Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sexy Halloween Costume Generator

After perusing a number of Halloween costume catalogues that have come my way, it occurs to me that, in addition to being sort of offensive and misogynist, the names for most of the costumes for women follow a sort of standard algorithm. This algorithm involves combining a fairly predictable set of descriptors and identities in varying combinations. When this thought first occured to me, I was all ambitious and set on writing a javascript that would generate a new random sexy halloween costume name every time you came here (or refreshed), or perhaps everytime you clicked on a button. But now I realize that my javascript skills are very rusty, that it would take more time than I have to formulate the arrays I would need in order to build this script, and anyway there are probably problems with embedding javascripts in blogger that I haven't anticipated and that would just end up pissing me off. So instead of a flashy new Sexy Halloween Costume Generator, I bring you the following low-tech, DIY name generator. Select one from each of the following three columns. Combine them below to make your own unique sexy Halloween costume, brought to you by the patriarchy and it's firm belief that everything a woman does must be tied up with her sexuality and/or passive nature in some way:

____________ ______________ ______________


  1. Meg'n10/29/2009

    Impressive! In addition to the depressing things it says about cultural attitudes about women, I also notice the depressing things it says about our ethnic stereotypes. And the fact that we think it's OK to flaunt these stereotypes when it's "just" a costume and we're "just" joking.

  2. I'm feeling really depressed over the fact that there actually is a costume called Money Ho. I thought for sure you made that up, until I googled it. Blargh.

    But I could live with being a dreamy hippie dancer. Or a punk plaid cowgirl.

  3. Anonymous10/29/2009

    Flirty Eqyptian kitten.

    Naughty beergarden wench.

    Puke, puke, puke!

  4. The Sexy Eskimo Cutie is what got me. Apparently you're supposed to carry a fudgsicle around, giving it a blow job, all evening.

  5. snowflake10/29/2009

    Sweet Island Princess.

    ...the eroticization of ethnic bodies...

  6. Shimmery blossom ballerina

  7. Apparently you're supposed to carry a fudgsicle around, giving it a blow job, all evening.

    But don't swallow, or you'll gain 4 ounces and become fat and unnattractive.

  8. I'm goin with Punk Skull Captain.

  9. Don't you girls get tired of feeling sorry for yourselves? Rather than falling into your comfortable victim roles why don't you do the girl power thing and dress up as something totally non-sexist. Some suggestions:

    - The Tin Man - hard to make tin sexy (I think)
    - Mother Theresa - non-sexy version, remember she has passed
    - Helen Keller - non-sexy version (?!), same as above
    - Hansel or Gretel - non sexy version
    - Sam from Green Eggs and Ham - don't think there is a sexy version. I don't know... never liked green eggs, but he has a cool car
    - Horton from the Who thing - WTF? Have you ever seen Horton?
    - Waldo from "Where's" - My kid used to find him and he wasn't very sexy, so I wouldn't mess with it.

    Maybe you're getting the drift. I guess since Rachel knows that I'm an evil capitalist I'd add that if there wasn't a market for the goofy sexy Halloween outfits for chicks being described then there wouldn't be a business selling them. actually comes down to women wanting attention. If not, they'd all want be the non-sexy Mother Theresa or Sam. I'm not thinking that is gonna happen.

    Happy Halloween


  10. So, Burn, why do you think women want this attention? Why do you think they view this as their only way of being valued? You honestly don't think the larger culture which sends a clear message that women are only valuable to the extent that they fit the beauty standard and are attractive to het males isn't incredibly influential here? You must have a very high opinion of women if you expect them to be totally immune to the culture they're immersed in.

  11. I'm trying to picture a gothic Southern Geisha. It's hurting my brain.

  12. happyfeminist10/30/2009

    gothic twilight bride

  13. Lizzay,

    Of course Women want the attention. If they didn't they wouldn't wear that crap. Even better yet their mothers, most of whom have grown up since the 1960's would not allow it to happen. What would actually be cool is if women would at least step up to this fact. Please.

