Columbia student will carry her mattress until her rapist exits school
September 2, 2014
While most students at Columbia University will spend the first day of classes carrying backpacks and books, Emma Sulkowicz will start her semester on Tuesday with a far heavier burden. The senior plans on carrying an extra-long, twin-size mattress across the quad and through each New York City building – to every class, every day – until the man she says raped her moves off campus.
“I was raped in my own bed,” Sulkowicz told me the other day, as she was gearing up to head back to school in this, the year American colleges are finally, supposedly, ready to do something about sexual assault. “I could have taken my pillow, but I want people to see how it weighs down a person to be ignored by the school administration and harassed by police.”
Sulkowicz is one of three women who made complaints to Columbia against the same fellow senior, who was found “not responsible” in all three cases. She alsofiled a police report, but Sulkowicz was treated abysmally – by the cops, and by a Columbia disciplinary panel so uneducated about the scourge of campus violence that one panelist asked how it was possible to be anally raped without lubrication.
So Sulkowicz joined a federal complaint in April over Columbia’s mishandling of sexual misconduct cases, and she will will hoist that mattress on her shoulders as part savvy activism, part performance art. “The administration can end the piece, by expelling him,” she says, “or he can, by leaving campus.”
Note: I may have put off posting this for months because I am the very worst procrastinator but here we go…
So remember how earlier this year I made a little post about how I’d recently discovered Nickelodeons’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and how much I was enjoying it? Well, as I made my way through season two I started feeling more uneasy with its treatment of the only two girls on the show. I looked into some fellow TMNT fan blogs run by women and found out that I wasn’t the only one who had this disillusionment over the course of the show’s development, especially in regards to April.
I also found out that the executive producer of the show, Ciro Nieli, had talked about his plans for whether or not there would be more female characters on the show during an interview last year with Shellshocked: the TMNT podcast, and inadvertently revealed some of his own feelings on female characters and women in general that were sexist and ill-informed. The whole thing’s left enough of a bad taste in my mouth that I haven’t watched Nick’s TMNT since I discovered said interview (the last episode I saw was season 2, #17 “Newtralized”)
I’ve read criticism about it here, and I’m sure many other blogs run by fans have mentioned it. I know I’m so very very late to the party, but I wanted to write out my own issues with what he said because there was just a lot I was dying to say.
So, here’s my reply to Ciro Nieli
which I may or may not have sent to him even though I know there’s not a chance in hell he’ll read it hey a girl can dream
So my friend came into school one day wearing a dress that had straps and the vice principal came up to her and said “You need to either change or cover your shoulders up because it’ll distract the boys” to which she replied “Well I find boys faces distracting, do they have to cover them up?” and the vice principal said “Maybe you should focus in class more.”
If that doesn’t tell you that things are messed up, then I don’t know what does.
HeroesCon 2014 sketch
Focus is on hair. She has a ton of it so why not feature it ;).
|—||Wagatwe Wanjuki, UVM Dismantling Rape Culture Conference 2014 (via thewastedgeneration)|
Megan Fox is my idol ❤️