themselves. Don't get in cars with strangers #rideresponsibly- Don't go to Hotel rooms alone for an audition. Women are powerful and smart and we can use all our charms in more positive ways. I think it’s very smart to be proactive. And I stand by what I say. My mother taught me - protect yourself. Especially with my ‘image’’ - she and I were worried it could give people wrong Impression. I am not an easy girl and have not had as many partners people might think. I believe in love and commitment and common sense. This is why I'm usually married. It is how I feel safe and protected in a sexual relationship. .A monogamous lover is the best and most brave lover there is. I only want intimate sexual experiences - where I can be free to give my wildest fantasies to someone who loves me. and never have used sex as a weapon. It's just too easy. #bestrong #staysafe #noblame @todayshow #solutions #nodrama

A post shared by The Pamela Anderson Foundation (@pamelaanderson) on

While she clarified her stance on victim-blaming, saying that blame “solely and entirely” lies with the perpetrators, she reiterated the sentiment that women such as those allegedly abused by Weinstein should not have put themselves in that situation.

She wrote: “I’m trying to tell women as an childhood abuse survivor myself – be proactive as an adult who knows better – in defending themselves. Don’t get in cars with strangers.

“Don’t go to hotel rooms alone for an audition. Women are powerful and smart and we can use all our charms in more positive ways.

“I think it’s very smart – proactive. And I stand by what I say.”

She added: “I know that predators are always to blame – solely and entirely. That doesn’t mean we can’t take common sense measures to keep ourselves safe and avoid harmful situations […] All blame lies completely with the predators themselves. I am just saying the more you know, the safer you are.”

Image: Rex Features