Commentary: Halloween costumes not befitting of females

The New York Times has published a wealth of articles this week on the sexualization of Halloween. The thrust of the articles is that women are embracing bitty little costumes rather than traditional fat pumpkins, goofy animals or hideous witches.

These days, as women parade out their doors and into a night of parties and bar hopping, costumes are usually sexy nurses, fairies, pirates or cops that sport butt-grazing skirts, sexually-evocative “instruments” like handcuffs and plenty of cleavage to top off the outfit. There is perhaps no better place to observe this phenomenon than a college campus.

After five years on this campus, I feel confident saying Northeastern females are among the best of the best at sexing up their Halloween costumes. I was once a racy little cowgirl with guns, pigtails and a shirt held together with a precarious knot. I’ve seen every classic costume ripped apart and paired with teetering heels to achieve the desired sexy effect. The girls of Northeastern know how to look hot on Halloween.

What’s interesting about this development on our campus is the seriousness of female students while in classes and student groups. The women of Northeastern are not second-class citizens of the university. They are often the first to speak up in class, the most likely to get an “A” on a paper or the most effective members of student organizations. Now, easy boys, I’m not saying that the women of Northeastern are smarter than the men. However, when in an academic setting, they expect equality.

The other day, I attended a presentation by Sompop Jantraka, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, who discussed his work to combat human trafficking in Thailand. The room was packed with Northeastern’s young women. They listened attentively and asked important questions. Certainly, the women in that room consider themselves to be serious university students, with valuable and important goals, and intelligent things to say.

So why do we turn ourselves into sexed-up walking Playboy magazines when the calendar turns to Oct. 31? It seems to me that we sell our daytime academic selves a bit short when we become Halloween Barbies at night.

– Emme Schultz is a senior political science major.

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