Oct 262006
 
Authors: Hilary Davis

When you enter a hospital, you expect to see a few sights: doctors preparing for surgery, patients shuffling around, families drinking bad coffee in the waiting room, the nurses, with their scrubs and tennis shoes, running around the hospital.

But in just a few short days, you won’t need to enter a hospital to see a nurse or two – even though the nurses won’t be wearing scrubs. Nor will you need to go to a soccer game to see a referee. You won’t even have to light anything on fire before the firefighters come.

Yes, it’s almost Halloween, and the naughty nurses, raunchy referees and flirty firefighters are out in force. But my question is, why? Why do some women use Halloween as an excuse, or perhaps as a reason, to dress like tarts?

At first, I thought this was just a collegiate trend. After all, it’s de rigueur for college girls to dress scantily to go out to the bars or to clubs – Halloween is really no stretch. But women in their 30s and beyond? Apparently, that’s not as much of a stretch as I might have imagined.

In a New York Times article published Oct. 19, interviews with the heads of costume companies revealed that costumes in the “adult female” category were the most popular and that naughty costume sales were on the rise. How very revealing indeed. The article discussed all facets of the Halloween issue, from quoting suggestions to how Halloween should be called Dress-Like-A-Whore day, to suggesting that dressing like whores on this day can actually be, like Martha Stewart always says, a good thing.

I understand that, for some women, dressing in a way that leaves nothing to the imagination can be empowering. It’s great to know that all the gym time has paid off, and they can dress in little more than a washcloth and look great. I get that. But I also don’t believe it.

Because at the end of the night, girls aren’t going to be sitting around their living rooms, eating Taco Bell and talking about how empowered they feel. They’re going to be talking about what guys they danced with and who checked them out. Or, if it’s been a really good night (at least by some people’s standards) they’re not going to be sitting around with their girlfriends at all.

And where are the guys in all this, you ask? For men, it still seems to be socially permissible to dress up in an actual costume or even (gasp of shock!) as something funny. I have a male friend who once dressed up as an inflatable hot dog, another as an inflatable whoopee cushion. The next time you see a woman dressed as an inflatable anything, please let me know. Or if you ever see a man wearing only eyeliner and his underwear and claiming that it’s his Halloween costume, I’d like to know about that, too. Then I might feel a little bit better, or at least a little bit more equal.

So ladies, I propose a change: instead of dressing like hussies next week, let’s dress like heroes. Wonder Woman, anyone? I definitely think Martha Stewart would approve.

And, despite my curmudgeonly ways, I guess there is one upside to all of this: If I somehow fall down or pass out on Halloween, it’s good to know that so many medical personnel are around to save me.

Hilary Davis is a senior technical journalism major. Her column appears every Friday in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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