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.
‘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” .
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  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.
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.
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:
- Stand there and take it like a punching bag, or
- Fight back and defend yourself
Note: (2) is only allowed against males, unless you’re a female.
 Quote by Robert Flaherty. 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”:
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Seeks Funds To Fight College Campus Sex Assaults
- Fight Against Sexual Assaults Holds Colleges to Account
- Columbia University Vigilantes Are Naming ‘Rapists on Campus’ in Bathroom Graffiti
- List of Names in Sex Assaults Roils Columbia
- List of Names of Alleged Rapists Written on Bathroom Walls
- ‘My Rapist is Still on Campus’
- Emma Sulkowicz Files Police Report for Sexual Assault
- Frustrated by Columbia’s inaction, student reports sexual assault to police
- After Police Report, Columbia Spectator Publishes Name From Campus ‘Rape List’
- Columbia Student Pledges to Carry a Mattress Every Day Till Alleged Rapist Leaves Campus
- Columbia Student Carrying Mattress Around Until Alleged Rapist is Expelled