I have, for some time, been keeping an eye on the new college campus rape narrative, which basically argues, against all evidence, that something like 20-25% of all women in college will be raped during their college years. Rational people know this to be utterly nonsensical. Not only do the facts not support it, experience confirms it must be a lie. Think gentle readers: had 25% of the women with whom you attended college been raped during those four years? Anything close to that number?
However, whenever social justice is the goal, and this movement is being pushed by the Obama Administration, lies are merely means to an end, and the end always justifies the means. One obvious lie is the sordid tale of Emma Sulkowicz, a student of Columbia University, AKA “The Mattress Girl.”
A review: the rule of law requires equal justice for all. Social justice requires that enemies of the ruling party be punished, and to ensure proper punishment, law is whatever the ruling party says it is at the moment. In fact, the process is the punishment. Just ask Tom Delay, Rick Perry or George Zimmerman.
In The Trivialization of Rape, and Rape Investigation: Reality v. Narrative, I explored the relationship between campus rape “investigations” and the reality of investigating and prosecuting rape cases. There are no parallels. Rape is a violent felony. College administrators have no training, nothing like the temperament, no experience and no business investigating and making pronouncements on felony crimes. That they also lack statutory authority should go without saying. Yet they have bought into the Obama Administration’s social justice lunacy and are destroying the lives of young men. The story of Emma Sulkowicz well illustrates the folly. The Daily Beast has the story:
…Paul Nungesser, a full-scholarship student from Germany, found himself at the center of a sexual-assault case that would eventually receive national media coverage and attract the attention of politicians and feminist leaders. Nungesser’s accuser, Emma Sulkowicz—famous for carrying her mattress on campus as a symbol of her burden as a victim and a protest against Columbia’s failure to expel the man she calls her rapist—has become the face of the college rape survivors’ movement. Sulkowicz’s protest has garnered her awards from the New York City chapter of the National Organization for Women and the Feminist Majority Foundation; last month, she attended the State of the Union address as a guest of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
The story Sulkowicz has told, in numerous media appearances and interviews, is nothing short of harrowing. On Aug. 27, 2012, she has said, a sexual encounter that began as consensual suddenly turned terrifyingly violent: Her partner, a man whom she considered a close friend and with whom she had sex on two prior occasions, began choking and hitting her and then penetrated her anally while she struggled and screamed in pain. By Sulkowicz’s account, she finally decided to file a complaint within the university system several months later when she heard stories of other sexual assaults by the same man—only to see him exonerated after a shoddy investigation and a hearing at which she was subjected to clueless and insensitive questions. What’s more, charges brought against the man by two other women also ended up being dismissed.
It’s even better than that. A guy eventually accused Nungesser of some sort of vague sexual misconduct. Columbia found him innocent of even that bizarre charge, which joined the charges of the two other women in badly failing even the extraordinarily low standard of proof required by collegiate tribunals (50.00001%). One might be forgiven for imagining that the additional three charges were matters of fashion, not law. After all, if four politically correct social justice-oriented campus tribunals found Nungesser innocent, that would seem to suggest there was no evidence against Nungesser, but much political hay to be made in the pursuit. The fact that the police also investigated Sulcowicz’s complaint and declined to prosecute may also be significant, at least to those for whom the rule of law is significant.
The Daily Beast article also outlines additional interesting facts. Following her “rape” by Nungesser, Sulkowicz had repeated, and very friendly contacts with Nungesser, including a variety of social media messages:
Nungesser provided The Daily Beast with Facebook messages with Sulkowicz from August, September, and October 2012. (In an email to The Daily Beast, Sulkowicz confirmed that these records were authentic and not redacted in any way; while she initially offered to provide ‘annotations’ explaining the context on the messages, she then emailed again to say that she would not be sending them.) On Aug. 29, two days after the alleged rape, Nungesser messaged Sulkowicz on Facebook to say, ‘Small shindig in our room tonight—bring cool freshmen.’ Her response:
Also I feel like we need to have some real time where we can talk about life and thingz
because we still haven’t really had a paul-emma chill sesh since summmmerrrr
On Sept. 9, on a morning before an ADP meeting, it was Sulkowicz who initiated the Facebook contact, asking Nungesser if he wanted to ‘hang out a little bit’ before or after the meeting and concluding with:
whatever I want to see yoyououoyou
respond—I’ll get the message on ma phone
On Oct. 3, Sulkowicz’s birthday, Nungesser sent her an effusive greeting; she responded the next morning with, ‘I love you Paul. Where are you?!?!?!?!
And there the bizarre tale might have ended, except Sulkowicz began to carry a mattress around campus. She even earned college credit for this “art” project, and wrote her senior thesis on the subject. This, of course, led to fame of a sort for Sulkowicz who became the heroine of the moment for feminists and various social justice cracktivists.
Even with that kind of adulation, Sulkowicz was far from done, as the Washington Examiner explains:
Emma Sulkowicz, the Columbia University student who has carried a mattress around campus as part of an art project for the past year, has graduated. And she carried that mattress across the stage during the ceremony — to much applause.
Paul Nungesser, the man she accused of raping her, and who was cleared by a campus hearing and the police, was forced to watch, having walked across the stage just a few minutes earlier.
Nungesser is now suing Columbia for facilitating a harassment campaign against him. He alleges in his lawsuit that by allowing and even praising Sulkowicz’s mattress project, the school was complicit in defaming him.
