Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The people upset about the posters calling mattress woman a "liar" have no moral standing to object

The man college student Emma Sulkowicz accused of rape was cleared of any responsibility for it, and Sulkowicz just can't accept that. Her anger over it borders on pathology. To protest that the man wasn't expelled from the school, the school permitted her carry a mattress around campus for months and months (and she got college credits for doing it). Not only was the man Sulkowicz accused cleared of wrongdoing, but Sulkowicz's claims were seriously called into question by Cathy Young and by the suit filed by the presumptively innocent man she accused. Nevertheless, Sulkowicz has been feted as a feminist champion, the facts be damned.

This week, a few posters sprang up around campus calling Emma Sulkowicz a "pretty little liar," and Jezebel says they are "gross" and a form of harassment. (Jezebel has been one of Sulkowicz's cheerleaders.) Salon calls it "despicable."

The only surprise about these posters is that nothing like this happened a lot sooner.

Here's the bottom line: either the accused is a false rape victim, or the accuser is a rape victim. None of us knows whether Sulkowicz is a "pretty little liar," or if the accused did, in fact, rape her. Our legal process is the most advanced in the history of the world--it isn't perfect, for sure, but it's as good as there is. And once a murky "he said-she said" dispute like this one is vetted by the system, for better or for worse, and once an accused man has been cleared, people of good will need to accept the outcome and move on.

But that's not what happened here. Lamentably, the feminist community decided that Emma Sulkowicz was raped just because she said so, and just because she had the temerity to turn her case into an international spectacle. Worse, the feminist community ignores or disparages the processes that cleared the accused man, not to mention the extremely troubling evidence that has recently come to light that casts enormous doubt on Sulkowicz's claim. Instead, they've turned her into a feminist icon and branded the man she accused a "rapist."  And now, it's looking more and more and more like the man she accused was, indeed, wrongly accused.

And they're upset about these posters? Seriously? 

You know what's a lot worse than an anonymous poster calling someone a "liar" -- I mean in a different galaxy kind of worse? Fomenting a witch hunt that enables a United States Senator and scores of very prominent feminists to brand a presumptively innocent man a "rapist" over and over and over for months on end. That's what's much, much worse.

It's unjust to call the accused man a rapist, and it's patently absurd to treat Emma Sulkowicz as a poster child for rape victims. Rape victims ought to tell her to shut the hell up, it's not all about her. Regardless, the crowd that's upset about the "pretty little liar" posters has no moral standing to insist they are "despicable" or a form of harassment. They're the same goofs who cheered on Emma Sulkowicz when she toted that idiotic mattress around campus and smeared a presumptively innocent man.