Thursday, June 6, 2013

Mumbai Wants to Ban Mannequins

In this photo, a man stands beside a mannequin displaying lingerie at a mall in Mumbai, India. Image credit:

Mumbai city is intending to ban mannequins that are not properly clothed. The municipal council overwhelmingly passed a resolution last month barring stores from putting scantily-clad mannequins outside their shops. (The municipal commissioner has yet to give the required approval of the resolution). It seems that City council member Ritu Tawde had proposed the mannequin ban because these displays of skimpily dressed dummies degrade women. They also provoke men to attack them. Not the mannequins but the women!

If we believe Tawde, men have nothing but sex on their minds. A mannequin that is immodestly covered triggers men to go into a sexual frenzy. “After all, a mannequin is a replica of a woman’s body. Mannequins do not suit Indian culture,” Tawde explained.

Of course, business officials ridiculed the resolution, saying it would have no impact on violence against women. ”We are living in the 21st century where these kinds of things, all porn, the movies, the pictures, all these things are available on websites, available on mobiles. (A) mannequin hardly makes any difference to the people,” said Viren Shah, president of the Federation of Retail Traders’ Welfare Association.

Tawde had a ready answer. She said erotic Internet images were very different from the mannequins. ”If someone wants to watch pornography on the net, that is a conscious choice that he is making. In this case, the mannequins are everywhere and people don’t have a choice”.

Ah, I understand! No wonder every time I pass by these life-sized figurines – whether they are made of fiber glass or molded plastic – in departmental stores, I start to huff and puff and pant and even getting down on my knees, ready to pounce on anything that moves! I have these carnal cravings that just consume me in a flash! I cannot control these urges, so please don’t blame me! It’s the shop owners’ fault for displaying mannequins that are almost disrobed.

Yesterday, I attended the Gamuda Toastmasters meeting where I was the General Evaluator as well as Table Topics Evaluator. I thought members were eager to learn and the meeting went well. One of two speakers, Tsien Loong delivered his Ice Breaker and I discovered that he too – like I – studied at Banda Hilir English School as well as High School Malacca. I am happy that he and club president Ivan Yeh were not afraid to start making speeches and in doing so, they will beome role models for their other members. Gamuda Toastmasters have much to learn but it is comforting to know they are already taking the baby steps forward.

After this meeting, I sped off to Bukit Jalil to attend the AFC Toastmasters meeting. I heard three speeches that were more than decent. And even better evaluations. When you have the likes of Susan Lim, Chan Siew Peng and Grace Tan to provide feedback, you can be sure that you will learn. I had no meeting role and that was fine because I could sit back and enjoy the meeting.


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