Media Two Great NYT Pieces, and a Coda About Costumes
posted by October 16 at 15:21 PMon
Two great pieces on the New York Times’ op-ed page today.
First, Bob Herbert poses a rhetorical question no one else has bothered to ask in the wake of the Amish shootings: “Why aren’t we shocked” that the killer targeted little girls?
Imagine if a gunman had gone into a school, separated the kids up on the basis of race or religion, and then shot only the black kids. Or only the white kids. Or only the Jews.
There would have been thunderous outrage. The country would have first recoiled in horror, and then mobilized in an effort to eradicate that kind of murderous bigotry. There would have been calls for action and reflection. And the attack would have been seen for what it really was: a hate crime.
Herbert’s NYT overlords hid his column behind the dreaded NYTSelect firewall, but Feminist Law Profs has a link to it here.
The second is a really smart piece by writer Allison Glock on the scarcity of un-“sexy” Halloween costumes for women. Glock went to the store to buy costumes for herself and her daughters, who are 4 and 6; the selection she found, however, was all of the “sexy kitten” variety. They included sexy bunny, sexy devil, sexy leopard, and even sexy Wonder Woman,” which, at $49.99,
was among the priciest costumes, along with the Geisha — both $20 more than Stewardess, which consisted only of a polyester wrap dress with a plunging neckline.
A quick trip to Wal-Mart and Kmart revealed the same dubious selections. While the hemlines were slightly lower on the Kmart French Maid and Cheerleader, Wal-Mart hewed to form with a saucy Red Riding Hood and a naughty rag doll, advertising a “sultry vinyl bodice and thigh highs … lollipop not included.ā€¯
A theme was emerging. And it wasn’t Halloween. Since when did Halloween costumes become marital aids? The hobo has turned into the Hillbilly Honey. The traditional vampire is now the Mistress of Darkness. I have nothing against playing erotic dress-up, or even mass-market fetishism. I’d just prefer it didn’t converge with a family holiday (and wasn’t sold next to the dryer sheets). If you want to play cheerleader at home, go team. But trick-or-treating with your children in anything featuring latex and cleavage seems like a little too much trick. […] My girls were confused. “Where are the monsters?ā€¯ they asked. “Where are the superheroes?ā€¯ I pointed weakly to Wonder Woman and her thigh-high boots. “She’s pretty,ā€¯ said my 4-year-old. Before adding, “You can see her breasts.ā€¯
This reminds me of a running joke between me and a coworker. Every year around Halloween, when we walk past the sex shop on Broadway, we have the following exchange:
“What should I be for Halloween?”
“How about a sexy nurse?”
“No, wait - a slutty farm girl!”
“No - a sexy schoolgirl!”
“No - a trampy stewardess!”
“What about a sexy bunny?”
“I know - a sexy cat!”
We can go on this way for hours.
So it cracked me up the other day to open up the Seattle Weekly and see an ad for Pierre Silber—“The sexiest Hallowen store in the world!”—featuring the following costumes: “Sexy Dorothy”; “Sexy bunny”; “Sexy sheriff”; “Sexy nun”, and even “Sexy referee.” That last one, which features a “naughty” minidress, knee socks, and what appear to be high-heeled cleats, is accompanied on the web site by its male counterpart—a plain old regular referee costume.