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Deciding on a Halloween costume is a pretty arduous task – you want to be original, and of course you want people to get it. Well, that task is especially hard for women! We have to balance having a great costume with not “asking for it.” I mean, I want to get trick-or-treat fun, not harassment or assault! So, I went to iParty to find the perfect costume, but I had a bit of a hard time finding and outfit that wasn’t begging for strangers to sexually harass me. I thought I’d share a couple of my final contenders.
Going as Someone Else’s Culture
It’s a classic, right? Go as a Native American. The year before, I went as an African American and next year I’ll go as Latino. That makes complete sense!
If Native American didn’t work, I could always try wearing this flowy nightie that no one in India wears as clothing. Ooh, and you’ve got to love the double entendre of “Taj”ing one’s “Hall,” whatever that means.
The Criminal Justice System
I’m pretty sure this is what women have to wear in prison. I mean, it fits – since women in prison are pretty much sentenced to sexual assault from guards and medical officials the moment they enter the prison industrial complex, this outfit will be perfect.
Now, I remember Spongebob as a harmless cartoon, but it takes a lot of work to sexualize a woman by making her a sponge. You’ll see in the bottom right-hand corner that Nickelodeon, a children’s TV station, is the company selling this. Cute.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t do this review because I think there is something inherently wrong with sexy women’s costumes (well, I’m not a fan of the cultural appropriation in the first two, but that’s another post). I’m just not sure what women are supposed to do. If they buy any of these costumes, the only ones on the shelves for adult women, then they are left to be scrutinized and judged for “asking for harassment or assault.” If something were to happen when in this costume, they would be blamed.
Women, wear whatever the fuck you want on Halloween, and on every other day of the year for that matter. But it’s a catch 22 – want wear something sexy? Get harassed. Want to wear something not-sexy? If you can find something, you still face judgement for not ascribing to someone else’s idea of femininity. So what do we do?
You can let people know their comments and judgements aren’t okay. You can call out rape culture and sexism in your own life. You can share your stories and stop feeling shame. You can Hollaback!
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