Progressive Puritans Try to Ruin Halloween


Traditionally moral scolds have been characterized as creatures of the right, but today all the tsk-tsking arises from the fever swamps of progressive purity. The next victim of these pinched-face church(less) ladies is Halloween.

The College Fix (hat tip to John J. Miller) notes a series of advisories and admonishments being distributed to students around the country. They also reprint a letter issued by a Residence Life coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Madison:

Halloween: Questions to Ask Yourself before Donning a Costume


Ask yourself: Is the humor based on “making fun” of real people, real human traits or cultures? Though intended to be funny, the “Mental Patient” costume by Disguise was considered demeaning, dehumanizing, and humiliating to individuals struggling with a mental illness and their families. Complete with a “Hannibal” type mask and a straightjacket, the costume reinforced stereotypes and fears about persons with mental illness.


Ask yourself: Is the “fear factor” based on real forms of violence or grotesque depictions of human traits? “This scary stud can empty out a full house just by walking through the door,” touts the tag line for Fright Catalog’s “Vato Loco” mask. The bandana clad, tattooed, brown-skinned vinyl creation makes light of gang violence, which takes a serious toll on families and neighborhoods across the country. The costume also sends the message that Latinos are violent.


Ask yourself: If the costume is meant to be historical, does it further misinformation or historical and cultural inaccuracies? The “Indian” get-up prevails each year as culture-turned-costume. But did you know few Native Americans wore buckskin and headbands and even fewer wore them together? Did you know “war paint” and feathers carry religious meaning and were never worn by Native American children?


Ask yourself: If the costume is meant to be beautiful, are these characteristics drawn from commercial references, such as movie characters? Too often, beautiful at Halloween means white, blonde, princess masks. What statement does your Halloween costume make about what constitutes beauty — and about who is beautiful and who isn’t?

And is that dancing I see over there? Knock it off before you offend the wheelchair-bound! (Except for that Greg Abbott fellow. He’s a Republican so that doesn’t count.)

If Hollywood accurately updated the film Footloose for our modern era, John Lithgow’s priest would be replaced with a thick-ankled diversity officer carrying a 1,000-page student conduct code on his/her iPad. It’s Halloween; lighten up already!


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  1. Concretevol Thatcher

    So is it ok to wear either buckskins OR headbands as long as they aren’t worn together???  I am so confused by their complete lack of logic…..


    • #1
  2. Inactive

    So my plan to go around in a Ray Rice jersey dragging a limp mannequin by the hair is wrong?

    People are so sensitive these days.

    • #2
  3. danys Thatcher

    I’m dressing up as a residence life coordinator. Boo!

    • #3
  4. user_1938 Inactive

    Standards of beauty? Oh my!

    Of course, I generally disagree with these hippies. But they are not entirely off base. I agree with Father Fortea in this recent interview, though I can’t speak about Halloweens of many decades ago. He is referring specifically to his experiences in Spain, rather than America.

    The celebration of Halloween one century ago was very naive. It was a question of costumes, some candies, something very familiar and little communities that wanted children to enjoy in a very healthy way. Unfortunately, in the last 15 to 20 years, this celebration has become more and more esoteric or oriented to the occult. Costumes really are very bloody. Something that is disgusting is not beautiful for the children to have a fun time. It’s something horrible and in very bad taste to see children in that way.

    There are two positions. One is to fight Halloween as a whole and not to be involved in any way. The other position is okay with the costumes, okay with a child to be dressed as a prince or an astronaut or Shrek, but nothing dark or demonic. I think perhaps the second position will be easier, especially here in Spain.

    • #4
  5. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M

    The Lopez:So my plan to go around in a Ray Rice jersey dragging a limp mannequin by the hair is wrong?

    People are so sensitive these days.

    ok, that would be hilarious.  I love it.

    For some political humor that would also offend the writers of the above article, a person could go as a giant election results bar, with the senate mostly in red…

    “what are you?”

    “I’m an electoral shift.”

    • #5
  6. Mister D Member
    Mister D

    One of my teacher colleagues came in today sporting an afro (with pick) and a boom box (aka ghetto blaster). Did I mention he is white? Anyway, all the kids (mostly white) found it hysterical. While I didn’t see him, I know if students find anything funny, cell phones will be a-poppin’, and there’s a good someone will make a fuss.

    For the record, I went in dressed as a starfleet office, science divison, circa TNG-era. I hope Jonah approves.

    • #6
  7. 3rd angle projection Member
    3rd angle projection

    Just to be clear, the age limit to wearing a costume is 12. Anything older, you gotta problem. Just sayin’.

    • #7
  8. Larry3435 Member

    It all seems pretty limiting, but you can still dress up as a thick-ankled diversity officer carrying a 1,000-page student conduct code on his/her iPad.

