During the summer of 2018, Sulkowicz tells me, she was single for the first time in years. Swiping through Tinder, a man she found “distasteful” super-liked her. “It smelled like Connecticut,” she says of his profile. “He was very blond, law school, cut jawline, trapezoidal body figure, tweed suit kind of vibe, but something inside of me made me swipe right, I don’t know.” They began messaging, and she found him witty. “He was actually way more fun to talk to than any other person I matched with.”
Eventually, Sulkowicz stalked him on Twitter and realized that he was conservative — “like, very conservative.” At first, she was repulsed and considered breaking it off. But then she thought, “Wait, actually, that’s kind of fucked up because he’s the most interesting person I’ve come across, shouldn’t I be open to talking to him?” After dispelling her initial fear, she texted him that it would be “interesting (progressive? Powerful?) for two people who might be the antithesis of each other to go on a Tinder date.” . . .
Soon, she began attending house parties and happy hours with conservative and libertarian intellectuals, reading Jordan Peterson and articles from the National Review. In the past, Sulkowicz dismissed opposing views without understanding them, but now she sees intellectual curiosity as intertwined with respect: she wants to disagree with people on their own terms.
So here we have mattress girl, revealing quite a bit I do think. She was brought up on the narrative (feminist and otherwise). It was easy to learn, easy to repeat, and felt good overtime it was repeated. Furthermore, she was now a member of the correct crowd. Was there any consideration of anything other than the narrative? It would seem no. Was there any attempt to do some critical thinking about the narrative? Apparently not. This is just so par for the course for these types.
It does appear that somehow, someway, Ms. Sulkowicz started to doubt what she thought she believed. I wonder why more of them don’t do it, and sooner at that. It would seem that she found discussion of conservative matters interesting; perhaps much of this were the various eureka moments in discovering a system that had a measure of self-consistency. Perhaps I am reading too much into Ms. Sulkowicz; it has been suggested that she is just and attention whore, and this is the latest gambit. It would seem difficult to argue the attention whore aspect, but in this case the attention is rather negative relative to the correct people.
In my personal case, I desired to understand the world as it truly was starting from me being a wee lad. I had many relatives who I was told were very intelligent, well educated, and were respected by all. They were also lefty types. I listened to them very intently, trying to make sense of what they said, to put it all into a coherent, self-consistent system. For years and years I attempted to do this. Surely, these esteemed scholars understand reality, and I, just a kid, don’t. I never could make their systems work, and decided that in their case, they didn’t either. I was also confident that they never really tried.
Through the years, I have talked to many people on the right. Often, like me, they tried and failed to make the lefty system work. I believe that there are not many on the other side that can make the reciprocal claim.
This is very telling