Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Sexualization of Halloween (Part 1)

Every year I hear people whining about the sexualization of Halloween. Personally, I think the sexualization of Halloween is great, but I believe everything is more fun after it's been 'sexualized'.

However, the point stands that Halloween isn't really about being sexy. It's about being scary. And sexualizing the holiday tends to change its focus. Most whiners don't earn my sympathy, because instead of accentuating that point, they allude to how horrible it is that people should have a holiday where they're encouraged to show off their sex appeal.

Truth is, despite all the vocal complainers, a lot of people like to be sexy, so you're not gonna win by telling them to stop it. If you want to reclaim Halloween - and that's a respectable goal - the ideal solution would be to create a new holiday that IS all about being sexy. That way, people can dress up in scary costumes on Halloween, and not feel like they're wasting their only excuse to dress like a slut in public and not be criticized, because there would be that other holiday, too!

Of course, it would only work if we, as a culture, didn't criticize people for celebrating it. We could call it Slut Day, although that might be a little too on the nose. It could be a natural progression of the SlutWalk concept - a day where people can dress like sluts and raise awareness of slut-shaming, and how it feeds into a culture that enables sexual violence. And that way, people all over could celebrate it - not just those who live near an organized SlutWalk event.

So if you don't like people commandeering Halloween for sexy purposes, slut-shaming isn't going to solve the problem. Start acting nicer toward sluts, and they will no longer feel like they have to hide under the aegis of Halloween. Nobody would have to resort to the excuse, "I'm not a slut, this is just my Halloween costume," if dressing slutty wasn't considered a valid source for criticism.

P.S. After writing the above, I came across a news article where the author basically comes to the same conclusion. He suggests picking out the first Saturday in August as Slut Day, which is great, because it'll be hot enough to wear really skimpy outfits. Plus, it'll always be on a Saturday (unlike Halloween, which cycles through the week), so it's a perfect day to have parties, and you won't have the excuse of "I can't wear that to work/school/church" for not participating! I am so going to start celebrating Slut Day on the first Saturday of August from now on. Who's with me?

(Read Part 2 here)


  1. In New Orleans we have the other holiday you're talking about. We call it Mardi Gras, and it is excellent.

    However, it does not stop people from dressing sexy on Hallowe'en... in fact, we have a culture of dressing sexy/slutty on any excuse to wear a costume.

    So a slutty costume holiday may not solve your problem with insufficient scariness... but it does make the city a better place.

  2. You know, that's a very good point, that I haven't given much thought to. You're probably right - sex is just that popular, that even if we did have a "slut day", people would still probably dress slutty on Halloween. It's not like you don't have people finding excuses to dress sexy on other holidays too (e.g. sexy Santas, and sexy Easter bunnies - both of which I've been guilty of :p).

    But in any rate, I agree with you. More sexy is a good thing!