Actress Lena Dunham took to Twitter to show support for sexual assault activist Emma Sulkowicz after posters accusing both women of lying about being raped appeared Wednesday around New York City.
When Sulkowicz graduated from Columbia University this week, she also concluded an art project -- in which she carried a mattress around campus for nine months -- that protested how the school had handled her sexual assault report. Some posters showed Sulkowicz standing with her mattress and called her a "pretty little liar," presumably due to the student she accused of assault going public in recent months to refute her claims.
Other posters targeted Dunham, who wrote about her experience with sexual assault in her 2014 memoir, Not That Kind of Girl. Although the man she said assaulted her was never named, a former Oberlin College student claimed Dunham's depiction unfairly raised suspicion that he was the culprit. Her publisher said it would alter some details in future editions to make the alleged assailant less identifiable.
Wednesday night, Dunham tweeted:
Dear Emma, anyone who wants can call us anything they want, but you helped me to stand in my skin & I am so grateful: http://t.co/2H6dBzN6BX
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) May 21, 2015
Sulkowicz declined to comment on the posters.
In December, Dunham wrote a BuzzFeed essay saying others who had publicly discussed their assaults had inspired her to share her story. She also wrote about the negative responses she'd received since coming forward:
I have had my character and credibility questioned at every turn. I have been attacked online with violent and misogynistic language. Reporters have attempted to uncover the identity of my attacker despite my sincerest attempts to protect this information. My work has been torn apart in an attempt to prove I am a liar, or worse, a deviant myself. My friends and family have been contacted.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what is written about me individually. I accept the realities of being in the public eye. But I simply cannot allow my story to be used to cast doubt on other women who have been sexually assaulted.