Feminist activists in Ireland are taking to social media to express their frustration with a new kind of underwear photo. Search the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent and you’ll find hundreds of pictures of women’s underwear captioned with rallying cries against victim blaming in sexual assault. The uproar stems from a court ruling in County Cork earlier this week, which found a man not guilty of raping a 17-year-old girl after the defense lawyer suggested that the victim’s thong implied consent in his closing statement. The hashtag was spearheaded by the Facebook group Mna na hEireann (Women of Ireland), who also organized several of the protests that occurred throughout the country over the past several days. The idea of posting thongs and boyshorts came from Susan Dillon, who later commented that “If a jury is a representative sample of the population, then it’s clear we have some work to do to dispel this archaic myth that clothing invites rape.”
For Further Reading
Although its been in the news more lately, Irish feminists are not a 21st century phenomenon. Read here about the evolution of the Irish suffrage movement.
What do you think this ruling says about the future of women’s rights in Ireland?
If you feel comfortable, snap a photo of your underwear and post it with#ThisIsNotConsent. Even you’d rather not include a photo, a post showing support for the movement is enough to help keep momentum going.