Why Do Women Violate Social Norms

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Halloween is a time where people can legally and normatively violate social norms, that are typically most rigid for women, based on how they should act, think, and appear, in order to maintain skewed power dynamics that makes them inferior, and thus, controlled by men and their own selfish objectives. While there are indeed gendered expectations about how men and women should dress even on a day like Halloween, that although defies social norms, fails to defy gender norms, it is problematic to assume that all women dress in hypersexual manners during this celebration to “impress the men.” Once again, this assumes that everything women does, along with her appearance on a day when everyone’s appearances are intended to defy the norms and typical …show more content…
During the rest of the 364 days of the year, women are expected to act and appear asexual, unless indicated to do so otherwise by men’s sexual cues or expectations. This may be why it seems so shocking that one day out of the year, people are faced with the fact that like men, women too are sexual beings. This is because everyone’s interpretation of “sexy” is different, as this is a subjective concept that varies between cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs, and it is ethnocentric and selfish to assume that all women’s ideas of sexy should adhere to one’s own, simply just to ease another person’s discomfort. Just like women who are raped and then victim shamed for “asking for it” by their supposedly “provocative” clothing, women who dress in sexual Halloween costumes are not asking for males’ gazes, nor their offensive comments or gestures. Women should not also feel pressured to justify or explain their sexualized costume, because just as women have the right to their own bodies, they are also in charge of their own free-will, including how they choose to dress on …show more content…
Even if men’s costumes were as sexualized as women’s they would still receive less criticism about it from the public, because men are permitted to express their sexuality, even in hypersexual forms, without being labeled as “sluts” or “whores.” Their rates of rape and sexual assault during this holiday would still be lower than women’s, because despite being hypersexualized, their hypermasculinity would remain intact. As a radical, woman of color feminist, I too have participated in what is often referred to as “slutoween” and dressed in very provocative costumes, not to please or satisfy anyone’s visuals and sexual appetite, except for my own. I also have referred to Halloween in this context because it reclaims a term that is often used against women and their sexuality, and redirects the jab at slut shamers as this term is now used as a representation of newfound power. That is because this word can no longer hurt or shame women as it does not holds any power or significant meaning anymore, if we, as a collective, steal its power that was once used against us. For a very commercialized holiday that is often

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