Due to Kat's incisive comments on the Maoist Orange Cake blog, I have been forced to wrestle with my "Ghosts of Halloween Past". She wrote about the increasing popularity of sexy costumes for All Hallow's Eve wear, especially among women, and quoted (what I thought) was a hilarious, if controversial, column by Joel Stein on this issue.
Those who know me will no doubt find it slightly hypocritical for me to be discussing this subject. This is, I regret to admit, gentle reader is because I must confess: I too, have been a Halloween Harlot, not once, but several times.
It all started in the mid- '70's: I was invited to a Halloween party, along with my best "fremeny" Char; I heard she was going as a pregnant nun, and so, in an effort to upstage her, I went as what I can best describe as an "S&M Gal", and my date wore a sleeveless T-shirt and a dog collar, and crawled on all fours as I led him into the party. I stole the show, got a big laugh , and so, for a time, a tradition was born.
Since then, I've been a pregnant nun (yeah, I stole it!) slutty nun, dance hall girl, nympho-maniac (pink negligee with a blow-up mattress strapped to my back) , Vampira, Catholic school-girl (okay, I was going as Mary-Catherine Galliger, but several people said I looked hot), The Scarlet Lesbian (don't ask), a One Night Stand (I was a nightstand with a #1 painted on it; hey, it wasn't very sexy, but it was sexual) and even tried to go as a "ho" and have my then-girlfriend as my pimp (I know, racist, sexist, and my girfriend refused to do it).
Why did I do this? I was trying to be funny; I was trying to stand out (when I wore these get-ups, I was the exception, not the rule), and later, I saw it as a chance to be more divinely campy and queer than I dared to be in my regular life.
Now that I'm older, and wiser, and as these sorts of costumes have become more popular, I'm more than a little revolted by this behavior. I see the sexism and objectification at work here. But how can I criticize, when I have been one of the worst offenders? Comments???