CREEPY CAMPUS: 5 spooky halloween stories of 2019
From “cultural appropriation,” to “offensive costumes,” campuses across the country have injected their personal biases into the holiday.
Campus Reform has put together a list of the top 5 Halloween stories from this year.
Topping the list is a recent survey finding that a majority of American college students support punishments being administered to their peers who wear costumes considered to be "highly offensive."
The poll, conducted by College Pulse, found that support for punishment was even higher at Ivy League institutions, with 58 percent of Ivy League students supporting punishments for certain costumes.
Educators at Maryville University hosted a “Cultural Appropriation & Cultural Appreciation” workshop to help students understand the appropriateness of Halloween costumes.
According to the slideshow and presentation, cultural appropriation is “cultural genocide.” One listed example for reasons cultural appropriation exists was “capitalism.”
The presentation also encouraged students not to “accessorize,” noting that nose rings and bangle style bracelets are examples of cultural appropriation.
A professor at Rutgers University - Camden wrote an op-ed lamenting a ‘Sexy Mr. Rogers’ costume for reflecting “Halloween’s worst tendency” of gender norms and “sexualization of women.”
The costume was a spin on the television personality Fred Rogers, whose biopic starring Tom Hanks is due out later this year.
“Ideally, Halloween costumes present an opportunity to expand the possibilities of children’s identities — giving children a chance to experiment with clothing, which is one of the major ways gender is expressed in our culture,” professor Stuart Charmé, wrote. “From the moment we dress an infant in a pink or blue onesie, clothing is very connected to this understanding of culturally enforced gender presentation.”
Charmé argued that Halloween is a better experience for boys than it is for girls.
“'Sexy Mr. Rogers' sums this up perfectly. Boys’ costumes express power and agency, while girls’ versions emphasize beauty and sexual appeal,” Charmé added. “A large number of Halloween costumes are inspired by comic book/movie superheroes. Boys’ costumes offer extensive choices and possibilities for instant muscles and superhuman powers. Not so much for girls. Their limited options usually include extra ruffles and ribbons for younger children, and tighter-fitting, revealing, and sexualized costumes for older ones.”
In a recent op-ed, the editorial board of the student newspaper at the University of Florida told students to “leave the racist costumes at the store," warning against cultural appropriation and “racist interpretations” of other cultures.
“If your costume has centuries worth of cultural significance and history behind it, it’s not a costume. It’s an insult,” the editorial board members wrote.
The piece commented on several costumes such as an "Indian princess" costume and a costume with a “fake mustache” and “sombrero.”
“Native Americans are people. They’re not fashion statements, not mascots, and certainly not costumes for people to look tacky in.”
California Polytechnic University published a Halloween guide reminding students to celebrate Halloween in a “respectful" manner, complete with a flowchart to help students understand which costumes were “respectful.” The flowchart asked students to decide whether their costumes were supposed to be funny and consider whether the costume was “making fun of someone’s identity.”
“Does my costume reduce cultural differences to jokes, stereotypes, or historical/cultural inaccuracies,” the flowchart asks.
The flowchart also reminded students that “costumes that exaggerate different body shapes and sizes for the purpose of a laugh are not ok.”
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