Halloween: An Excuse For Sexism

Written by Hannah Richard

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve enjoyed the holiday Halloween. What other holiday can you dress like anything you want, going from house to house asking for ridiculously tasty candy and not have your parents gripe at you? Although Halloween is, and always will be my favorite holiday, it just seems to get worse and worse as I grow up.

First, the concept of Halloween completely takes on a whole different, distorted meaning when people get older. The innocence and frivolous fun is lost altogether.

Halloween is geared toward younger age groups, obviously, but why does that mean the fun has to stop when people get older?

As a child, Halloween represented pumpkin carving, trick or treating, picking out the coolest costume and stuffing your face with as much candy as humanly possible.

Nothing, for me, when I was younger, beat the excitement of trying to choose what I wanted to be. It’s the one day a year where you can choose to be anyone or anything else in entire world without being criticized. Trick or treating has become an American tradition that brings happiness to lots of children. When you’re younger, I guess since nothing else matters to you other than learning to tie your shoes and count by two’s, Halloween simply appeals to the more wholesome, giddy attitude of children. High school and college kids need to pretend like they are younger, have a good time, and maybe even go trick or treating. No one is ever too old to go house to house, in search of yummy candy.

Secondly, and more importantly in my opinion, is when older kids do get into the Halloween spirit, it seems to be with the wrong idea in mind. The assortment of costumes for mature young adults, especially females, is utterly disgusting. It might be better to say lack of assortment of costumes because there seems to only be three choices: look slightly slutty, look like the biggest slut ever, or don’t dress up at all.

Of course, if you choose to look super slutty, there are a plethora of options for costumes. Somehow over time, Halloween costumes have evolved from being something fun and tasteful to barely-there garments that just scream “‘I am so pathetic; please have sex with me’.”

This is a problem for many of us girls who really want to partake in the festivities, but don’t want to have to show our entire midriff to get some attention. Maybe instead of dressing as a sponge bath Betty or cutie cop, we’d like to be a character from Nightmare on Elm Street, Dawn of the Dead, Halloween, Saw, Harry Potter, Texas Chainsaw Massacre or any other awesome film.

Halloween should be about scaring people via wearing gruesome masks, fake blood, weird wigs and costumes, not about trying to get men to stare at you like some sex object.

The hypocrisy in all of this is even worse. Men get to stare at the women wearing almost nothing, but they don’t have to wear sexy costumes? Where’s the balance? The double standard held tothat women are held to is completely nauseating, and needs serious help to be reversed.

At least if women are going to be subjected to wearing such irrelevant and boner-inducing clothing, men should be at least beheld to that same exact standard. I would absolutely love to see any guy on campus in an exotic getup such as a sexy cop, fight attendant, school teacher, fire fighter, doctor or any other stereotypically female costume. If women are pressured to bare some skin, men should be too.

Halloween should be celebrated and enjoyed by everyone, regardless of age. Just because you’ve gotten your high school diploma, doesn’t mean the fun should stop there. However, the double standard placed on women needs to make a drastic turn towards change.

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