The Mumbai Municipal Corporation’s approval for a proposal to ban skimpily clad mannequins is welcome and should not be considered moral policing (“Now, politics with dummies,” May 31). What is the need to display lingerie-clad dummies which can be seen by pedestrians and passers-by?
We are outraged when we hear news of crime against women in public places but object to decisive actions taken by the government in the interest of all. Of course, there are many pressing issues for the Mumbai Corporation to deal with. Is it the author’s case that the corporation should solve all other problems before taking up the mannequin issue?
The article is, by no means, convincing. Mannequins dressed in lingerie malign womanhood. Will any noble woman display herself in lingerie in public? People wear clothes to protect their modesty. It is not desirable to promote the display of lingerie in shops in the name of advertisement. As for bar dance, nightclubs and canoodling couples, let us not forget that such permissiveness has played much havoc in the western world.
Municipal corporators no doubt have other weighty issues to tackle than sanitising shop windows. At the same time, the photograph accompanying the article does make one think that the protest against scantily clad mannequins cannot be dismissed as unwarranted moral policing. The images displayed in the shop fail the test of decency as commonly perceived. Will people stop buying inner wear in the absence of such provocative plastic dolls?
It is perhaps too much to say that the sight of plastic flesh in shop windows can lead to a “pollution of minds” but isn’t it a fact that the advertising industry is turning out to be a sphere of male domination? Women’s bodies are compared to products; there are vulgar insinuations in many advertisements. The cheap gimmicks of the media are responsible for the way in which men regard women. If such advertisements continue, the mindset of men will never change. They will continue to regard women as sex objects.
The idea that lingerie displayed on mannequins drive men to commit crimes against women is downright crazy and difficult to accept. Men have long ceased to look at mannequins with a leering eye, thanks to our film stars who are generous in exposing their bodies on screen.
Women irrespective of their age and dress are a target of harassment and sexual attack today. If Ritu Tawade and others of her ilk are really concerned about women, they should address themselves to the task of abolishing the flesh trade in Mumbai which is a dumping ground for thousands of innocent girls.
A. Michael Dhanaraj,