By Marc Butcavage of Nonsense Humor, Special to The Chronicle
As we approach Halloween, a holiday that is nearly impossible to not have fun with, we prepare for a weekend of heavy drinking, silly and often half-done costumes, and eating all of the candy we meant to give to trick-or-treaters who "probably won't show up anyway, man."
If you're like me, you're probably also more than aware of the yearly onslaught of "anti-slut" rants, petulant and often misguided attacks on women who chose to wear costumes that border more on lingerie than your typical spooky ghost costumes. These women are portrayed as dumb, "sex-fiending" wastrels who de-legitimize an already silly holiday in a quest for sex. If that's the case, then I have to ask, what the heck is wrong with that?
Most of those crying out against "slutty" costumes probably don't realize that what they are engaging in is seasonal slut-shaming, though I imagine it carries on well beyond the ghoulish tradition. Essentially, by judging a woman based on how she is dressed, you are literally judging a book by its (skimpy) cover. And this isn't just a Halloween issue, either. By assuming that a woman should be ashamed of how sexually promiscuous she acts and/or dresses, you are violating her right to act and dress how she pleases. And does sexually promiscuity make her any less of a valuable human? If you answered yes to that question, then go ahead and add "misogyny" to your interests on Facebook, because that right there is pretty much textbook.
So why all the rampant slut-shaming around the Halloween season? It's a simple target, really. Let's face it, the real problem with all of the "sexy-noun" costumes is the complete lack of creativity. It's a cop-out, sure, but not everyone has the capacity to somehow dress as "ennui" or a mutant horse-zombie hybrid. Rather than targeting how stupid a sexy cop costume is, however, people seem to find it easier to talk about what a slut the person who wears that must be and how it "ruins the image of what a respectable woman should be." Many argue that it is a detriment to feminism, but you know what's even worse for feminism? Judging a woman by how she chooses to act and dress.
So this Halloween, take it easy on those wearing sexy costumes. Maybe it was for a lack of creativity, or maybe the wearer is looking to have a ton of sex. In the end it doesn't really matter, kind of like Linkin Park references in opinion pieces. If you want to get mad about a costume, find a kid at the party who thought it would be funny to wear blackface, and promptly beat the hell out of him. Ending racism is a much more noble effort than shaming a woman for liking sex.