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 alsofiled 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.
yeah… I mean, I don’t exactly blame people for coming to conclusions I don’t agree with because it’s sort of the first step to examining media, is thinking about the “why”
so I get it, I get why, for example, people reblogged the coloring book post being like “who gives a shit/ they’re just shown more because they’re the most popular princesses/ the other princesses aren’t ‘classic’.”
Like in the grand scheme of things: I agree, a coloring book isn’t a big deal. The reality is, though, that it’s a micro-aggression, and a super easy one to document and quantify at that. People will act like real evidence isn’t a big deal on the one hand, then they’ll look at big, big things, events, and deny that race is in any way still an issue in the U.S. And of course if you’ve ignored the thousand little things then yeah, it might just seem like “people arguing” rather than “sanctioned racial oppression” etc.
And the thing with the “most popular princesses” is, again, something that requires a deeper look. While I agree that Disney is usually simply looking out for what will make the most money, race isn’t somehow… removed from this equation. Like: who you think will be popular influences how you produce the merchandise (who is featured most prominently) which, in turn, influences actual, real popularity.
A lot of people commenting on marketing just assume it’s some organic force when that’s like the inherent opposite of marketing, to an extent. In marketing you get to define who becomes the “classic princess” when the entire princess line isn’t that old itself, it’s a manufactured thing. Which is why it’s not just some random thing that Mulan gets constantly ignored in spite of the lasting popularity of the movie and character. But it requires looking a little deeper than “oh well they’re just printing more of the popular characters duh!” anyway I worded this all pretty badly because it’s late
"has this been asked before" tbh
like technically Belle isn’t one either because she doesn’t get married in her movie… it’s completely beside the point for that anyway, it’s not like people at Disney sit down and say, “Mulan’s a super popular character, but she’s technically not a princess, so I guess we’ll take her out of the coloring book.” Which is the only way it would actually be relevant
Like… I mean you can make a point about how it’s commodifying anyways to make everyone princesses or w/e, but there’s sort of a weird and separate racial thing going on in how quick everyone is to say “this is why these ones are excluded” when Disney as a company has said multiple times that the princess line is not about “technical princess-ery” or w/e it is people refer to
So I bought this Crayola Mini coloring pages set, because hey, a bitch likes Disney Princesses even if I had to be damn near thirty to see one like me. 80 pages, 6 mini markers that I won’t use because I like to color in coloring books in colored pencils, for that coloring practice without having to do the linework feel, 5 bucks, not too bad. Ariel and Cinderella (and Belle) on the front, Tiana and Rapunzel on the back.
So I get them out and we’ve got Belle, Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella, Jasmine, Snow White, Tiana, and Rapunzel. Okay, that’s eight of them so to be fair everyone should get 10 pages, right? So I sort them.
I wouldn’t be bitching on Tumblr if it was fair.
The distribution is as follows, with every design getting 2 pages:
Ariel: 8 different designs, 16 pages 20%
Belle: 6 different designs, 12 pages 15%
Cinderella: 6 different designs, 12 pages 15%
Aurora: 5 different designs, 10 pages 12.5%
Rapunzel: 5 different designs, 10 pages 12.5%
Snow White: 4 different designs, 8 pages 10%
Jasmine: 4 different designs, 8 pages 10%
Tiana: 2 different designs, 4 pages, 5%
So out of 80 pages we got 15% of the whole thing to any princesses of color (and only two of them), and 5% to Tiana who came out right before Rapunzel, and 85% of pages to white princesses.
But you know, representation don’t matter, everything is fair in Disney, they do their best, everyone does, historical accuracy, Frozen was such a good uplifting movie, why are you complaining, Disney is fair, take what is offered and quit whining, it is you who are the racisms, derailment white whine etc etc etc.
I love some math to get the point across. Also note: even though Mulan and Pocahontas are just as classic as any of these princesses (I’m assuming the book came out before Merida), they’re not included at all
they should give me a call ;)
Well this particular blog is 3ish years old, and it has come up many times in that overall period, but definitely I would recommend people giving this article you pointed out a look.
this should (I hope) link to previous submissions and thoughts about noses and Disney etc. I don’t mean to curtail more commentary but I haven’t been on much lately so rather than get repeats I would recommend looking at what people had to say (this is to everyone not this particular asker, if this topic interests you!) There’s a few pages there.
Noses are an interesting topic because really, they sort of pinpoint a few converging issues. There’s race, in that the supposed “ideal nose” is, of course, quite straight but small and not flat, and not bumpy — all common (though not 100% universal, of course) traits among other races. But perceived white features tend to be prioritized, and so that’s what we see the most often whether it’s on magazine covers or animated characters.
The linkage to big/curved/etc noses and evil characters is always interesting to explore and how this links to above — it’s effectively “othering” racial features without being explicitly about race
There’s also the age thing and the perception of idealized femininity as something youthful, petite, and women are pushed to be more girlish and always seek “youth” — not to say small noses mean you aren’t old, but they’re certainly more common among young girls than among older women
I’m not sure about the “yourselves,” since I’m a singular person, but I wouldn’t say I really identify as either per se, if we’re insisting on a label and choosing between the two, other people might choose “liberal feminist” for me
I have had issues with rad-fem philosophy or w/e in the past, if you look through “has this been asked before?” I think this question has honestly been asked before, and has info about the differences between the perspectives (which is sometimes vague, because I think in a lot of cases “lib fem” is labeled on people rather than a label they choose themselves?)
not really worth getting into it again when it’s all there…
some dude posting on Twitter that he “doesn’t take feminism seriously” because of things like my banner (just click on my main page to see it)
Here’s the thing. It’s meant to be funny, not a super serious critique of the movie, which I think is fairly obvious.
