Halloween is coming (insert Ned Stark meme here)—my favorite time of the year. Aside from being in the middle of one of my favorite seasons, Halloween is the one time of year that I can dress however I want and no one thinks it is strange. Since my fashion style has always leaned towards the “goth” side, I always enjoyed how Halloween awarded me the opportunity to dress as I wish, go out in public and not worry about the judgments of the mundanes I encountered.
But over the past years I have begun to see a big change in Halloween. When I was a kid it was all about having the scariest or most accurate to character costume. Now the big thing is taking just about any costume idea you can think of and making it sexy. I know you’ve seen it—we’ve all seen it. Hell, Lindsay Lohan even pointed it out in Mean Girls, in this scene. But just incase you haven’t noticed, just look below for a few of the most popular offenders.
How did this happen?
I was curious and wanted to find the source of “sexy Halloween” so I did a google search and read a few articles. Unfortunately, the research I did taught me something aside from the answer to my question: Halloween is getting sluttier, and women are being blamed for it.
Yep, that’s right.
A vast majority of articles I read in my search pinned the blame on women who are “teases” seeking male attention for the sexualization of Halloween. Several more stated that these women should “know better” and advised that women should, “watch how they dress so they do not attract unwanted male attention.”
The sad thing is, I’m not making this up.
Some of my favorite (and by favorite, I mean the absolute worst) comments came from this article:
“…men are men and women provoke them…I’m not saying men should have any excuses, but it’s not fair to tease them like that.”
“Take responsibility for how you dress. Don’t play the blame game when something bad happens.”
I’m sorry, but seriously….What the fuck.
It’s statements like these that are feeding into the growing rape culture in America. Reading this, it suddenly all made sense to me. No wonder movements like Cosplay =/= Consent had to be started in order to address the issue of how people in costume are being treated. The media is spreading this garbage idea that women are at fault for anything that happens to them while they are in costume, justifying it with “oh, you should’ve watched how you were dressed.” Even worse, the costume industry is making it so it is damn near impossible to not dress as a sexualized version of something for Halloween. Everything is a potential sexy version of something now….you can even dress as a sexy pizza—seriously, you can.
Don’t believe me?
Take a look at this Party City ad for some of the female costume choices of the year, if you don’t believe me. Look at this:
Let’s also keep in mind that for most of America, it’s freaking cold on October 31st. These outfits are not practical, and most aren’t even close to an accurate representation of the character.
Some have become so outraged over the sexualization of Halloween that they no longer buy costumes in the stores and opt to make costumes instead. I have a good friend who makes her costume every year (in addition to her daughter’s) and wouldn’t dare to bother with going to the store. But what about those who are not that talented when it comes to costume making? There are several people who have not the time, patience, nor talent for sewing…..what are those people to do?
Fear not, there is an answer. Take Back Halloween is a costume guide website for women who don’t want to be just another sexualized version of something on Halloween. Though they do not make and sell the costumes, the site does offer tips on where to find components to put together the look and offers several great ideas. I’m thinking I will have to use some of their suggestions for a photoshoot one day.
Don’t get me wrong. I have dressed as a sexy version of something more than once for Halloween, and I’m not saying that women should stop or feel ashamed. Women shouldn’t be afraid to be sexy, but at the same time guys shouldn’t view a girl in a sexy outfit as a piece of meat and then blame them if they cannot control themselves.
Men, this message is for you. YOU are the ones should feel insulted every time someone tries to justify a sexual assault by blaming the woman. Be it that she was wearing something revealing, was flirty, or if she was inebriated in some way…..that is not an invitation. When someone blames a woman for unwanted sexual conduct citing one of these reasons, they are saying that YOU are not in control of your penis. They are saying YOU are a primal beast who cannot control or be held accountable for your libido or your actions. They are saying that YOU are ALWAYS a rapist deep down, and the slightest thing could make you break and lose control of the hold you have over not raping a random female.
Gentlemen, doesn’t this way thinking offend you?
It’s time to change this. I know it may take some time to get the word out, but it’s up to you. If one person who reads this can tell just one other person that this line of thinking is wrong and we need to change it, then I think we can make it happen.
Did I ever find an answer to my question on how Halloween became sexy in midst of all of these revelations? Actually, I did. Want to know who started it?
Fabulously, fabuoulsly, fabulously gay men.
It’s true. Apparently, starting in the 1970’s with a Halloween party in New York’s Greenwich Village, homosexuals used the opportunity to push the envelope as far as they could. And it was okay, because Halloween is the one night a year that anyone can dress however they want and no one can judge. The party was a huge success that became so famous that the idea spread across the country.
There’s something to think about the next time you see a guy dressed in drag on Halloween…..
Since a friend of mine shared this recently, I thought I would go out on a humorous note with this meme. Enjoy!