Easy Steps To Respect Women This Halloween

October 25th 2015

Mackensie Graham

Cueing back to the infamous wisdom of "Mean Girls": "Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it."

As The New York Times recently pointed out, at Halloween, girls equate sinister with sexy, which is why every year there is a new catalog of "sexy" costumes, related to daily jobs or cultural memes. A life-saving nurse becomes sexy marijuana nurse. A kid's movie about yellow creatures transforms, and a minion becomes “Desirable Me.” Stranger still, hothead presidential candidate Donald Trump morphs into “Donna T. Rumpshaker,” a short-short suit-up getup.

“What even are you?” “I’m a pizza rat. Duh.”


If sexy costumes are your thing, work it: They’re fun, and flirty can feel empowering as hell. Regardless of shape, size, or style, your costume is your individual, confident choice.

But despite the amount of fabric a person excises to create sexualized characters out of animals, nuns, or Girl Scouts, you should remember that showing more skin on Halloween doesn’t change the rules of respect, for men or women.

In between hitting up the local showing of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," carving pumpkins, and eating an entire bag of mini candy bars, take the time to remind yourself what R-E-S-P-E-C-T looks like.

Slutty doesn’t mean yes.

With cleavage or not, a costume doesn’t change the rules of engagement. Whether a costume is a regular ‘ole autumn sweater or a military uniform (that would not at all hold up in battle) or even full-on nudity, it doesn’t automatically signal consent to any sexual or physical activity.

How can you tell if someone wants to get down? Ask explicitly.

Keep in mind that even if a Halloween hottie says "yes," no one can consent fully if he or she is incapacitated by drugs or alcohol. Such substances impair judgment. Be a good person, protect yourself legally, and just don't do it. If someone really want to sleep with you, they'll do so when the mask comes off and the hangover subsides.


You’ve heard it before, but take a long sip of this good advice: Don’t roofie people. Roofies, otherwise known as Rohypnol, are a prescription-only sedative (think muscle relaxation) often linked with date rapes. The best way to end the practice of date rape is for individuals to stop using drugs to impair a potential sexual partner.

Until there is the full elimination of the despicable practice, protect against this is to have a hand and eye on your pumpkin spice punch at all times. Know that a predator can be anyone, so be aware of your surroundings. If you plan on getting intoxicated, make sure you have a conscious designated driver around. If you see a clearly unconscious woman being carried out of a club or see someone put a crumbled powder into an unattended drink, say something. Do something. Call someone.

Judgment-free zone.

We all do it. It’s natural to glance over at the woman in the “Perfect Pumpkin Costume” that’s basically just a bikini and make a snap judgment. A first impression may lead to a slew of derogatory words like slut, ho, and thot.

But if you think your ironic play-on-words costume is way better than the woman in the stilettos and booty shorts, just keep it to yourself. If they're not hurting or bothering you, that other person is none of your business. If your crew is throwing mad shade, tell them it’s a waste of energy to engage in slut shaming. At least don’t join in.

Final words.

Halloween is a spooky, sensational holiday made for self-expression. Wear what makes you happy. Don't judge others. And be safe by making smart, responsible, respectful decisions.