Another point of view on Shunning. And shunning vs. no contact

Discussion in 'Family of Origin' started by SomewhereOutThere, Dec 12, 2015.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Good article.

    "I have been very sick for three weeks and it has given me a lot of time to think about things, and inevitably the elephant in the room raises its trunk and starts bellowing for attention.

    I have been thinking about the effects that being shunned by family and community have had on my life and recently had to answer a question on a form about suffering the effects of long term abuse.

    This led me to the statement in my title.

    I have come to believe that shunning is not a one-time thing that happens once and you just move on. I did at one time think that this is what it was, and expected to be able to move on with my life.

    However, after 15 years of disconnection and missing out on every conceivable form of familial association, love, support, good times and bad times and all that those teach us about how to grow as a human being, I now feel differently.

    Shunning is a silent and insidious form of psychological torture. It is nearly impossible to describe its effects unless you have felt it yourself. It eats away at your insides in a way that can be invisible even to oneself.(This is what to me vindictive "no contact" contact done to punish. I am well aware of this. If it were truly no contact, the person doing it would move on with his/her life and not think about us. In my case, it has been ANYTHING but that. My FOO stalker is MORE than just in my face...needs to know what I do at all times, it seems. My own private thoughts here have been obsessively read). Anyhow, digressing back to the article....

    Every day I get up and I don't have my family is a day I am being subjected to abuse. Even if my day rolls on the same as yesterday, even if nobody is yelling at me or breaking my bones, or whatever. Every day my family chooses to maintain their silence and their distance and that means every day they choose to hurt me.

    I think it is supremely important to acknowledge that the suffering each day is real. It has a source, it is not some internal personality flaw one has. It is a very deliberate strategy with aims and rules.

    It is a strategy designed specifically to hurt you in the most deep and abiding way. It is a strategy to make you believe that you are completely unloveable, and always will be.

    It strangles you from within your own mind. If you don't stop to acknowledge that you are an ongoing victim of a campaign of psychological torture you end up believing that you are the broken one, the unloveable one, instead of an innocent victim of a vicious group bent on controlling its members through fear of experiencing what we are going through, on coercing through pain those who have 'strayed' and on punishing those who stay away.

    Please, all of us, try to remember this every day. You are NOT crazy. You are not unloveable. You are not broken. You are being deliberately tortured."

    This author I feel is right on the money. People use "no contact for my own sake" to wound the other person. I am glad to be past the hurting part, but will not forget it and will never again allow people who do this (and some have a history of shunning on and off) back into my life. This article is a lesson to all of us. It's not us. We are not doing the abuse. They are. We can have peace knowing WE are not the bad guy. Articles like this AND my therapy has really eased my now contented mind. If I were so bad, EVERYONE would hate me and I have more love than hate. So it has to be them. Not that I'm perfect, but never used shunning as a way to hurt anyone.)

    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  2. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I agree, Serenity. I think there is such a thing too as shunning in place that happens when we are little kids. This is the training ground for the FOG place that happens when we are openly shunned as adults. That FOG place, I think this is true, happens when old traumatic events are keyed. Shunning is a multi-level thing. It happens when we gossip. We are engaging in a form of shunning when we listen, and when we are the ones gossiping, we are instigating a form of shunning.

    Shunning is punishing, hurtful, agenda-ridden behavior, and it happens in many different ways. Bullying is a degree of shunning. Laughing or ridiculing is a degree of shunning. Shaming someone is a degree of shunning.

    Shunning, in all its manifestations, is a very hurtful thing.

    I don't understand why or how this weapon would be used within family systems, but it is.

    Putting a toddler in time out is shunning. That is the threat and the sting in time out.

  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Yes. All those years trying to make sense of how the pieces fit and who we were and how we had somehow managed to not measure up. To understand that others have this warmth, and that it is real is a piercingly lonely feeling.

    I still wonder why shunning would be used to the degree it is in a family system. In my family of origin, it is shunning that is the unspoken threat. The last time this happened, my mother told me she had told me she was going to do "this".

    She actually told me those words.

    I did not know what she meant by "this".

    It must have been that my mother meant shunning.

    We did not speak for five years.

    My mother told everyone that if Cedar did not want to be part of this family, then this family wanted no part of her.

