Intimate Revolt


This afternoon.

Dublin and Cork city centres.

Protests today following statements made during a trial in Cork last week in which a 27-year-old man accused of raping a 17-year-old girl was found not guilty.

Barrister Elizabeth O’Connell SC, for the accused, had asked the jury to consider what the woman was wearing, saying:

“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.”

Earlier: Smalls Minded

78 thoughts on “Intimate Revolt

  1. Paul Davis

    I don’t think these women understand the closing arguments.

    Wearing a thong did not give him consent.

    Wearing a thong was her being open to something happening.

    I don’t wear flip-flops when hiking…

    1. ReproButina

      “Wearing a thong was her being open to something happening.”
      No it wasn’t and you really should think before speaking again.

      Is carrying a wallet, phone or cash you being open to being mugged?

        1. ReproButina

          Maybe she was wearing a thong because she didn’t want a VPL. Maybe she was wearing a thong because everything else was in the wash. Maybe she was wearing a thong because she likes them. Maybe you should drag your thinking out of the 1950’s.

          1. Paul Davis

            Maybe is not fact. Therefore like everyone else you do not know.

            Still awaiting:
            Why does lingerie exist given that belief?

          2. ReproButina

            You don’t know either but were happy to state that wearing it was evidence that she was open to something when it clearly wasn’t. Except maybe in your backward thinking head.

          3. Nigel

            That’s the point, surely. Items of clothing cannot provide sufficient evidence for the state of mind of the wearer to be deduced with any degree of certainty. Notice the Counsel left this to her closing arguments where it could not be challenged, but asserted as if a finding of fact. I thought you were agreeing with this down below?

      1. Cian

        “Is carrying a wallet, phone or cash you being open to being mugged?”
        It might be. If someone has stacks of cash in their wallet and are flashing it about they are making themselves a target for a thief. They are not consenting to be robbed. But their actions may not be prudent.

        As for the original story. A woman’s choice of underwear should not be subject to legal scrutiny and is not – ever – any form of consent.

        1. ReproButina

          Making oneself a target for something is not the same as being open to something. Being open suggests they would welcome it.

    2. Nigel

      It’s an enormous assumption, but even so ‘being open to something happening’ is not consent, therefore has nothing to do with whether she was raped.

        1. Nigel

          Well we don’t if you think it’s pertinent to the defence somehow. If you don’t think that then we do agree and can go forth in amity.

    3. millie st murderlark

      You must be personally acquainted with the girl if you’re so sure as to her motives.

      Just so you know, as a woman, my main reason for wearing a thong is because it gives a nicer silhouette and line to the clothes I wear. I’m far from alone in that.

      Am I to assume that when a guy is wearing his sparkling white y-fronts that he’s “up for something”? What exactly are your motivations when you pick out your underwear on a day to day basis?

      1. Paul Davis

        Men’s underwear cannot be compared to womens, I think that is obvious. Go to Marks & Spenser to see for yourself if you are in any doubt.

        However, if I go out wearing a three-piece suit you can be assured I am up for it.

        1. millie st murderlark

          Is it obvious? From a woman’s pov, I would say no.

          Underwear is underwear. It’s just one part of my outfit, not a sexual thing. Men, historically, have been the ones sexualise women’s underwear.

          I think it would be disingenuous of me to say that women never ever wear underwear for sexual purposes, because it’s completely untrue and also unfair, but I think that undoubtedly, for women, underwear is more than just a uniform you put on under your clothes to attract a significant other, even if it’s just to bump uglies for the night.

          1. Paul Davis

            That last sentence is abstruse in the extreme.

            We will agree to disagree, however, the multiple shops that sell solely women’s lingerie would suggest there is more to it than you think.

          2. ReproButina

            Lingerie is just another word for women’s underwear and nightwear. All women’s underwear is lingerie by definition. Check a dictionary since you won’t believe me.

          3. millie st murderlark

            We can of course agree to disagree, that’s the nature of discourse. Possibly the most enjoyable part actually.

