Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Racist" Halloween Costumes & Who's "Too Old" to Trick or Treat

Well, I got invited to a Halloween party tomorrow night that is free. This after I went to a Studio 54 themed event on Friday night in Queens wearing a short dress and having nothing but pantyhose between my legs & the cold wind outside. Takes a level of chutzpa to do that, let me tell you!

Anyhow, after a little thinking with limited resources, my reserve of costumes & considering the cold weather tomorrow night (banning anything sexy or skimpy), I decided to go with the scariest costume of all that is also somewhat accurate & intellectual: a Christian fundamentalist. Not a mainstream Christian, mind you but one of those whackjobs that religious folk I know would shake their head at & say "God help us all!"

I have to go get materials to make a sign tomorrow & I need to see if I've got a Bible lying around but otherwise, you have my husband to thank for this one. I tried on this old dress I have recently to make sure it still fit me & he told me it looked too frumpy on me. It's a long sleeved one with a longer skirt that looks like something you'd wear at a church. As fundies are hardcore about clothing length & not showing stuff, I figured this outfit was perfect. I'd also never get to wear it under normal circumstances. Sadly, I thought of dressing as that woman who complained about Married with Children in the '80s but since I'm a redhead, that doesn't work.

You haven't heard about the best touch though: I'm also going to wear devil horns since I believe these sorts of fundamentalists are just as bad as any "sinner" they dare to condemn. It's a reaction to religious hypocrites.

If you're a religious person who objects to this outfit? First off, maybe you should be taking these fundies to task as a religious person. They are reflecting badly on you, after all. Second, I've earned the right to attack this contingency considering I lived in a religious household, went to a religious school as a child & had to deal with this crap due to my years of living in the South. By the way, my husband has earned this right as well. Third, if you're not a fake Christian, you shouldn't get offended because I'm not attacking you. If you're offended, maybe you should take a good hard look at yourself and see if maybe you're upset because I've hit too close to home & you don't like admitting that you are a hypocrite.

On that note, there are many costumes that are offensive that I would never do. For one thing, I wouldn't go around in black face or dressing as a poor person. Some foreclosure law firm in Buffalo apparently did this for last year's Halloween party.

I think this theme is completely tacky, lacks in class and is horrible PR for the law firm. If you asked me to participate in such a theme, I'd refuse since I do know people who are in dire economic straits. I also think these fuckers are just making themselves into targets for angry people who were victims of the housing crisis, especially the big name partners at this firm. Stuff like this is just stupid to do. I wouldn't feel the least bit of sympathy if these morons ended up on the business end of a shotgun held by some disillusioned individual they personally ousted from their home of however many years.

Believe me, no rational person would feel sympathy for this trash either (and yes if you would suggest insulting people who are in a victim position with respect to your business, especially as an attorney who presumably should know better & is held to higher standards of ethics then you are trash).

That being said, however, I don't think it's necessary to outlaw such themes or ban certain costumes like this group proposes to do.

For one thing, let's have a sense of humor, okay? Some people most definitely fit that stereotype & trust me, the self-aware ones aren't offended. You know, dressing as a hooker says something about me as a woman. Should I get all pissy & demand that no one ever dresses that way again?

Before you get all high & mighty on racial stereotypes & "white privilege," let me give you some perspective on "white privilege": that shit exists for RICH, white people (oftentimes, males)!!!!!! Talk to me about how much white privilege I've had when you have people assume you don't need financial aid because of YOUR race, ignoring your family's financial condition or how much need you actually have. That has happened to me.

How much white privilege have the injured Occupy protestors been recipients of? I saw white girls getting maced & white men being dragged off in handcuffs as well as roughed up by the police. Take your head out of your ass & see the world around you as it really is.

Stop being a martyr & making assumptions you don't know shit about. Live incognito as a white person for a few months if you want to make these grand proclamations about how easy white people have it, especially if they don't come from money. Until then, shut up! You don't hear me making proclamations about your personal experiences or how easy your life is. I certainly could but since I know a fair amount of people outside my race & don't view them as my "token" friend from XYZ group, I know a basic truism: someone else always has it worse than you do.

Second, I strongly think if you get easily offended by something as simple as a costume you're never going to make it in the real world. You also really ought to save that venom for things like tokenism & inequality for women in the workplace. Go try to solve real problems instead of trying to take away one day in the year people get to blow off steam & be something they wouldn't get to be otherwise (unless, of course, they are actors). You're as bad as the people who force out Christmas from the public realm.

Third, social stigma is a powerful thing. Let's use that instead of direct regulation or forcing retailers to stop selling particular costumes. I remember where groups dealing with illegal immigrants got all offended by illegal alien costumes & tried to get retailers to remove them from the shelves. Maybe these people should spend more time encouraging folk to have loyalties to THIS damn country or getting employers to pay them minimum wage like everyone else so we wouldn't have the pay problems we're having. How about that, huh?

On trick or treating: this story asks "how old is too old?" I say you're never too old. If you feel compelled to go beg for candy, do so. Some adults look like kids because they are short & tiny. Some actors look like high school kids (I've been told I look like a kid though I would hope I don't look younger than college aged).

Plus, you're as young as you feel. Don't let some snotty adult who was 100 when they were 10 tell you what to do! Those jerks probably never take their kids trick or treating in costume or know how to have any fun whatsoever. We call them "killjoys." I think if there were fewer of them, the world would be a much better place.

I heard about nighttime curfews on Halloween night in various places & that also bothers me on a fundamental level, considering my whole history. Read last year's Halloween rant for details on that.

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