Friday, May 22, 2015

Social Media Bleeds you til you hurt

And the back of the lash continues.

I was not a supporter of the "performance" poli speak of the young woman who alleges she was raped and while contradictory evidence mounted, the Rolling Stone article and it being debunked only ads fuel to a fire that has been burning of late with regards to the issue of rape, being on or off a college campus.

And when I posted the article decrying "feminism" and calling sexual encounters rape, I did so as a proud feminist and admitted lover of sex and men. I have had bad sex and referred to it as tantamount to rape, the man was abusive, unkind and he walked out after ejaculating like a dog pissing on me. I knew I would never be able to legally prosecute him as the sexual contact began consensually then it turned ugly. He began to sodomize me, he stopped when I managed to lift my head that he was holding down into a pillow so I would not scream up and I said "would you like lube to make it easier?" Then he withdrew, masturbated himself to ejaculation and got up showered and left, walking out the door saying, "you wanted that." I am not sure I could even respond nor cared to. I found my dog cowering in the garage. I was raped, I knew it and there was nothing I could do about it.

Then came February 8, 2013. I had dated had consensual sex with a much younger man. We met 3 years later at his invite. He was late, I was on my second cocktail, a whiskey sour, nothing special, and I agreed at his behest to stay for only one and call it a night, we both had early jobs in which to go to. He was a Chemistry student at the University of Washington in a grad program and worked at a lab. I had not seen him in 3 years but they had not been kind to him. He looked rough, was late and was frankly not the charming young boy I knew earlier. I was never sure of his last name and he used his mother maiden name I recall as he was part Muslim and had done so to avoid any conflict as a result. I ordered my third and last drink, he ordered his and I paid and closed the tab. I poured the residue of that drink into the new one, took a sip and excused myself to the ladies. I was in there a few minutes actually longer as the rest room of this bar was gorgeous so I took some snaps to later include in a design idea. I came back, it was shortly before 9 pm or so. We chatted for 10 minutes or so and then I got up to end it. I don't recall finishing the drink, I recall walking out the door and walking in the wrong direction.

I have no memories of what happened to me that night nor for a week thereafter as I was found in my car, crashed, unconscious, a witness saw a man walk up to the car and say 'she is still breathing' and walk off. I was intubated at the scene taken to a hospital, released prematurely with traumatic brain injury and the amnesia that also results and wandered the streets for a week. I came out of it the day I received a text saying "recovered ready to do it again?" When I finally spoke to him a year later he claimed never to know me. The Police say he doesn't exist and not one Lawyer I hired nor the Prosecutor of the City of Seattle ever subpoenaed Verizon for phone records, nor ever tried to find the maniac who did something with or to me for over 2 hours. I was found with a blood alcohol count of over 213. That is dead or poisoned but again to the morons at Harborview I was drunk slut who "deserved it."

That phrase is used all the time. I hear it in the movies in my head when I tell the story and then I don't I quit awhile ago giving a flying fuck as you do. But this girl and this mattress is not doing anything but living it over, she has said she has quit and her point made but at what cost and to how many other whose stories will get buried behind the "art protest" that may or may not have anything to do with how we define rape. She believes she was raped. I have told this story more times now and I have never been healed from it. It won't be the last time either but I will never get past it or healed if I continue to tell it. I get it I get more than anyone and in the privacy of my home no one hears my screams. I like it that way.

#RapeHoax posters plastered around Columbia University in backlash against alleged rape

By Michael E. Miller
The Washingto Post
May 22 2015

Apparently posters calling Emma Sulkowicz a "Pretty Little Liar" such as this one went up overnight around campus.

— Teo Armus (@teoarmus) May 20, 2015

On Tuesday morning, Emma Sulkowicz carried her mattress across the Columbia University commencement stage. By doing so, she also carried herself and her one-woman protest against rape back into the headlines.

Columbia President Lee Bollinger literally turned his back on her, appearing to refuse to shake her hand as Sulkowicz strode across the stage with the mattress. (Columbia says the missed handshake was unintentional). Sulkowicz shrugged and kept marching as the crowd applauded. Afterward, she said she was done with her project.

But the bitter debate her project helped ignite across the country isn’t yet done with her.

Emma Sulkowicz brought a mattress to Columbia University’s commencement to protest what she said was the university's mishandling of her sexual assault complaint. (Columbia Daily Spectator)
Hours after the graduation ceremony, posters featuring a photo of Sulkowicz alongside the words “pretty little liar” and the Twitter hashtag #RapeHoax appeared around Columbia’s campus. The large black and white posters were plastered on subway signs and on boarded up buildings, street lights and newspaper kiosks.

It’s unclear who is behind the #RapeHoax campaign, but the same people also appear to have started a “Fake Rape” account on Twitter and Flickr (the Flickr account has since been taken down). Neither Sulkowicz nor the unnamed individuals behind the #RapeHoax campaign immediately returned requests for comment made late Thursday night.

