December 2012. India woke up to the shock of sexual assault that was so violent, it turned our collective stomach. For a while, our outrage spilled out into the streets. There was talk of changing laws. Not long after, the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) decided that lingerie was part of the problem. They decided to ban the display of lingerie-clad mannequins.
"On May 16, all 227 members of the BMC’s general body put aside their party differences and passed a resolution put forward by Ritu Tawade, a Bharatiya Janata Party corporator from Ghatkopar’s ward number 121, to ban mannequins wearing lingerie because it provokes men to commit ‘wrong acts’"
I did not know what to make of that. Do we agree that a female-shaped body makes perverts out of men? And what of the men who dress and undress mannequins? Did they want to rape real women?
It was a laughable idea. I once lived near one of the biggest garment markets in India and would often walk past shops that had just raised their shutters. I watched female-shaped mannequins being dressed. Most shopkeepers were men. They would strip a mannequin, then drape it with sarees, suit fabrics, lacy lingerie. Those men didn't look excited in the least. They looked either grumpy or preoccupied.
I was thinking of the shopkeepers and their un-sexy chores when I wrote this short film.
Some more thoughts on mannequins and the idea that the female form needs to be kept under wraps in this article: http://www.dailyo.in/arts/butnama-women-body-men-perverts-sexism-good-indian-culture-mannequins/story/1/10291.html
UPDATE: A REVIEW!!
This short film was reviewed by Rahul Desai on film companion: