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 also filed 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.”
As painful as I know the constant reminder of attending school with her rapist must be, I’m glad she won’t be the only one forced to remember. I hope the rapist drops out immediately…or better yet, I hope he faces the justice he deserves.
The New Jim Crow
1. Ferguson, Missouri has a population of approximately 21,000 people — roughly 75% of those residents are Black
2. The Ferguson police department has around 530 cops —less than 5 of them are Black
3. Ferguson had *zero* homicides for all of 2014 —until Michael Brown was murdered by Darrin Wilson
4. Things you should know: Five Myths About Black-on-Black Crime
5. Michael Brown was 18yrs old and was about to begin college. Brown had no criminal record, and despite the Ferguson PD’s smear campaign, Mike Brown PAID FOR the cigars —those facts are all important and should be known, but even if Brown was a high school dropout with prior arrests who stole the cigars, 1) it wouldn’t have made his life any less valuable, 2) we have a court system and those are not capital offenses and 3) it doesn’t change the fact that the cop who killed him, Darren Wilson, had no idea about Brown’s personal history when he executed Brown. Wilson saw only a Black teen deemed either “too uppity” or “suspicious” because of his skin color
6. Five examples: The Militarization of the police
7. It’s deeply Institutional: Police view Black Children As Less Innocent
8. So please - don’t get it twisted
this never gets old
I met the creator of this a month ago and he said he got a lot of hate mail from dudebros who thought that he was a woman complaining about these problems.
The animator that made this is a really cool guy! His tumblr is here if anyone’s interested.
Monica B.H & Coco Montrese: Lip Syncing to When I Grow Up by The Pussycat Dolls.
Save Me Not Second Base
As Breast Cancer Awareness Month draws to a close I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and a lot of waffling over whether I should get involved with a debatable issue. But one of the things you learn in the School of Humanities is that rhetoric is open for critique.
Go on. Save the boobies. Save the tatas. Save second base. Raise money. Sell wristbands. Base entire campaigns around a secondary, sexualized sex characteristic used pars pro toto for womanhood. You’ll get away with it.
But first save the people they’re attached to.
My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer In Court
I’ve been sending out some impertinent tweets about Progressive Insurance lately, but I haven’t explained how they pissed me off. So I will do that here as succinctly as possible. There’s a general understanding that says, “insurance companies— oh they’re awful,” but since Progressive turned their shit hose on my late sister and my parents, I’ve learned some things that really surprised me.
I’ll try to cleave to the facts. On June 19, 2010, my sister was driving in Baltimore when her car was struck by another car and she was killed. The other driver had run a red light and hit my sister as she crossed the intersection on the green light.