“In Girl World, Halloween is the one day a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girls can say anything else about it.”
As the height of the spooky season approaches, the iconic Mean Girls quote is likely living rent-free in everyone’s mind. Historically speaking, the ghoulish holiday allows femmes to wear revealing clothing, in spite of our society’s persistent entitlement to women’s bodies. While 2023 is only 10 weeks away, women are still viciously policed for their sense of fashion. God forbid if we dare to wear anything remotely sexy and garner obnoxious male attention or worse. Clothing somehow becomes a scapegoat for violence and a justifiable catalyst for assault.
It’s “funny weird” how the scariest time of year is the only occasion women and femme-aligned folks can roam freely in garter belts and corsets without enduring scorn and judgment from other women, not to mention, harassment from predators.
While adult Halloween costumes inject a heightened level of fun into an already playful and hedonistic weekend, the widely accepted notion that women are permitted to dress in a certain manner highlights misogynistic ideology that encourages and caters to our deeply ingrained rape culture. The patriarchy has created a system in which pieces of fabric can be used as an excuse for sexual violence because of the myth that a woman’s body is dangerous.
Let’s be honest, it’s fun to be sexy just for the sake of being sexy — not everything a woman does is for male validation or attention, not all women even like men.
From spaghetti straps and hemlines interrupting our education to visible underwear indicating one’s sexual availability, the male gaze has charged women’s clothing with hyper-sexual meaning, not because of the female form’s inherent provocativeness, but an unencumbered need for control and dominance. From an early age, women learn to operate within a state of hyper-vigilance and self-surveillance, altering and modifying their appearance in order to curb unwanted attention and advances.
While we logically understand that a woman wearing a plunging neckline and mini skirt is not “asking for it” and is more than likely enjoying her body for her own pleasure — because why on earth would a woman dare to find herself attractive — we’ve all been conditioned to think less of women who choose to wear less.
Internalizing the patriarchy’s rigid guidelines for respectability has led many women to shame their peers for going against sexist and boring dress codes in an effort to protect themselves from the same misogynistic system that holds them back. If it weren’t for the threat of potential violence, people would feel freer to dress in a way that feels authentic to them, regardless of whether it’s an outfit that happens to show more skin. Let’s be honest, it’s fun to be sexy just for the sake of being sexy — not everything a woman does is for male validation or attention, not all women even like men.
Clothing somehow becomes a scapegoat for violence and a justifiable catalyst for assault … The patriarchy has created a system in which pieces of fabric can be used as an excuse for sexual violence because of the myth that a woman’s body is dangerous.
Arriving to the point where you can simply enjoy the sight of your own body is a hard-won pleasure for many. The fact that women actively hide their bodies in an effort to manage other people’s responses is frankly sad and alarming. Yet, we’d rather teach one gender that their bodies are “stumbling blocks” and are responsible for others’ actions while allowing another gender to believe that self-control is a sign of weakness and that clothes determine someone’s worth and personhood.
October 31 should not be the only day a woman can dress how she pleases without judgment as life is too short not to dress like a total slut sometimes. Watch TikTok’s resident bimbo Chrissy Chlapecka’s video for all the affirmation and confidence you need.
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