Thursday, October 19, 2006


Halloween is my favorite holiday, along with the 4th of July and Thanksgiving and sometimes Christmas.

Halloween is my favorite holiday because it's cool, and not merely because girls dress provocatively.

Dunno what to say about this piece in the NYT. I pretty much change the channel any time LitCritters or "cultural critics" and similar folk start part because so many of them are idiots...but also because so few of them even try to make sense, and in part because I can't stand their cant. Many students are sucked into that stuff because it's sound is seductive to sophomores...but it's like fingernails on a blackboard to me.

Some of the people interviewed in this piece, though, actually make a little sense...though this stuff is, I'll admit, not rocket science.

There tends to be a lot of wheel-spinning (I almost said tail-chasing, but then it dawned on me) about questions like this. I'm tired so I'll just say:

1. Autonomously expressing one's sexuality in fun and harmless ways: good.

2. Heteronomously reacting to social forces that press one into doing that: bad.

3. Fake boobs built into little girls' Halloween costumes: downright alarming.

I don't want to have to say this again people.

Though when I freaked out about 3, Johnny Quest just shrugged and said "Yeah, I dunno. I remember wishing that my costumes had had boobs when I was little. The costumes would just look more like they're supposed to look." So there's a datum.

But I think everybody can agree that it's kinda weird.

Anyway, you gotta love the NYT's pix that accompany this slutty witch, slutty devil, slutty referee (huh???) and slutty slut. They run the whole gamut.

And, incidentally, what about the word 'slutty'? So many of the girls I know use it in an ironic way--e.g. to describe themselves and their own clothing--that it doesn't even seem like an insult anymore... Or, rather, it seems as if there are two sense of the word, one pejorative to me any more in most contexts. On the other hand I get pissed off when I hear people say 'b*tch' and 'ho' ('h*?). Inconsistent?


Blogger Random Michelle K said...

Regrading the word bitch, it doesn't bother me at all.

Mostly because you (well, you if you're a woman) get called it when you're being strong, standing up for yourself, and not taking anyone's crap.

So, yeah. I'm a bitch and proud of it.

(And I apologize if I busted any language barriers. Feel free to asterisk out if you so desire.)

(See also Elizabeth Wurtzel's book, Bitch, for more on the subject.)

4:51 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Where can I get one of those costumes?

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tend to have mixed feelings on the whole thing. On the one hand, I think it's good to have a night when you can dress however you want without social reprecussions.

On the other, I get annoyed by the costumes. Not that they're sexy, mind you, but that they cater to (and reinforce) a very specific concept of beauty. They emphasize youth and a very narrow range of body types.

Oh, and if you ever want to see some really risque costumes, go to a live showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Corsets, fishnet, and near nudity appear frequently. ;)

Let's do the Time Warp agaaaaain!

11:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Jonny Q was on the right track. Most children don't really think much about the socio-sexual importance of boobs. They just know: (a) Wonder woman [or whatever it is the kids like these days] is busty. (b) My costume is supposed to make me look like Wonder woman. Therefore, (c) my costume needs to make me look busty.

I read this article once by some child psychologist about ideas of masculinity in children. (Don't ask.) Her own young son told her he wished he had a bigger penis, and she was very worried about the culture's effect on her child, etc. On further questioning it turned out the reason he wanted a bigger penis is because he thought then he would be able to pee more, peeing of course being one of the funnest things you can do at age 5.

11:36 PM  

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