By Ayushi Sareen:
BMC’s decision to ban mannequins modelling lingerie from its shop windows comes to me as an illogical move on their part to ‘fight for women’. They say that this will stop men from having ‘impure thoughts’. They believe this move may reduce the number of rapes and sexual assault cases in the city.
The funny thing about this move is the fact that this is coming from the municipal corporation of the city which houses the world’s largest and increasingly raunchy film industry, Bollywood, where the top-leading actresses don’t shy away from wearing skimpy, body-hugging, revealing clothes; and has beaches where women walk around in bikinis; where the Ajanta and Ellora caves have sculptures and carvings featuring scenes related to sex.
The disgusting thing is that everyone, from men to women, know that lingerie is not a luxury but a necessity for women. As FirstPost puts it right by saying:
“Lingerie is a necessity first (unless of course you’re a feminist stuck in the 60s) and thousands of women, and men, know it to well. A walk down Linking Road in Mumbai or New Market in Kolkata, will confirm the fact. From granny knickers and thongs to sports bras and barely-there lace and silk wonders, all of that sell right on the main road alongside bhelpuri, chappals, pillow covers and all such non-disruptive, asexual things. The only acts men commit around them and can be called wrong in certain ideologies, is overcharging, if they happen to be the vendor. Women and men discuss size, style, price, haggle, fight and complain with little evidence of disruptive hormonal interference.”
Monica Anand, founder and CEO of Under Cover Lingerie chose to start what she calls an online ‘fantasy wear and products’ store’, because of the $2 billion market it has, and shockingly, men outnumber women in her customer profile.
There has been an outrage on this ban on Twitter as well.
How about they ban men from working in shops selling #lingerie ?
— Gul Panag (@GulPanag) May 28, 2013
This ban on Lingerie Mannequins should be allowed to go ahead ONLY if any of the BMC guys can pronounce "Lingerie" & "Mannequins" correctly
— Udta Teer (@bwoyblunder) May 28, 2013
So are they going to ban women next?
— Shruti Seth (@SethShruti) May 29, 2013
No BMC, hormones in our country don't run amok at the mere sight of lingerie. The men aren't that sad. http://t.co/ujy1uK7qdH
— piyasree dasgupta (@piyasreedg) May 29, 2013
Ritu Tawade of the BMC, who proposed the ban was quoted by The Telegraph as saying:
“I have raised this issue and want an end to showcasing of women’s body on Mumbai streets. Mannequins displaying two-piece clothes or other lingerie are corrupting the minds of people and are against the morals of the society. This affects the mindset of men towards women and they see her as a commodity. As a member of the society, we have to understand the awkwardness a woman or a family in a market will feel standing in front of such a mannequin.”
“Our demand to ban the displaying of mannequins wearing scantly dresses is based on the Provisions of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986, which says ‘indecent representation of women means the depiction in any manner of the figure of a woman; her form or body or any part thereof in such way as to have the effect of being indecent, or derogatory to, or denigrating women, or is likely to deprave, corrupt or injure the public morality or morals.”