Disgusting Flyers Accuse Lena Dunham & Other Anti-Rape Activist of Lying

mattress

In news that is sure to both disgust and discourage you on a multitude of levels, someone is plastering NYC with posters accusing both recent Columbia grad Emma Sulkowicz and Girls creator Lena Dunham of lying about being sexually assaulted. In the posters, Sulkowicz (who's been dragging a mattress around the Columbia campus all year to protest the college's alleged mishandling of her rape) is called a "pretty little liar," while Dunham is referred to as a "big fat liar" regarding claims she made in December about being sexually assaulted in college.

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No one really knows who's responsible for the disgusting posters, though there is a new Twitter account, @fakerape, that's been putting up pictures of the flyers; the account also has the following brief bio: “Faking Rape to Perpetuate an Astroturf Agenda." The posters encourage people to use the hashtag #rapehoax, so there's clearly an intent to start some sort of social media movement supporting the idea that Sulkowicz, Dunham and women like them are fabricating their rapes. 

One thing's for sure: The existence of whatever group (or individual) is behind these flyers is proof of WHY women need to speak out about their sexual assaults. Unfortunately, it's ALSO proof of why more women don't do exactly that.

It's nearly incomprehensible to think that in this day and age, there's anyone out there who thinks women would invent stories of sexual assault. To what end?! When women come forward about being raped, not only do they have to relive the pain and humiliation of the incident, they're usually met with disbelief, ridicule, and even open hostility. Are there truly people who believe that anyone would choose that kind of treatment simply because they're desperate for attention, or because they have some burning desire to hurt men in general?

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Apparently the answer to that question is "yes," and it makes me sad and scared. I give both Dunham and Sulkowicz a lot of credit for being brave enough to tell their stories, knowing full well what sort of reaction they would get (when Sulkowicz brought her mattress on the graduation stage Tuesday, Columbia University president Lee Bollinger actually refused to shake her hand!). At least New Yorkers seem to be tearing the flyers down as quickly as they're going up. But we're still a long, long way from being where we need to be when it comes to dealing with sex crimes on (and off) campus. 

Are you surprised that someone would put up flyers accusing people of lying about their sexual assaults?


Image via Cleaner Croydon/Flickr

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