This is Why I Don’t Believe You
Emma Sulkowicz, a student at Columbia (and unsurprisingly a visual arts major) has declared that she was violently raped by a fellow student. To protest the university’s official finding of “not enough evidence” and their clearing of the accused, she has taken the following tack:
Outraged, Sulkowicz began carrying a 50-pound mattress wherever she went on campus, to suggest the painful burden she continues to bear. She has vowed to keep at it until he leaves the school.
However, after making an initial inquiry with the police,
Sulkowicz did not press criminal charges, a lengthy process that she said would be too draining
Carrying a 50 pound mattress for years or more and collecting all the delicious attention from various concerns, that’s easy. Actually going through the legal process to help authorities take what she has presented as a dangerous and violent man out of circulation so that he won’t victimize other women?
Can’t be arsed.
Paul Nungesser, the man accused by Sulkowicz of rape, was also accused by two other female students at essentially the same time. One accused him of groping her at a party, the other of “intimate partner violence” including forced sex and emotional abuse.
Coming as a complete shock, when given the opportunity to plead their cases, groped girl –
had graduated and was unable, she said, to participate in the process
The outcome for intimate partner violence and forced sex girl –
The university dropped the intimate partner violence charge after that accuser, saying she was exhausted by the barrage of questions, stopped answering emails over summer vacation.
“It’s just such an awful burden,” said the fragile ladies, raising a limpid wrist to their pale foreheads, and sinking artfully to their finely upholstered fainting couches, “to have to keep telling the tale of my trauma to those who refuse to recognize that those possessed of uteri would never lie. It feels like being violated all over again to have my strictly editorial embellishments questioned!”
The audience is entranced.
I, on the other hand, am wondering why we have a bunch of presumably strong, capable, intelligent modern women who decide to roar like lions, then act like mice when someone with authority notices said roaring.
The simple answer, and I love the simple answer, is that her story will get a bunch of sympathy and attention and accolades for bravery and perseverance from people to whom it can remain literary and ambiguous.
The police and other authorities have the capability to establish whether or not one’s story is factually correct. Facts are the natural anathema of attention whores.
This is why carrying a 50 lb mattress advertising your trauma to the general public is a good, workable, idea, but helping the police put away a presumably violent criminal is “too hard.”
It’s because you’re lying.