Students show solidarity by helping Columbia rape survivor carry her mattress
September 12, 2014
Responding to the call to “carry the weight together,” fellow students helped Emma Sulkowicz, the Columbia senior who is lugging her mattress everywhere while her rapist remains on campus, carry it from the courtyard to her class yesterday.
The collective carry was organized by students and alumni who want ”to help Emma carry the weight of the physical mattress, give her and other survivors of sexual assault in our community a powerful symbol of our support and solidarity, and show the administration that we stand united in demanding better policies designed to end sexual violence and rape culture on campus.”
As Alexandra wrote, the idea of “carrying the weight together” holds much symbolic resonance — not just as a way of lightening the burden on survivors but also by highlighting the collective sacrifice required to eliminate it. “If we all helped carry the weight of injustice, we could not bear it,” she wrote. “And so we would finally stop tolerating what we’ve been content to force others to carry alone.” And it makes a damn powerful visual too.