The harassment ‘significantly damaged, if not effectively destroyed Paul Nungesser’s college experience, his reputation, his emotional well-being and his future career prospects,’ the lawsuit alleges.
On Monday, Columbia circulated an email banning students from bringing large objects to graduation. It appeared at the time that Sulkowicz was being disallowed from carrying her mattress across the stage. But evidently, that was not the case.
Allowing Sulkowicz to carry her mattress may have helped Nungesser’s case in court, as the school made clear that large objects were banned but then did nothing to stop Sulkowicz.
That Columbia allowed its graduation to be turned into a parody is hardly surprising, however, this kind of lunacy will surely be helpful to Nungesser in his lawsuit, which will likely be settled out of court. Unfortunately, such settlements are seldom painful enough for university administrators to change their behavior in any significant way.
But even this is not the end of the tale of Emma Sulkowicz. What could she do beyond what she’s already done to keep herself in the news? She made a porn video. Brietbart has the story:
In preparing for this review, my researcher had to watch Emma Sulkowicz, a.k.a. ‘Mattress Girl,’ perform fellatio on an overweight man eleven times. He tells me that he is now seriously considering homosexuality. [skip]
Of course, like Sulkowicz’s previous psychiatric outburst, it’s all dressed up as ‘art,’ else the men in white coats would already be on their way over to Morningside Heights. A website, titled ‘This is not a rape’ (in French — ooh la la!) hosted, until earlier this afternoon, the video, which we may as well do the courtesy of examining as a work of creative activity, as Sulkowicz insists, rather than a sordid cry for help.
The Brietbart article’s author is not kind to Sulkowicz. I found myself almost feeling sorry for her while reading it. Should you be in the mood to see her nude video selfie for yourself, go here (the video was still active as this article was posted), but keep in mind it is not, in any way, up to the quality of professionally produced porn. I was able to watch only about 30 seconds before becoming profoundly embarrassed for Sulkowicz. There is little grace or beauty involved. It was simultaneously filmed by four cameras at four different angles, none of which are complimentary. A sample of the article:
Emma gets on top and grinds around for a minute or so, trying to show off her sinewy, sexual side, but leaving this author wondering if she might need a scoliosis brace. Then there’s a bit of punching, and a bit of apparently forced sex — which Sulkowicz says has nothing whatsoever to do with her alleged real-life rape, not at all, not one bit, don’t you even think it!
If you know what hentai is, you’ll be familiar with the spectacle of a blue-haired Asian woman screaming for it all to stop whilst not really meaning it with a man pounding away noiselessly like a mechanistic rape engine. It’s not exactly an original set-up.
Perhaps the most despicable section of the film is the creepily self-conscious fetal position into which Sulkowicz places herself after her sexual partner has left the room, clothes in hand. She’s practised that for hours, has our girl. For how long, one wonders, did she rehearse?
As I’ve previously noted, there will be no prosecution in this case, which is plainly fortuitous. Any police officer or prosecutor reading this article would surely be overjoyed that they aren’t involved in a rape case with someone like Sulkowicz as a victim/witness.
Where the rule of law is concerned, a prosecutor must be able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, every element of every offense charged. In rape cases, particularly he said/she said cases, much hangs on the credibility of the victim. If the victim is not reliable or believable, conviction becomes difficult or impossible. Juries expect victims to be emotional, perhaps even a little irrational, but they don’t deal well with flakiness, deception, or people making political points. They certainly don’t accept art projects as fulfillment of the elements of felonies.
This does raise an interesting question, one well considered by the police and prosecutors: can a prostitute be raped? Please understand, I’m not calling Ms. Sulkowicz a prostitute, and the larger question is really whether someone accused of raping a prostitute can be convicted of rape. This may be a novel question to many, but all police officers and prosecutors must consider it, and often, deal with it.
Making a video of one’s own artistic “rape,” including nudity, is hardly what most people would consider normal or rational. Any rape victim due to testify against their rapist doing anything even remotely like it would likely doom the case. This is where things become interesting.
A prostitute, a woman for whom sex is a profession, may surely be raped under the language of such statutes, but the very nature of her occupation presents unique, and in some cases, insurmountable obstacles to a successful prosecution. This would be true for exotic dancers or porn actresses as well, though it would probably be somewhat easier to prosecute such cases.
Is this a double standard? Can men do essentially whatever they want sexually with as many women as they can entice, while women doing the same are seen as soiled? At one time, the answer would have been obvious. It is less so today. Whether that represents social progress is another matter for another article.
The ultimate issue is witness credibility. A man whose sexual escapades could be painted as excessive, unusual or abusive would not be a good witness any more than a woman whose behavior before and/or after a rape contradicted her account of the rape, or gave a jury cause to doubt her stability or honesty.
By quite dramatically exposing herself to the world, Emma Sulkowicz has made herself a nightmare witness, now–God forbid that she should ever actually be raped–and in the future. She has made herself a sexual “girl who cried wolf.” This will likely not harm her celebrity in most social justice circles, which will see—or at least spin–her compulsive and destructive behaviors as a sign of great courage. Some such, a bit more in touch with reality, may wisely begin to edge away from Sulkowicz. I shudder to think what she may do to top her previous “performances,” to stay in the news.
One thing is clear: Emma Sulkowicz’s example has not made prosecuting actual rapes any easier regardless of how many social justice points she has scored. I can’t help but believe it will not, in the long run, make life easy or pleasant for her.