"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Feminist Halloween

You guessed it.  There are women out there who are not only fretting about what kind of Halloween costume to wear, but how to be sure that it does not send the wrong signals.  It used to be that a girl could dress up like a hooker and feel good about it.  Halloween, after all, and anything goes.  Mardi Gras is the best example of fantasy dress, and elaborate costumes which display your inner and 364-days-a-year hidden self are encouraged. Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett in the Guardian (10.26.12) writes:

In recent years, Halloween has become an excuse for women to shed the clothing in favor of sexy costumes, most of which are either shop bought role-play ensembles such as sexy nurse, sexy maid, sexy devil, sexy bunny… (ad infinitum) or an outfit comprised simply of knickers, bra and animal ears. Classy.

This was logical and predictable.  Despite feminism’s loopy circle from the bull-dyke outfits of the Sixties to the acceptable frilly things of today, women still have the desire to dress really sexy, provocative, and cheap. We men have never had that problem.  We have always dressed in dark suits or in the multi-layered, pork-pie hat, hipster outfits of San Francisco and expressed our inner sex monster when it counted – i.e. buck naked. We always knew that women wanted one thing from us – that we desired them and could perform.  They gauged this from attitude, body language, and bedroom eyes not clothes.

This year, according to Cosslett, women are becoming a bit more conscious of their more rational, deliberate side; and for those sisters who can’t think of something really, really good, she has some suggestions:

witch

The witch is always a good choice because it is THE example of female empowerment.  Witches were sorcerers who could conjure up all kinds of horrible troubles for men.  Look at poor Macbeth who should have paid more attention to the Weird Sisters.   According to academics, the witch got transformed from an attractive, seductive woman to the old, green-faced hag of today, and it is up to women to decide which scenario to act out.  If a woman dresses up like a witch she could be playing into the hands of men who think most women are screeching harridans…Or she could adopt the costume to portray the true witch – a powerful woman who has control over men.  The problem, of course, is that in order to dress like a witch, regardless of the back-story, you have to look like one, and most people will take you for a succubus.

Mary Wollstonecraft

This is Mary Wollstonecraft, the proto-feminist who looks very pre-Raphaelite in this photo and who doesn’t scream “Dress up as me”.  Although you might get some appreciate nods from your in-crowd intellectual classmates from Swarthmore when you explain who exactly Mary Wollstonecraft is, this costume is a bit iffy, and not a whole lot of fun.

Protester

For this costume you need only torn jeans and hairy armpits, but if you really get into the Seventies thing, you can not bathe for a week or not wash your hair for three (the greasy, scraggly, nasty look is what you are after), and cross-dress between West Virginia trailer trash and urban bum.  You will stink, and in these days of pseudo-sexy, you will turn most guys off, but there are definitely some retro-studs out there.

Margaret Thatcher

OK, this one is easy.  The Iron Lady.  Forget your tree-hugging, organic, women’s rights, no-glass-ceiling, abortion for all liberalism and just get into this fearsome woman.  Not only did she destroy the miners, but sent a flotilla 10,000 miles to blow the Argentines out of the water and defend a few craggy, sheep-dipped, foggy islands.  Some Republican women still dress like this, so if you go to some high-end ‘seconds’ shops, you can surely find a good costume

VAGINA SEX MUSEUM

“The most feministy costume of the lot. There are ready-made vagina costumes out there, but expect to spend a fortune. Much better to invest in 50m of salmon-pink fabric, a sewing machine, and hours and hours of your time. However, the payoff will be so worth it. Bonus points if you add some Freudian teeth.”

Well, none of these costumes appeal to me, for I still like women acting out their sexual fantasies in hooker outfits, thongs, and mini-tank tops; I don’t count.  Men never have counted if you believe the radical feminist rhetoric that still is spewed out by the likes of Andrea Dworkin; and I like the idea of a feminist utopia where spontaneous generation produces nothing but women without the need for a rooster’s contribution. Let’s face it.  Men want women around when they’re horny, so if a techie of the future could create a virtual world populated by fantasy women in scanty clothes, we would take it.

I love Halloween.

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