Students show solidarity by helping Columbia rape survivor carry her mattress

Cue a lump in your throat.

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.

Maya DusenberyMaya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director in charge of Editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard. Before become a full-time writer, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008.

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Editorial.

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