    And I was left with that feeling that none of the pieces fit. And I did not have this site and all of you, yet. I did go into therapy over it, but you know, I think that therapist (a different one than the first one) wasn't sure what to do with me.

    Maybe, we are only beginning to learn how damning it is to be shunned.

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Yep. My mom shunned me, no matter how much I tried. But she had a cruel streak in her as wide as a sidewalk and used it on me (shrug). That is on her.

    My sister, at various times, shunned my grandmother, my brother and myself. And for her, trust me, it was a punishment. If it were to "protect herself" (yeah, right), she would have protected herself and shunned her abusive boyfriend. He was probably meaner to her, deliberately so, than anybody else ever was in her entire life.But she, in her own words, COULDN'T shun him because she loved him (and excused his abuse.) That tells me she never loved me and that my loving her was a waste of my heart. And it also shows me that her shun is not about my "abusing" her.

    In my own experience, the no contact was punishing and still is. The thing is, I no longer care about it. I read about it because it is interesting and I wonder what makes somebody do it, unless a person stole from them, raped them, physically attacked them or hurt their children. So I'm curious now and doing the research. I am NOT hurt. I do NOT care.

    The accident helped me with this, but I was already on my way.

    I will post other shunning articles if I come across any good ones. We need to understand what "no contact" really means. In some cases it IS protective...some people are dangerous to us and could harm us. But in most of our cases, it is just meanness. And once we accept this, it is so much easier to be grateful to be ourselves, people who do not shun. Shunning is meaner than a smack in the jaw.

    I am shunned, but still very much on my sister's radar. She posted HERE, for goodness sake.

    Anyhow, I just wanted to share a very "hit home" view of (cough, cough) no contact. Normal people have a great deal of trouble with this concept. I am starting to believe you have to be pretty damaged to be able to do it, and my FOO was damaged, very small group but a damaged group. I can't think of anyone who was normal. I swear I'm the only one who can hold a loving relationship for the long term...the rest all continue, even at this age, to struggle with close relationships and choosing good partners. Of course, I had to learn. My first hub and that marriage was a nightmare. But I learned from it.

    Have a great day. Hubby and I go Christmas shopping today...ugh...will be crowded. I overdid it on little granddaughter!!! The adults...we are slowing down this year. Gift cards from their favorite stores, I think. And I have to get something for Jumper's boyfriend because I am sure his family will get her something nice. And he was there with her during my entire accident ordeal both for me and for Jumper (I am grateful for what he did to support Jumper). Have to online send something to Junior, although Bart buys him everything so I think a St. Louis Cardinals hoodie...

    Serenity for all!!!
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It has a new politically correct label..."no contact" lol. I think the trend of therapists telling people to shun their loved ones is a fad. But it's not funny if it happens to you. And it is a punishment from the shunner.

    But sometimes it's a gift to be shunned. Do we need people in our lives who do these things to us? Especially repeatedly? And to people other than us as well? I feel it was a real gift to my kids not to have to deal with these types of people and they sure don't seem to miss them. Their shun may be a gift for you. It is for me a nd was for me. I can not imagine the damage my mother and sister could have done to my children, especially mother as the grandmother. I imagine she'd play favorites as she apparently did with Sis's kids. Princess has never liked her. Bart just doesn't want anything to do with FOO... and Bart had first hand face-to-face BAD experience with mother."She called me a liar." She did. But he wasn't lying. That's how my mother talked, but they were spared her (my children) and not used to being called names.

    No thanks. And her temper and lectures and demeaning kids did not need that either.

