Thursday, October 9, 2008

Green Skin Optional

As I was saying, I hate the reducing of an important part of history and culture to an opportunity for yet more cheap commercialism. I fucking hate it with a fiery passion, and with this holiday it's personal.

Witches are a big part of the imagery of Halloween; hell, lots of girls dress up as a witch at some point. But honestly? I find it to be as stereotypical and lazy as putting on some buckskin and a feather headband and calling yourself an "Indian" for Halloween. It's othering, it's tired, and frankly it annoys me. Am I being "too PC"? Am I spoiling your Halloween fun? Yeah, I don't care. The next stupid 'witch' image I see is gonna send me running for the hills; I just can't get away from them. Toss-up whether it'll be of a "sexy witch" in a black minidress or a "spooky witch" with green skin and warts.

I'm a witch. I'm a Wiccan. They're not the same, just so you know.
And would you believe it? I don't ride a broomstick. I don't own a cauldron, or turn people into frogs (although that might be kinda cool), or have green skin (who the hell has green skin, anyway?), or wear a pointy hat. I have a cat, but she's not black.

I have no problem with "mainstream Halloween". Holidays are important for a reason. They're part of the culture that shapes us, and that's a big deal. Also, who doesn't love an excuse to party? It's fun, and maybe someone occasionally thinks about the 'why' behind the costumes and candy- anything that sparks intellectual curiosity can't be too bad. The problem I have is with throwing on a tired stereotype because it's easy or because it came with a short skirt. There are so many things to be, can we please just kind of retire this one thing? I promise the mummies won't revolt, nor will Frankenstein's monster, nor the Wolfman, if scary's what you're after. Vampires are still up for grabs, even.

Seriously, before you go out dressed as a witch for Halloween this year, totin' your broom and wearing your pointy hat, think about it. Think about how offensive you'd say it was to do this to say, Asians, or POCs- yeah, some idiots still think "blackface" is funny. It's maybe not quite as asshole-tastic, but it's a matter of degree, in my opinion. You aren't a witch, a Spanish senorita, or a Japanese geisha (unless you actually are), so why appropriate these images for this one day, instead of doing something creative? Hell, you could be the sexiest mustard bottle ever.

Think about it. And think about the very angry lecture I will give you, should I happen to see you dressed as a witch.