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 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.”

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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. 



Stop calling what’s happening in Ferguson a “riot”.

It is not a riot.

Vancouver losing the Stanley Cup a few years ago was a riot. It was angry, drunken destruction with no purpose. (And as a Canadian, it was a shameful event)

Ferguson is not a riot. It is a protest. It is an uprising. It is a civil rights revolution. The prople of Ferguson may be angry, but they have a reason to be angry, and they are not violent, and they are not hooligans, thugs or looters. They are protesting for their human rights which are currently being denied.

Look at the difference between a riot and a protest. A riot is chaos. A protest has a purpose.

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Anonymous asked:

"Because white privilege"- so white "privilege" literally prevents black people (especially black males) from going to college in significant numbers? Wow, you might be more racist than me- you're implying that "oppression" has made the average black person into such a savage that he can't make the choice to better himself. They still have agency! Also, I wholeheartedly support planned parenthood- the root of many of the world's problems stem from people having kids they can't afford to raise.

carolineeand answered:

I remember the wheelchair ramp that went to one of the buildings at my college being so steep that even to walk up or down it was a chore. It was nearly impossible. Then you looked at the next building over, they had a wheelchair ramp that was such a slight slope that they had to circle around 4 times to get up the distance of four steps.

Do you think the building planner hated people with handicaps? That the foreman of the construction crew wanted to inconvenience them? That the men building them were laughing at the idea of a wheelchair careening out of control or someone taking five times as long as their friends?

Of course not. But when able-bodied people make a plan that is implemented by able-bodied people, they miss things that having a person in a wheelchair around to inform them would have educated them to. And things like “ease” and “convenience” are rarely factored in.

Yes, white privilege literally prevents black people from going to college in significant numbers. Because for hundreds of years, white people have made rules and white people have implemented those rules and while I’m sure many of them were not looking to be exclusionary, the very fact that they lacked diversity meant they didn’t create an infrastructure to allow racial diversity. This is true in education, government, medicine, media, arts & entertainment, STEM and more.

Also, as someone who could only afford college because of a scholarship, please know that attending college is not as simple as “a choice.”

Great straw man work though!

If someone were to die at the age of 63 after a lifelong battle with MS or Sickle Cell, we’d all say they were a “fighter” or an “inspiration.” But when someone dies after a lifelong battle with severe mental illness and drug addiction, we say it was a tragedy and tell everyone “don’t be like him, please seek help.” That’s bullshit. Robin Williams sought help his entire life. He saw a psychiatrist. He quit drinking. He went to rehab. He did this for decades. That’s HOW he made it to 63. For some people, 63 is a fucking miracle. I know several people who didn’t make it past 23 and I’d do anything to have 40 more years with them.

anonymous reader on The Dish

One of the more helpful and insightful things I’ve seen about depression/suicide in the last couple of days.

(via mysweetetc)