In August 2012, Emma Sulkowicz was allegedly raped by Paul Nungesser, both Columbia University students. Nungesser is a male feminist from Germany. Two other women supposedly had already brought complaints against him with the university, so several months after the alleged event, in April 2013, Sulkowicz also filed a complaint against him [It appears that this sequence of events is reversed—see below].
All complaints were dismissed for complete lack of evidence, as is the norm in American judicial theory. In December, the media began to cover the story and assumed Nungesser was guilty. In May 2014, Sulkowicz filed a police report but didn’t complete it, because the police asked questions to determine the veracity of the claims.
The next semester, she began her senior thesis as an art major—carrying her mattress around campus until the school expels Nungesser. This has had the full support of the school’s art department, and the student body have rallied around her in support. ROK has previously offered our coverage and commentary, but the story has recently developed. Nungesser finally is allowed to tell his side of the story, courtesy of The Daily Beast today.
Shortly after entering Columbia, the two became close friends. Occasionally this led to awkward sex, but in general they tried to keep it just friendly. Free love, right? What could go wrong? Sulkowicz claims that the sex started off consensual but that eventually Nungesser brutally assaulted and anally raped her. However, he claims that the anal intercourse was by mutual agreement, followed by other sexual activities. He left her in the morning while she was still sleeping.
Sulkowicz has said in interviews that she was too embarrassed and ashamed to talk to anyone about the rape, let alone report it; an account of her mattress protest by New York Times art critic Roberta Smith says that she “suffered in silence” in the aftermath of the assault. Yet Nungesser says that for weeks after that night, he and Sulkowicz maintained a cordial relationship, and says she seemingly never indicated that anything was amiss.
Constant And Consistent Communication Is Key
Consent does not mean the same thing as “desire.” Women innately sense this, and so many of them have no shame in rewriting the past. One wonders whether they themselves eventually believe their own twisted tale. [All emphases below are mine.]
Nungesser provided The Daily Beast with Facebook messages with Sulkowicz from August, September, and October 2012. (In an email to The Daily Beast, Sulkowicz confirmed that these records were authentic and not redacted in any way; while she initially offered to provide “annotations” explaining the context on the messages, she then emailed again to say that she would not be sending them.) On Aug. 29, two days after the alleged rape, Nungesser messaged Sulkowicz on Facebook to say, “Small shindig in our room tonight—bring cool freshmen.” Her response:
Also I feel like we need to have some real time where we can talk about life and thingz
because we still haven’t really had a paul-emma chill sesh since summmmerrrr
So college has apparently failed to teach her grammar and articulation as much as it failed to teach her art.
The article from The Daily Beast has a three-page interactive document file showing the full conversation. However, they’ve pulled out the highlights.
On Oct. 3, Sulkowicz’s birthday, Nungesser sent her an effusive greeting; she responded the next morning with, “I love you Paul. Where are you?!?!?!?!”
Women love jerks, I suppose. Is Nungesser the Comedian to her Sally Jupiter?
It’s worth noting that Return Of Kings appears to have been completely correct in its initial assessment of the situation. Roosh wrote:
The story of her rape sounds extremely suspicious, and by extremely suspicious, I mean complete bullshit. The fact that she had to convince herself that she was raped several months after the fact and was hesitant to provide details to police should convince even a male feminist that her story is twisted.
Neither campus authorities nor police believed her. Combined with the fact that she is broadcasting her “rape” to the media, granting interviews to anyone who will ask (here’s a video interview with Time), and using it to get an easy A grade on her thesis, it’s safe to conclude that we are looking at a false rape accusation by a mentally unstable woman. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this girl was not truly raped, and instead was sour about being pumped and dumped after giving up her anus to a guy she had the tingles for.
Processes, Due Or Otherwise
Sulkowicz claims the Office of Gender-Based Misconduct in 2013 told her to try to talking with Nungesser on her own to resolve it, which is laughably false. There is no way a university would resolve a rape complaint by asking the alleged victim to have coffee with the perpetrator. Okay, maybe in some backwater religious cult, but not at a major left-wing university like Columbia. Maybe when Sulkowicz’s talentless art career fails, she can work as a stand-up comedian.
Sulkowicz would have you think that the university completely dismissed her complaint because of the patriarchy boogeyman. The actual events appear otherwise,
Even before the investigation began, the charge had immediate consequences. Nungesser was placed on restricted access to university buildings other than his own dorm; these “interim measures” made it extremely difficult to continue in his campus job as an audiovisual technician (especially since he was not allowed to explain why he was under these restrictions) and to attend the counseling sessions he had started. Meanwhile, it became obvious that despite confidentiality rules, news of the accusation was spreading: Within a few days, Nungesser says he was being conspicuously shunned by many fellow students.
