09/25/2014 Gary Costanza

Not Happy with the Law? Make Up Your Own, Sulkowicz-style!

The story of Emma Sulkowicz carrying a mattress around Columbia University to symbolize the pain she carries because of an alleged sexual assault by a man on campus two years ago and her school’s refusal to expel him helps to answer some questions many of us have been asking:

Why is feminism ridiculed?

Emma claims to have been raped and choked by a sometimes boyfriend one night in 2012 in her dorm room. She reported the incident seven months later to the university, who eventually found the accused “not responsible.”

In May 2014, she finally went to the police, hoping to prosecute a fellow student whom she feared walking into on campus. Since the police investigation is ongoing and her alleged assailant is walking free on campus, she elected to “create” the endurance performance art piece called “Carry That Weight” as her Visual Arts senior thesis.

From Time Magazine:

‘Rape can happen anywhere, but I was attacked in my own dorm bed,’ she said. ‘For me that place that is normally very intimate and pure was desecrated and is very fraught. The piece is about carrying the memory of that everywhere I go.’

From New York Mag:

Sulkowicz says she was impressed by how Brown students rallied behind Lena Sclove, a Brown student who publicized the name of a male student who was given a yearlong suspension for “sexual misconduct” against her, when they felt the punishment was not severe enough. The Brown Daily Herald published his name and he subsequently withdrew from the university altogether.

‘I was recently friended on Facebook by Lena Sclove, who has been such an inspiration for me, and to see the way that she was able to create a safe space for herself definitely made me realize that after I had made the police report I had that as an option to me as well,’ Sulkowicz says.

She’s making a safe space for herself only by singling out particular men, trampling their civil rights, ridiculing them, and using vigilantism to ostracize and slander them. This type of harassment is one of the worst kinds of bullying and has in the past resulted in revenge killings and suicide.

So, I guess if you’re not content with the legal and moral avenues available to you, and you’re an activist using personal experience and anecdotes to replace justice – just make up your own laws!

She says carrying the mattress will build muscle and get her physically and emotionally stronger. Please, to feel safer, carry pepper spray; don’t start a witch hunt, kangaroo court, or lynching. You don’t seem shamed or fearful (you’re carrying a mattress for crying out loud) and you’re acting more like a lynch mob than social justice warriors. Remember due process?

Note to self: Don’t like someone? Make them get out of your space. How? Threaten them with bathroom graffiti and feminist vigilantes.

A quick quiz:
1. How to be safe on campus:
        a. Carry pepper spray
        b. Carry a mattress
2. How to get attention on campus:
        a. Carry pepper spray
        b. Carry a mattress

The Columbia “Spectator” published the name of the accused from rape list fliers and bathroom wall graffiti (by multiple signers) spread by unnamed vigilantes sympathetic to Sulkowicz. The “Spectator” published the man’s name because (they say): there was a police report, three students have accused this man, and because his name was on a “rape list.”

I thought past history couldn’t be brought up? Oh that’s right, that’s for the real justice system, not kangaroo courts and the feminist media. Someone should put up a libeler and vigilante list with Emma’s name on top! Are all Emmas radical feminists with no regard for civil rights and due process?

So, according to Sulkowicz and student feminist groups like “No Red Tape Columbia” the truth is irrelevant; if they say it happened, it happened, and if any woman is “uncomfortable” on campus expel the man immediately.

We don’t know what happened, but if what she says is true – choking, slapping and nonconsensual anal sex – that’s assault and rape, definitely a police matter. She said she screamed for him to stop, something that could be verified, but the accused was found “not responsible” three times by the university due to lack of evidence.

It would suck if it comes down to “he said, she said” and it really happened. But to assume guilt as many feminists do – “women never lie about rape” – would further encourage women to anonymously falsely accuse men of rape.

It’s not always clear cut and black and white. What other things could have happened? It’s possible that when he started anal sex she got mad but allowed it, later regretting it and calling it rape. Or, he may be totally innocent. It’s possible, you know.

