Friday, November 1, 2013

A Feminist Guide to Halloween

I know Halloween was officially yesterday, BUT we are Colgate students so I know festivities will be continuing throughout the weekend. I haven’t even worn any of my costumes yet. While Halloween is supposed to be a fun time (for people who participate) to dress up and have fun, it’s also a time of serious contention among feminists...and for good reason. Costumes are incredibly gendered and sexist and it pisses many people off. All women’s costume are small and sexy, despite the fact that some women live in Central New York and can’t wear the little sexy pirate costume because it’s freezing outside AND some women actually want to be, I don’t know, scary for halloween. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a scary woman’s halloween costume. Absolutely everything is sexualized.

Here is a perfect example:

We’ve sexualized bacon, ya’ll. Bacon.

Party City even introduced their new “Body Shaper Costumes” this season...because costumes weren’t sexualized enough. With all this nonsense surrounding Halloween, what is a feminist supposed to do?! No fear, I’ve created a 2 step guide to doing Halloween appropriately that will keep your Halloweekend fun and exciting.

1. Pick a costume. Any costume.
Just because I’ve criticized the sexualization of women’s costumes for Halloween doesn’t mean I won’t be wearing one. And it doesn’t mean you can’t either. If you want to be sexy bacon, work that sexy bacon. The same applies if you choose to be Freddy Krueger. Not sexy Freddy, but actual terrifying Freddy. Work that metal claw and burnt skin. I’m a feminist BECAUSE I believe in a woman’s right to choose...her Halloween costume. Don't wanna wear a sexy costume to make a political stance? Go right ahead. You don’t get extra points for not wearing sexy costume and you don’t get to shame women who do the opposite.

2. ...Unless your costume is offensive.
Because part of being a feminist is being an overall decent human being, I have to include this in my guide. Your costume is offensive if it meets any or all of the following criteria:

a. You are in black or brown face. No, you cannot do this ever in any context and no I will not elaborate on why. Be proactive in your own education. Ignorance is not an excuse for university students in 2013.
b. Your character is a trope, stereotype or any generalized depiction of a group of people (extra negative points if this group of people has been historically oppressed significantly by any institution, anywhere, at any time). No, you and your friends cannot be Mexicans or Native Americans.

c. You are parodying a significant event that most people have decided is not funny. No, you cannot have a Jews and Nazis themed Halloween party or dress up as Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.

We’re feminists not animals (unless that’s your Halloween costume)! Don’t be offensive. Don’t costume shame (unless that costume is offensive then please shame away).

Have a fun and safe Halloweekend everybody!

Love Actually,

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