Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween is for the W****s

Ok, so every once in awhile you can find a costume that actually reaches your knees, but after visiting the Halloween store in Davis yesterday I am quite disheartened by the lack of conservative... no, not just conservative but NORMAL costumes out there for women. Every costume had a price tag of fifty dollars, and every costume had a hemline of somewhere between halfway up my thigh and never never land. Since when did this kid's / pagan holiday turn into an excuse for dressing up in the sluttiest of dresses? I usually battle these costumes by making my own, but being in law school doesn't particularly aid me in finding time to buy a pattern, cloth and actually sew the darn thing. I finally settled on accoutrments which will make me slightly resemble a cat (ears, tail, gloves). But I was shocked at the lack of choices available to me at the store. For comparable costumes, click here. You'll note that the vast majority of them are well above the knee in length. And this is not stuff out of Victoria's Secret, nor is it part of the "sexy" link you'll find on that same website. This is just normal Halloween costume fare.

The worst thing is not the costumes for women. It's the costumes for girls. Tummies show, hemlines are high, necklines are low, it's like we're slutting up our children as well as ourselves, if you pardon my French. What are we teaching our children? To wear scanty clothing themselves? To see us wearing slutty costumes and think that's a good thing?

Women and children are being objectified through this holiday. I don't suggest a law making us all conservative dressers like they have in many Muslim countries, but I do find something objectionable when there are simply no costumes to be found that cover one up at all. There needs to be a choice.


Ruthann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ruthann said...

I dressed up as Rosie the Riveter! I agree, the costumes available to women and girls are in general startlingly sexual. The part of me that's liberal says, good for them! The part of me that's radical says, society's not on that same liberal page...when women are sexual in our society, for the most part we're viewed as objects, not self-empowered actors.

Eve said...

I recognize your discomfort with the objectification of young women and the limited availability of more conservative Halloween costumes. However, I am uncomfortable with your use of the word “slut.” I recommend that you look at this blog post:

There has been a debate among feminists about the reclamation of words like “slut” and “whore.” Like all other words that have been used to degrade women, people of color and minority groups, “slut” can be reclaimed to destigmatize its oppressive power. Your use of the word slut, however, is not about reclamation, but rather as a way to disparage women for dressing in a particular way. Further, “slut” connotes promiscuity – another term invented by those who wish to shame and impose their sexual norms upon others. As feminists we should be wary of adopting terms intended to ridicule women for their choices.

Arguing that it is wrong to allow young women to dress in these costumes because they will look like “sluts” sends an equally bad message to them. While it may be necessary to give young women more costume options, they should not be degraded for their developing sexuality.

Anne Kildare said...

I have two responses to you post...

First, I agree with you that women's commercial Halloween costumes are highly sexual. But stores wouldn't be selling those costumes if people weren't buying them, and I'm not comfortable telling grown-up women what put on their bodies. If you don't like the selection of women's costumes, could you buy a man's costume? Usually, I'd worry that clothing designed for men wouldn't fit women properly, but I don't think those bagged costumes are designed to fit anyone's body particularly well. Otherwise, could you make your own costume? It would take more time and energy, but it would probably be less expensive.

Second, even though I don't feel comfortable telling adults what they should wear, I am very disturbed when stores sell sexual costumes to children. For example, Miley Cyrus's 9-year-old sister got a lot of attention (in the tabloid magazines) when she dressed up as a "dominatrix" for Halloween. That's creepy.