People across the globe have taken it to social media to share pictures of their underwear with the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent, to show outrage over a 27-year-old man acquitted of rape charges in Ireland based on the teen survivor’s thongs.
The Irish Examiner reports that on November 6, the criminal court in the city of Cork declared the defendant "not guilty" of raping a 17-year-old. During the rape trial, a defence lawyer held up the teenager's underwear in court and told the jury: "Does the evidence out-rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone? You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front."
Based on the evidence shown, the jury of eight men and four women let the accused man walk free.
However, the people in Ireland were bewildered and shocked, which fired a spark of public outrage among the people. Many women objected to the idea of using underwear to imply consent.
"We had hoped that as a society we had moved on from these archaic, victim-blaming rape myths," said Susan Dillon to CNN. Ms Dillon founded up the "I Believe Her - Ireland" Twitter page that came up with the 'This is not consent' hashtag.
Since the outrage, several men and women across the world have been posting pictures of underwear to protest the trial outcome.
Yep. Those are my pants. But this is not consent.— Pamela (@MPDSMCKR) November 14, 2018
Underwear is not consent. Underwear does not cause rape. Rapists cause rape. Stop victim blaming!!!!!#ThisIsNotConsent #ibelieveher #metoo pic.twitter.com/wnd5MYGgCw
Counsel for man acquitted of rape suggested jurors should reflect on underwear worn by the 17yo complainant. Following this wholly unacceptable comment, we are calling on our followers to post a picture of their thongs/knickers to support her with the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent pic.twitter.com/ZkVU0GVAIN— I Believe Her - Ireland (@ibelieveher_ire) November 10, 2018
Jurors in Cork were asked to consider the underwear a SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL was wearing when she was raped by a 27-year-old man.— Courtney Peterson (@_courtneymaria) November 13, 2018
Join the cause in solidarity, can’t believe this girl was subjected to these comments after such a traumatic event.#ThisIsNotConsent #Ibelieveher pic.twitter.com/PfkYERulgY
Irish politician Ruth Coppinger too took her stand in protest against the jury decision and shared the lacy underwear picture on her Twitter handle with a caption that read, “I hear cameras cut away from me when I displayed this underwear in #Dail. In courts victims can have their underwear passed around as evidence and it's within the rules, hence need to display in Dail."
I hear cameras cut away from me when I displayed this underwear in #Dáil. In courts victims can have their underwear passed around as evidence and it's within the rules, hence need to display in Dáil. Join protests tomorrow. In Dublin it's at Spire, 1pm.#dubw #ThisIsNotConsent pic.twitter.com/DvtaJL61qR— Ruth Coppinger TD (@RuthCoppingerTD) November 13, 2018
Protests now being held across the country - in Galway, Limerick, Dublin, Belfast, and Cork - to support the social media campaign.
The melancholy of the misogynist society is that it is trying to turn every possible stone to blame the survivor rather than punishing the rapist.