On the eve of Halloween weekend, I sit at my desk, fox ears on my head, Googling the best places to find orange face paint. At home I have a box, filled with hot pink bobbed wigs, rainbow suspenders, boas, and any number of colorful plastic hats. I love Halloween. I love dressing up, forgoing standards and rules. In college I dressed up probably once a week (theme parties/date functions/getting bored with skin tight dresses) — off the top of my head I can recall that I was Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island, a mime, half of The Shining Twins, an elf, a hurricane, an 80s prom queen. I was sexy and scary and strange. I wore layers and a few times I wore basically my underwear. I shivered in a bikini top and boxer shorts in November. I tripped in the same thrift store gold glitter cowboy boots every season. For one night, I got to be whoever I wanted to be.
A few days ago, the inimitable Cate Blanchett made an InStyle awards speech, saying “Women like looking sexy, but it doesn’t mean we want to fuck you.” The response was an overwhelming “PREACH!” And here we are, on the eve of Halloween, when dressing sexy (ok, ok, not necessarily like Blanchett in her red-striped Givenchy get-up, but sexy nonetheless) is a given. Sexy nurse, sexy princess, sexy witch, sexy puppy. One time I dressed like a sexy manifestation of post modern literature. You can make anything sexy on Halloween. But that doesn’t mean we want to fuck you.
So, in the wake of the news that John Besh and Harvey Weinstein allegedly assualted multiple women (and men), on the eve of Halloween in booze-driven college town, I say: let’s all remember a few simple rules, men and women alike.
Don’t be an asshole.
Don’t grab a stranger.
Don’t assume ANYTHING about a person based on their COSTUME.
Don’t slut shame.
It feels exhausting and honestly silly to even type this out. But we have to. We have to keep saying it until our throats are raw and our eyes are bloodshot and our shoulders are up around our ears, carrying the weight of a million silenced voices. Sexy doesn’t equal slutty. No never means yes. Women can wear what they want. Women can drink what they want. So go ahead, dress as Mr. Potato Head, or Wonder Woman, or Eleven, or a box of Eggos. And let your neighbor do the same. It’s Halloween, y’all. Let’s let everyone, starting with this one night, be whoever they want to be.