In many spheres the gender equality gap is slowly but surely closing - but Halloween highlights one area where the chasm seems only to widen with the passing of time: and that's our ability to dress up.
Let's start with a potted history of Halloween:
It's thought to derive from the pagan Celtic festival of Samhain, and marks the eve of Celtic New Year. On this day the divide between between life and death and the past and future were thought to evaporate, allowing spirits to roam freely amongst the living.
Somewhere along the line some clever marketing types realised that this was a great hook for boosting pumpkin and confectionery sales, and a ghoulish version of trick-or-treating, apple bobbing and kids pumped up on E numbers came into force.
Then womankind decided that Halloween is synonymous with the Playboy mansion dress code.
Tenuous doesn't even begin to cover this train of thought.
It's very easy to do this mutant form of Halloween dressing: just prefix something ghoulish with the word 'sexy', hoist up your skirt (or, even better, give your skirt night off), stick on some fishnets, a push-up bra and complete the look with a scrap of flammable fabric. Then you're good to go. This weekend the streets will be strewn with sexy vampires, sexy witches, sexy cat, sexy spider and sexy devils. I hope a few will break the mould and channel sexy Virginia Woolf, a sexy smelly old gym sock and sexy inexplicable melancholy.
I realise this all sounds a bit Mary Whitehouse but it's not that I am prudish about women wanting to look sexy; it's just the collision X-rated porno and X-rated gore that I find odd, with the former overshadowing the latter, or the gore element being dropped entirely. When did it be OK for adults not on Hugh Hefner's payroll to start dressing like French maids? And since when did French maids become notorious slutbags? And what exactly do these supposed French maid slutbags have to do with All Hallows Eve? Men don't suffer this existential crisis at Halloween, they just worry about looking gruesome.
Halloween is used by women as a good excuse to revert to primal urges, and just like a female baboon's red buttocks, a sexy cat costume is an effective way to quicken the pulse of potential mates. But the question is this: do you really want to attract a man who is attracted to sexy cats? There's a word for that kind of fetish.
I suggest that women ditch the sexy prefix look to Heidi Klum, the unofficial ambassador of Halloween proper - after all, if a supermodel is happy to give her vanity a night off, surely we all can.
And if you're really stuck for ideas, look to genius website Take Back Halloween. Here you can find practical advice for transforming into the likes of Pele the volcano goddess of Hawaii, nuclear fission scientist Lise Meitner and Jezebel - and all ensure that the only thing publicly bobbing on Halloween night are apples.
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