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“Lingerie Mannequins Lead To Impure Thoughts In Men?” How Can Such A Ridiculous Statement Be Made

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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.

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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.

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.”

Photo Credit: trekker308 via Compfight cc

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  1. Deepika

    I swear, my first reaction when I read about it was “how stupid!” That too coming from a woman. Mannequins depicting women as commodity? Then what do you say about the deo and pan masala ads and for that matter men’s inner wear ads, where a woman is not at all needed in the script but one is shown deliberately showering love on the protagonist towards the end because he rescued her from some sleazy villains. C’mon we have come far now, stop taking reverse steps. Mannequins are used just to display products, the difference is how you see it.

    1. sachin kumar

      I dont know about perverts but today men(a sane n common man ,not a supernatural creature u cant say a terrorist a common man ,he is an exception ,,i m just talking about a common man) have become so immune to titillation that forget mannequin,even after watching real women in bra n panty they dont feel any hormonal spike n that is a reason to worry for women ,not men! ,women always try to woo men by putting on revealing clothes but men have now become inured in this environment, its not that women r pious n dey dont assault men ,they always try to b chaste but in fact they r more corrupt than man ,had they have physical powers they wd assault men ,its a fact ,women try to enjoy everything but they always put the blame on men ,its only biological factor that men r on the wrong side ,otherwise any man can reveal the wild side of women ask him u wd find out the truth,n i m sure only few women deserve to b even seen ,most of them even dont deserve a look,u women u r nothing ,u run after men men dont need u ,u only need men n u use men …………………..everywhere i have been reading such kind of bull shit ,i have seen women’s chastity n piousness ,they can only pretend to be a sufi but in fact all women r surpnakhas on prowl to ambush men…………….

    2. Deepika

      Well, because this was a response to my post and not a separate comment, I think I must give a response. First of all it was not at all related to the topic, I believe you were or have been (higher possibility) in a bad mood to give such extreme and hilarious views. Well, can I ask you to define common man more broadly because as I sense, your understanding of common man is limited to your surroundings, mind taking a look outside? If you go by literal meaning of common, there would be millions of men unlike you thus wouldn’t match your thinking. So re-define common.
      Also can I ask you what have you based your thoughts upon? Are you believing your ears or it’s your first hand experience that’s speaking? Have you met enough people to generalize your views on men and women?
      Lastly mister, none of us has any ability to decide who deserves a look and who doesn’t. I think all that is important is to lead our individual lives righteously.
      Peace to you.

    3. sachin kumar

      Madam! i respect ur thought n ur flawless expression ,,u may b more intelligent than me ,but its democracy our constitution starts with ,”we the people of india” ,we dont need to b an MBBS /IAS to express our concerns , u just told that my comment is not pertinent to the topic ,let me tell u mannequins r not an alien product for us we used to discuss lingerie wd female counterparts ,i dont have any objection about this ,,this is another area but whenever i read any paper ,editorial ,every where i read the problem of women ,nobody have ever discussed about men, some women may b facing problem but i have never seen ,on the contrary they give us problem n if they act in certain manner n u dont like it ,they still think that they r doing some charity on u ,we dont need ur unsolicited advances, we dont need u on the cost of our honor n dignity .. We r also a respectable person like women but they think that we dont deserve respect any moment they can scold u ,any moment they can do whatever they want, if u raise hand no body ll believe u only cuz u r a man .Lets come to ur point ,read the first line of the text;”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.” Every where rape is on the front ,how many literate people can dare to rape or how many people need that! ,let me b honest most of the young men always want to keep distance from women cuz they know they cant fight wd women,in fact they fear from women ,in most of d instances i have bore d insult for no fault ,on the contrary they expect their offensive behaviors to b considered as a charity for men , a man can sustain the tantrum of his wife but he cant b supposed to b a percussion that any woman can blow on her wish ,. do u know the demography of rapists , mostly ,dey r poor uneducated n deprived men , i dont want to discuss sociology here ,if i talk reality u ll have to cry on the pity of these men how upper classes r usurping their needs n wants , in fact only needs !, i think we need to go deeper in order to understand the rape !. u r talking about the problem of women ,madam! ur far from reality , women r stronger than men they r exploiting men , u just glance the laws favoring women if u read it then u can conclude that we men r nothing but , just a dog on d beck n call of women , i dont want to discuss law here it ll need a lot of space , in nut shell , whatever a woman does with us we r just to accept ,we dont have any option , there r lots of things., but try to read between d lines my objections r not irrelevant ……………..we need to think about the chasm between have n have nots , i can clear every thing but perhaps i dont have good writing skills to conclude the problem in short space ,it ll take at least five pages to advocate my genuine concerns…………….dont bother about errors ,please think about the matters what i m trying to convey………………….

    4. Deepika

      Let me start with saying that I am not an extreme feminist. Yes, I do believe in equal rights and for me one of the meanings of equal is not accepting a seat offered by a man in public bus just because I am a woman. Equal should be equal. But I wouldn’t say I never accept those seats. I do. When I don’t feel safe, I do. Coming to your point of demographics of rapist, that’s what I was trying to say when I asked to re define common man. I am very well aware that rape is committed by mostly uneducated men. But again would refrain from generalizing, that’s a horrendous mistake one can make.

      And I totally get your point. Too much being done for women, men getting ignored and women taking advantage of it. I agree. But there’s always some bad for some good. You talked a bit about sociology so you know how many layers we have in society. When a law is passed, it is not applicable to one layer, it is applicable to society as a whole. People in upper layer with some intellectual level tweak law to suit them, while people in the lower layer mostly do not get benefited because they are ignorant. This was one part. Another part is you mentioning having borne insult for no reason. That’s because for the fear of getting offended, women have taken the route of becoming offensive in the first place. Here would like to refer you to a post.

      http://www.the-nri.com/index.php/2013/05/dear-rapist-thank-you/

      Quoting his words –

      “I feel no indignation when a woman hesitates to enter into a lift with me. I understand when a friendly smile is rewarded with cold indifference. I get it when they walk faster when I slow the car down to ask for direction.”

      The point that I am trying to make here is we live in a world of stark differences. We have relatively lesser number of men who are very broad-minded so the written pieces are targeted generally. There is so much floating around, one should know what to absorb and what not to. Things are seen and talked about collectively. If someone tells you based on her/her experience that service of a coffee retail chain is not good, aren’t you very likely to hesitate to go to one of those outlets. Though your well-wisher’s experience might be based on 2-3 outlets that (s)he visited, you tend to generalize it. So is the case here, women don’t know which man may harm her and which may not so being offensive becomes a weapon.

      You have genuine concerns, I don’t disagree. But it’s important to see things from each and every perspective and when you do so extremes hardly exist, what exist then is only balance.

    5. sachin kumar

      First of all i wd like to thank u ! in fact i have expected lots of abuses from ur side but ur reply is soothing ,otherwise most of women hurl abuses if u say anything which goes against their wishes ,perhaps we r suffering from contamination period so we have to bear d brunt of all that changes ,our next generation may enjoy the life of equality ………thank u ,,i wish all women cd think like u……………………………..

    6. Deepika

      Thank you for accepting my views with open and rational mind. Cheers!

  2. priya kedia

    We have come a really far way into this……if mannequins wearing two-pieces are indecent representation of women,then i believe all the adds,movies et cetra in which a moving woman body is seen in lingerie are also supposed to be offending the decency…they too are easily accesible for men…

  3. Raj

    Ok so do we promote the “commodification of the female body” or stop it or do nothing about it?

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