"Halloween Makes You Not Want To Have Daughters" Tweets Are Sexist As Hell, But The Responses Are Gold
As much as I love Halloween, few things make me despair quite as much as all the comments — pretty much exclusively from straight, cisgender men — that tend to pop up on the holiday about how “Halloween makes them not want to have daughters.” Happily, though, this year, scads and scads of Twitter responses to men saying Halloween makes them not want daughters rose up out of the depths of the internet — and what somany of them do so wonderfully is point out exactly why the statement “Halloween makes me not want daughters” is so problematic. It’s not a funny joke; it perpetuates rape culture in some truly alarming ways.
In all honesty, there are obviously a lot of reasons the whole “Halloween makes me not want daughters” thing is problematic, but the two most glaring are these: It simultaneously slut-shames and victim-blames women and femmes who wear sexy Halloween costumes. On the subject of slut-shaming, saying “Halloween makes me not want daughters”implies that the reason it makes you not want daughters is so you don’t have to deal with your daughters owning their sexuality. What’s more, it implies that women and femmes shouldn’t be sexual at all, perpetuating the obsession with “purity” and virginity our culture has harbored for centuries.
But if people want to dress up in sexy Halloween costumes, that’s their prerogative — and they should be free to do so without being shamed for their choice. Also, fun fact: When someone dresses in a sexy getup, it’s not necessarily for the benefit of the straight, male gaze. In fact, it’s often because it makes them feel good and they like they look in it. What a concept!
Rolling my eyes at the guys tweeting they “never want daughters” because of Halloween costumes 🙄— Taylar (@Tschassen) October 29, 2017
Which brings us to the second point: If people dress up in sexy costumes, they should also be free to do so without their costume being read as an invitation for sexual harassment or assault. Saying “Halloween makes me not want daughters” implies that, if daughters wear sexy Halloween costumes, then men will obviously not be able to keep their hands off them — so if they get groped, harassed, or assaulted, then it’s obviously because they chose to wear sexy costumes, rather than because the person who committed the harassment or assault chose to harass or assault someone else. This is classic victim-blaming, placing the responsibility for the unwanted behavior squarely on the shoulders of the survivor, rather than on the shoulders of the person it really belongs to — the perpetrator.
What’s more, this slut-shaming and victim-blaming occur in a society where often, the only pre-made costumes available to women and femmes ar eof the sexy variety, making the whole thing something of a catch 22. It’s a point that’s been made repeatedly — and will no doubt continue to be made for as long as it’s necessary — but it’s worth noting again, especially here: Sexy Halloween costumes aren’t a problem simply for existing (although there are definitely some costumes that probably shouldn't exist in "sexy" form); they become a problem when they’re the only options available to women and femmes, and sadly, that’s often the case.
To those stating, "halloween makes me not want to have a daughter".. for the sake of girls everywhere, I hope you don't pic.twitter.com/h7Ig68KSxp— TT (@nososoccer181) October 31, 2017
Just a quick look at a standard costume purveyor shows the dramatic difference between costumes marketed to women versus those marketed to men — and that difference is that if, say, women want to dress as firefighters, their options are limited to sexy ones, while if men want to dress as firefighters, they can just, y’know, dress like actual firefighters. It’d be awesome if women and femmes had the option to choose between sexy firefighter costumes and non-sexy firefighter costumes, but that option often just isn’t available.
So, within this context, by slut-shaming and victim-blaming women and femmes for wearing sexy Halloween costumes when those costumes are often the only options available for them, we’re really saying, “If you want to dress up on Halloween, you have to dress up as something sexy — but if you dress up as something sexy, you’ll be bashed for it at best and assaulted at worst. Also, whatever happens to you as a result of you wearing something sexy, you’ll only have yourself to blame for it.” It’s a lose-lose situation
When it comes to sexy Halloween costumes, the point is always about choice — about being able to dress however you want, whether that’s as a sexy wizard or in the most authentic Pennywise getup the world has ever seen. Both are valid choices (asis any other choice, either between or outside of those ones): If sexy costumes aren’t someone’s cup of tea, they should be able to choose from non-sexy options; however, if someone loves dressing up in sexy Halloween costumes, they should be free to do so without facing slut-shaming, unwanted comments or behavior, or victim-blaming if they do end up dealing with unwanted comments or behavior. It’s really quite simple.
