Tag: Emma Sulkowicz

Mattress Girl Discredited

 

If you haven’t heard of the “mattress girl,” it’s not for lack of trying among liberal opinion shapers. Emma Sulkowicz, who dragged a blue mattress around Columbia University’s campus in 2014 to dramatize her plight as a rape victim, was profiled sympathetically in New York magazine, the New York Times and other publications. Senator Kirstin Gillibrand (D., NY) invited her to attend one of President Obama’s State of the Union speeches. Artnet pronounced her mattress stunt (for which Columbia awarded her course credit as an art project) “one of the most important art works of the year,” and she was honored by the Feminist Majority Foundation and other groups.

Her story is this: A consensual sexual encounter with a male student named Paul Nungesser suddenly turned violent. Without warning, he choked her, struck her, and anally penetrated her while she cried out in pain.

Such things do happen. In the course of researching a book due out next year, I’ve spoken to dozens of college students. Every single one knows someone who has been raped. Some know more than one. And the list of colleges that have disciplined or expelled students for rape or sexual assault is long. Some college students have been criminally prosecuted, and rightly so.

The (Largely Ignored) Carol Bowne Story

 

In 2012, Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz claimed that she was raped. The university investigated, and found no evidence for the claim. In protest, Sulkowicz started an art project called “Carry that Weight,” in which she lugged her mattress around campus until her graduation last month. Even after dismissing the claim — and as questions about the veracity of the underlying allegation grew — the school endorsed the project as Sulkowicz’s senior thesis. Soon, images of her carrying her mattress went viral, and she became an international feminist icon. Many stories were written about her on sites like Salon, Jezebel, and Cosmopolitan. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand invited her to the State of the Union speech. Even fellow feminist icon and Girls star Lena Dunham tweeted her support: