Women are tweeting photos of their underwear with the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent after an Irish teen’s thong was used against her in a rape trial

Women are protesting in Ireland after a man was found not guilty of rape. Twitter/IBelieveHer
  • A 27-year-old man was found not guilty of raping a 17-year-old girl in Cork, Ireland, earlier this month.
  • Before the ruling was made, defence barrister Elizabeth O’Connell noted that the girl had been wearing a lacy thong on the night in question.
  • Women have criticised O’Connell’s comments and said clothing is not a form of consent.

Women are sharing photos of their underwear on Twitter along with the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent after an Irish teenager’s thong was cited in the trial of the man accused of raping her.

Earlier this month, a jury in Cork, Ireland, declared the 27-year-old defendant not guilty of raping the 17-year-old girl in a case dominated by the issue of consent, according to the Irish Examiner.

In closing arguments, defence barrister Elizabeth O’Connell asked jurors to consider that the girl was wearing a lacy thong on the night in question.

“Does the evidence out-rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone? You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front,” she said.

Following the acquittal, women on Twitter expressed their outrage over O’Connell’s use of the teenager’s underwear, saying it was victim blaming.

Many women shared photos of their own underwear using the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent.


Other women argued that underwear choice has nothing to do with consent and expressed frustration over the lack of accountability given to the man.




Susan Dillon, who started the hashtag, which was kickstarted by the group I Believe Her, told BuzzFeed News that clothing is not a form of consent.

“This kind of victim blaming is archaic and had no place in our court system,” Dillon said.

Read more: More and more men are asking women to record their consent before sex – but it may not be that simple

Dillon launched I Believe Her after two rugby players in Ireland were acquitted of rape in March.

#ThisIsNotConsent even hit the Irish government, when Ruth Coppinger, a socialist member of the Irish Parliament, shared a pair of underwear in Dáil Éireann, the assembly’s lower house.

The cameras quickly cut away from Coppinger when she raised the underwear in the air.

On Twitter, Coppinger urged people to join demonstrations across Ireland on Wednesday to protest the handling of the court case.

The demonstrations took place in cities all over Ireland and featured women carrying their underwear and posters urging for accountability.