In today’s New York Times , Allison Glock, a mother of two and – let me guess, a feminist? – decries the Halloween costumes on sale at her local Target, Wal-Mart, and K-Mart.
I walked past the displays for the sexy devil and the sexy bunny and the sexy leopard . . . before happening upon the wall of full adult costumes. The first was Tavern Lady, an off-the-shoulder dress and faux-leather vest. It was followed by French Maid (ruffled mini-dress with matching headpiece), Cheerleader (pleated micro-mini and fitted vest) and Wonder Woman, which had not only a nearly invisible skirt but also red vinyl boot covers that reached to the thigh.
Glock is dismayed by all this, but not for the reasons you might think. You might suppose that a self-respecting, grown-up woman would be offended by the triumph of male adolescent fantasies in the costume aisles of leading retailers (though why any grown-up is shopping for costumes at all remains a mystery). You might suppose that she would resent this commercial assault on women’s dignity. But no, Ms. Glock lacks the vocabulary to object in those terms. Instead she protests that there was “no male equivalent of the Stewardess . . . no Hot Fireman [or] Sexy C.E.O.”
Sure, degrade men as well. That’s the ticket.