Shortly afterwards, there were two more sexual assault complaints brought against him by women on the campus, although neither of those were for rape. It appears that Sulkowicz was friends with the two other accusers. One of the accusers later withdrew her complaint. These claims also have email and Facebook evidence against them.
At the end of 2013, the university cleared Nungesser of all charges, which was in part because Nungesser hired a criminal attorney (for a mere university court, not a judicial court) and partly because the whole case was based on hearsay.
Sulkowicz also complains that the university court asked personal and graphic questions about the event, which frankly would be reasonable. You can’t have a rape trial without talking about the rape. But a student who attended the hearing, pseudonymously known as Michael Roberson, disagrees with this account, claiming that the questions were much more discreet.
Nungesser is also upset about the hearing. Nungesser claims he was never allowed to present his Facebook messages and that there was a very low requirement of evidential weight, skewing the whole thing in favor of the accusers. I suppose the patriarchy boogeyman even stabs its own in the back. Who is the patriarchy giving power to again?
Nevertheless, Nungesser was cleared of the charges by the school. With no charges from the actual police or government, it appeared that he could continue with his life. But instead, the media was about to have a public hanging, smearing his name forever.
An American Lynching
Until very recently, the mainstream media’s pet activist cause was college rape. However, they’ve had a lot of trouble finding a real rape case with all the normal veracity given to any other topic. So instead they take accusations, tell a few lies about them, skip some fact-checking, and then publish it for all the world to buy their papers.
The New York Post emailed him only a few hours before they published their story, and The New York Times did not contact him at all. Nungesser has been all but shunned by the media (although in fairness, The New York Times gave him a platform in December, supposedly because it would help their declining sales).
Nungesser’s anonymity was increasingly precarious: In early May, lists of campus “rapists” and “sexual-assault violators” began to show up in bathrooms in several Columbia dorms, with his name topping the list as a “serial rapist.” Then, on May 14, Sulkowicz filed a police report. In her comments to The Columbia Spectator, she said: “Maybe his name should be in the public record.” And indeed, The Columbia Spectator story included Nungesser’s name.
But Sulkowicz dropped the criminal charges, claiming it would be “too draining” to bring a serial rapist to justice and prevent him from destroying the lives of other women.
And Then There’s The Mattress
And then there’s the performance “art” mattress protest, in which Sulkowicz carries the mattress everywhere she goes on campus for university credit. For some reason, this doesn’t cause America to lose all faith in the college credential system. This protest will continue until he either leaves Columbia or until they both graduate.
The art thesis project looks a lot more like harassment and coercion than it does like aesthetic creation. All of this has been sanctioned by the school, despite its dismissal of the complaint. Nor has the university defended Nungesser to the media. The student body has rallied around her, since it’s more invigorating than studying.
For the record, things like this—and not the phantom social conditioning—are what cause men and even women to become misogynist.
Tumblr users naturally have jumped on the stupid bus, trying to make Nungesser’s name known across the globe. One white knight wrote on Facebook, “I’m only pissed that I’m not in NY to CUT HIS THROAT MYSELF!”, because apparently first-degree murder is a less serious crime than rape.
But as these petty internet crusades go, nobody remembers their rage as soon as they log off.
Nonetheless, Nungesser still has a measure of anonymity at school. A few people have snapped photos of him and posted them online; however, he is not instantly recognizable and attracts no stares as he walks through the campus. Most classmates, he says, do not realize who he is, and even professors who recognize his name on the roster do not seem to match his face to his name.
I’ve got a hunch that if Roosh or Forney were to quit writing and seek normal employment, they wouldn’t have much trouble.
I suppose it’s not implausible that he actually did brutally rape Sulkowicz and that she was eager to continue the friendship afterwards. But conventional American legal theory does not hold assumptions based on mere plausibility. There is absolutely no evidence against Nungesser, while much evidence is in favor of him. Therefore, the most logical conclusion is that Nungesser almost certainly did not commit the crime.
Due process is the most foundational principle of this country, but we’ve swept that away in favor of superficial moralism. As long as I feel like a good person for blindly defending a woman from the patriarchy boogeyman, then it doesn’t matter whose life gets destroyed in the process.
The thing about rape accusations is that they never go away. Even if it were proven with all epistemological certitude that Nungesser is innocent, his name will always have a black mark. There will always be people who think he might have done it. His name will be in Google searches, and future employers will know about this. Given how many articles have been published unilaterally declaring him guilty, he will never escape the reputation as a serial rapist. A rape accusation is the scarlet A of the modern world.
Stories like this deter men from going to college, since they see just how hostile the environment can become. Even a girl as initially enthusiastic as Sulkowicz has the power to destroy your life on a whim, even when there is a deluge of evidence (both hard and circumstantial) that no crime occurred. We can only hope that, due to this evidence, more men will become aware of this insidious trend.
Read More: Why Men Should Not Go To College