Favourite new tumblr: Fuck No Sexist Halloween Costumes

Ugh, it’s that time of year again. That time when people who you think are normal and sensible and great suddenly morph, not into monsters or ghouls, but into walking talking demonstrations of sexism, racism, and cultural appropriation. It’s Halloween.

Via Sociological Images, check out the new blog Fuck No Sexist Halloween Costumes, which compares costumes meant for men with costumes meant for women. Take these two bacon costumes, for example.

Or these Scooby Doo costumes.

Or these Kermit costumes, where the man actually gets to dress up as Kermit, and the woman gets to wear a skimpy dress with Kermit on it.

Or this completely absurd grape costume. First of all WHO THE FUCK GOES AS A BUNCH OF GRAPES for Halloween? And secondly WHO THE FUCK GOES AS A “SEXY” BUNCH OF GRAPES for Halloween?

Ugh, fuck everything. I need a nice lie down. Some candy corn would probably help, too.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/pinkkeith/ Keith

    Every time I go to a convention where I see females dressed up as male superheroes they always make the custome with a feminine cut. I never could understand why so many females do that.

  • http://feministing.com/members/tetesagehen/ Tae Phoenix

    In his most recent Lovecast, Dan Savage raised a really interesting point about this that I hadn’t previously considered.

    He contends that Halloween has been appropriated as a heterosexual bacchanalia – a way for straight people to shuffle off the constraints around sexual behavior that follow us around the other 364 days of the year. In other words, it’s the one day of the year that you can act a little more overtly sexual, if you so choose, and not have it judged as harshly as it would be at other times. (That judgment on not-Halloween, totally fucked up, too.) So to be overtly sexual, women who want to attract the male gaze show a bunch of flesh, because whether you’re a guy or a woman, if you want to attract the male gaze, the best way to do that is by showing flesh.

    I still think it’s fucked up that women are expected to dress for the male gaze on Halloween – and always really. There aren’t enough modest costumes for adult women that focus on the “let’s play dress up” component of Halloween that I find so fun. (My favorite costume of all time: a Star Trek uniform.) And of course, the “Anna-rexia” costume is always hideously and totally fucked up.

    In a recent interview with PMC Magazine, Samhita said:

    “I think that when we get too focused on individual choices, we’re missing the bigger picture. As a movement, it’s not about whether you wear makeup or not. It’s about questioning the pressure that society puts on you to make you feel like you have to put makeup on every day.”

    I think the same thing applies to Halloween costumes. A culture that universally expects women to be a “sexy ______” on Halloween is really fucked up. A woman who chooses to go out dressed up in a revealing outfit on Halloween isn’t doing anything inherently sexist. It’s her own choice.

    • http://feministing.com/members/azure156/ Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

      Well, if it’s a bacchanalia, I was just thinking those “sexy” grapes could make a good Maenad costume with a few adjustments. Of course Meanads are kind of notorious for getting blasted and tearing folks limb from limb (you know I was the kid who had trouble getting why the teacher called “The Bacchae” a “tragedy” right?)


  • http://feministing.com/members/morejello/ Ken Wilson

    To be somewhat more fair, it appears that the vast majority of the female costume images come from the website yandy.com, which seems to promarily be a lingere store. Not that there aren’t plenty of ‘Sexy ‘ costumes elsewhere, but most of the examples given come from a site that is primarily directed at skimpy clothes for women, rather than a selection of halloween costumes.
    And the grapes costume is';t even the worst. They have sexy corn. Seriously, who looks at corn and says “hell yeah, that’s some sexy shit right there!”.

  • http://feministing.com/members/fuzzyface/ FuzzyFace

    I can actually explain the bunch of grapes. That’s not just a bunch of grapes – that’s the purple grapes guy from the Fruit of the Loom underwear commercials.

  • http://feministing.com/members/gemski/ QuantumInc

    Noah Brand compiled a list of offensive costumes for men. The costumes that came up are not supposed to be sexy but rather funny. However they fail at anything resembling funny fairly thoroughly. Most of them seem to be increasingly dumb penis jokes, with a bonus section for costumes that are meant to look like ugly women.

    Noah Brand’s take down of each costume is fairly hilarious, though again each costume is VERY offensive.


  • honeybee

    I’d really like to see some analysis of whether the sexy woman costume thing is driven by supply or by demand.

    I find it hard to believe all these companies would make and sell sexy costumes if no one was buying them. And every Halloween party I’ve ever attended was full of sexyily dressed women. And if I look at myself and my friends, while not so much now that I’m in my 30s, when we were teenagers and twentysomethings, we pretty all WANTED to dress sexy. In part because (well for me anyways), on Halloween you could get away with being super sexy without anyone calling you a slut. In fact you’re rewarded for it.

    So all I’m saying is, what drives it? If it’s companies pushing it on us that’s wrong. And the solution is to not buy so they lose money and stop. If it’s driven by demand… then it’s less clear if or where the issue is. Fascinating subject.

  • http://feministing.com/members/girlscantwhat/ Girls Can’t WHAT?

    I took a stroll down the costume aisle at my local Target store a couple of weeks ago with my teenage daughter out of curiosity. We both immediately noticed a huge discrepancy in the choices for career costumes… mainly that there were NO career costumes for the girls. If you wanted to be a “fire man” (their word choice), “police man” (their word choice) or doctor, you ‘d have to purchase a boy costume.

    And yes, the career options were all labeled “boy costume”. All of the girl costumes we found were make-believe characters such as princesses, fairies and cupcakes. I took photos and posted about it here:
    Mommy, I want to be sexy for Halloween