    For a while now, years, my kids had asked me why I bother with my sister. They knew how mean she is. They know she doesn't care about me and never did. Jumper and Sonic were young when she started calling the cops on us, so they think she is slightly addled.
  6. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    I find this topic very interesting, though the shunning I have experienced is as an adult, not a child. I was never shunned as a child, but boy, the shunning I have had to endure as an adult crippled me for years. My adult daughter is shunning me, though it's a bit better than it was. OR, I'm handling it better. She didn't speak to me at all for months after I divorced her father (its now been five years), though I begged, cried and pleaded. Now, I've decided that she is missing out on many, many years of mother/daughter that we can never recover. She isn't shunning me now, I guess, we do have a little contact, but I had to come to that conclusion that I had done nothing to her and the "shunning" was to punish me. It did. But no more....I'm done with it. I guess I got a backbone and said, "so be it"..
  7. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    This touched a bereft chord in me Serenity, because it is true, it is very psychologically damaging to be shunned, or outcast. I agree with Cedar that there are varying degrees of shunning. It is used as punishment.
    At first, I was a bit taken aback by these comments. I suppose it is because I have no contact with my two.
    It is and isn't a choice.
    My two know my phone number, choose not to call.
    I do not actively seek out their company, either.
    I suppose I could go looking for Rain, at the park she is known to frequent.
    Do I ask her out to lunch?
    There is this feeling of emptiness and hurt and just utmost frustration.
    There is a huge gap in life choices and lifestyle.
    My two are actively using and I have seen other people write this and feel it myself, I would not choose them as acquaintances. They are dangerous and damaging, to themselves and us.
    No contact.
    Rain has been popping up here, now and then. She is on the streets. When she comes over, it is very hard. She is either not high= depressed and almost non-responsive, or HIGH-bubbly, chattering about this and that, and somewhat lurking, the feeling I get is she is looking to take things. When she is around, stuff goes missing. So, I do not actively seek out her companionship, right now.
    No contact.
    I do not ban her from the house, although, I have to tell you SWOT, it makes me nervous when she is around. I do not know her intentions. We have been at this for so long, and I have made comments here on CD, that it is actually easier not seeing her, than seeing her. I suppose, no contact, is a way to self protect, too. When one has been dealing with D cs in the throes of addiction and all of its terrible behaviors, lies, manipulation, theft, I can understand, not picking up the call. Not wanting to hear the absolute BS, on the other end. Not wanting to deal with the feelings of utter despair, after speaking with these addicts who happen to be our children.
    It is devastatingly cruel.
    To have contact.

    When one is treated as a rug, what is one to do?

    Tornado left 3 1/2 , months ago in a whirl of spitting, ugly, screaming, epithets of derision, designed to cut me to pieces, all in front of my quivering grands, she then called them out of my house, and they left, slowly, one by one, then the eldest, who had been living with us for a year and a half going to school here, whispered so sweetly in my ear
    "Tutu, I do not want to go, but I have to watch my brother and sister."

    So began the shunning. As so many times before. Withhold the grands, until the next disaster.
    It is horrible.
    At some point in time, the feeling becomes mutual.
    Not for my grands,
    but for my daughter,
    so be it, as Wakeupcall mentions.

    It comes to the point where the games that have been played drive this wall up.

    I have not heard from them since. Well, Volcano showed up at the house a couple of weeks ago, so at least I got to hug my grands.

    It is hurtful, to the core.
    I am torn Serenity, when I read things like this.
    No contact.


    Then I thought, "Well, does that mean then, that I have to be the bigger person, and go seek out my Tornado?" I do not know Serenity.
    Am I the shunner, or the shunnee? I am a little bit of both, I think.

    I could contact them, actively seek them out, but I am not. Even as I am writing this my stomach is churning.

    I do not know if it is a fad or not.
    Yes, it is hurtful. To both sides.
    But, if a person you love, does not see you as a person anymore,
    only as a ticket,
    an opportunity,
    a victim, what is one to do?
    If these people
    D cs are using our love and affection to continue to abuse and manipulate, what is left to do?
    Do we become like the dog, low in the pack, tail between legs, whimpering and urinating, throwing ourselves on our backs, begging for right treatment?

    What would your suggestion be, Serenity, for those of us who are faced with our d cs, addicted, conniving, hurtful?

    I do not know what else to do.......

    Please help me understand

    Thank you for your thoughts

  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I will come back later to read fully and well, and to comment.

    My first thoughts and feelings are pain and guilt because I did not see or talk with my mother, nor she with me, for something like 10 years. Nor my sister.

    Was I shunning her?

    Was I shunned?

    Nobody ever called me to say: S, can we work this out? What is your pain? What can we do, to be together?

    Once, out of the blue my sister sent me a wedding invitation, which I ignored. But it got my attention. Whether she wanted me to see her grand wedding, or wanted the missing sister to be "seen" like a zoo animal, I do not know. But I felt then I was just a prop to some scenario and result my sister wanted, that had nothing at all to do with me. Who I am.

    It took years and years (and this site) to understand the depths of that.

