Not a costume.

Everybody's been talking about the STARS "Culture-not-Costume" campaign as of late, and clearly, there are a lot of racist costumes out there which hurt people's feelings.

Why you so sad, Cho Chang?

But these ads have gone on to spur dialogue about all manner of thoughtless discrimination through seemingly innocent, light-hearted Halloween costumes.  Like a gnarled old woman riding on the back of a young man?  Ageism!  Yuppy WASPs sporting hobo outfits is a clear case of elitism.  Hairy men dressed as busty females smacks of sexism, pregnant nuns parading around with smug-looking priests is some blatant Catholicism, and ghosts portrayed in a hideously oversimplified manner is plain old necrism (Really? A sheet?  Come on.  Ghosts were people once, too, you insensitive swine).

Damn right you got a rock.

The hatred is out of control.

Today, though, I'm here to speak out on behalf of a group of individuals who feel that they face unwarranted discriminated on this most irreverent of nights.  This pattern of misrepresentation has gone on for years, and it's time that we recognize the shame and outrage felt by these people every Halloween.

For slutty girls, it's not a costume.

I spent six years in medical school, jackass.

Sure, most of you probably think that Halloween is just a free pass - a night when any woman can put on a tight dress and stockings, pull her skirt up and her shirt down, and tousle her hair into sexified glory, then totter off into the darkness on platform stilettos as warm beer sloshes over the brim of her red Solo cup.

Well, what about the girls who walk into work or class on November 1st wearing a short skirt and six-inch heels, sporting cleavage that would make a eunuch sweat?  Once Halloween is over, these women go on with their lives with the stifling feeling that they still wear a mask.  But there is so much more to sluts than their dress.*  Other girls can take off their fish nets and push-up bras - their costume - but a slut can't hide who she is.  She was born that way, and nothing gives people the right to perpetuate ignorant stereotypes and make a laughingstock of this important and valuable group of people.

Is this some sort of joke?

What's more, characterizing them through a particular profession only serves to further marginalize sluts' legitimacy and voice in a world that is run by prudes and squares.  Sluts are not just scantily-clad nurses or incompetent cops; nor are they half-undressed pirates.  Sluttiness is a way of life, not a career choice.  This is not who they are. And mocking them with a cheap costume of vinyl and mesh is NOT OKAY.

*Which isn't saying much.  Zing!

Images by: STARS via feministing; Great Pumpkin; Image Shack; The Weedicle.

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