On Monday, Paul Nungesser, the alleged rapist of Columbia University graduate Emma Sulkowicz, filed a suit against the university for gender-based harassment. You most certainly remember the story of her carrying her mattress around campus and through her commencement in order to protest her rapist being found not responsible by Columbia. Nungesser has now filed a new 100-page complaint against the school.
He originally argued that Columbia allowing Sulkowicz’s “Carry That Weight” art project and other protests were in violation of Title IX rights. Let me point out that Columbia actually did ask Sulkowicz not to bring her mattress to commencement events. So where’s the “special privilege” Nungesser is talking about? Judge Gregory Woods dismissed Nungesser’s earlier case last month saying his argument rested on “logical fallacy.”
Nungesser’s new complaint claims that not only were Columbia’s actions a violation of Title IX, the university’s sexual assault policy violates Title IX, too, because it makes the assumption that most people who commit rape are male. Well newsflash, Paul: Most people who commit rape are male.
According to an article from Gothamist, the 100-pages also include an extensive fictional case in which “Emmett” reports “Paula” for gender-based misconduct, and “Emmett” carries a mannequin dressed in lingerie to his classes in protest of “the educational disadvantages male students face due to female student-male faculty relationships.”
The new document also argues that “rapist” is a gender-based slur against men, that making false rape accusations is a form of gender-based harassment, and that Columbia applies its free-speech code differently to men than it does to women, which is discriminatory.
This whole situation is undeniably fucked up and analogies in this new complaint are offensive and disrespectful to victims of sexual assault. We can at least take comfort in the fact that most people, including Nungesser’s lawyer Andrew Miltenberg, expect Columbia to file a motion to dismiss the suit. It's also important to remember that claims like Nungesser’s, which are based on the idea that a student was discriminated against for being male, have, in the past, been mostly unsuccessful.
Image via Twitter//Kat Arney
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