Sometimes getting what you want requires you to grind another person’s name into the dirt. Emma Sulkowicz wanted her fifteen minutes of fame. She wanted to join the Post-modern Pantheon of the Symbolically Oppressed (PPSO). She did so as “Mattress Girl” – avatar of the rape victim. In order to do so, she needed a scapegoat. She needed a male aggressor to be the evil character in her fairy tale. She also needed to serve a constituency who required a symbol to give them a voice. “Mattress Girl” accomplished both of these flying colors. She will enjoy a lifetime of unearned accolades and pointless, undeserved celebrity.
Her patsy was a fellow student at Columbia University named Jean-Paul Nungesser. He was singled out as her rapist as the result of a series of sexual encounters that were a display of poor judgment on both his and her part. As a result of hurt feelings and morning-after regret, Sulkowicz yelled “Rape.” The online lynch-mob self-deputized and began threatening Nungesser. An example of this harassment follows below.
“The name of Emma Sulkowicz’s rapist is Jean-Paul Nungesser. Don’t let him have any feeling of anonymity or security. Rapists don’t get the luxury of feeling comfortable.” Around the same time, Nungesser says that he and his parents spotted an eventually removed a Facebook post that had a far more ominous tone, stating, “I’m only pissed that I’m not in NY to CUT HIS THROAT MYSELF!”
Sulkowicz did not stop at accusing Nungesser of rape. She carried a mattress around the campus to symbolize her plight and announced she would so do until Nungesser left school or they both graduated. This led to Sulkowicz becoming a living symbol. Susan B. Anthony spun and then upchucked in her sarcophagus as Sulkowicz received an award for her mattress carrying escapades* that were now termed performance art.
Emma Sulkowicz cashed in politically as well. Senator Kristin Gillibrand invited her to The State of The Union Address. Poor Emma. She was disappointed in President Obama. Like the Iraqi Kurds, Christians throughout the Middle East, and anyone getting a tax collection notice in the mail on their subsidy from The Unaffordable Care Act; Emma Sulkowicz felt let down.
“I am not going to lie, I was let down because I felt like there were points in his speech where he could have brought it up. I was really hoping he would mention it since the issue has been raised to a new level.”
I’m certain Sulkowicz will get over it the same way Jean-Paul Nungesser will get his good name back.** Sulkowicz, meanwhile, is already popular on the speech circuit. She was awarded a Ms. Wonder Award for inspiring a Carry That Weight Day of Activism last October 29th.
Amazingly, Ms. Wonder has decided that actually charging Jean-Paul Nungesser with rape and holding him legally accountable for a felony crime would be too draining. She has named him. She has accused him of a vile crime for which a guilty perpetrator deserves a long stay in The Grey-Bar Hotel, but will not give him his day in court.
Giving Nungesser a day in court is the last thing Ms. Wonder ever wants to do. An entire mythology has grown up around her victimhood. 30 minutes of cross-examination could obliterate everything she accomplished through transforming herself into “Mattress Girl.” She has cashed in far beyond any innate set of abilities via her victimhood. In the proud tradition of Lena Dunham, “Jackie”, Tawana Brawley and Crystal Mangum she has ridden the carousel of the Rape Accusation Industrial Complex.
So after so many other hoaxes as linked and elaborated above, why would this sordid deceit still continue to work? We know that rape is a real problem. We know that boundaries that used to guide sexual interaction between unmarried people have been dynamited out of the way by the hook-up culture. A certain detestable sub-culture of PUAs, Rohypnol Rapists, Gold Diggers, and false rape accusers is taking advantage of the fact that no standards have been established to properly fill in the moral vacuum in which many people are making their sexual decisions.
I can put only one positive spin on Ms. Wonder’s passive-aggressive art project from Hell. It certainly focused a lot of people on the fact that Post-modern young adulthood can degenerate into a sexual minefield. If people learn from this entire incident to be a lot more careful who and what of themselves they share with others, then Emma Sulkowicz will have accidentally done some good. That would only partially palliate the fact that she has maliciously helped herself to fame, riches and unearned adoration at the expense of Jean-Paul Nungesser’s reputation and future prospects.
*-The project was given academic credit and was entitled “Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight)”
**-Oh, wait. He won’t be allowed to.