And the folks of Twitter nailed it. These responses highlight both the issues with “jokes” about Halloween and daughters and the hypocrisy of those who make those “jokes.”
1The Guy Who Says Halloween Makes Him Not Want Daughters Is Also This Guy
"Omg Halloween is a reminder to NEVER have a daughter omfg!!!"— putt🔮 (@puttdaprophet) October 29, 2017
- a guy that sends mass dick pics and "wyd" at 2am
Pot. Kettle. You know how it goes.
2And This Guy
"Halloween makes me pray that I never have a daughter"— Joy to the World (@JoyKuhlo) October 31, 2017
First of all, the phrase "send nudes" is at the top of your vocab
Here is your regular reminder that a woman or femme should not have to be your wife, mother, or daughter in order to deserve to be treated with respect.
3And This Guy
boys that say “I hope I don’t have daughters” because of Halloween are the same boys that grabbed my ass after I told them I have a bf🙂— Jordan Hinz (@JordanRaeHinz) October 29, 2017
Don't like the idea of men harassing or assaulting someone you care about? Don't harass or assault other people, either.
4And Also This Guy
The guys tweeting about not wanting daughters because of how girls dress on Halloween are only nervous because they're the guys who treat girls differently bc of how they're dressed.— Haley Glass (@glass_haley) October 30, 2017
7This Guy, Too
all the boys tweeting about how “halloween makes them hope they never have daughters” are the ones who dm slide begging “to smash”— megs ⚡️ (@_megannfordd_) October 30, 2017
It's also possible that The Guy Who Makes "Jokes" About Halloween And Daughters is actually ALL Of These Guys.
6Maybe There's Some Inner Reflection Going On?
do guys tweet about not wanting daughters on halloween bc they realize how badly they/their friends treat girls based on clothing choices???— Jnev (@jnevvv) October 30, 2017
I mean, I'm doubtful that these guys are introspective enough to realize that this is exactly what they do to other people, but... maybe they are?
7"Jake" Is That Guy
"Halloween makes me not wanna have daughters" ya ok I'm sure your mom's really proud of you throwing your body off the roof of a house to land on a table and smash it at a darty, Jake.— Kaitlyn Mack (@KaitlynMack3) October 30, 2017
Apologies if you are named Jake and you are not That Guy. We all know a "Jake," though, right? Even if his name is not actually Jake?
8"Josh" Is Also That Guy
"halloween makes me not wanna have daughters" ya & im sure ur mom would be so proud of u snorting coke in the basement of house parties Josh— steamed clams (@samsobah) October 29, 2017
Maybe his name is "Josh."
9So Is "Brad"
"halloween makes me hope i never have daughters" okay brad but all these sexual assault allegations don't make you hope you never have sons?— charlee sheen (@Charlee_Reiff) October 31, 2017
SERIOUSLY. Like, you're more worried about women and femmes making specific wardrobe choices than you are about men and boys harassing and assaulting people??? You, uh... might want to re-examine your priorities, "Brad."
10Oh, And Also "Greg"
“Halloween makes me pray I don’t have daughters”— Samantha Cole (@ItsSamDuhhh) October 31, 2017
OK GREG THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN, LET PEOPLE DECORATE THEIR FLESH PRISONS HOW THEY WANT
Just let people wear whatever they want, because honestly, it has nothing to do with you, "Greg."
11And "Chad." Let's Not Forget Him.
“Halloween makes me not want to have daughters” ya like ur daughter would want your slut shaming emotionally abusive ass as a father, Chad— four-eyed fuck (@erinrouxx) October 30, 2017
You don't want daughters, "Chad?" Well, maybe daughters don't want you, either. Just sayin'.
12This Is The Example All Those Guys Should Be Following
Them: Halloween makes me not want daughters— Ethan Drew (@TheEthanDrew) October 31, 2017
Me: I’m excited to raise my daughters to represent their gender however the fuck they want
Yes. This. More of this, please.
halloween doesnt really worry me about one day having daughters. wear what u want. just pray that yall teach our future sons what consent is— Malik Ojuri (@malik_ojuri) October 31, 2017
And more of this, as well.
14But If This Is You...
halloween makes me hope I don't have any daughters. sons either. raising kids looks hard. always crying and screaming lol f that— THiCKEY (@RickeyForrest) October 31, 2017
That's fine, too. You do you, whether that's a family full of kids or a child-free one.