  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You guys have it wrong, at least in my opinion.j

    I am talking about mothers and other family members who we have never abused or been abused by in any big way who decide to meanly just shut us out because we are scapegoats. I am not talking about people who break the law, steal from us, abuse us and make our lives obviously miserable. Sorry for the misunderstanding.One can not have a meaningful relationship with a drug addict.

    If somebody shuts US out, they are the shunner, not us.
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  10. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Yea, my daughter is the shunner. And SWOT, it hurts, it hurts big time. 'Don't know that I'll ever get over it. I tried to understand, but after five years, I don't understand....and she's just being mean, just plain mean. I get little dribbles of her attention via a phone call every now and then and it's supposed to make me happy. NOT.
  11. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I will write of my experience with shunning.

    My sister actively shunned me as a child. I was a thing.
    If I was a convenience to her, useful in some way, then I was allowed to be a companion. I realize, that a lot of my time as a child was spent alone in my room.

    When we would play with neighborhood children, I would many times be the outcast, this was initiated, and promoted by my sister. She would often engage my brother, in this practice.
    I grew up feeling as if I didn't belong, there was something wrong with me. I still see myself as different.
    I have a crazy imagination, and see things in ways that others do not, thus my rantings, off on different tangents and songs, imagery and videos in my posts.
    I suppose I developed this as a child, in my room, wondering what the devil was wrong with me, but at the same time, being me? I have come to learn that I am not just highly sensitive,
    I am an empath.

    Some people may view this as a brand of crazy. In some ways it is........
    It is just me.
    It presents a certain feeling of vulnerability, and also, a sort of defiance, in being me.

    When I started the same middle school my sister went to, she scathingly warned me "Do not look at me or tell me hi in school, do not talk to my friends, they are my friends. Find your own friends."

    I complied. I did not want to face the repercussions.
    Then, at home, I was her go-for. Her slave.
    "Get me the ketchup" Do this, do that....." Until one day, I stood up to her and said "Get it yourself."
    The meanness and bullying continued.

    I lived with this. There was no other choice.

    I write this and think "Okay your mom and dad were good people, at least you did not have abusive parents." Yes, and no. They did not stop this.
    I do not even know how aware they were of it, and the effect on me.

    I was so lost and alone as a child. My family does not want to talk of this. I am supposed to get over it. In many ways I have gotten over it, but examine it to know myself better and to understand why I go to certain depths of feeling.

    I acted out as a teen and sought refuge in drugs and the ocean and trying to find someone, anyone to love me.

    I became pregnant with my first at 19. I stopped all my crazy partying and concentrated on bringing this child into the world.

    My father was very upset. It was 1979. I was not married.
    Mom would have hubs and I over for dinner, family functions. Mom had accepted us, Dad had not.
    When I came over the house, Dad would say nothing, get up from his chair and retreat to his office upstairs. This continued to happen, until after my daughter was born. I would try to talk with my dad, he had nothing to say to me. Tight lipped, get up and leave the room. My mom tried to no avail. She said "He is hurt, he does not want to suffer hurt. He has shut himself off, he does not want to openly love you or your child and have something happen."

    Hubs and I were living in a small apartment, taking care of ourselves and not asking for anything.

    The shunning continued until after my child started to walk.

    I remember her crawling to my father, leaning with one hand on his leg and smiling up at him, looking with her big, brown eyes, her other hand raised in the air, motioning for him to carry her.

    He stood there, for a moment.

    Then, he stepped over her, and walked out of the room.

    This was very, very painful for me.
    My mom, tried to mend things, talking to me of his feelings and how devastated he was when his mother died (he was 11) then his baby sister died tragically, when she was 18.
    Mom said my Dad shut off parts of himself after that.
    It was too painful.
    She equated what was happening to my child and I with that.
    She also would tell me Dad never really paid much attention to us when we were babies,
    only when we could walk and talk,
    did we become something more to him.
    I could take his rejection, but he rejected my innocent child.

    Swallow, gulp, sigh.

    I was hurt and upset, and still to this day it hurts.

    My father started to come round when hubs and I married.

    I do understand why Dad, acted as he did. It was unconventional in the 70's having a child out of wedlock.
    I do believe, my Dad was an empath, that is where I get it from.
    I believe he denied himself this, studying Socrates and trying his best to remain even keeled and stoic.

    I understand what you are saying Serenity, Cedar. Everyone who has suffered shunning.

