A 27-year-old man was acquitted of a rape trial in Ireland, in which a teenager’s thong was used as evidence and women from all over the world posted photos of underwear on Twitter.
A jury of the Cork City Criminal Court conducted a one-and-a-half-hour review on November 6th, announcing that the defendant could not rape a 17-year-old man at night.
In her last speech, defense attorney Elizabeth O’Connell asked jurors to consider underwear worn by teenagers.
“Is the evidence beyond the possibility that she is attracted to the accused and willing to meet someone and be with someone? You have to look at how she is wearing. According to the Irish examiner, she is wearing a thong with lace,” she says.
Many women use thongs on social media as evidence of implied consent and are considered victims. They started using the #ThisIsNotConsent tag to post photos of their underwear.
“We had hoped that as a society, we have got rid of these outdated, myths of rape accused by the victims,” Susan Dillon, a member of a group of Irish women who presented labels and tried to spread the word, he told We CNN.
Earlier this year, Dillon set up the “I believe her – Ireland” Twitter page to provide an anonymous and secure space for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories and get support.
She did this after the Belfast rape trial in March 2018, in which former Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stewart Ording were raped one student at a family gathering, another triggering protest Controversial judgment.
After Ruth Coppinger, a member of the Irish Parliamentary Socialist Party, released a photo of her underwear, she said she showed her underwear in DáilÉireann, the lower house of parliament. She also urged her fans to participate in Dublin protests against the Cork ruling:
“When I showed this underwear at #Dáil, I heard that the camera was cut off. In court, the victim can pass on his underwear as evidence and conform to the rules, so it needs to be shown in Dáil.”
The Irish protests were organized by the socialist feminist organization ROSA. Require supporters to carry underwear.
Other women from all over the world joined #ThisIsNotConsent.
“I am a feminist and human rights supporter and he is frustrated that this argument has been used in the 21st century Irish courts,” Michelle Sullivan, based in Canada, told CNN.
Emily Buell from San Jose, Calif., also shared her underwear photo: “How do we live in 2018? In the end, women feel empowered to make women of all ages speak out loud through #metoo campaign.”
Others are not surprised.
“Unfortunately, this story didn’t shock me, because harmful attitudes like this seem to be common, but it makes me angry,” Courtney Peterson in England said. “Thinking that a young girl has experienced so many traumas, she has to listen to older professionals who suggest that she should be blamed for being terrible.”