Whew! Halloween is over, so we won't have to endure any more tut-tutting about politically incorrect costumes.
This year–I call it peak offended-sensibility year–colleges got into the costume-policing act, providing posters, flow charts, and even "costume consultants" in the form of campus diversity officers who could be phoned for advice on whether wearing that orange jumpsuit might hurt the feelings of prisoners, or whether it would be just too cruel to atttend an Oct. 31 party dressed up as Hillary Clinton:
“Unsure if your costume is offensive? Don’t be scared to ask questions,” a State University of New York at Geneseo poster reads, with the contact information of no less than five campus officials….
And at Geneseo, even that college girls' Halloween standby, the prostitute outfit, was off-limits: No "Ho's &…" theme parties, please, the poster warned. Apparently lots of sensitive sex-workers in Geneseo.
An article in Bustle listed seven different "culturally appropriative" costumes for its readers to avoid. Besides the expected Indian maiden ("hypersexualizing Native women") and gypsy ("perpetuate stereotypes of the Roma being strange and mysterious thieves that dress like fortune tellers"), the list also included:
* Caitlyn Jenner (even though the Vanity Fair cover girl said herself that she wasn't offended): "turns trans identities into a dress-up game,"
* Saris: symbols of "years of colonialist abuse by white European powers."
* Egyptian goddess costumes: Cleopatra died 2,000 years ago, but there might still be some Isis-worshippers around to object to the "stereotypical portrayal of Egyptians."
The only breath of fresh air in this suffocatingly self-righteous scene came from Bill Maher. Ever the equal-opportunity offender, Maher, on his Friday show, lambasted the Halloween correctness brigadem according to Salon:
“Do you think most Mexicans wear sombreros and sequined suits?” Maher asked. “No, just the ones who play that horrible music while you’re trying to eat. Another one they hate, geisha, oh, who is that going to offend, the geisha who lives in the apartment upstairs? There’s 12 geishas in the whole world, and they’re all in Kyoto. they’re never going to find out you dressed like them at the office party in Irvine,” he joked.
After displaying some photoshops of himself in a Pocohantas and similar "offensive" costumes, Maher ranted, "I'm going to vote Republican, because I just can't stant being on the same team as these humorless jackoffs."