    It is okay Serenity, In your perspective and experience, the no contact thing is completely unwarranted and ugly.

    I am glad for the clarification.
    Thank you.

    I do have a daily struggle with this, as I think most parents do, with d cs, in their using, even if they are clean, but still have addictive behaviors.

    My daughter Tornado, uses shunning and withholds the grands. It is extremely painful.

    I thank you for bringing this up. It touches a deep resonating chord for all of us, experiencing this in all of its different colors and aspects.

    I am looked upon, in the Hawaiian culture of today, as a shunner.
    Allowing Rain to be homeless, not taking in Tornado and the grands, is shunning, to most of hubs family.

    So yes, the subject does strike up a lot of mixed emotions and feelings for me.

    It is a good discussion Serenity.

    I apologize for my misunderstanding, and thank you for clarifying your point.

    I am very sorry this has happened to you.

    I do not know where my relationship with my sister will go, considering our history, and some of her tendencies. Only time will tell..........

  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    We adopted an adorable boy from an asian country at age six. He was lots of fun, brilliant, but very distant. I think if he had married somebody who was friendly to us, it could have gone another way, but he married a Chinese lady (because he wanted to experience his culture...remember, he came to us at SIX YEARS OLD...already with his basic personality developed) and she, for a better word, shunned all of us. And he was enthralled with her. People with attaschment problems, as most older adoptees have, either attach too much or not enough, but without extreme help it can be a lifelong problem.

    So he left us all except for my ex and he doesn't see ex very often. We think he sees ex sometimes only because he is a Christian and my son and his wife are fanatical Christians (and I mean to the point that they don't believe anyone living together is not going to hell...they claim virgins at marriage and knowing them I believe them). So he left us all and we grieved and have not seen him for ten years except for one time when I used his church to try to reconnect.

    He was so hateful during that meeting, I saw very clearly that this would never work and that was closure for me. We all moved on and, even though this probably sounds terrible, I do not feel as if he is really my son anymore. I do not know or miss his two children or think of them really as grandchildren and his wife...I t think she had a big part in it. We never met his kids so it's hard to miss what we never met and I have other grands that I know and am able to love...allowed to love.

    So his wife didn't like him being with us. Although why I don't know. She didn't know us. This young man is more like he was a foster child who came to us at six and stayed in touch until he married. It hurt, but we built our lives around our family members who loved us and would let us love them back, and I am content. Strangely, I feel it would be harder if he came and went. He went and came back briefly during my accident and resolution took place firmly then. I am at peace. I wil never try to force anyone to love me, not even a child. I get why a six year old would not bond to his family...most older kids adopted from his country are doing very poorly. At least, he is doing well financially and in his family of choice. I am glad for him. But I did have to grieve and let go and after ten years that is long over. I feel no anger toward him.

    Still...I know what it's like to lose a child. I felt he was my child, but he felt otherwise. I accept that.

    I don't consider his disappearance to mean shunning. He simply did not feel like we were his parents and siblings. My other adopted kids DO feel like we are, but they came as babies. Big difference.

    But I went through it once and know your hurt and know it is worse because your girls, Leafie, they come back to remind you. I am so very sorry. Hug those who can love you close to you. They are gold. they are worth everything.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, me too.


    When I was young, a child and 20's and some 30's, I felt I was different in a bad way...FOO brainwashing. I could not see the good in me through the brainwashing of my being bad from my FOO. That's why I detached from mother.

    Today I love being different an d feel I am different in a good way...compassionate, kind, willing to help anyone (without enabling), a good friend, if I love you and you love me I will love you other words, my differences are mostly good. Some of my neuro-cognitive issues are not positive, but they sure make me understand the most belittled and outcasted people and to have great compassion and caring toward them. I don't really want to be a normal person who only cares about myself. Like most of my FOO.

    Do you want to be just one of the crowd? The crowd basically stands by and watches the bullies beat up the innocent person and does nothing, not even calls 911 for help.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    this is NOT shunning her. You are trying to help her grow up. You talk to her. You try to help her and WILL help her when she decides to help herself. Leafie, this is not shunning. Shunning is pretending somebody does not exist and trying to get others to do it too. It is evil. You are trying to HELP your daughter, in spite of your hub's clueless family...clueless about addiction. This is way different, hon. You don't want to enable her, but you did not refuse to see her again if she asks for serious help. You love her and your heart is huge.
  15. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    No, no, no, I do not want to be one of the crowd, never have been. I have gone from shamed to kind of celebrating my difference. My "weirdness".
    But, indifferent? I never could understand that. The city syndrome, I think it is called.......too many onlookers or bystanders or by-walkers, not enough helpers.

