The Dilemma Of Campus Sexual Assault

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Hsu Myat Noe Writing 150 (64780) Spring 2016 Writing Project 1 Accuracy or Advocacy: The Dilemma of Campus Sexual Assault A young woman carried a 50-pound mattress onto the stage at a graduation ceremony in Columbia University. Known as the “Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight)”, Emma Sulkowicz started carrying the mattress everywhere she went on campus in an attempt to expel a classmate who was found not responsible for sexually assaulting her (LATimes). She became an instant media sensation, as new reporters grasped the opportunity to cover this unique case and praised for her bravery. After receiving the National Organization for Women and the Feminist Majority Foundation awards, Sulkowicz became one of the most admired feminist icons at that time (NationalReview). However, along with the positive responses is the skepticism. When evidence of her unmatched accusations were published by Reason’s Cathy Young, critics such as the Families Advocating for Campus Equality (FACE) described her as an attention seeker whose project is “a personal vendetta”. As journalists continue to update the new findings, the public gradually become divided into the accused or the accuser side. Eventually it became a debate between Sulkowicz’s scarring from the rape and the accused unfair harassment. Instead of emphasizing on the emotional aspects of campus sexual assault, the media should frame rape as a violent act and portray it as a criminal issue. The rape culture is now more
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