No one heard her screaming? I guess not. Why didn’t she report it immediately, and to the police? She said she was “embarrassed” to call authorities and when questioned by the police and was made to feel like a “criminal.” She said the college mishandled the case, asking ignorant questions and “left her feeling even more traumatized and unsafe. I’ve never felt more shoved under the rug in my life.”

Regardless, questions need to be asked – however painful – to find the truth. Feminists talk about the stigma attached to rape, yet fall back on that as an excuse for rape-shield laws and victim-friendly rules that perpetuate the stigma! Rather than not allowing “embarrassing” questions, let’s fight the stigma by candidly telling what happened and answering all questions confidently.

From The New York Times:

“Another factor, college officials and students say, is that the stigma that has kept most rape victims silent, while still strong, has eased, leading to a sharp increase in the number of attacks reported to college officials.”

Feminists and the mainstream media want to have it both ways – “the stigma (and oppression), while still strong, has eased,” but of course ‘more work has to be done.’”

Despite what feminists say, there is no “epidemic” of rape and sexual assault (epidemic: “spreading unusually quickly and extensively”). Like Mike Buchanan said about “Everyday Sexism”, these are whiners and complainers who exaggerate micro-aggressions and wallow in victimhood and weakness.                 

As the saying goes, “Go out looking for one thing, and that’s all you’ll ever find” [1].

Some falsely accused men are fighting back and suing their colleges for lack of due process, libel, slander, and Title IX violations of sex discrimination. Because feminists have taken over many of our institutions and feel a sense of invincibility, women like Emma have no qualms about smearing someone’s name and reputation despite the facts.

One of the accusers of this man (there were three) claimed he forced a kiss on her – hardly rape, not even close, yet it’s lumped in with rape and written on bathroom walls on campus. There is an investigation being made and I hope the bigots/vandals/vigilantes get sued big time.

I’ll let commenter Dale from The New York Times [2] conclude:

It is a long-running concept in U.S. criminal law that one can only be found guilty of a crime if it is beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused has committed it. Now, the administration wants to weaken this fundamental protection of due process and wants private entities, institutions of higher learning in this case, to serve as judicial bodies without the protections in place that criminal courts have to follow in order to protect those involved in the proceedings.

This is an extremely dangerous precedent and an underhanded way to sidestep the Constitution. Someone accused of a crime, especially such a heinous crime as sexual assault, should be afforded the protections promulgated by the Constitution and other aspects of criminal law.

Once the right of due process is eliminated for certain crimes, how long will it be before due process is denied for people accused of other crimes?

Sexual assault should be taken seriously, of course. However, dealing with it by throwing out due process and the concept of guilty beyond a reasonable doubt is the wrong way to go about it.

Emma says she’ll carry the mattress until she graduates in 2015 if necessary. If anyone sees her without the mattress, ask her what happened to it and if she’d like to share yours. Wait…better not, your name might end up on a bathroom wall.

***Extra credit question***

Someone is attacking you in a closed elevator. Should you:

  1. Stand there and take it like a punching bag, or
  2. Fight back and defend yourself

Note: (2) is only allowed against males, unless you’re a female.


[1] Quote by Robert Flaherty.

[2] Posted May 3, 2014

Related articles courtesy of Gary Costanza

Here are a few related articles demonstrating “how fearful Emma is of the rape culture and how the patriarchy is ignoring women’s voices”:

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Comments (6)

  1. Great article. As someone who saw a close male relative torn apart by a rape allegation which was later proven to have been false, it absolutely enrages me when I see this kind of hysterical vigilantism. Are we not supposed to have a requirement for proof beyond reasonable doubt?

    Why don’t we just bring back witch-finders while we’re at it? The actions of people like Emma Sulkowicz should be repulsive to anyone who believes in the right to due process and justice for all, and the fact that they are being tolerated by an educational institution just makes them even more disgusting.

  2. “choking, slapping and nonconsensual anal sex”

    Those sound like the kinds of things that would leave marks on a person, although those marks would probably fade away after, say, seven months. You can’t really blame the police for not seeing scratches and bruises several years after they healed (assuming they were ever there).

