Following the announcement of the possibility of increased advertising censorship dozens of mannequins in popular malls in Bahrain have been attacked and vandalized.
Local reports claim that most of the mannequins targeted were ones wearing lingerie and women’s underwear. It is suspected that these acts of vandalism are connected to the Central Municipal Council’s call for banning mannequins in lingerie shops.
The council’s public utilities and environment affairs committee chairman, Ahmed Al Ansari, earlier this week said:
“Most advertisements focus on the feminine side and use women as a commodity to promote a product, which is a clear violation of women’s rights and makes them look bad.”
Bahrain has had a history with mannequins dating all the way to 2005, as MP’s and Municipal Councilors have attempted to place strict regulations on mannequins or in some cases, placing an outright ban on their usage.
Various individuals have allegedly spoken up on social media, announcing themselves as the perpetrators of the crime.
Ali Mohammed, 32, said that he “will do whatever it takes to protect women from the disgraceful images that shops display in their windows,” adding that “MP’s and Municipal Councilors have had years to solve this issue but they have done nothing.”
After approaching them for comment and asking them whether they would also ban male mannequins, they both said that there is “no problem with male mannequins, it is the women mannequins that are treated disgracefully; it is against women’s rights.”
The two men were joined by another individual, Ahmed Basil, 28, who describes himself as a women’s rights activist. Basil said that “people know what is sold inside these deplorable lingerie stores. They don’t need to use dirty tactics like displaying their wares in windows. If I see a vegetable shop, I don’t need to see any pictures of vegetables or see any vegetables in the windows to know that it is a vegetable shop. I will know that it is a vegetable shop because I know what vegetables are.”
Other individuals however believe that it would be very difficult to shop without mannequins displayed in store fronts. Zahra Mahdi, 24, said “How will I know which shop has the best looking lingerie? There are dozens of lingerie shops in malls. Will I have to go inside each store to see everything they have?”
Not everyone agreed with the vandals’ crusade as Jassim and Hind Zayed, siblings, said that “mannequins should not be vandalized,” and that they are “appalled that people would do something like this.”
“Mannequins are people, too.”
*All statements made in this article are fake. Please don’t arrest me for misinformation/attempting to overthrow the regime/inciting violence.