Words by Niamh McCollum
Activists in Ireland have taken to social media to post photos of their underwear after attention was drawn to a female complainant’s thong during a rape trial in Cork, Ireland.
In the female defence barrister’s closing speech, she asked the jury to consider the 17 year old’s choice of underwear during their final determination. She stated: ‘You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.’
The accused was subsequently acquitted.
The events of this trial have led to outcry across Ireland, with many women engaging in a viral social media campaign, surfacing on Twitter and Instagram.
Under the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent, women have been posting photographs of their own underwear in all shapes, colours and materials.
The campaign is to protest the use of such a technique in court, which allows for victims’ underwear to be passed around as evidence.
Here are some of the most powerful images we’ve seen from this vibrant campaign…
The hashtag was created by a Facebook group called Mna na hEireann (Women of Ireland).
Attention was also drawn to the issue by Irish politician Ruth Coppinger, who held up a lace thong in the Irish Parliament during Leader’s Questions yesterday.
While holding the blue lacy underwear, she said: ‘It might seem embarrassing to show a pair of thongs here…how do you think a rape victim or a woman feels at the incongruous setting of her underwear being shown in a court?’
Since when did the shape or material of a woman’s underwear determine the issue of consent?!
Fiery females of Ireland, roar louder!