T/W: Sexual Abuse
Ireland is not an ideal country to be a woman in. History has shown us this time and time again but last week’s news of a Discord server containing over 6600 nude images from thousands of Irish girls breaking has once again brought to light, the deep-rooted misogyny in our society.
Over 500 men collaborated in this deeply disturbing and predatory image-based sexual abuse of Irish women and underage girls. This isn’t including the friends, brothers, cousins and peers of these 500 men who knew about this Discord server and did nothing to stop it. “Not all men”, they say when the phrase “men are trash” is used. But it is still 500 too many.
What was almost worse was the victim-blaming that flowed from this news breaking, men took themselves to social media to (unsurprisingly) shift the blame to the victims: “well, if they didn’t want anyone to see the pictures, why send them?” One day later, searches for these images were trending on Pornhub. They forget the desperate and coercive texts they send to the same women they slut-shame asking for such pictures.
Ireland is not a safe place for women, not even online. The law does not even protect them. Women have to think twice about their interactions with men.
So little value is placed on the humanness of women, that their consent is meaningless. These men so repulsively objectified thousands of women and underage girls before uploading their pictures for the sexual gratification of hundreds more. Their bodies’ were used as a currency for the operating of this server.
This is not a new occurrence, this is the result of years and years of allowances made for “boys will be boys” and a refusal to acknowledge the rape culture which permeates our society. Women have suffered too long as a consequence of this whilst too many men have seamlessly moved through their lives having either engaged in this violation of women’s bodily integrity or knowing their friends are doing so.
When one does stand up for the women of Ireland by simply sharing a post on his story, the applaud he is awarded is thunderous in volume. We celebrate men doing something as small as putting a post up when it is the least they can do. The hardest part of the battle is to stand up to your own friends and call this behaviour out in every single way it manifests: unwarranted ass grabs on night-outs, catcalling on streets and the unconsensual sharing of intimate pictures.
Men, do better.
The College Tribune extends its support to the victims of this sexual violence. It is an unimaginable violation of their bodily integrity. We are angry that this is the reality we live in, that we cannot rid ourselves of our misogynistic past. We must strive to do better, collectively, we must try and make this country a place where women feel safe, where they are protected by the law and accountability for this violence is acknowledged.
The Editorial Team
For anyone struggling right now, here are some supports to reach out to:
Call: 1800 341 900
Rape Crisis Centre:
Call: 1800 77 88 88
Call: 01 867 0701
Call: 1800 247 247
Call: 1890 474 474