Thursday, October 28, 2010

Penn State prepares for Halloween

My friend shared an article from our student-run, University newspaper. I thought I could keep my comments to myself, but ended up writing more than he probably wanted to read on his facebook page, so I'm going to post it here as well.

Regarding this article about Halloween at Penn State.

I am, at the same time, speechless, and brimming with things to say.

As my favorite holiday (and wedding anniversary), I tend to expect a lot more than other people out of Halloween costumes. Yes, it is a time to dress up, but not just to be skanky. Furthermore, it isn't as if skimpy, low-cut tops, and nearly absent skirts are a rarity in State College on any Thursday, Friday or Saturday night. Sure, costumes may show off bare skin, or be skin tight (for both females and males), but take some initiative and put a little thought into it. It is entirely possible to come up with something unique and creative that can be somewhat provocative and show off ingenuity. How about that? Girls can be both smart AND sexy.

Also, as a biologist, and a rational human being, am quite frustrated that the author tries to blame dressing like a trollop on some biological imperative, and then goes on to contradict herself by saying that, in reality, the kinds of "relationships" that will be produced by this sort of behavior only last 8 hours or less. It is not particularly advantageous to a female, who will be investing a large amount of time and energy into her offspring, to mate with the first package of semen that walks by. There are so many social mores that shape how and what we think, independent of evolutionary history, that to boil it down, and not even get it correct is annoying.

I'm distraught by how accepting, and even embracing, the author is of the slut-fest that costume manufacturers cater to. I don't think that costume-makers, or any other business in our capitalistic society make items and expect people to buy them because that is what is available. They make these outfits because that is what people are choosing to spend the most money on. If people quit buying "skirts up to here" costumes, the companies would put out other products.

Her main thesis, though, it seems, is that, more than any other holiday, Halloween is the time of year to whore-it-up, and that's exactly what college students, such as herself, should do.

Way to keep it classy, Penn State.

As an aside, I am taken aback by how many words there are to describe a female who is perceived to be sexually disreputable, and the glaring lack of similar words that apply to males, or that are gender neutral. 

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