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Ban on mannequins will not help fight sex crimes

If ludicrous statements by politicians on rape were not enough, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in its infinite wisdom has unanimously passed a proposal by a woman Shiv Sena corporator, Ritu Tawade from Ghatkopar asking to ban the display of lingerie-clad mannequins across innerwear stores in the city. 

Reports also suggest that those debating the ban stated that women feel awkward standing in front of such mannequins and leads to pollution of minds. Of course, Mumbai being Mumbai, its citizens do not need any more pollution either of the lungs or of the mind.

To use two-piece clad objects as triggers of lust and reasons of sex crimes defies debate. By this yardstick, everything in the city is up for a ban — innerwear advertising, hoardings and whatever else pollutes the minds of men, minds that are surprisingly and invariably prone to pollution.

Some time ago, this paper had carried a piece on the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) objecting to hoardings with a picture of a brassiere depicted on them. While the truth was that the hoardings were designed to create awareness about breast cancer.

It is time our politicos realise that scantily clad mannequins are not the reason for sex crimes. Innerwear is for hygiene and support and if it triggers lust in male minds, which leads to sex crimes, it is the man not the mannequin that is to be blamed. This is a familiar scenario where, the city is being subjected to policing and freedom is being curtailed. As trivial as this may sound, it points to a larger, picture where sweeping curbs are being applied for anything that seems ‘offensive’ or results in ‘wrong acts’. Artistic censorship is already getting tighter and it is a shame that now, simply anything can be ‘censored’. 

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