Halloween: Gender Roles in Disguise

115-bloody-vampire-lips-free-halloween-vector-clipart-illustrationOn a day when men and women, young and old, are supposed to become someone else, they actually assume their gender identity more than ever. Every October, people rush to the stores to purchases treats and costumes.. They scurry to buy their favorite disguises only to be tricked into buying a pre-sewn identity, fabricated specifically for their gender.

From the prices to the costumes, Halloween offers exceedingly different standards for men and women. Look online, and you are sure to find: a “Sexy Cop Costume’’ for a woman at the cost of $48.00. Look a bit further, and you will find a “Leg Avenue Men’s Policeman Costume’’ for men that costs $37.72.

There is no denying that frightening differences exist between male and female Halloween costumes. Underneath all the fabric and fun, what lies is the reflection of deeply-rooted social norms. Gender roles are being marketed not only for profit, but as an advertisement of patriarchy. A women has to be the “the sexy police officer” while the man gets to be the hero that saves her.

Another reason why such inconsistencies continue to exist is because women often play into these roles. Companies would not be selling these sexist costumes if it weren’t for women buying them.

Why do women, especially young women, allow themselves to be recognized in such negative light?

When asked, HHS sophomore, Christian Lorenzo said,’’I believe that women dress up inappropriately because they believe that the attention that they get from others is positive, but in reality, it is just for their amusement. Most people would disagree with their decision because if they wanted to look good on Halloween, they could be something that doesn’t pertain to inappropriate standards.’’

Whatever the reason why women are “OK” buying such costumes, the fact of the matter is that young girls need to recognize that no one, not even a company attempting to cash in on Halloween, has the right to minimize a woman into an object.

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