People in Ireland are protesting. They are protesting against a thinking which tends to overlook a women’s consent to know whether sexual act was consensual or rape.

Female member of Irish Parliament waved panty in the parliament. This was to show that lingerie choice is not a card of her consent. Women also marched in protest and took off their panties.

Actually, all this protest was related to acquittal of 27-year-old man in alleged rape case of a 17-year-old girl. It is surprising and awkward that girl’s panty was used as an evidence against her in the case. The suspect’s lawyer had asked jury to consider the “Lacy thong (panty)” as an evidence in the case. Victim’s panty was used to judge her character in the case. The convict was acquitted of rape charges.

The lawyer even presented girl’s panty to the jury and said that they have to see what kind of clothes that girl was wearing at ‘that’ time. The man, now acquitted, said that the physical contact between them was consensual. However, girl said that he dragged her across the ground and assaulted her.

Now, Ireland people have taken to streets. A hashtag is running as #ThisIsNotConsent. Women are waving their underwear saying that ‘Clothes are not consent’. This kind of thinking in the society is somewhat alarming. It not only raises questions on the mentality of men, but also of women. This is because there were also 4 women in that jury who listened to this kind of arguments.

NO MEANS NO. Does society really understands its meaning? Consent is still not clearly understood by people. Even in India, many politicians keep on giving ‘unacceptable’ remarks in such kind of cases. The statements by Indian politicians during Nirbhaya gang rape case is well-known. Will society develop some sensitivity towards women? Will it understand that “Clothes are not consent”?


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