Target of 'Mattress Girl' protest files suit
Turnabout, as the saying goes, is fair play. In an age where “microaggressions” become the launching pad for protest, the left pretty much has dominated the use of victim strategies, particularly on campus, where claims of feeling “unsafe” have led to attempts to censor all sorts of speech that the left disagrees with. But I sense that the worm is starting to turn.
Which brings us to the case of “Mattress Girl,” a Columbia University student named Emma Sulkowicz, who claimed that a 2012 sexual encounter with another student, Jean-Paul Nungesser, was rape. A university tribunal was convened, investigated, and declined to prosecute. Subsequently, Ms. Sulkowicz began walking around campus with a mattress tied to her back, and achieved enough notoriety that New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand invited her to attend this year’s State of the Union Address.
After being the target of this protest, Mr Nungesser is fighting back. Valerie Richardson of The Washington Times reports:
The Columbia University student targeted by a mattress-carrying protester filed a lawsuit Thursday against the school, arguing that it failed to shield him from harassment even though police and campus authorities refused to pursue rape charges against him.
In a lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court, Jean-Paul Nungesser said the school engaged in gender bias by allowing him to be subjected to a hostile and intimidating learning environment.
The hostile environment was created, the lawsuit says, by the ongoing protest of fellow student Emma Sulkowicz, also known as the “mattress girl.”
Mr. Nungesser, a German citizen, said the ensuing publicity has hurt his chances of remaining in the U.S., given that his job prospects have been hurt by the publicity surrounding the case.
Of course, I don’t know the facts of the case, but an investigation was conducted and university (as well as legal) authorities could not find evidence of rape. The lawsuit will offer a chance to re-open the matter. What counts in my mind is less the specifics of the case than the breaking of the tactical monopoly feminists and other aggrieved groups have enjoyed by default.