Costumes That Reinforce Sexism Or Misrepresent Cultures Contrast The True Spirit Of Halloween

Discussion in 'Costumes' started by Jimmy, Oct 25, 2016.

Do you think it's ok to push the boundaries of societal norms as long it's contained to Halloween?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  1. Jimmy

    Jimmy Haunt Club Officer Staff Member Hey Haunter, welcome to the Club!

    It's easy to overlook, but it's important to recognize that in order to instill in others, our love of Halloween, we must protect it from individuals that would unintentionally (or otherwise) offend members of any class of citizen, sexual orientation, cultural heritage, and gender.

    Halloween is a time of mystery, intrigue, and fun. It allows us the opportunity to confront death in a playful and less intimidating manner and provides an outlet for some to express their affinity for the macabre. Halloween is the only holiday that encourages people to engage with the community at large, instead of hunkering down with the tribe you're already accustom with. For some of us, it is a vehicle to create art via props, experiences, costumes, etc. and have a forum in which to share this gift openly with those willing to receive it.

    Unfortunately for some, Halloween provides an opportunity to practice poor taste, and possibly offend various groups of people. As a self-proclaimed Halloween Fanatic, I take personal offense to this. Costumes meant to mock any group of people or cultural heritage is certainly in poor taste and I don't find them appropriate, BUT this is NOT why I take personal offense. All of us spend exorbitant amounts of time, effort, and even money to educate and persuade others of the wonder that is Halloween, and this type of behavior unravels it all. It spits in the face of my personal motivation to propagate the love of Halloween and for it to flourish and grow in future generations.

    I was inspired to write this after reading Osama Farqaleet's post:
    He is obviously somewhat of an outsider viewing the Halloween we celebrate, and it sickens me to think that his observations were so far from the principles of Halloween we practice and promote.

    [​IMG] Farqaleet says, "Seeing everyone dressed up to enjoy and participate in festivities of Halloween initially came across as cute. But it didn’t take long before I had a feeling that there was something wrong about it. As the night went on and I met more and more people it became clearer. I realized that it wasn’t the haunted house that scared me for the night, it was something else. It was open sexism and wrong representation of cultures, which for some reason was not bothering others, which my mind openly refused to accept. I was uncomfortable when I met a “Muslim Terrorist,” a “Sheik,” an “Indian Sweetheart” and a “Geisha,” but it was just the beginning. While I was trying to give all those people the benefit of doubt because of their lack of cultural knowledge, I met “Ash and Pikachu” (I have a feeling this is will be very common this year). I had seen a few “Pikachus” earlier who happened to be kids or guys in their early teens but I had not seen an adult female version of Pikachu yet. It was then when my mind finally put everything together. It wasn’t just the wrong representation of cultures but also systematic sexism that was bugging me. To be honest, it wasn’t even the issues themselves that were the actual cause of my discomfort but the fact that everyone seemed to be okay and accepting of it. I couldn’t help comparing same costumes worn by different genders for the rest of the night and it just took away all the fun and excitement I started my day with."

    I believe it is up to us to protect Halloween from those who would tarnish it's true meaning.

    What do you think? Do you feel it's our responsibility to educate and inform folks without the sensibility to do so themselves?

    Do you think it's ok to push the boundaries on this one night? Are people simply too sensitive these days?

    Please comment and let's start the conversation.


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  2. lynlindstrom

    lynlindstrom Haunter Hey Haunter, welcome to the Club!

    As with politics and religion, it seems now Halloween is a subject of touchiness. You can't make people think like can't fix stupid..there will always be conflict of interest, apparently. So, enjoy this holiday your others that this time of year is a time of celebration. Then celebrate it your own way in hopes that others see you having a good time, a spiritual time, a scary time, a fun time...
    Jimmy likes this.
  3. Jimmy

    Jimmy Haunt Club Officer Staff Member Hey Haunter, welcome to the Club!

    Well said lyn!
  4. JustJimAZ

    JustJimAZ Haunter Hey Haunter, welcome to the Club!

    Actually, I think the whole campaign has deservedly become a joke. I personally know a Persian who introduced himself as"I'm from Iran and I'm here to terrorize you". So I know not all middle-easterners are "offended" by people noticing where suicide bombers come from - and that is easily the most tasteless costume depicted here.

    Let's be clear, taking offense is a choice. You seem to think an awful lot of yourself, feeling yourself "enlightened" compared to us dim bulbs. I won't stop you, and I don't take offense. Why should I? It's a major failure to think people dress this way because they are ignorant. How about people stop being "offended" on behalf of others? How about we, as a people, atop being a bunch of whiners that some stereotypes are being perpetuated? Are we REALLY supposed to take every viewpoint in the country into consideration? There are people offended by Halloween itself. I don't hear you complaining on their behalf.

    People aren't dressing up as geisha or gypsies because they think everyone in Japan or Europe dresses like that.
    Are some costumes tasteless? Of course. But the harder you push to make people to conform to your particular view as to what is off limits, the harder some will push back.

    I saw an adult man in a huge penis costume handing out candy to kids. I think it's wildly inappropriate. As a man with 1/2 his family from and in Mexico, I think it's far worse than the ridiculous donkey rider in the pic.

    What about the "hilarious" costumes mocking priests and nuns? Is that OK because priests and nuns are from all races, and it's fine to mock religious beliefs?

    The only line I think needs to be drawn is WHERE certain costumes are permitted - like alcohol and nudity. Of the costumes shown, I personally would say all are fine anywhere except the suicide bomber, which is clearly best suited for an all ages event. The bomber, like the giant penis or pervert priest, belongs in an adults only environment, just as alcohol and nudity do. Maybe you disagree. That's fine.

    Bottom line? Let people dress how they wish on this Night of Nights. Neither you nor I should be the arbiters of what is correct, and public attempts to shame people into amount to no more than extortion.
    Jimmy likes this.
  5. Jimmy

    Jimmy Haunt Club Officer Staff Member Hey Haunter, welcome to the Club!

    Thank you for the insightful reply JustJim, very well articulated and thought through.


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