The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Mattress Girl’ Is Now Mattress ‘They’? The Queer Feminism of Emma Sulkowicz

Posted on | September 3, 2018 | 1 Comment

One of the things about choosing feminism as a subject matter is that you never run out of craziness to write about. No one could ever hope to provide the final, complete, definitive account of how crazy feminists are; the supply of evidence is infinite, and grows larger every day.

A curse befalls anyone who undertakes to chronicle this craziness. You’re confronted daily with new tales of feminist insanity, and if you told every story, you’d never be able to write about anything else. So I’ve learned to filter out many of these cases, to prevent myself from being sucked into the whirling vortex of “gender” lunacy by every new example that emerges from this bottomless abyss of chaotic madness.


Damn you, “Mattress Girl,” for refusing to recognize when your 15 minutes of fame had expired! What the actual f–k is this?

Back in 2014, Emma Sulkowicz was a senior undergraduate student at Columbia University studying the visual arts. Having long-struggled against the university’s Title IX policies that failed to hold accountable the man Sulkowicz accused of rape, they decide on “Mattress Performance” as a thesis project — an endurance piece of sorts that would involve Sulkowicz carrying a 50-pound mattress across campus for the entire academic year until graduation. (Disclosure: Emma and I were in the same year at Columbia and were acquaintances during our time at school.)
Almost immediately, Sulkowicz became a central figure in a nationwide fight to reform lax university guidelines that often failed to adequately investigate cases of sexual misconduct. Reactions in the media were fierce: journalists on one end of the spectrum referred to the young artist with glowing respect, while the other end vilified Sulkowicz as a dishonest “Mattress Girl.”
But Emma Sulkowicz is not a “Mattress Girl.” They aren’t even a girl.
Despite the many articles and Wikipedia pages that refer to Sulkowicz as a woman, they actually identify as gender non-conforming and use the pronouns they/them. The omission — or dare I say the erasure — of Sulkowicz’s queer identity indicates the public’s continued unwillingness to reckon with the notion that queer people can be victims of sexual violence. . . .

Let me catch my breath here. Calm down. Try to resist the temptation to shift to CAPS-LOCK MODE AND SHOUT OBSCENITIES!

OK, hang on . . . Yes, I can handle this. It’s gonna be all right.

This unwelcome reminder of Emma Sulkowicz’s existence was provided by her Columbia University classmate Zachary Small who, if I were forced to guess, I’d say is probably a male, although you never can be sure with Ivy League kids these days. Zachary also goes by “they/them” pronouns. This has become the hallmark of hipster elites who feel they are entitled to impose their Gender Theory nonsense on the rest of us.

So now, unable to endure their relative obscurity, these two genderqueer hipster alumni of Columbia  ($80,826 a year, including room and board) have joined forces to remind us of Mattress Girl’s existence. We all had hoped we could forget the name Emma Sulkowicz, that the memory of her attention-whoring stunt would fade away, but the narcissistic sociopath insists on forcing us to remember her (or “them,” as we’d be forced to call her/“them,” if she/“they” had her/“their” way).


Excuse me for the caps-lock obscenities. I’m trying hard to maintain a calm and reasonable demeanor, but it’s not easy. And if I’m going to be forced to pay attention Emma Sulkowicz, I’m going to do my best to make sure that she regrets this attempt to return to the spotlight.

Emma Sulkowicz is a liar. And she is also crazy.

There are three of kinds of people in the world:

  1. People who hate Emma Sulkowicz;
  2. People who have never heard of Emma Sulkowicz;
  3. Fools.

Insofar as anyone is aware of Emma Sulkowicz’s existence, they should hate her for being a liar, who engaged in a libelous publicity stunt intended to call attention to her false accusation of rape against a fellow student, Paul Nungesser. Every investigation of Sulkowicz’s claims exonerated Nungesser, and yet her vindictive crusade to defame her ex-boyfriend was given lavish and laudatory coverage in the media. Why? Because the media were at the time engaged in a carefully organized propaganda campaign, intended to boost feminism as a “mainstream” concern, in order to help Hillary Clinton become president.

Let me quote a July 2017 news item from the Columbia Spectator:

Columbia and Paul Nungesser, CC ’15, have agreed to settle a lawsuit that he filed against the University in 2015.
Nungesser was at the center of a gender-based misconduct investigation after Emma Sulkowicz, CC ’15, accused him of assault in 2012. He was later found not guilty by a University investigation.
Sulkowicz protested that finding in her senior art thesis, “Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight),” in which she carried a mattress with her at all times in a critique of the University’s decision not to discipline Nungesser. . . .
Nungesser’s suit charged that the University failed to protect him from — and even encouraged — sustained protest by Sulkowicz, which Nungesser initially argued was a violation of Title IX.
The University announced that it had settled the suit . . . in a conciliatory statement released Thursday.
The statement reaffirmed that Columbia’s investigation had found Nungesser not responsible and expressed regret that his time after the investigation was “very difficult for him and not what Columbia would want any of its students to experience.”
The statement also said the University will reform its gender based misconduct policies to make sure all students, “accuser and accused, including those like Paul who are found not responsible,” are treated with “respect.”

