A criminal trial in Ireland, in which the lawyer of a man accused of rape cited the lacy underwear worn by a woman as a sign of her consent, has ignited outrage across the country and beyond, The NY Times reported.
“Does the evidence out-rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone?” the lawyer asked, according to The Irish Times. “You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.”
The man was acquitted, and the case immediately drew calls for accountability and sparked a national dialogue about consent and victim blaming. Hundreds of women and men with posters and lace underwear in hand protested in five cities across the country on Wednesday.
“My issue isn’t just the barrister; it’s the system that allows it,” said Mary Crilly, director of the Cork Sexual Violence Center and one of the speakers at the protests.
What a woman wears, Ms. Crilly said, is her business and does not indicate interest or consent. “It’s never her fault,” she said. “We’re allowing the perpetrators to get away.”