As with every twist and turn during the 10-month saga of Sulkowicz’s public protest, reaction to the posters was immediate and intense. Photos showed New Yorkers tearing down the posters in disgust on Wednesday morning, only for similar photos to be mockingly posted on the “Fake Rape” Twitter feed as well.

Teach your children well. #EmmaSulkowicz #ColumbiaCommencement

— Fake Rape (@fakerape) May 20, 2015

Sulkowicz has yet to comment on the posters, although she did take to Facebook on Thursday to praise an article that criticized the posters and the campaign against her.

The 22-year-old launched her protest last August, carrying a mattress around campus to protest how Columbia handled her sexual assault complaint. Sulkowicz says that during her sophomore year she was raped by a fellow student, whom she didn’t name but has since been identified as Paul Nungesser.

“I will be carrying this dorm room mattress with me everywhere I go for as long as I attend the same school as my rapist,” she told the Columbia Daily Spectator last fall. “The piece could potentially take a day or it could go on until I graduate.”

Her dramatic gesture quickly gained the attention of media and her fellow students. She was profiled in the New York Times and lauded by anti-sexual-assault groups. Sulkowicz turned the protest into her senior thesis, calling the project “Carry That Weight.” And on Oct. 29, 130 schools around the country participated in a “Carry That Weight Together” event as part of a National Day of Action against sexual assault.

But Sulkowicz’s very public protest also drew criticism, particularly after Columbia cleared Nungesser. In an interview with the Daily Beast, Nungesser not only denied raping Sulkowicz but said he had been victimized by a smear campaign falsely labeling him a rapist.

Emma Sulkowicz carries a mattress in protest of what she says was Columbia University’s lack of action after she reported being raped during her sophomore year on Sept. 5, 2014, in New York City. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Last month, Nungesser sued Columbia, its board of trustees, president Bollinger and one of its professors, claiming that the school failed to protect him from Sulkowicz’s “harassment campaign” even after he had been cleared. “Columbia University’s effective sponsorship of the gender-based harassment and defamation of Paul resulted in an intimidating, hostile, demeaning . . . learning and living environment,” the suit alleged.

Sulkowicz’s appearance with the mattress on stage on Tuesday led to another round of criticism. Conservative writer Heather Wilhelm slammed Sulkowicz for protesting but not initially referring the case to police. “The result, sadly, is mattress feminism: a squishy, no-backbone ideology that eschews female agency, rejects critical thinking, and encourages women to be helpless doormats — or downright delusional — when it comes to the topic of sexual assault,” Wilhelm wrote.

Nungesser’s family also released a statement slamming Sulkowicz and her “false narrative.”

“Our son’s graduation should have been a joyous moment for our whole family. We are extremely proud of Paul for graduating, even more so because of the harassment campaign he was subjected to. For over two years, he had to fight false accusations and a public witch-hunt, even though Columbia and the NYPD exonerated him,” the statement said. “Responsible for this nightmare is not just the woman, who received an academic degree for the attempt to shame Paul away from campus, but even more at fault is the University that conferred this degree. A university that bows to a public witch-hunt no longer deserves to be called a place of enlightenment, of intellectual and academic freedom.”

@fakerape this is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen

— sara (@saraphernalia) May 21, 2015

But the posters put up Tuesday night are part of a broader reaction to rising criticism of sexual assault on campus. Just as Sulkowicz’s protest has become a rallying cry for anti-sexual-assault activists, so, too, has it become a symbol to her critics of the dangers of rushing to side with female accusers.

Lurking in the background is the scandal surrounding Rolling Stone’s article on alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia. After The Washington Post and other media exposed serious flaws in Rolling Stone’s reporting, the magazine retracted the article.

Shortly after Rolling Stone’s article started falling apart, an opinion piece in USA Today bemoaned the “great campus rape hoax” allegedly sweeping the nation. “The truth is that there’s no epidemic outbreak of college rape,” wrote Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor. “In fact, rape on college campuses is — like rape everywhere else in America — plummeting in frequency. And that 1-in-5 college rape number you keep hearing in the press? It’s thoroughly bogus, too.”

Reynolds was referring to an often-cited CDC study finding that nearly one in five women have been raped. “Even one rape is too many, of course, on or off of campus,” he wrote. “But when activists and politicians try to gin up a phony crisis, public trust is likely to be a major casualty.”

And then, of course, there is the pushback to the pushback. The #RapeHoax posters didn’t last long before they were literally torn down. Twitter users tore away at the “Fake Rape” account online, accusing it of bullying. And the Flickr account was quickly blocked.

@fakerape @teoarmus Let me correct that for you: "Who are these fine upstanders of bullying?" You guys are seriously out of line here

— Minnie (@MinnieCamse) May 22, 2015

“I went public with my story because I wanted to show the world how flawed the college process for handling cases of sexual assault is,” Sulkowicz has said.

Ultimately, that may be the only thing that the two sides agree on.

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