Blame Rape on the Man…nequins? Mumbai Says Mannequins Incite Rape

by Katharine Ernst


Apparently mannequins are the reason men rape women.

I’m sorry…WHAT?! I wish this was a joke, but no – popular opinion in Mumbai is pushing the government to ban lingerie-clad mannequins from storefronts. Yes, those plastic people. They say the mannequins get men too excited and cause them to go out into the street with a need to rape and abuse women and girls.

Many people in Mumbai are absolutely furious with these accusations. Being highly sensitive to rape crimes since the New Delhi bus gang-rape that ended with the death of a student, many people think they should deal with the root of the problem – the men who are committing the crimes. Blaming mannequins makes it okay for men to shirk responsibility for their actions, thus further perpetuating the problem.


Some say the ban will even effect some sector of India’s booming economy. They say that restrictions on display styles will send large scale retailers elsewhere with their products.

As one retailer noted, often girls and women who are shopping for underwear or lingerie are too shy to ask for something in particular. As a result, many of them choose a piece from the display. That also makes sense as a selling point because underwear (and clothes in general) are more appealing when seen on a form as opposed to hanging on a hanger or folded up. As a buyer, to see the item displayed gives you a better sense of what it looks like and how it will fit.



It is ridiculous to think that a mannequin would cause men to molest, rape and abuse women and children. Men should be able to control themselves when they get excited and its wrong to believe/accept that they can’t – its wrong to accept the defense that an innate object can cause a man to commit an obscene crime.

And it’s insulting to men to assume that they have zero control over themselves and their actions. That upholds a dangerous “boys will be boys” mentality that holds women responsible for keeping themselves safe. Let’s expect more from our men, and put the blame where it belongs for once.


For more positive mannequin news, check out BUST’s dispatches from the changing dummy scene, and the brainy students revolutionizing how plus-sized mannequins are made. 

Thanks to CNN.

Photographs via and Telegraph.

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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