The city council in Mumbai, India has stirred controversy by proposing a ban on lingerie and bikini-clad mannequins in store displays, saying they could encourage sexual assault.
The proposal by Mumbai's Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been roundly criticized, and sparked jokes on social media. Former journalist and politician Pritish Nandy took to Twitter to wonder, "If lingerie mannequins go, will condom ads survive?"
I have never been aroused by a mannequin. Maybe our BMC corporators are.— Pritish Nandy (@PritishNandy) May 28, 2013
The ban, introduced by BMC member Ritu Tawade, awaits final approval from the civic body's chief.
"Lingerie mannequins promote rapes. Skimpily clad mannequins can pollute young minds. After the Delhi rape case, I felt something had to be done," Tawade told NDTV. "I believe that mannequins, especially the two-piece clothes, have an impact on the incidence of crimes against women in the state. Such a display affects the mindset of men," Tawade said Tuesday.
But many in Mumbai disagree, saying Indian men do not suddenly commit sex crimes at the mere sight of lingerie or bikinis on mannequins.
"Sex crimes are committed by people who have a twisted mentality and basically if they want to be, if you like, sexually aroused, all they have to do is switch on the net. It's all over the net," Ad Guru Alyque Padamsee told NDTV. "What are they talking about? It is really absurd. That is why I think 'Big Moron Corporation' is a good title for BMC."