After Hillary lost, everybody forgot about the campus “rape culture” hysteria that the media had helped feminists and Democrats to manufacture in the years leading up to the 2016 election. Contrary to what feminists claimed, there was not an “epidemic” of sexual assault on campus and it was not true that 1-in-5 female students were rape victims. These fictitious claims were part of an anti-male propaganda campaign intended to help elect Hillary, and Paul Nungesser became collateral damage in this War Against Men. Although he had been cleared by the university’s investigation — he produced text messages that showed Sulkowicz was a willing participant in their hook-ups — she decided to revive these discredited accusations as her senior thesis, a project for which she received academic credit from this Ivy League university, and which earned her a seat at the 2015 State of the Union address as the guest of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). Imagine what this must have been like for Nungesser, watching powerful figures in politics, in media, and at his own university celebrating Sulikowicz as a symbol of heroic courage when, in fact, she was just a LYING SPOILED ROTTEN RICH BITCH WHO COULDN’T GET OVER BEING DUMPED.

Forgive me for that outburst. Sometimes I lose control.

The point I’m trying to make is that Emma Sulkowicz is a well-known type — the upper-class girl who goes off to college and expects to receive the kind of deferential treatment she has gotten throughout the entirety of her over-privileged young life. She became fixated on Paul Nungesser, a handsome and athletic student, as the object of her desire, and he was willing to be “friends with benefits” with Sulkowicz. They hooked up a few times, and then he moved on. This rejection caused the rich girl (who had hoped for a romantic commitment from Nungesser) to decide she was a victim, and she made up the rape accusation as a means of revenge.

This is why I say Sulkowicz deserves to be hated by anyone who knows who she is. There are too many innocent people in the world suffering from real hardship for anyone to extend sympathy to someone like Emma Sulkowicz, a vindictive liar who tried to destroy an ex-boyfriend just because she couldn’t cope with being a “pump-and-dump.”

Let me hasten to add that Paul Nungesser was a fool ever to get involved with Emma Sulkowicz. Any wise person would avoid associating with her type, but young men are often unwise in such matters. It would be a misfortune for any man to encounter Sulkowicz at any time, but it was Nungesser’s singular misfortune to encounter her on a university campus in an age when feminism has empowered crazy lying bitches like her.

Did I mention she’s crazy? She’s an Ivy League feminist, so you can take it for granted that she’s a few fries short of a Happy Meal, but Sulkowicz is even crazier than you might expect. Let’s quote from the transcript of her former classmate’s podcast interview with her:

[Zachary Small]: While listeners might remember you for “Mattress Performance,” what they likely don’t know about you is that you identify as a queer person and use the pronouns they/them. For the public, if the concept of a female victim of sexual violence was already controversial, then the notion that the drama surrounding your endurance piece occurred around a queer person of color was simply “too much” to digest. How has the erasure of your queer identity in the media profiles affected you?
[Emma Sulkowicz]: Another victim of my attacker identifies as transfeminine. I remember when they were going through their sexual assault hearings that one of my rapist’s defenses was, “I’m not gay, I would never sexually assault this man.” It completely obliterated the victim’s gender identity and denied any queerness on the attacker’s part. But of course, he had assaulted multiple gender non-conforming people. I see this as his way of expressing his own violent queer sexuality.
Being the victim of assault helped me realize that I was gender non-conforming. I think it’s important to talk about the slippage of [identifying as] in-between. On one level, identifying as “they” is gendered, but it is also ontological. For me, I became aware of my gender fluidity through the experience of receiving The New York Times with my photo on the front cover. This was an object dropped on my doorstep every morning of my childhood. I always saw the characters on its cover as flat or unreal. Seeing myself turned into an object in that way helped recontextualize all the time I had been physically turned into an object through sexual assault, and all the times that men had seen me as nothing more than a fleshlight, a sex doll, or a means-to-an-end. “They” evokes my slippage between man and woman, but it also evokes the way that I see the slippage between human and object. Sometimes that feeling of being objectified happens through acts of violence. “They” is about reclaiming that feeling and turning it into something powerful and politically important. . . .
Society has a lot of difficult believing that queer people can be victims, but it also cannot believe that queer people can be assailants. This is something so important to me because one of my attacker’s defenses at Columbia was that he could have never attacked a genderqueer person because he wasn’t gay — whatever the f–k that means. There is a societal resistance to believing that two things can happen simultaneously.

This is insane. Not content merely to reiterate her libelous accusations against her ex-boyfriend Nungesser (“my attacker . . . my rapist”), she now accuses him of homosexuality, asserting that he “assaulted multiple gender non-conforming people . . . expressing his own violent queer sexuality.” Beyond adding this defamatory accusation to her obsessive quest for revenge, Sulkowicz also deploys Third Wave gender theory to interpret her experience of “being objectified.” (This is feminism as paranoia: “That man looked at me! Help! I’ve been objectified! I’m a victim of the heteropatriarchal male gaze!”)

Let me make something clear here: If you ever encounter someone who insists on using the pronoun “they,” get as far away from them as possible, as quickly as you can. Although it’s probably best to avoid drawing their attention by sprinting in the opposite direction, don’t delay your exit as soon as they identify themselves as genderqueer. Err on the side of caution in such cases; don’t make the mistake of imagining you can safely navigate the hazards of Third Wave craziness. That’s what happened to Paul Nungesser, who committed the error of thinking it was possible to have sex with the kind of girl who attends an $80,826-a-year “elite” university. Wake up! This is the 21st century! The Ivy League Is Depraved and Decadent. The campus of Columbia University is crawling with genderqueer feminists who are so crazy they don’t even know whether they’re female or not. No man with any regard for his own personal safety would ever speak to a girl on the Columbia campus.

Emma Sulkowicz’s 15 minutes have expired, but her disgrace is eternal.



One Response to “‘Mattress Girl’ Is Now Mattress ‘They’? The Queer Feminism of Emma Sulkowicz”

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