Friday, June 5, 2015

Emma Sulkowicz' Sex Tape

Word came out yesterday that Emma Sulkowicz, in what can only be described as an insane monomanical disregard of Paul Nungesser's lawsuit against her (oops, see below), has issued a sex video in which she is raped, with this introductory text:
Trigger Warning: The following text contains allusions to rape. Everything that takes place in the following video is consensual but may resemble rape. It is not a reenactment but may seem like one. If at any point you are triggered or upset, please proceed with caution and/or exit this website. However, I do not mean to be prescriptive, for many people find pleasure in feeling upset.

Ceci N’est Pas Un Viol is not about one night in August, 2012. It’s about your decisions, starting now. It’s only a reenactment if you disregard my words. It’s about you, not him.

Do not watch this video if your motives would upset me, my desires are unclear to you, or my nuances are indecipherable.

You might be wondering why I’ve made myself this vulnerable. Look—I want to change the world, and that begins with you, seeing yourself. If you watch this video without my consent, then I hope you reflect on your reasons for objectifying me and participating in my rape, for, in that case, you were the one who couldn’t resist the urge to make Ceci N’est Pas Un Viol about what you wanted to make it about: rape.

Please, don’t participate in my rape. Watch kindly.

A special thank you to everyone who made Ceci N’est Pas Un Viol possible, especially my actor (*********), my director (Ted Lawson), and those I love who have guided and supported me.
Her repeated tapdancing around what she is or isn't saying would be despicable enough; perhaps she wishes to be named in Nungesser's lawsuit against Columbia (PDF). Robby Soave at Reason points us at Megan McArdle's depressing piece in Bloomberg View, wherein she writes that she doesn't find Nungesser's complaints against the university compelling:
Columbia didn't railroad him because he's a man; the university actually found him not guilty. Nor does Columbia have the power to force Sulkowicz to stop telling the world that he's a rapist. Perhaps the university shouldn't be giving her course credit for doing so, but this seems a pretty thin reed upon which to hang a lawsuit. The rest of the complaints are even thinner, for example, that President Bollinger issued some mealy-mouthed platitudes about how distressing this all is and that the university covered some of the cleanup costs for an anti-rape rally in which his case was prominently featured.

Nungesser is not the first man to sue his college over unequal treatment of men in the campus system of adjudicating sexual offenses. I've read some of the complaints, and they are wounded, outraged litanies of arbitrary treatment by a system that is opaque and far from accountable. But the cases I've looked at generally end up getting dismissed (including a recent one against Columbia), because even if all the facts were true as stated, they didn't add up to proof that these men were treated differently specifically because of their gender. Due process complaints like this one against Michigan are probably a more fruitful avenue, but that's not available against private schools.
Which is why I think his whole strategy is flawed to start with; the real meat here is the due-process-free Title IX procedure, not the relative treatment of men vs. women in its maw.

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