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Another costume to avoid this Halloween: The Slut-Shamer

Halloween is almost here, which means you’re probably scrambling for a costume right now if you haven’t already got one. I know there are many options this year; from the classics such as Marilyn Monroe, to the new pop-culture icons like Lady Gaga, the choices are nearly endless. But, please, stay away from the over-played “Slut-Shamer.” No one wants to see (or hear) that.

Here’s the scoop. Women are subject to slut shaming Every. Damn. Day. Every day. Do you think we want to hear it even more when we’re putting extra effort in to our appearance? Extra no. The slut-shamer isn’t excused because it’s Halloween, and if you decide to go for it, I can guarantee you don’t want to have the same outfit as a bunch of other misinformed people at the party.

Slut-shaming isn’t always an obvious costume. Curious about how you can spot this unfortunate guise? Some characteristics include leering, snide comments and phrases like “she is practically asking for it,” and “Halloween is just an excuse for some girls to dress like total sluts.”

October 31st is absolutely an excuse for people of all genders to dress however they like. For some people, that means less clothing. Halloween is, for a lot of women, a day they can liberate themselves from what’s “appropriate” and dress in as much or as little as they please. I can attest that I totally use it as an excuse to dress like a “slut.” I can’t wear a bodysuit to work but I sure am going to wear it to a party. Do I want attention? Of course. Am I apologizing for that? Of course not.

If you’re still considering the “Slut-Shamer” as an option, ask yourself this: why is it so wrong for women (or anyone) to want attention? Last time I checked, we all love to feel special. If that’s from sexual attention, great. If that’s from a quirky costume from that obscure indie film you love, also great. We aren’t here to dictate the wants and needs of others and how they receive that.

You will probably come across the slut-shaming mask. In case of emergency, follow these simple steps. First, do not be alarmed. Sometimes even cool people misunderstand what Halloween (and daily autonomy) are about. Second, keep your cool. As much as we understand women have the right to dress however they want, slut shaming and the dictation of modesty are rooted in some serious cultural norms. Third, don’t be afraid to engage (if you want to). I can attest that when I witness or experience another woman being slut-shamed, I feel the patriarchal collateral damage. Simply explaining, hey it’s not cool to devalue a human based on their appearance, isn’t harmful engagement.

Spooky costumes are a must on Halloween. Feel free to be a naughty devil, a slutty ghost or (even more terrifying and unrealistic) a sexy Donald Trump. But for the love of all things feminist, do not be a spooky Slut-Shamer.

 

[image via x]

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Written by Sarah Foot

Sarah Foot is a native Vancouverite who, conveniently, loves the smell of rain. A recent graduate from Simon Fraser University, she is passionate about the topics of feminism, agency and sexuality. When she isn’t writing up a sweet-smelling storm, you can catch Sarah dancing, petting dogs or on her blog Ink and Jam. You can also follow her day-to-day ponderings on twitter @sarahfoot.

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