Saturday, August 21, 2004

Never Too Early to Think About Halloween

Check out this link for children's Halloween costumes.

You can now get ten dollars off for dressing your little girl as a ho and your little boy as a pimp. Something to aspire to, hmh?

Why does this bother me so much? Children dress as ghosts and vampires and as all sorts of horrible creatures for Halloween anyway. So why not go as a whore or as someone who sells whores? Isn't the idea to scare adults?

But the costumes are not sold to children, they are sold to the parents of the children, and it is the parents who decide that it would be cute to have a little girl dress as a ho. Cute to have their little children walk the neighborhood dressed as hos and pimps.

The mainstreaming of pimps in popular culture is a fascinating phenomenom. Pimps used to be portrayed as the slimiest, creepiest, most disgusting creatures imaginable. Now they're almost admirable. Whores have not been mainstreamed in the same way at all; they are still regarded as dirty and cheap. This has to do with power balances, probably, as it's the pimp who lords over his whores and the whores who do what he tells them. But it also means that your little boy in the pimp costume might be admired and your little girl in the ho costume might be... What? Seen as cute? Desired by pedophiles? Regarded as showing her true colors that early? I don't know.

I can't help feeling that the whole recent sexual revolution: the mainstreaming of pornography, the "Girls Gone Wild" view of female sexuality as consisting of only pleasing the male sexuality, the rehabilitation of pimps and so on is part of the backlash against moves towards true equality of the sexes. I'm not prudish. But the 'new sexuality' is not at all new: it's the underbelly of the old-time sexuality with the prudish veils torn off. Nothing has changed in the scenarios, women are still supposed to serve or service, still supposed to enjoy being yes-women, still supposed to relish their objectification.

As I said I'm not prudish. Sex is wonderful. But violence as quasi-sex is disgusting, oppression does not turn me on and those who need objectification in sex should avail themselves of the vast range of sexual toys now available. And dressing little children to correspond to our most unappetizing sexual images is wrong.
Thanks to mystic_bovine for the link.