There is a case now where a college coed, Emma Sulkawitz, is carrying a mattress around Columbia University as a protest over how the university allegedly mishandled the rape charges that she lodged against another student. Cathy Young has done some good reporting on it. It is one of those cases where the putative victim had to be told or convinced she was raped and a complaint was lodged with the university well after the fact, and well after the alleged victim had exchanged fawning texts with her alleged rapist — even to the point of bringing more girls over to his place for a party at one point and wanting to get together for a “Paul-Emma chill sesh.” Needless to say there are more facts which are problematic with her story.
I am not going to add much to it other than to simply point out something I haven’t seen anyone else mention. According the Emma’s own account the man she accused of raping her was drunk when she had sex with him. By the standard used on many college campuses now that is an admission on her part that she raped him. Nothing I have read indicated that she was also drunk, although it would not surprise me if that were the case, in which case they may have raped each other. Who knows? On college campuses the standards are so screwed up that it might be rape for a woman to be drunk during sex but not a man. The left has just discovered rape is bad (which apparently no previous generation had ever considered) so they are in the process of defining terms and crafting standards. If you get caught in the meat grinder while they process all of this then you will just have to cut them some slack. Regardless, the man she accused was cleared of the charges even after being subjected to the sort of star chamber hearings that are common at our universities these days.
But what I want to focus on is the particular technique that she is using of carrying around a mattress. When I owned my own small business there was a notorious beggar who would come around and try to get people to give him money. He would come up to you and say, “I know you think I am just some old N!gg%r off the street but I am the reverend So-and-So.” He would simultaneously hold up his driver’s license as if to prove he had the title he claimed while he went into his spiel about some member of his church needing insulin, or a new puppy, or crack, or some such happy horseshit. He was well known around town and he certainly wasn’t gathering funds for his congregation unless they happened to all meet down by the liquor store.
Contrary to the stereotype, living in the South I had never really heard the N-word used so it was off-putting. It makes one want to say, “Why, I would never think any such thing.” It puts one immediately on the defensive and eager to prove the falseness of the charge that has been made. Incidentally, it also makes one more likely to open up one’s wallet — a facet of the gambit not lost on the industrious (if less than illustrious) reverend. Had I been older and wiser I would have gladly given him some money if he would have just sat down with me and described his begging techniques in detail. That would have been a fascinating conversation. And in my experience beggars will give up the con once they see they will get the money anyway.
The same applies to the technique we see the left use where they will repeat some libel such as “war on women” or “rape culture” where they imply that you are racist, or misogynistic, or think for yourself. Those charges are not being offered for the truth of the matter but merely as a softening attack to make one more amenable to giving away their rights, or resources, or ceding some political ground in a vain effort to prove they are not cads.
Of course there is no rape culture. No one is pro rape. Even rapists tend to despise the act, which is why they choose it when they want to harm someone in the worst way possible. Western civilization has always considered rape one of the most heinous crimes and has reserved its stiffest punishments for the offense, second only to murder. And most men are not rapists. They mainly have noble impulses such as those to protect their family and community. Indeed, they take all of the most dangerous jobs and overwhelmingly populate the professions that provide such services because those pursuits match their temperament and abilities. It is in a man’s nature to protect. It is the rare man (and one not worthy of the title) who would not be fine with having a rapist hanged by his balls.
But the purpose of making absurd claims with no basis in fact is the same in every case. And in some sense the mattress this coed is carrying around serves a similar purpose. How could you possibly doubt her sincerity and the righteousness of her cause if she is carrying a mattress around like her own personal cross? It is meant to put you on the back foot from the very start. And it would be a callous heart indeed that would look upon her suffering and doubt its cause. Either that or a wise one with lots of experience, that can look past the theatrics and bombast to the facts. This is why kids fall for tactics like this one so readily. They haven’t run into enough Reverend So-and-So’s quite yet.