Every year, I get upset at the revealing Halloween costumes that emerge every October. Sexy cat, sexy hippie, sexy cookie monster. I used to get mad at the girls who would wear these costumes. How dare they take this consumerist holiday and use it as an excuse to express their socially repressed sexuality to get laid and get free drinks and whatever. Then I realized how stupid that sounds.
Halloween is a consumerist holiday, taken from some other culture’s traditions and adapted to be marketed as a product to North Americans. Halloween as we know it was designed by a bunch of fat, white, rich guys smoking cigars and screwing underage prostitutes in a decadent high-rise. Probably. Don’t fact-check me on that.
The point is, the guys marketing revealing costumes to girls as young as seven or eight are the same men holding all-male panels about women’s reproductive rights; Rush Limbaughs calling you a slut for using contraceptives. This feeds into the slut-virgin dichotomy propagated by patriarchal societies. You can’t talk about being sexy, you can’t show your breasts in public – I’m looking at you, assholes who walk around without a shirt, because you’re so high on your male privilege – you can’t go home with a cute guy at the bar without thinking about what people will say the next day. But, heaven fucking forbid you say you’re not interested. Why would you wear that skirt and heels if you’re not going to put out, you prude bitch? This applies when we’re talking about the Halloween costumes.
The issue isn’t that women are wearing these costumes that are so tasteless, the issue is why a woman who wears jeans and Uggs on Oct. 30 is wearing 5-inch heels and a thong at the bar on the Oct. 31. If you want to show your body, you go for it. Whenever you want, wherever you want. But when you’re only doing it on one specific day of the year, set aside specifically for you by patriarchal corporations, you’re feeding into a repressive state of society. You’re basically behaving like a well-trained dog that waits to shit until his owner lets him into the yard. It’s a behavior that says, ‘yes, I’ll dress exactly the way a male dominated culture expects me to dress, and only express my sexuality when I get the green light from someone else.
So ladies, if you feel comfortable wearing next to nothing, do it. I mean, be aware that the patriarchy is going to insult you and shame you anyway, but hell, that’s the point. Don’t let that stop you from dressing how you feel most comfortable, but don’t do it just on the day that some asshole tells you that you can. And if you’re terribly uncomfortable and cold in those stockings and corset, but you’re wearing that because you really believe this is your only chance to express your sexual self in a public space without being ridiculed or judged, don’t worry. When you kick the patriarchy in the balls, you’ll get plenty of chances to be sexually comfortable with yourself. Like, every day of your life. Happy Halloween.