    If you were going to do a true girl power Halloween you'd have a party where no women would wear sexy outfits. Seems pretty easy. Actually I know the answer on this and it's that feminists can't even decide on what Feminism is, so to expect you girls to get on the same page on something as simple as Halloween costumes is asking way too much.

    The last sentence of your post just confirms my original statement. You are comfortable in your eternal victim mode.

    Seems you continue to want to have it both ways. The progress of women since the 1960's is well documented. In spite of all of this progress you continue to want to play the victim card. Doesn't it get a bit old?


  14. voiceofreason11/01/2009


    I think you're confused about the distinction between being a victim and being influenced by your culture. This is kind of a subtle point, but an important one. Everyone is influenced by their culture because humans are intensely social, very suggestible, have evolved to be very tuned in to their peers and the support of their group, etc. This is because we're very interdependent as a species. So saying that someone has certain tendencies or engages in certain behaviors or has certain desires, because of their cultural context is different from claiming that they're a victim. In certain situations these may actually be the same thing, as in cases like that of child soldiers who have been indoctrinated and acclimated to extreme violence and are unable to function in peacetime conditions, for example. In this case the cultural framework in which they developed was also the victimization. But that doesn't necessarily hold all the time, and I didn't get the impression that Lizzay was saying they're victims. Why would you assume that?

  15. VOR,

    Seems to be a fine line. The complaining gets very old. I thought the whole feminist movement was about how much power you have now. If that is in fact the case, these young women just shouldn't buy into the sexist costumes. With all of the progress Feminism has made over the past decades that should just be a confirmation of your new found control of your world as women.

    I think the fact that you would even make an analogy between this scenario and young men that are literally threatened with death if they don't confirm with their controllers demands just shows how far out of touch women are with what is actually going on in the world. It also shows the complete disregard for the value of men's lives versus women's "choices".

    I couldn't have made the point better myself.


  16. voiceofreason11/10/2009

    Actually, if you read my comment, I'm not making an analogy between the two. I'm pointing to the contrast between the two. Totally different.

  17. Anonymous3/04/2010

    I am actually a sexy halloween costume designer and I have to agree with Burn.

    And before you throw me to the wolves as a bad feminist, here's why.

    First, let me start out by stating the obvious, that I am a feminist.

    And second, that I think there is nothing wrong with being a sexy feminist.
    That being said, I do see the concern of why we feel the need to be sexy, the patriarchy, cultural assimilation, etc etc.

    BUT, I agree with Burn because we live in a capitalist society and the bottom line is money.
    Burn writes, "if there wasn't a market for the goofy sexy Halloween outfits for chicks being described then there wouldn't be a business selling them".
    This is exactly right.

    The companies aren't interested in making anti-feminist products to give women a hard time. They're interested in making a profit. The sexy stuff sells because enough women want it.

    Conversely, let me tell you from direct knowledge that if there was a market for other kinds of costumes, they would also sell like hotcakes and it could be anti-feminists complaining about all the non-sexy costumes.

    Case in point, I try desperately to avoid the dreaded french maid, gangster, school teacher, and especially the schoolgirl my boss insists on. Instead, I designed a Joan of Arc, Amelia Earhart, Ms. Potato Head, Scrabble, anything, figuring if they had to be sexy (no way around that one in the job description) let them be feminist icons, or at least FUNNY.

    In short, I try to inject some humour or much-needed intelligence into the themes so it's not just "slutty (insert whatever)"

    And here's what the sales reps reported back from the customers, such as the costume stores- "yes, they're funny, and original, but girls don't want to be funny, they want to be sexy!".

    Yes I know,we have to question WHY we want it. But assuming we're not all dumb bimbos, I think there is a choice involved.

    So girls, if you are truly unhappy with the state of things, speak up! Or better yet, put your money where your mouth is! Write to the companies, express and interest, don't just sit there and complain!

    People like me can try to change things from the inside, but consumers hold the power!

    My two cents,

    Just another feminist

  18. Seeley4/23/2010

    Of course, that assumes that you have to buy a costume. A lot of feminists just make our own costumes.