  3. If I went to police and said I was raped 2 years ago do you think they would take me seriously, let alone if I said I was raped a half hour ago?

  4. should be no surprises by now that if the feminists don’t get the law they want, as it doesn’t suit their definition of justice, they create their own. look at california and the yes means yes proposition. at firs the feminists wanted to emphasize no means no, and when that wasn’t getting them their targeted rape numbers they move the goal posts to yes means yes, which can also be subject to scrutiny for anyone who merely obtained a verbal consent as this could easily be challenged 7 months later and turn into a rape accusation. because there are no false rape accusations, correct? 1 in 5 on college campuses despite no college campus indicating those conviction or reporting rates, that claim is the largest false rape allegation out there, affecting thousands of male college students who are now under scrutiny as all being rapists.

  5. Jean Valjean

    I am highly doubtful of any rape accusation if two things have occurred.

    1. The woman did not report it to the police and or they would not arrest the suspect.
    2. The “victim” only reported it to the university and they refused to convict him of rape.

    Universities use the lowest burden of proof (50.1%). If the suspect isn’t convicted then her claim is all but certain to be false.

    That said, many women love to be victims. It gets them lots of attention and even financial support and gifts. Every day I see a woman telling the world about how she was raped, or how she has cancer, or how she struggles with some emotional problem.

    No man brags about being a victim. It’s pathetic frankly. And that’s exactly what I think of women who wallow in their victim status.

    Man up already losers.

  6. Jack Strawb

    Well said.

    Also, you mentioned rape shield laws once, and only in the context of protection for the accuser. I strongly believe, given as you note that accused men are sometimes violently assaulted (and even killed), and given that in addition to revenge assaults and murders false accusations easily destroy lives and reputations, we must extend rape shield laws to protect the accused’s name from publication unless he is found guilty.
    I do believe most women tell the truth about rape, but it also seems to me that the following elements are in play:
    1) we increasingly protect the accuser from consequences of a false accusation, thereby incentivizing knowingly false accusations;
    2) the appearance of having been raped is no longer a mark of shame and in fact grants an accuser entry into an established, supportive community;
    3) we continue to lower the burden of proof and reduce protections for the accused making the payoff (whether it’s emotional, or vengeful, or financial) for a false accusation, if such it is, increasingly likely
    4) we have broadened the definition of rape to the point where the only determining factor in some instances has nothing to do with events but only with the accuser’s state of mind, and
    5) this leads accusers to genuinely believe they have been raped when no reasonable person would agree that what actually transpired meets the definition of rape.***

    All of these suggest to me that false accusations have become more common.
    I am also put in mind of Karen Straughan’s video essay, “Don’t be that lying feminist,” where starting around 7:20 Karen details the appalling variety of false accusations.
    Neither you nor I know what the true rate is of false accusations. The FBI puts the figure at 8%. kanan of Perdue put it at 41%. The Women’s Commission of New Delhi examined several thousand cases recently and put the rate of false accusations at 53%.
    Even if false accusations are not uncommon, the villainy that can be visited on the accused can be deadly. It is also the case that no matter how mcuh we deplore the crime, even the guilty must be spared extrajudicial violence.

    The accused needs protection through the extension of rape shield laws.


    ***I also believe we’re at the point where the binary of true accusation / false accusation no longer serves us well. There’s a third category, where someone has sex, believes to a certainty she was raped, but was not. I use as an example the case of neuroscientist Michelle Acciavatti.
    In the article linked below Acciavatti describes herself as being tired of taking responsibility. Here the accusation involves a redefinition of rape to the point where it’s entirely up to your partner to know your level of intoxication, and where his level of intoxication just doesn’t matter. It scarcely enters the story. He is now entirely responsible for you. 
    A columnist friend brought this to my attention. She asked me to read through Acciavatti’s account of her “rape” because she, the columnist, couldn’t find the act, or the actions that would let us conclude the act had occurred. In short, a perfectly intelligent woman chooses to believe that once she’s had too much to drink, if she has sex, she’s been raped.



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