Op-Ed: A Feminist’s Halloween

photo by Matt Woolsey

In the regular world, Halloween is when children dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In girl world, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” This statement, made by Lindsay Lohan’s character in Mean Girls, perfectly exemplifies the culture for women around Halloween.

For women, there are two options for costumes: sexy costumes or childish costumes that are simply adapted to women’s sizes. Even on websites that don’t have a section labeled “sexy costumes,” all of their products are revealing, sensual, or skin tight.

On the Party City website, the customer favorites for women include “sexy” and “body shaper.” However, for men, the favorites are “funny,” “career,” and “video game.” Even searching for sexy men’s costumes turns up only one fireman costume.

“Last year I dressed up as a sexy kitten and everyone got mad. If I were a girl would they have been mad? Everyone should be able to wear whatever they want,” said Justin Rockmore, a second-year entrepreneurship major.

Even though there needs to be more options for women who don’t want to be sexual on Halloween, the discussion around costumes should also be more open-minded.

“It’s fun getting to be a different person for a night. That’s why I like to dress up as something fun and out there — something I don’t get to be in real life,” said Alexa LaVersa, a second-year journalism major, on what she loves about dressing up for Halloween.

Halloween is intended to be a day to dress up as someone else and enjoy a night of thrills and sweets. The tradition of dressing up comes from when families would dress up in order to blend in with the ghosts they thought were roaming in the streets.

Although it started as a way to blend in, Halloween has become a way to stand out in a crowd and be someone different for a night. On an average day, women must be cognizant of dressing in a way that won’t be judged or looked down upon. For Halloween, there is an opportunity to be different and dress however they want, and if that includes being sexy, there should be no judgment.

“I don’t dress sexually or feminine most of the time, so when Halloween comes around I use it as an opportunity to try out the styles I normally don’t wear,” said Caitlin Odom, a third-year economics and political science major. “So I don’t care what anyone thinks about that because one night doesn’t define who I am.”

The definition of feminism is the fight for women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. If men get to choose what they want to wear without any restrictions or fear of judgment, women need to be able to do the same.