#ThisIsNotConsent: Women Are Tweeting Pictures of their Underwear, and you Should Pay Attention
Clothes do not define consent. (Now repeat)
In all kinds of logic failure, recently, a pair of underwear a teenager was wearing was cited as evidence in the trial of a man who was accused of raping her. The lawyer for defence, Elizabeth O’Connell, held the pair up in court and said, “You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.”
The 27-year-old man who was accused of raping the 17-year-old was found not guilty of the crime earlier this month in Ireland.
Even though the judgment of the trial was not questioned, there were calls for legal reforms in how rape trials regularly hear details of what the alleged victim was wearing.
To this, thousands of women across the world agreed. How does it matter? How does it matter whether it was a lacy thong or a granny-panties? Clothes do not define consent. And as a form of protest to this notion and example, women started tweeting pictures of their underwear with the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent. There were protests in Cork, Ireland where panties were strewn on the steps to further emphasize this fact.
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
Crowd is chanting that 'clothes are not #consent': the sense of solidarity, belief and conviction for change is palpable. #ThisIsNotConsent pic.twitter.com/HFNs1C3c2V— 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
Some of the signs from today’s march against rape culture in Cork......@RosaWomen #Cork pic.twitter.com/UtiGe8GxcM— Anna Heverin (@annaheverin) November 14, 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
Thongs DO NOT cause rape.Short skirts DO NOT cause rape.RAPISTS cause rape! #ThisIsNotConsent pic.twitter.com/4PbAR2hIDh— Cllr Sharon Tolan (@sharontolan) November 13, 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 t. (@Tagerbombs) 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
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
In Cork earlier today 😍 #ThisisNotConsent pic.twitter.com/q8WhhG9vxG— I Believe Her - Ireland (@ibelieveher_ire) November 14, 2018
People have also ridiculed the idea that clothes could mean consent, not just in this particular case, but in general, always. Why does it take so long to be heard?
lmao set the rapist on fire. he was asking for it, he wasn’t wearing fireproof clothes! #ThisIsNotConsent— frances (@frncesx) 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 Kilvington 🌻 (@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
Reasons why women wear lace thongs:- super cute- no panty line- Victoria’s Secret 7 for $27 deal Something not at all related to the reason someone would wear a lace thong:- consent to sex#ThisIsNotConsent— Project Consent (@consentproject) November 14, 2018
Because it's not about consent. It's about rape culture. It has got nothing to do with at where she was, with whom she was, how much she had to drink, what she was wearing-- and that includes what she was wearing beneath her clothes.