Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Being a Whore for Hallowe'en or Just Dressing Like One

Hmm....this article got me thinking. An excerpt:

Meet the sexy-costume backlash: teen and tween girls who, bucking the marketing hype and peer pressure, are resisting the ever-growing tide of provocative wares.

This year, there are more risqué costume options for girls than in previous years, retailers say. In addition to the "classic" sexy genre of French maid, nurse and cop, trashy "Paris in Jail" costumes and even a naughty schoolgirl version of Harry Potter's Hermione are competing for favour.

Manufacturers are accommodating the new reality, says costume retailer Stephane Abbat of Toronto's It's My Party store: Hence the wide availability of "extra-small" sizes in eye-popping styles that are seeing the light of day in high-school hallways.

But with the trend even more pronounced at Halloween, some girls such as Ms. Ali are saying enough is enough, and are even getting together to shop and create costumes of a different nature.


Now, I have to say that I have been guilty of this, but it was not when I was in elementary or high school. In high school, I remember going as a Ginger Spice, or Cyndi Lauper. My most "provocative" costume was in my first year of University, dressed as a cop, but according to a friend who saw pictures, it really wasn't that riské, and I would agree. This year, I was choosing between Ariel (Little Mermaid ) and Jessica Rabbit (Who Framed Roger Rabbit), both provocative character. I chose Jessica Rabbit because I wasn't comfortable wearing only seashells. But why am I choosing these, arguably, provocative, trashy characters? Truthfully, there is a limited number of redheaded characters out there to portray.

I see the concern that many have over this observation that 14-25 year old women seem to want to slut it up every Halloween. On one hand, I sympathize in that if you dress conservatively 364 days a year, just one time, you want to let loose and try it on for size. On the other hand, I try to understand the need to want to dress trashy even one day a year.

It reinforces my belief that women actually lost the sexual revolution. While we are no longer "enslaved" into having sex with our "male-head-of-household" within the "chains" of a monogamous marriage. What does being "empowered" actually mean?

Does it mean having Orgasm Workshops?

I am not always able to catch my favourite television show (and I hate commercials) so I often download them (illegally). I use a torrent searchwebsite (Not Safe For Work...or School Library Computer either....) suggested to me.

This is NOT sexual empowerment.

Encouraging the audience to chanting the word "c*nt" at a Vagina Monologue show, is not empowerment. I say these things not from an ignorant anti-feminist perspective. I have been to two VM shows and for one of them I was an actor!

Is it a good thing that women now do insist on condom use and do exercise their right to say "no". ABSOLUTELY! But are the sexually empowered ladies/characters from shows like Sex and the City of Desperate Housewives just promotes the sexualization of women.

The mixed messages from "virgins" (at least they were, when I was a teenager) of Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson (who are married and divorced before 30) also don't send the right message.

So what did sexual liberty gives us?

I invite a positive and negative list in the comments section. For men/boys and women/girls

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Negative/Bad: thongs advertised to 9-13 year olds

Wed Oct 31, 03:17:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Ben said...

Positive: greater individual liberty -- no-one's being forced to slut it up. (And if you do, be prepared to be viewed accordingly...)

Wed Oct 31, 04:42:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

positive - an easy way to spot the head-cases so you can steer clear.

Wed Oct 31, 05:02:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jarrett said...

To add to the conversation a little bit off topic...

There was a case from UVic a few years ago that I could swear I blogged about, but all I could find was this UVic student paper article.

Basically, the issue was that women dressing well, not provocatively, to be sure, but in a way where their thongs were exposed. That wasn't the issue per se, so much as the fact that guys were using their camera phones to take pictures and distribute them on the internet. Everyone started freaking out about pictures being taken of things in plain public view as though this was the worst thing in the world. Empowerment, evidently, didn't extend as far as some would like to think.

***

Apropos of the topic, trying to approach it from something other than a legal standpoint, I agree somewhat. I'm wary of the social consequences of empowering 12 and 13 year-olds without requisite increases in responsibilities.

At the same time, though, I'm reminded of Glenn Reynolds' argument is that what we need is more exposure to sex and violence in today's youth culture for the good of society. If Robin Williams' analysis of the link between lust and violence in males is any indication, it might just be for the best ;)

Wed Oct 31, 08:43:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regrets seem to be a by-product of the sexual 'revolution'. Especially since one of the main reasons for the increase in painful IVF treatments besides age is number of sex partners - exposure of the female reproductive organs to multiple partners is a negative.

Thu Nov 01, 03:14:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Ben said...

Unexpected positive: object lessons in personal responsibility for the irresponsible.

If you screw up, you pay the price -- sometimes a very dear one.

Somewhat-more-expected positive: acknowledgment of real life. A reduction of hypocrisy. (Others argue that hypocrisy is actually a healthy part of society -- I may be comng around to that view. In which case, I shall withdraw this point.)

Thu Nov 01, 10:01:00 PM EDT  

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