But people don’t like it because it’s a joke not at the expense of a victim.
If it was the other way around — if it was a joke about roofies or something and about how that’s “funny”? — this guy would probably just LOL all over it and accuse anyone who said "hey wait a minute" of being over-sensitive feminists or w/e. That is the way jokes about consent normally go.
it’s only displeasing you now because it’s a joke not coming at the expense of the victim. It says nothing about feminism if you don’t like it, and says everything about how you choose to interpret conversations about consent
I don’t often after for favors, BUT. Had to work on this for my job as part of a project — the people who get the most views etc. “win” or whatever.
It may have some crossover appeal here. If you think it might be interesting, I’d appreciate it if you took a look, and would super appreciate if you share it on Facebook. No pressure though. ;)
Anyway, it’s basically about the basics of consumer psychology and how companies use data they have on preference to manipulate what people buy and so forth! You can check it out here. Thanks!!
Fun fact from it: “Studies have shown that if slow music is playing, customers will stay 13.56 minutes longer, and spend 11% more on food.”
(also yeah some of the wording is a little awkward because I had to incorporate specific terms about psychology haha.)
well, that is a lot of seriousness to answer with Disney.
I think it’s true that you might always doubt yourself a little, but in my experience, this is not a bad thing? One of my painting professors once told us that that was what makes artists who they are, why they keep creating piece after piece: they’re always chasing a perfection they haven’t achieved yet.
I mean, basically what I’m saying is, while it’s possible you one day get to a place where you have 100% faith in yourself, it’s also okay to just accept that you will doubt, because worrying about future doubt is a roadblock in itself. But actually it can help you push yourself in a way.
Anyway, this is reminding me of Toy Story. Woody has a lot of fears that seem to parallel yours. He’s afraid of being abandoned by Andy; he’s afraid of being replaced by Buzz (both as far as Andy, and the other toys are concerned). He worries that he’s going to stop have meaning as a toy.
Woody: This is a perfect time to panic! I’m lost, Andy is gone, they’re gonna move to their new house in two days, and it’s all your fault!
Buzz: My… My fault? If you hadn’t pushed me out of the window in the first place…
Woody: Oh, yeah? Well, if *you* hadn’t shown up with your stupid little cardboard spaceship and taken away everything that was important to me…
Buzz: Don’t talk to me about importance! Because of you, the future of this entire universe is in jeopardy!
In the movie, though, Woody’s fears are his own undoing. Andy has no plans to abandon him but Woody’s fears almost separate him from Andy and all his friends forever. If he had just shook off those fears and looked at what he had — the other toys trusted him as a leader, looked up to him, and Andy loved him — he perhaps wouldn’t have made the mistakes he did. And that’s basically what eventually happened — he’s able to save them and get back because he stops thinking about what he’s not doing and thinks forward to what they can do to escape Sid etc.
But it’s also worth noting that even when Woody failed — and he failed pretty bad at being a good sheriff for the new toy, and at being a good friend, etc — he was still able to bounce back. It wasn’t the end of everything. I would recommend not being so hard about yourself when it comes to “failing.” What does failing “in life” even mean??
Your dream school might not accept you, but that doesn’t mean you failed at life. Or even at school. My “dream school” at the time (UF) wait listed, then rejected me. I went to SUNY Geneseo instead feeling pretty “meh” about it… and it was the perfect school for me in the end. If you went back in time and offered me a million dollars not to go, I would say “go spend it on a worthy charity instead, my friend!” I worried about the feminism thing too, and who can really quantify “making a difference?” But so long as you live out the truth you know in your actions and words, and volunteer your time to help when you can, that seems like more than just “aspiration” — that’s doing.
When you’re too hard on yourself, you basically turn into Woody constantly trying to cut Buzz down — but you’re also Buzz. It doesn’t help you to do this to yourself, and you need to remind your Woody side that no one knows the future. Buzz can be the hero he aspires to be. Note: re-watch the ending of ToyStory.
Everyone fails, and not to be a giant slobbering cliche but people define themselves more through how they react to failure, than in how they react to success.
not an easy question
I suppose I’d first go for Bravado and say “I have a great idea — put me on your team” and BS that into an actual storyline idea and try and work it right from the inside out if this is like, I’m allowed to engage my fantasies in this question
More realistically I would probably push for whatever representation issue was most present on my mind at that moment, or whichever one I had the best offhand stats for, and try and make a compelling argument for why not every single female lead needs to have a head the size of her waist, etc. and how that could actually help their brand
so I guess my realistic answer was, explain why what I think is important, is good for them ;) which I do believe, could be the truth.
Halloween is literally the occasion in which you can dress up as Cinderella or Vanellope Von Schweets for the rest of your life! I’m not sure I understand where this question is coming from haha
cosplaying is literally people with an average age of 25 dressing up as characters like this all the time, too. It’s all good. What’s there to move on from? Move on from fun??
I’ll always be mad about Disney fans saying X white princess is the first princess to X, because I guarantee a POC princess did it first.
this is literally just bitching about frozen and brave and I think the marketing teams are more to blame
I wouldn’t agree with that… I know they’ve played it up but I’ve seen countless posts like that, posted by fans, about Rapunzel, Merida, Anna and Elsa. Several have even come up on here before.
And if the marketing team is to blame for something, that implies people are “guilty,” so… does seem to elevate it about the level of “bitching” ?
I’ll always be mad about Disney fans saying X white princess is the first princess to X, because I guarantee a POC princess did it first.