Monday, October 29, 2007

Stop Calling Us Sluts At Halloween

I know Halloween is almost over, and most of the big parties happened over the weekend, but I want to get an early start on next year when I want newspaper editors to declare a moratorium on using Halloween as an excuse to call women sluts. Excuse me, I mean to say they “dress like sluts.”

It’s just like the movie Mean Girls said, Halloween is the one time of year you can dress like slut and no one can say anything. Except it’s the one time of year when columnists feel free to brand every Halloween-celebrating woman a slut and no one calls them on it. (Oh wait, that’s what it’s like every day).

Look we get it. You saw Mean Girls five years ago and now, in a pique of moralizing, you’ve decided that its something new to comment “hey those Halloween outfits are a little trashy.” I’m so tired of reading the same “joke” over and over again of the type Joel Stein makes: “It makes sense that once a year I get to peek into your psyche and find out whether you think of yourself as a whore nurse, a whore pirate, a whore angel or a whore whore.”

You are oh-so-clever that you just noticed the plethora of costumes that use the modifier “sexy” in front of non-sexy occupations. Good job noticing things. By the way have you also recently come to the realization that Christmas has become way too commercialized and that St. Patrick’s Day is just an excuse to drink?

And I know that blows people’s mind that a holiday can be fun for kids and adults, and parents and non-parents alike. What a holiday with something for everyone? What a concept!

And even if adult women (and men) just happen to enjoy costume parties there is also a huge marketing industry that pushes the “sexy” costumes, which, by the way, not every woman wears. Do women dress up for Halloween and sometimes down? Sure, but I also think the stamp of “slutty” is painted over practically every woman who wears a costume. You’re now practically a slut if you decide to dress as anything other than yourself.

For the record, its neither feminist nor not-feminist to dress provocatively on Halloween. But its completely sexist to preemptively call women who dress provocatively “sluts” and “whores.” Columnists want to use a patronizing tone -- “ladies, cover yourself, have some dignity please!” -- to judge adult women about how they want to act. As if the future of suffrage is hanging in the balance of every single woman in America’s Halloween costume choice. Better not dress as a Sexy Nurse ladies or they may take away our right to vote. Sorry, ladies! We lost the right to sue for pay discrimination last year because Mary Sue of Topeka dressed like a sexy pirate.

I know it’s so much fun to judge women on how they dress. It’s easy and its fun. It makes you feel better about yourself (especially if you’re a guy). But its not actually a sin to put on a costume. Nor does dressing a little provocatively actually make you a slut. But calling someone a slut because of how they dress on Halloween does make you a judgmental asshole.

(hat tip to Ann at Feministing for Stein's column)


Anonymous said...

My daughter was dressed up as a pink kitty.
My son was dressed up as a cow.

I plan on going as a PETA protester:


I hope to have petitions too, so that people can sign their support of a local initiative to legalize the sale of eagle eggs and spotted owls for human consumption. Because when something has a market value, it will be protected by the owner...


NewsCat said...

haha! Best response to libertarian thinking ever.

Anonymous said...

What a great idea, Jon!

Hey, I dressed up as a female impersonator (maybe a smidge slutty). What does that say about my psyche?


Anonymous said...

The problem isn't sluts, it's the culture saying dressing like a slut is hip-happnin'. I get Halloween costume mailers
every year that would make a sailor blush, and I mean a real sailor, not Christina Aguilera dressed as a slutty sailor.

Jim in Cleveland

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that it's an excuse to do something that you would normally never do. There are women at my work today who normally wear jeans and t-shirts every day, who today are dressed in unitards and leopard-print minidresses. Does this mean they would like to dress to titillate daily, but don't have the balls? I know I like to wear a dress on Halloween, if I can, because I rarely feel I have occasion to wear one (especially that vintage flapper dress from the '20s, when am I going to wear that?!) but I don't wear anything that is more revealing than I would regularly wear.



mental hygiene said...

I am with spub.

I COULD HAVE dressed up as a bloody nurse, like the one I saw proudly standing at a bus stop on 16th Street and getting a whole bunch of attention in her 5 inch heels I might add. But you know what? I had more important things to do today besides trying to attract some felon on his way to his PO's office. I guess at that bus stop, THAT is the best it'll get.

I'd rather hand out candy and tell the REAL CHILDREN that they make a great _______.

Is it all about competition and sexual prowess to some women? Forget about Halloween being for kids. It's also about hooking a man? WHAT KIND and WHY? Ask yourselves.

Remember that any woman can pick up some random man anywhere if she wants to. Dousing yourself in blood, throwing on some heels and wearing a short dress will get ANY woman laid, if that's what you want. If you are that DESPERATE.

Some of us have more important things to do with our mornings.

Anonymous said...

mental hygiene nailed it! It isn't about children and adults sharing a holiday. It is about adults stealing the holiday from children. If women dress as hookers once a year, it will get my attention, and it may even make me want to turn myself into the nearest ersatz police officer wearing leotards, a push up bra, and a nightstick. But it won't get my respect.

Jim in Cleveland

Anonymous said...

I think we can all agree that dressing a certain way will attract a certain type of guy, for a night. But my point wasn't that that is wrong; if you want a cheap one-night stand, go for it! Have a ball! Wear a condom! I'm just irked that Halloween has become an excuse to look trashy, and often the girls looking trashy are usually very nice, so it's a weird disconnect. And why not put a little more imagination into your costume? And if you want to be sexy, why not go ahead and be sexy on a regular basis?


Anonymous said...

Honestly, this blog is highly bias, and really has no value. I have no idea how I came across it in the first place. Rather than an intelligent discussion you have created a babble off of your personal opinions and views. the examples you use to support your argument are pathetic. The reason I even took my time to comment on this is because you failed to educate or persuade anyone of anything. all you did is show your an irate women that has an inferiority complex because some guy called her a slut for wearing a provocative costume. the example you used of woman's suffrage, retarded and irrelevant. And quoting the movie mean girls? are you serious?

And for another thing, if its not such a big deal, ignore it. freedom of speech and opinion is a beautiful thing, personally I don't think your going to over turn the constitution anytime soon.

and finally. the way "people"; not only women, act,dress, and think have sexual implications. The "evolution" of courtship and the projection of sexual availability in our society are determined by many factors.

in short, as to not confuse you. wedding ring, unavailable. provocative cloths, "slut" that wants to fornicate.

the way we all dress act and project ourselves subconsciously implicates sexual availability, readiness, and willingness no matter if its true or not.

i am actually writing a blog right now on the very same subject. but rather than a bunch of bull shit wrapped up into a few paragraphs im going to use examples of BOTH yes i said BOTH sides of the argument.

and all this time you thought some ass whole guy was writing this write. no, i am a women and i agree with a lot of your statements. your word use is fine and you seem to be very educated and opinionated, which is great. and i give you recognition for that.

obviously your blog is an attack on the collective opinion of most men which is a low road to take. and that is what pisses me off.


Stevenolli said...

That's my story and Im sticking to it

Unknown said...

I really like halloween, the party and i love to go out with my litle girl, she really enjoy to ask in every house for a candy.
In the night the party is only between my husband and i, usually i buy viagra and my husban is a real machine.

Anonymous said...

alex preisig is in ap bio and ur not