Although it took almost a year, the #MeToo movement has finally reached India and it’s making some significant changes. Women are being able to voice their stories openly, big names like M.J. Akbar and Anu Malik are being sacked, and reforms are being done to deal with workplace sexual harassment. However, if you go through each of these stories, you’ll find at least one person discrediting all that by saying “but what was she wearing?”. Well, it turns out that this level of stupidity isn’t limited to our country.
According to News 18, a 27-year-old man was accused of raping a 17-year-old girl in Ireland. While defending the alleged rapist, his lawyer, Elizabeth O’Connell, held up a pair of underwear in the court and said,
“You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.”
If you’re fuming after hearing this, you’ll be even angrier after knowing what happened next. Apparently, the Irish court acquitted the rape accused of his crimes earlier this month. And that led to questions being raised on the fact that rape trials over there keep focusing on the alleged victim’s clothing, rather than the crime itself.
This judgement by the Irish court caused massive outrage among women and they came out in droves to protest this decision.
Honestly Elizabeth O’Connell should be ashamed of herself for using a 17 year olds underwear as grounds for consent ?? Especially being a woman herself. Scary #ThisIsNotConsent
— Sarit (@SazCurran) November 14, 2018
— It Stops Now (@ItStopsNow_EU) November 14, 2018
Hundreds march through #Cork city to the courthouse where a 17-year old’s underwear was used by the defence barrister when addressing the jury in a rape trial #thisisnotconsent pic.twitter.com/4yqGcW6XPG
— Fiona Corcoran (@fiona96fmnews) November 14, 2018
I’m sitting in the library now wearing a thong. Does that mean I’m “open to meeting someone” or feeling “promiscuous”? Of course it doesn’t, it’s my underwear. To suggest otherwise is illogical. My choice of clothing & underwear is not a declaration of consent. #ThisIsNotConsent
— aoife (@Tagerbombs) November 13, 2018
The fact that a 27 year old man was acquitted of rape in Ireland on a 17 year old girl because she was wearing a thong is disgusting, he had no idea what she was wearing until he had started raping her. A WITNESS even saw him drag her down an alley by her throat #ThisIsNotConsent
— Abi Johnson (@AbiJohnson2000) November 14, 2018
Deeply proud of Cork today, who came out with fury & demands for change to the rallying call of "Whatever you wear, wherever you go, Yes means yes and no means no!" #ThisIsNotConsent pic.twitter.com/sjKAAC5NVl
— Fiona Ryan (@CllrFionaRyan) November 14, 2018
I wear lingerie because it makes me feel good not as an invitation for sex, believe it not, not everything is centred around the enjoyment of men. #ThisIsNotConsent This is rape culture.
— Laura Hughes (@picturepositive) November 14, 2018
I don't understand why it's 2018, almost 2019, and we still have to explain why what a woman wears doesn't give consent… Especially underwear, you had to have gotten far enough into your mistake to see the underwear in order to use it as an excuse… #ThisIsNotConsent https://t.co/ssbZRhZs6b
— jperkins2000 (@jperkins20001) November 14, 2018
lmao set the rapist on fire. he was asking for it, he wasn’t wearing fireproof clothes! #ThisIsNotConsent
— frances (@frncesx) November 14, 2018
Additionally women put up pics of underwear to say that #ThisIsNotConset
— Anna Heverin (@annaheverin) November 14, 2018
— maireos (@maireos) November 13, 2018
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
— Cllr Sharon Tolan (@sharontolan) November 13, 2018
— Em (@lilthumper408) November 13, 2018
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
— I Believe Her – Ireland (@ibelieveher_ire) November 14, 2018
— Clàudia 🎗️ (@catalanaalcor) November 14, 2018
It’s 2018 and people, especially men, should get it through their heads that nothing other than “yes” means consent. Not laced thongs or underwear. Not short skirts. Not red lip-stick. Not lose t-shirts. None of that. No means no, and only yes means yes.