In Defense of Slut-o-Ween: Halloween--Straight Pride Weekend?

rabbitwhite's picture

I’ve been trying to write my yearly post in defense of Slut-o-ween: the holiday celebrated with spray tans and short skirts–something that has become all too easy to cast shade on. I’ve given myself the pep talk: boobs-on-display-for-one-night! I’ve given myself the pep talk in the form of a face-slap: Go team sex! Boo Internet feminists against sexy costumes! But it just all feels so tired.

Am I becoming an old curmudgeon? Like the dreaded  “no candy” lady, but instead a yawning bisexual refusing to pass out kisses to curious straight girls?

Maybe, Halloween, it’s not me. It’s you. You have become “straight person’s pride weekend”. And dammit, it was fun for awhile. I drenched myself in fake blood, kissed a slutty snow white …maybe got the clap.

Halloween has become our culture’s celebration of sex. It is the one night of the year where sexuality suddenly is on full display. Our sexually repressed culture is transformed–for one night only– to a land where sex is celebrated! Is the norm!

But while we are given a free pass to flaunt our bods and sexuality, the culture doesn’t actually become un-repressed. It’s what happens to sexuality when you cage, label , judge it then give it one night where it’s suddenly okay. Good for 8 hours until we all turn into wart-y pumpkins.  Halloween is sexuality shouted at us.

This is where “straight pride weekend” differs from real pride weekend. Both shout sexuality. And it is cool to shout your sexuality from the rooftops for one night– if it is conscious, purposeful. Pride Weekend has an element of reclaiming sexuality, of spreading information. But with Halloween, we aren’t acknowledging what’s going on– we’re not claiming Halloween as a celebration of sexuality, we aren’t passing condoms out like candy.

I don’t know what Halloween would look like in a sexually free society. But I know that it wouldn’t include an article on AOL, warning women that if they dress “like sluts” people might think they “are sluts”.  An article is meant to warn women that sexy costumes send the signal  “you want to have sex.” Oh?

While we might not claim Straight Person’s Pride Weekend is about celebrating sex, I don’t think the role play Halloween costumes are that unconscious. I mean I hope not. The AOL writer seems to have harked back to some Victorian idea that women aren’t aware of sexuality. Some Marilyn Monroe image of “we just don’t know what we are doing!”

Is this why third wave feminism hates on slutty costumes–because they assume the same thing?  Or is it because the costumes themselves are just total tools of the patriarchy? Or feminists are just jealous? Nope. It’s because Halloween has become mainstream.  Halloween becoming Straight People’s Pride also made it infested with alcohol sponsors and amateurs from the burbs. And third wave indie girl feminists in their etsy-bought ironic costumes will have none of.

I think the only way out of this is owning that Halloween is, indeed, Straight Pride Weekend.  That for adults, tricks and treats are   about sex. Then maybe we can pry it from Smirnoff and Budweiser and they clubs they sponsor with pricey cover. Besides you can’t really play a proper game of  “bobbing for penises” at those venues anyhow.

http://rabbitwrite.com/defense-of-slut-o-ween-ii-halloween-straight-peop...

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I enjoyed your article. You

Aly Sinclair's picture

I enjoyed your article. You make some really good points. I really like your analogy about straight pride.  Well done. 

Very nicely written. 

Very nicely written.  Halloween participates in and highlights the whole social dillemna about female sexuality.  Part of the way patriarchy works is that women's clothing is assumed to carry a message about her sexuality, no matter what.

Or is it because the costumes

Or is it because the costumes themselves are just total tools of the patriarchy?
 
This is why I dislike it. I couldn't care less about how mainstream it is. It pisses me off that women are expected to put their bodies on display no matter what. I don't understand why you ruled that option out.
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