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May 19 2015

Samantha's World: U.N. Ambassador Compares Heroic Afghan Women to Woman Carrying a Mattress At Columbia U

Charlotte Hays

U. N. Ambassador Samantha Power has revealed a great deal about her worldview in this tweet, rightly hailed as “bizarre” in some quarters:

From a wmn carrying a mattress on her campus to Afghanistan's Wmn's Nat Cycling Team, reaching true equality req showing change is possible.

The woman with the mattress is Emma Sulkowicz, whom Ambassador Power also mentioned several times in a commencement speech. She is the Columbia University woman who carried a mattress around campus to protest Columbia’s handling of a rape accusation she lodged. The man she accused claims to be innocent and has filed suit.

The Daily Caller explains:

The only problem is, Sulkowicz’s accusations have come under intense scrutiny after the man she says raped her recently filed a lawsuit which includes possibly exculpatory evidence.

Whether Power was aware that Sulkowicz’s story has been called into question is unclear. But she used it several times in the speech as a point of reference to discuss problems facing women in the U.S. and around the world.

“Consider the enduring problem of sexual violence on college campuses, only a tiny fraction of which is reported by victims,” Power told Barnard College graduates. Barnard is a women’s college associated with Columbia.

“Even as we are aware of the seriousness of this problem, it takes a woman picking up a mattress and carrying it around her campus to make people really see it. A mattress that a good number of the women in this graduating class have helped carry. And men from Columbia, too.”

Didn’t the ambassador have anyone to vet her speech who might have told her that the Sulkowicz’ matter is now in litigation and that some believe that Ms. Sulkowicz accused an innocent man? Or, like some in the Obama administration, does Ms. Power simply believe that ascertaining the truth doesn’t matter when dealing with campus rape?

And is she insulated enough to believe that what the Afghan cyclists endured in a country that is genuinely oppressive to women compares with the "trial" of walking around Columbia voluntarily carrying a mattress? 

The D.C. Examiner quotes a psychologist on Mr. Power’s interesting analogy:

William A. Jacobson, a clinical professor of law at Cornell Law School, said he doesn't know if Sulkowicz was "lying or telling the truth." But, he added, "the sharp dispute hardly makes the case comparable to what Afghan women have to go through. Beatings. Burkas. Lack of education. Executions."

"Is she really suggesting that Sulkowicz’s performance art (her term) on the Columbia campus is in any remote way the equivalent of the Afghan women’s cycling team overcoming threats in order to train?" he asked. "Do women face obstacles on Ivy League campuses similar to women in Afghanistan?"

A few words about the Afghan women’s cycling team:

The Afghan bike team consists of more than 40 women, the Washington Post says, who often have profanities shouted at them when they practice. It competes internationally and is one of 11 teams the Post says allows women to train and race in Afghanistan.

Under the Taliban, women were not allowed to leave the house without a male family member, the Post added. Even today, Nick Kirkpatrick said, there is not much tolerance for women on bikes.

“We are living in a society where there is no chance for girls to prove themselves, but we think differently,” said team member Malika Yousufi. “There are lots of challenges for women but we want to prove ourselves at any cost.”

This has notthing to do with true equality but is true lunacy.

 



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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