A Gentle Reminder That Slutoween Celebrants Are Asking For It

Illustration for article titled A Gentle Reminder That Slutoween Celebrants Are Asking For It

Ugh, feminists really are the worst. First, they tell you to bust out the lingerie to protest rape at SlutWalk, and then they demand you ditch your sexy mental patient Halloween costume for a dumpy Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor outfit. It's so incredibly confusing! That is, if you're a writer notorious for your anti-woman diatribes who fails to understand (purposely, we suspect) the issues surrounding SlutWalk and "slutoween."

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Charlotte Allen — who you may remember from various self-loathing ladyrants including "Women Aren't Very Bright" in the Washington Post, and a Weekly Standard piece about how "hookup culture" victimizes men — is at it again with a L.A. Times op-ed about how women should be aware that whether they're sexing it up for a protest or a Halloween party, they're asking to be raped.

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The whole point of SlutWalk is to protest victim blaming, and Allen agrees that you're not at fault it you're targeted by a criminal — but, to be fair, you probably did something idiotic that caused the attack. In reference to the Toronto cop who sparked SlutWalk by saying, "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized," she writes:

The admonition, if crudely put, was practical, rather like advising someone walking through a dangerous neighborhood at night not to flash expensive jewelry or leave a wallet hanging out. Sure, it's not your fault if you get mugged while flaunting your wealth, but you could have taken steps to reduce the risk.

Wow, we never looked at it that way, but it explains so much. This is why when victims of theft choose to prosecute, we routinely see newspaper articles describing how they stupidly left their wallet in their back pocket, just begging to be stolen, and hear lengthy descriptions of how much they drank on the night of the crime, and learn all about their history of losing things.

Allen explains that SlutWalk and slutoween actually have a lot in common because, "Both feature phalanxes of females flaunting scanty clothing that typically involves lingerie." Okay, she actually only mentions this one insignificant similarity, but she insists that feminists are being inconsistent and contradictime themselves, because here they are supporting one thing that uses the word "slut" (slutwalks) and supposedly admonishing the other. Allen uses two recent articles by feminist writers to illustrate her point. In June, Feministing founder Jessica Valenti wrote a piece in the Washington Post explaining SlutWalk. But wait! Earlier this month, Feministing contributor Jessica Fuller wrote a post on this site titled, "Eight Alternatives To The 'Sexy' Halloween Costume." Allen never explains why Fuller and other feminists are "urging their sisters to cover up for Halloween," possibly because they're not. Though this line wasn't quoted in the op-ed, Fuller explicitly states her gripe with sexy costumes in her introduction:

It isn't so much that I'm against sexy bees/nurses/Eskimos/fire hydrants/whatever, it's more that they're so uninspired. A shortened hem and a pair of fishnets does not a costume make.

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The issue with revealing ensembles is that years ago Halloween was about creative costumes for men and women, and now the term "women's costume" has become synonymous with "sexy costume." Increasingly, women are offered a cookie-cutter costume and looked at askance if they choose to wear something fun but unflattering. The problem with the "Naughty Nemo" costume isn't really that it's risqué, it's that the outfit bears no resemblance to an animated fish, and it's just a set of cat ears away from becoming a sexy tiger costume. However, if you want to wear a boring and silly costume, that's your prerogative.

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Back to the part where you're asking for it: Just watch yourself, because Allen says you're increasing your chances of being sexually assaulted. According to her, women's attire "might be sending mixed signals, especially to men." We all need to accept the truth: "men's sexual responses are highly susceptible to visual stimuli," and women want to attract them so they "dress up like prostitutes" on Halloween. Allen adds:

The other reality that feminists tend to deny is that rape and sexual desire are linked. Rape, in that view, is a purely political act of male dominance. This ignores the fact that the vast majority of rape victims are under age 30 - that is, when women are at their peak of desirability.

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So you may want to wear a skimpy outfit to appear desirable to men, but don't look too hot, or you might get raped. Actually, Allen concedes that most dudes don't need to rape every miniskirt-clad woman in their general vicinity — but some do! You see,

The fact that rapists tend to target young women rather than grandmotherly types suggests that in the real rape culture (in contrast to the imaginary rape culture of some feminist ideology), the faux-hos of Halloween and their SlutWalker counterparts marching in their underwear - like a man walking at night with a bulging wallet - should be careful about where they flash their treasure.

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We're fairly certain that Allen doesn't spend her spare time walking the streets as part of a police sex crime unit, so we have to question her "facts" about the type of woman who gets sexually assaulted. (Though it's too bad she's wrong, because the middle-aged ladies of Delta Sigma Theta sorority who are being targeted by a rapist would probably be pretty excited to learn feminists made the entire thing up.) Still, we want to issue a warning to all of our readers (well, the young and pretty ones): Your Naughty Nemo costume may not increase the chances that you'll be attacked by a rapist, but it it does make you more likely to be condemned by willfully ignorant writers who can't call victim-blaming what it is.

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When Women Dress As Halloween Candy [LAT]
SlutWalks And The Future Of Feminism [Washington Post]

Earlier: The Stupidest Thing You Ever Read On This Blog (And Maybe The Whole Wide Internet)
Weekly Standard Writer: The Real Victims Of "Hookup Culture" Are Guys
Eight Alternatives To The "Sexy" Halloween Costume

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Image via Icons Jewelry/Shutterstock.

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DISCUSSION

Are women really looked at askance for not wearing a "slutty" outfit at Halloween parties? Maybe it's just me, but every Halloween I read all these Slutoween articles and then when I actually go to parties, I see a ton, if not the large majority, of other female party-goers wearing creative and not particularly revealing costumes. At least not more revealing than a regular party outfit.

From my own experience, whether or not I wear a slutty costume (and sadly I don't think any of my costumes really qualified) is based on a few factors - basically, how much attention do I want from guys and do I feel like being creative. Especially if I go to a party with my boyfriend then I don't really care about sexual attention.

However, I find that if you dress more conservatively and wear a good, creative costume, no one will look at you askance, you just won't get as much attention from drunk horny males. And yes, sometimes that is a bad thing (whether you want to go home with someone that night or not)!