Thursday, October 23, 2014

The "Real Horror" of Halloween

An alert WOSH listener made me aware of a forum at UW Oshkosh tonight that should help everyone decide what they want to wear as a costume on Halloween.  The forum is titled: "Why You Should Never, Ever Dress Up As An Indian".  I'm assuming that the forum on "How To Prepare a Resume That Does Not Include Spelling and Grammatical Errors" and the discussion on "Why You Shouldn't Use 'Like' and "Ya Know' Every Four Words in Professional Conversations" are being held on other nights--so students at UWO can swing by to learn this "valuable information".

In promoting her forum, the advisor says:

So-called "Pocahottie" and Indian warrior costumes are popular in college, including here at UWO, but they do hidden damage.  The call to stop wearing them is not simply about political correctness--it is about Native women being depicted as sexual objects, which may seem harmless as a sexy costume on Halloween, but is part of a stereotype that contributes to a very high rate of sexual assault for Native women.  It is about the image of the Native man as a warrior--the same image we see in sports mascots (had to get that in there too)--which dehumanizes Native men and correlates to a high rate of violent victimization as well as a high incarceration rate.  Come here about these connections and more, and why you should never, ever dress up like an Indian.

So the reason there are such high rates of crime among Native American populations is not because of high rates of drug and alcohol abuse, unemployment, poverty and high school dropouts--it's because white college kids wear Indian costumes on Halloween.  I look forward to the first criminal trial where a defense attorney for a person of Native heritage uses that as a defense.

What I don't understand is the part about wearing the "Pocahottie" costume makes Native women "sex objects" and contributes to sexual assaults is coming from the very same people who tell us all the time that what a woman wears on every other day but Halloween should not make her a sex object or "partly to blame" for sexual assault.  In fact, the derogatory term of "slut-shaming" is used to describe that very practice--and men are told to keep their thoughts clean no matter how short the skirt or low-cut the shirt.  So how can dressing like a Kardashian Sister or Katie Perry not sexually objectify women--but dressing like "Pocahottie" does?  Perhaps the Thought Police should use the meeting room for a few hours before tonight's forum to straighten that out--so we can all be in lockstep with them on Halloween night.

In the meantime, you can go back to working on your Sexy Nun, or Sexy Teacher, or Sexy Schoolgirl, or Sexy Nurse, or Sexy Disney Princess (but not Pocahontas!!!!), or Sexy Zombie costumes.  They appear to be safe--for now.

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