    • #8
  9. HeartofAmerica Inactive

    Concretevol:So is it ok to wear either buckskins OR headbands as long as they aren’t worn together??? I am so confused by their complete lack of logic…..


    Only after Easter and never after Labor Day.

    • #9
  10. Howellis Inactive

    I wish I had seen this earlier. I dressed for Halloween as an old, able-bodied, middle-class, white man.

    Only now that it’s too late do I realize that I was insulting younger, older, differently-abled, poor, rich, black, hispanic, asian, aboriginal, female, transgender, transitioning, gay, lesbian, hipster people. I am deeply ashamed of my insensitivity.

    • #10
  11. Howellis Inactive

    When I think of all the people who could have been offended by the costumes I saw last night on the streets of my daughter’s neighborhood, it makes me sad. I might have seen all of these and many, many more last night:

    • hirsute people offended by wolfman costumes
    • Wiccans offended by witch costumes
    • people with long (or no) fingernails offended by Wolverine costumes
    • people who have suffered from police brutality offended by police costumes
    • people who may have come across dead bodies in the woods offended by zombie costumes
    • fruit-intolerant people offended by banana costumes
    • red-haired people with pasty white faces offended by evil clown costumes
    • Indians offended by cowboy costumes
    • illegal aliens offended by “Alien” costumes

    But the most offensive of all was a 3-year old boy I saw dressed as Thomas the Train. If you don’t know why this is offensive there is no hope for you.

    • #11
  12. Guruforhire Inactive

    something something obesity.

    • #12
  13. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    I dressed as Professor Sprout, Herbology professor at Hogwarts and Head of Hufflepuff House, of which I am a member.  At work, we had the princess from “Frozen”, Bill Nye, the Science Guy, Little Red Riding Hood, a cowgirl, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Humpty Dumpty, and the funniest costume of all was a lady who dressed as another of our employees.  The employee is a guy in our Sales department who dyes his Mohawk hair blue and has a goatee that he lets grow down below his chin.  They met each other in the hallway, and the laughter could be heard throughout the entire building.  The lady who dressed as him wore a blue wig and a fake goatee, and also copied his badge picture and stuck it over her own badge.  And nobody was offended!

    • #13
  14. user_428379 Thatcher

    Halloween stopped being fun for me when I reached adulthood.  I’m not sure, but as a kid, I don’t remember adults celebrating Halloween like they do today.  My parents may have once when I was very young, and they hired a sitter and went to a party.  Perish the thought that they would actually costume up during work.  They grew up during the Great Depression.  Maybe it’s another example of them being more serious than the seceding  adult generations.  It seems that Halloween was for kids (and like going out to play in general, we went trick or treating without parental supervision).

    The outfit I work for, an electrical utility, has both office workers and blue collar workers.  In a way, the blue collar workers now have a more stringent dress code, because their work clothes have to be electrically safe.  So we had a few office workers dress up, but no field personnel.

    Field personnel have a kind of default attitude towards office workers, that they have it easier than they do, and that they have more of an opportunity to dawdle on the job.  Office workers playing dress up only exacerbates that attitude.

    My job has one foot in both camps, where sometimes I’m in the field instead of the office.  That’s not why I didn’t dress up, it’s just that I never could be bothered as an adult.

    • #14
  15. Qoumidan Coolidge

    I’m not terribly creative in my costumes. I made a baby seal outfit for my 3 month old baby and put ‘x’s for the eyes. Then I carried him around while wearing a heavy coat and knit cap with “I (club symbol) baby seals” across the front. I’m pretty proud of it.

    • #15
  16. Inactive

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:Jon, the Left loves Halloween. It’s the one time of the year that they can roam among the public as themselves.

    • #16
  17. Metalheaddoc Member

    Maybe we oughta refer to them as Neo-Puritans instead of Progressives.

    • #17
  18. Howellis Inactive

    Isn’t going to university insensitive to people who are too stupid to get in, or too poor to afford the tuition?

    • #18
  19. DrewInWisconsin Member

    Halloween needs to come with a trigger warning.

    • #19
  20. Goddess of Discord Member
    Goddess of Discord

    I met my husband at a Halloween costume party in 1980. I was a Plutonian, dressed in a child’s costume I bought at Woolworth’s. He was dressed in the standard uniform of a young banker at leisure- khaki’s and a button down. Magic ensued. We married the next August. I deeply regret any offense given to any Plutonian or young banker.

    • #20
  21. Misthiocracy Member

    My favourite costume as a kid was a mailbox.

    Made out of cardboard and paint, it was incredibly realistic once it got dark.

    I was able to sit on the sidewalk and scare the bejeebus out of people when they walked by.

    • #21
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