Posts Tagged With: Ellen Degeneres

Halloween & Its Distorted Image.

What is Halloween? Well, Caitlin Doughty from The Order of The Good Death can answer that from her episode of Ask a Mortician:

From this description of Halloween, it can be concluded that Halloween has been constantly morphed into different definitions as time went on. Samhain (allegedly) being the origin of the holiday known as Halloween, went from a practice of honoring the dead to a day where we celebrate the best costumes, candy and parties. However, how did the over-sexualized costumes for women ever become part of Halloween? Why has there not been costumes that are over-sexualized for men?

Over-sexualization of Halloween costumes can be a ploy to capitalize on Halloween, a holiday known for the parties that occur. However through this capitalization, it becomes harder for women to find costumes that do not cause their boobs, ass or other parts of their body parts to be shown. This over-sexualization of women and their bodies can be seen as part of objectifying women. Why is there a need for women to be sexy?

Taken from GeekAlerts.com article of “12 Super Sexy Halloween Costumes”

In the post, Have Women Become the New Trick in ‘Trick or Treat’?, fellow blogger says: “Halloween should be an escape from female, body objectification and yet it has only enforced it by making it into a contemporary tradition.” Which is true! Traditions have changed over time as Samhain traditions varies greatly from the Halloween we celebrate. The  Halloween parade held in NYC every year is a good example. The parade is an exhibit of the hard work, time and creativity people have placed in creating their costumes. I remember one year I attended the parade and was astounded by the amazing costumes!

Winner of the NYC’s 2011 Costume Contest at The Village’s Halloween Parade

Over-sexualized Halloween costumes is just an excuse to objectify women while capitalists profit off the holiday. If we are screaming outcry because Jessica Simpson dressed her daughter in a bikini. Then why are we not screaming foul when teen girls and women are dressing up in extremely sexy costumes that accentuates certain parts of their body? Today on Jezebel.com, I came across this appalling piece of “art” also known as the pornkin. It essentially is a carve your own porno! (I am not going to continue…)

As my fellow blogger said, Halloween SHOULD be about an escape from the female objectification. How to do this? Well, pranking someone IS an option, as Halloween IS known for its pranks. Another option is to walk through a Haunted Houses being one…  Niagara Falls Haunted House seems like a great way to spend Halloween. Walking around a haunted house while testing your ability to stay calm, may be a good way to celebrate the day of the dead.

So why succumb to the social pressures to dress sexily when you do not have to? Go out there and have fun! Enjoy the costumes at the Halloween Parade (sadly due to Hurricane Sandy it was cancelled this year) or find a Haunted House to walk through! There are plenty of things to do without having to dress up sexily. If you really want a costume, then make it yourself! Over-sexualized costumes are overpriced anyway!

Fun Fact:

Did you know the word “Marauders” were known as ‘resurrectionists’ who were grave robbers? During the time where there was a major need for corpses to be used to study anatomy, marauders would rob graves for bodies. The significance? The Marauders were a group of school-aged kids from Hogwarts who constantly pulled pranks on their peers. However, they mostly pulled the more malicious pranks on (alleged) Death Eater associates. Ah, the brilliance of J.K. Rowling!

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Verbal and Physical Violence

As discussed in class, compulsory heterosexuality is defined as the viewing of heterosexuality as the norm and anything else is considered deviant from this norm. Rich is quoted saying,

Feminist theory can no longer afford merely to voice a toleration of “lesbianism” as an “alternative life-style,” or make token allusion to lesbians.

The point is for everyone to be treated the same way, regardless of one’s orientation. However in contemporary society, we still see Rich’s belief of compulsory heterosexuality for women in people who have a traditionalist view. This idea can stem from the unwillingness to change our beliefs.

In the beginning of this year talk show host, Ellen, was announced to become the new spokesperson for JC Penney. An issue arose where one group of people were against this decision. They were quoted saying,

By jumping on the pro-gay bandwagon, JC Penney is attempting to gain a new target market and in the process will lose customers with traditional values that have been faithful to them over all these years… The majority of JC Penney shoppers will be offended and choose to no longer shop there.

JC Penney ultimately made their decision and kept Ellen as their spokesperson. This shows us that even in today’s society, there are still people who are unable to accept people who are not heterosexual.

Gays and Lesbians face similar problems especially when it comes to heterosexism, a discrimination of anything other than the “norm”. A gay couple, Barrett Greene and Thomas Eng, sued a restaurant canceled their wedding reception and rehearsal by citing it as “bad for feng shui.” This intolerance is still occurring anywhere and everywhere. What do we need to do in order for everyone to begin to accept all kinds of orientations as the norm? How do begin to accept everyone for who they are?

Caputi mentions that U.S. society is a society and culture obsessed with sexualized images of the murder of women. In The Sexual Politics of Murder Caputi says,

The murders of women and children—including torture and murder by husbands, lovers, and fathers, as well as that committed by strangers—are not some inexplicable evil or the domain of “monsters” only. On the contrary, sexual murder is the ultimate expression of sexuality as a form of power.

The last sentence stood out a lot because it sounds as if it were a justification of sexual murders. In the documentary Defending Our Lives, it surprised me that the police would not do anything when a woman calls 911 to report about domestic violence. The most often heard quote from these women was, “When the cops came and heard it was my husband/boyfriend who beat me, they would just say ‘I can’t do anything about it, I didn’t see anything.” Law enforcement not acting out to protect these women who have clearly been beaten, just encourages the attacker to become a repeat offender and act even more violently. For them, the act of raping and beating someone may be a form of assertion, an act of dominance.

Upper West Side Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (left) at anti-violence news conference in Central Park (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Link to Image

Recently, David Albert Mitchell raped a 73 year-old birdwatcher as an act of retaliation. By overpowering and raping the birdwatcher, Mitchell used these actions as a way to show off his sexuality and power.

CBS Article

ABCNEWS.COM – 73-year-old victim discusses the attack

The Internet has done a few things to transform violence against women through different advocacy sites. In addition, the media can often be seen spreading awareness and quoting advocates speaking out against these violent acts.

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