            Do you buy your underwear based on what you like to wear or based on what you think a woman might prefer? It seems like madness to me to choose your underwear based on another’s preferences, or percieved preferences, such as the case may be. Surely comfort is one of the most decisive factors at play. I know it is for me.

            I buy nice underwear because I like nice underwear. It makes me feel great about my body, something i didn’t always feel. And when I’m buying it, what a man might think or want is pretty far from my mind. Colour and fabric, for example, is a big motivating factor. As is the type of cup on the bra I like, and the kind of support it offers, and the cut of knickers/thong/briefs. But rarely do I think of men when shopping for a new bra, funny enough.

          4. f_lawless

            “Men, historically, have been the ones sexualise women’s underwear”
            Is there a link you can direct me towards that backs that up? I had a search and couldn’t find any. I would have thought there was a two-way thing going on, both men and women.
            I don’t want to make any assumptions about what ideologies you might or might not subscribe to, but I think there’s a danger your comment could be interpreted as being indicative of a certain toxic brand of feminism where men are simply responsible for all the ills in the world while women should accept no responsibility.

          5. millie st murderlark

            I’d recommend taking a look at the book Underneath It All by Amber Keyser. It’s a fairly interesting look at the history of underwear, and I found it a good read.

            But the evidence that men sexualise women’s underwear is fairly widespread. Just look at art to begin with. Porn from a hundred years ago consisted of women in their underwear in a suggestive tone. Pin up girls. Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe.

            As to the rest of your comment, I think it’s fair to say I’m not the type of feminist who wants to pin all men with the one label or blame them for all of the world’s ills. I think it’s a measured point, and I’m hardly declaring that all men are rapists or anything so patently nonsensical. My point is that for most women, underwear is about them – a personal thing. Men, usually, have very little to do with it.

          6. Vanessa off the Telly

            C’mere Mill
            Don’t be tormenting oul Oll there
            He’s picturing Arlene now and wondering ….

        2. Janet, I ate my avatar

          Paul you are living in the past, there is plenty of male underwear designed to improve and reframe a man’s package, small mercies,

        3. Vanessa off the Telly

          I dunno about that Paul
          The right man
          In the right brief
          Can do wonders to the libido

          For sure tho’
          The lad in the yellowish greyish YFront hasn’t a hope
          Same goes for anything nylon
          And if it’s gone ball’ie
          Chop it off ’cause it’ll be no more use t’ ya

          1. Clampers Outside!

            Unless you’re keeping them cool and loose for the baby making… can’t let those lads overheat in the tighties.

          2. scottser

            Most lads will admit that their lucky jocks are pretty skanky. In my younger days i always had more action in the penneys threefers than the calvins or hilfigers, and boy did i werar those out..

    4. Daisy Chainsaw

      What item of clothing do you wear to indicate you being open to something happening? A clean shirt? A slightly sweaty/dirty one? Tight trousers that leave little to the imagination? Loose trousers that encourage imagination? Boxers? briefs? y-fronts that cup your package? Why are you leading people on with your clothing if you don’t want attention?

      1. Starina

        You know what’s funny is I seem to get catcalled and chatted up the most when I’m disgustingly hungover, no makeup, bleary-eyed and wearing my sloppiest clothes. It’s completely bizarre.

    5. Vanessa off the Telly

      I’m just wondering there Paul

      If I see a lad with his knicker elastic showing over the top of his jeans
      And lately
      For some reason
      I’ve seen lads with practically half their underwear showing
      Seems to be a bit of a thing
      Anyway, does that mean he’s consenting to a bitta rumpy pumpy?
      With any denomination whatever yer having yerself

      And whats the lads walking around cupping their bits under their tracksuits telling us

      This menapause has me hormones all over the place
      I’m like a nuclear testing site

      1. Paul Davis

        From my first comment:

        “Wearing a thong did not give him consent”

        The point I am making is that you along with all these other people at the gathering are arguing about a point that was not being made.

        For your information, men with their underwear showing and those in tight trousers should be avoided.

