As Twitchy reported earlier today, Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz completed her “Carry that Weight” art project — “an artistic expression of the personal trauma I’ve experienced at Columbia” — by carrying her dorm mattress on stage at her graduation ceremony. Salon wisely appended the word “alleged” to its headline identifying Sulkowicz as a rape survivor, as the student she identified as her rapist was investigated and cleared by both the school and law enforcement and is suing Columbia for contributing to the destruction of his reputation.

That detail hasn’t kept the so-called “Mattress Project” from being covered worldwide and lauded as a symbol of female empowerment. Just two days ago, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power compared Sulkowicz’s mattress stunt to the real-life achievement of Afghanistan’s women’s national cycling team.

Ambassador Power isn’t the only one impressed, hoax or not. Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who invited Sulkowicz to be her guest at January’s State of the Union Address, credits her with helping shine “more of a spotlight on the problem” of campus sexual assault.

Exactly. And it is a performance art project, approved for college credit as part of Sulkowicz’s senior thesis.