    Thank you Serenity, for this. I do not believe them, but I know that is what they feel. Too bad. My two were not improving with us, just constant backsliding and such. I understand nuclear family living, would love to be the big farmhouse with everyone working together, and that is key, working together. This addictive thing just sucks the life out of everybody.

    Thank you Serenity.
    Time to pick up boy- Shine. He is sweet. For sure my three are gold, worth everything, we are blessed this way.
    My Sun comes home from her trip tomorrow, I will be so glad to see her. She was away dancing and teaching hula.
    She lights the room.
  16. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Wakeup, You and me both, dear. It is hard.... and.... how does one get over it?
    Especially with grands......
    Who are these people, anyway?
    Where did all of this meanness come from?
    I am sorry for the pain of it WUC.
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I believe many shunners, especially if they do it often and have other issues such as eating disorders or trouble getting close to people or erratic behavior, also have personality disorders. And this makes them lack empathy and compassion and perhaps even makes them like to exclude and hurt others, mostly in their family, even close relatives. I have lived this all my life and have come to the conclusion that shunners either truly suffered serious SERIOUS abuse or are personality disordered and actually like to go over the top to hurt us, like my sis calling the police on us multiple times as a means to stop me from asking her why she is angry. That's not t he normal way to solve problems.

    But it is normal to them and they have no remorse. They think it is a win for them. They like to win and do extraordinary things to shun us. I can't come up w ith another explanation. Of course, drug addiction is different...people act strange while taking drugs and it doesn't mean a personality disorder, although more people with PD's use drugs than not. And drink. And like excitement and risk. And cut us off...shun us.
  18. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    I think for my daughter its control....
    I did something she didn't like so she will control it by punishing shunning...
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It's control with my FOO too. It often is.
  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I hope I am not stirring controversy. I think this relates. Forgive me, Serenity, if it does not.

    I agree with you Serenity. I believe that there is understandable confusion about events in our lives, our wrongful sense of culpability and sense of responsibility, when we have been victims.

    Some of us end up with the sense that what happened to us is our fault, we deserved it. When we were really victims of abuse.

    Some of us get frozen into our sense of ourselves as victims and hide behind that, never looking at the effects of our own behaviors and attitudes on others.

    Some of us are both victims and perpetrators.

    I listen to the radio as I am on the computer. A story caught my attention about which I had not heard. A female student alleged she was raped by a man with whom she had a consensual relationship. He was brought before a hearing committee by Columbia. The college did not discipline him, finding no grounds to do so. The young woman then took to carrying around a mattress everywhere on campus, weighing 50 pounds, to protest what she saw as the culpability of the man and the University, declaring she would do so until the young man was expelled. He was not. She used this "performance art" as her senior thesis and carried the mattress to her graduation. She has gained worldwide fame/notoriety as has the young man.

    Below I have excerpted a statement by the feminist Camille Paglia, with her thoughts about the position of Emma Solkowitz the young woman involved.

    Uh Oh. It did not copy effectively. I will post this and come back with the quote.


    Although Ms. Sulkowicz’s project was intended to be a campaign against sexual assault, at her campus and all American universities, Ms. Paglia sees it as a form of self-victimization.

    Self-proclaimed ‘dissident feminist,’ Camille Paglia.

    “I’d give her a D!” Ms. Paglia, a professor at University of the Arts in Philadelphia, told Salon (ArtNet Newsfirst picked up on the comments). “I call it ‘mattress feminism.’ Perpetually lugging around your bad memories—never evolving or moving on!”

    Ms. Paglia prides herself on her thick-skinned, “Amazon” brand of feminism “where you remain vigilant, learn how to defend yourself, and take responsibility for the choices you make. If something bad happens, you learn from it. You become stronger and move on.”

    “Columbia…utterly disgraced itself in how it handled that case. It enabled this protracted masochistic exercise where a young woman trapped herself in her own bad memories and publicly labeled herself as a victim, which will now be her identity forever. This isn’t feminism—which should empower women, not cripple them.”
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015