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A Mattress to Represent the Masses

In: Social Issues

Submitted By jjarrett98
Words 1060
Pages 5
Abhorring rape is central to many feminist ideals. This aggressive and violent action is perhaps one of the most vivid representations of male dominance over females. Rape is an act of aggression, a classified war crime, and an assertion of men’s dominance and power. Emma Sulkowicz, a Columbia University student, was raped by a peer and is now calling her school and community to awareness and action by carrying around the scene of the crime: a dorm mattress. Sulkowicz’s experience of rape, while not connected with an official or militarized war like that of the United States-Mexico border, is part of a larger call to arms by transnational feminists and human rights activists around the world who wish to end the brutality and expansive damage rape causes its victims. Columbia University is burdened, although not as heavily as Emma Sulkowicz, by the constant physical reminder of the rape on campus. Sulkowicz has transformed her experience and recovery into a work of art for her senior thesis project and, under the stipulations, cannot ask for help but is able accept aid from fellow students or spectators if it is offered. This mattress has brought the university community together in support of a fellow student during her recovery from a traumatic experience along with the raised awareness of the violence and damage of rape. The school body is also bonded by the general distaste of the manner in which the administration handled, or refused to handle, the incident. According to Peter Jacobs, a reporter for Business Insider, Columbia University had not reached out to Emma or made an effort to enforce disciplinary action on the rapist. “No one has reached out to me, and I’m waiting”, says Sulkowicz. Emma Sulkowicz’s actions and attitude toward her rape display strength and an astonishing amount of confidence to come forward so openly in society with a seemingly...

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