Thursday, February 5, 2015

Feminists have a conniption because someone publicized the "he said" side of a major "he said-she said" rape claim

For months, mattress carrier/performance artist/alleged rape victim Emma Sulkowicz has been feted as a patron saint of feminism. It started last September when she began carrying a mattress around campus as part of her visual arts senior thesis and as a way of protesting the fact that her alleged rapist hasn't been punished. She says she will tote the mattress around campus for as long as her "rapist" remains on campus. This stunt has brought her national attention, including an invitation from a U.S. senator to attend the State of the Union address.

For months, the man Sulkowicz accused of raping her, Paul Nungesser, sat silent while puff piece after puff piece after puff piece touted Sulkowicz's heroic crusade to obtain justice for an alleged rape that was never punished. The fact that Mr. Nungesser was cleared of the charges in the school's disciplinary proceeding (even using the appallingly low "preponderance of the evidence" standard), and that police never charged him, made no difference: he's still a "rapist" because the court of last resort -- the feminist rape community -- says he is. Presumably the feminsts were hoping no one would notice that his side of the story wasn't being told.

Now, finally, Mr. Nunsegger has told his side of the story in the Daily Beast, and based on the feminist reaction, you would think the Daily Beast published "Adolph Hitler: My Side of the Story."

In the Daily Beast, Mr. Nungesser told Cathy Young a completely different story than the one Sulkowicz has been peddling for months. He says that the two had consensual sex. He says that for weeks after the night in question, they maintained a very cordial relationship, which, he maintains, was consistent with his version of what happened on the night in question. Nungesser provided The Daily Beast with very cordial Facebook messages he exchanged with Sulkowicz from August, September, and October 2012. She wrote, among many other things:

". . . I want to see yoyououoyou"

“I love you Paul. Where are you?!?!?!?!”

". . . we still haven’t really had a paul-emma chill sesh since summmmerrrr"
Cathy Young is among the only reporters to bother to tell Mr. Nungesser's side of the story. Apparently that is too much for the feminists, as evidenced by the abuse being hurled at Ms. Young. One of the most outrageous attacks on Ms. Young was lobbed by someone who goes by the name Meghan Murphy. Murphy suggests that Ms. Young deems Mr. Nungesser innocent of the charges because Sulkowicz "was nice" to him after the alleged incident.

That's more spin than a Kansas tornado. First, Ms. Young merely presented one side to a major news story, a side that has been flatly ignored by virtually everyone in the news media. Second, Mr. Nungesser's side of the story isn't that Sulkowicz "was nice" to him, it's that he and Sulkowicz had consensual sex. Meghan Murphy kind of glosses over that part of it. Mr. Nungesser says that Sulkowicz's after-the-fact, ante litem motam conduct is entirely consistent with what he says occurred. Murphy maintains, with no authority beyond her angry feminist ipse dixit, that the Facebook messages "are completely irrelevant and prove absolutely nothing . . . ." Murphy seems incensed that Cathy Young dares to mention the messages at all.

Murphy also has a hissy fit because Young mentions that Nungesser has a girlfriend. That, too, apparently should have been censored.

The feminists complain that this accuser, and women who cry rape in general, aren't believed unless they are "perfect" rape victims. This is more straw man than we've seen since Ray Bolger met up with Dorothy on the Yellow Brick Road. Let's be honest, for feminists, anyone who even raises the possibility that the accused is innocent is guilty of misogyny, rape apologia, and victim blaming. The real question for the feminists is this: is it possible for the accused to ever be sufficiently perfect so that his story is worthy of belief? Or is he guilty by reason of penis? Of course he is.

When it comes to self-proclaimed sexual assault victims in "he said-she said" rape cases, the feminist position is that no one should tell the "he" side of the story if it contains facts that muddy up the preferred narrative and suggest he might just be innocent.

Someday, we are going to have a mature discussion about sexual assault that doesn't insist that we automatically believe the accuser and reduce the accused to vile caricature. Based on Murphy's column, and the rantings of too many feminists to name, that day is a long way off.