I love everything spooky, but it’s very inconvenient to be a feminist at this time of year. Every Halloween, I see the same barrage of over-sexualized Halloween costumes for women. Girls can dress up as a sexy anything on Halloween, from a sexy remote to sexy Big Bird. The choices are endless, if that’s the route a girl wants to go.
But, if the idea of being a sexy anything on Halloween happens to make her cringe, she doesn’t have as many options. Boys, on the other hand, don’t have this issue. Guys get to dress up as firefighters, vampires, and hamburgers, but their female counterparts get to dress up as SEXY firefighters, LUSTY vampires, and SEDUCTIVE hamburgers. Seriously, though, seductive hamburger is in the realm of costume possibilities.
To be completely fair, guys have the reverse problem. If a man wants to look like a pornified sandwich, he’s going to be disappointed when the burger costumes in his section resemble something more like this. Even their Hooters costumes are disastrously un-sexy.
But, for the women who embrace the sexy Halloween costume cliche, I understand that. Once a year, women get a free pass to be as slutty as we want. It’s practically expected. And, in a society that ruthlessly slut-shames any woman who expresses her sexuality, that one night pass is intriguing. And, for some women, demonstrating sexuality can be very empowering.
However, donning a costume that’s designed to make you fit the patriarchal standards of sexy on the one night a year you can do so without getting shamed for it feels less like a feminist rebellion and more like conformity.
Women should be able to be unapologetically sexy without fear of slut-shaming on any day of the year, not just on Halloween. And, we shouldn’t feel pressured to fit the cookie-cutter mold of female sexuality with cleavage up to our chins and stilt-like heels exhausting our feet. Not that mega-cleavage and stripper heels are inherently bad, but as a society having one narrow definition of sexy is damaging and closed-minded.
Ideally, when October rolls around the women’s costume section would showcase a wide variety of outfits, and not just ones with “sexy” in the title. The slutty costume cliche would be nonexistent. And, since the goal is equality, let’s throw some sexed-up costumes into the men’s section. Who knows, the men of the world might really take advantage of a sexy giraffe costume complete with a speedo and necktie.
But until that day, Halloween will be spooky and not just in the ghouls and guts way. Sexism is definitely more frightening than any episode of American Horror Story. Hey, that gives me an idea for a really scary costume: a meninist. Don a #meninist tee, a fedora, a vape pen, and a disregard for women’s rights. That’s a super scary costume, and there’s nothing sexy about meninists so you don’t have to worry about conforming to any slutty costume cliches. You’re welcome, and happy Halloween.