        1. Daisy Chainsaw

          Why should they be given the luxury of avoidance?

          Does the peekaboo underwear and penile outline prominently on display out-rule the possibility that he was open to meeting someone and being with someone? You have to look at the way he was dressed. He was wearing briefs with Calvin Klein written on the band. The inference is right there, isn’t it?

      2. Ollie Cromwell

        Why not just assume that all fellers are up for it all the time.
        And not all women are.
        Seems to me a safe starting point for the post-pub courtship ritual.
        It’s what I’ve observed for all of my adult life.

        * Not condoning rape/sexual assault etc *

    6. Ollie Cromwell

      In my Lothario days if you got as far as the knickers stage and discovered a lacy thong you’d definitely thing it was game on.
      Perhaps the dance moves have changed since then.

      * Not condoning rape/sexual abuse etc *

    7. SOQ

      I do love how legal filer down to the boolean so, let’s transfer.

      Does my (male) leather jockstrap mean he can do what he wants?

      Is that an acceptable defence by me when he takes a Ryan Air out of my 3’rd floor window?

  2. Emily Dickinson

    Two questions:

    Who is arguing that a thong equals consent?

    What has it got to do with Rosa Parks?

  3. Ollie Cromwell

    Dear BS,
    If you’re going to ” curate ” and cogitate over every one of my posts at least have the courtesy to put them up within the hour.
    I know your evening drone has to go off for a Kit-Kat and manky coffee from the vending machine occasionally but sheesh perhaps it might be quicker if I send in my comments by carrier pigeon.

    1. scottser

      Ollie, dont complain about vending machine coffee – your comments are just as old, weak and tasteless.

  4. anonymouse

    Paul Davis, I was wearing Levis 501s, a bra, rugby shirt and an thong when I lost my virginity to being raped at 17 years of age. Was my wearing the thong a sign of sexual desire? Was it a signal of wanting to be violated? Was it indicative of my wanton submission? Did it mean I was a 17 year old who wanted to be sexually abused and taken advantage of?

    Or, was it just a case of a bad, deviant, perverted bastard who chose to take a piece of a vulnerable young woman who would never offer it to him freely? Or, maybe it was his Super-power eyesight which could see through my jeans and he became enlightened to the point whereby he knew he had to take it anyway as I was wearing a thong, and according to rapists’ mentality, the thong gave it away; consequently, I was fair game?

    Answers on a postage stamp, please, Mr Davis.

    P.S. Make sure you wash your hands before you lick the stamp.

    1. Vanessa off the Telly

      What a terrible story
      I should really want to know if you reported it and what happened next

      How are you now?

    2. Eoin

      Your comment is like ice-cold water. I hope you found legal justice, or found the strength, yourself or with others, to manage some way of dealing with that awful experience. Very brave of you to share that story to underline the point, clothes ≠ consent, consent = consent.

  5. dav

    I think Paul Davis’s points appear to be linked to him feeling arousal at the sight (perhaps the thought) of a lacy thong. He assumes that all women must also feel the same way, hence his belief their wearing of such are garment means they are “asking for it”

  6. Starina

    What hasn’t been mentioned is there’s quite a lot of movement in recent years for women to wear nice underwear for themselves every day, instead of saving them only for the eyes of men. It feels nice to have on something lacy, it’s a confidence boost. How do you think Victoria’s Secret makes so much money?! So what the heck are we meant to do when the courts tell us that we’ll be blamed for our own assault because we’re not wearing period-stained, grey granny knickers?

  7. Spaghetti Hoop

    I’m supportive of the protest – this was a shocking case blaming the victim for her clothing.
    However, I find the waving around of thongs in the street just as ridiculous and distasteful as Coppinger waving them around the Dail. Not dignified, girls.

    1. Starina

      Thanks for the tone policing, how else will we women know our place. cross your ankles and always smile, ladies!

        1. Starina

          I do indeed. Twas dreadful how we got our demands instead of waiting for them to be graciously granted to us.

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