Mumbai may ban mannequins to save women from sexual assault

With sexual assault numbers sky high in India, Mumbai’s trying to take a stand. Unfortunately, the mannequins of Mumbai are the fall guy.

mumbai mannequin

Mannequin image by Shutterstock

The proposal from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) would ban bikini clad mannequins from the front of shops around the city.

A spokesperson for the BMC’s proposal, Ritu Tawade, said, “Lingerie mannequins promote rapes. Skimpily clad mannequins can pollute young minds. After the Delhi rape case (in which three men are accused of gang raping a 23-year-old student), I felt something had to be done.”

Some of the shop owners are bothered by the move since foot traffic seeing products on mannequins is a key driver of business.

But the bill has support from many people, including students in the area of Mumbai that would be affected by the ordinance.

“Bikini-clad mannequins are kept even on footpaths and men stare at them with lusty eyes,” one student told Al Jazeera.

There’s no denying that India’s got a problem — over 220 incidents of rape in 2012 is a pretty strong indicator. But banning mannequins because men can’t control themselves from raping innocent women? That seems like a bridge too far.