Hundreds took to the streets of Dublin this afternoon, as well as in four other Irish cities, in protest over comments made about a woman’s underwear
Hundreds took to the streets of Dublin this afternoon, as well as in four other Irish cities, in protest over comments made about a woman’s underwear during a rape trial in Cork.
TD Ruth Coppinger led the #ThisIsNotConsent protest on O’Connell Street alongside ROSA in response to the rape trial in Cork where the 17-year-old victim’s underwear was held up in court.
Elizabeth O’Connell, the defence for the 27-year-old accused, said in court: ‘You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.’
The man was found not guilty.
On Tuesday, Ruth Coppinger held up a thong in the Dáil in protest against ‘rape myths’.
Today’s protest was organised less than 24 hours later in Cork, Limerick and in Dublin where speakers discussed society’s treatment of women and victim-blaming.
Ruth told EVOKE.ie that she and one of her colleagues came up with the idea of showing the underwear in the Dáil, despite the rules that no props can be used.
She said that she had to ‘weigh up’ the idea as she didn’t want to ‘trivialise’ what the girl in the rape trial had to go through.
‘We want to bring the reality of life, that people are facing, into this cozy chamber where the establishment generally have these little sparring matches,’ she told us.
‘But we also had to weigh up whether it might be seen as somewhat trivialising or offensive. So I thought about how we would do it and we settled on this idea.’
‘It shouldn’t be in the Dáil, and it shouldn’t be in a court either! They’re equally somber settings. I think people really got it.’
Speaking about what she would like to see in the future, Ruth told us that the work is far from over.
‘We want to organise a movement against this. We need to have discussions and meetings about how that can be done. But I think if we could build up to a real strike in 2019 on International Women’s Day.’
‘I think that would be really powerful.’