Emma Sulkowicz, a senior majoring in visual arts at Columbia University, began an extremely powerful protest in honor of women who are coping with the emotional distress brought on by sexual assault and/or rape cases that are handled inappropriately. According to the Huffington Post,
Sulkowicz was one of 23 students who filed a federal complaint against Columbia for mishandling sexual assault cases, in violation of the gender equity law Title IX.“
Sulkowicz is making an extremely compelling statement by carrying her mattress, the place where she was raped, around with her on campus to symbolize the emotional weight she feels day in and day out, knowing that her rapist is roaming the school, quite freely and without any sort of punishment.
As a friend of someone who has experienced a painfully similar situation, I am in full support of Emma and the “Carry That Weight” movement. I find that all too often, sexual assault and/or rape cases are brushed under the rug in an attempt to avoid a tricky or messy situation.