You all know of course by now that you can’t appropriate other cultures’ artefacts, but did you know you also can’t appropriate wokeness?
It turns out maybe oppression isn’t sexy after all.
Online retailer Yandy listed a “Brave Red Maiden” Halloween costume for nearly $65, referencing the garb women forced into surrogacy wear in Hulu’s series “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The provocative rendition includes a red cape, mini dress and white bonnet.
“An upsetting dystopian future has emerged where women no longer have a say,” the description reads. “However, we say be bold and speak your mind in this exclusive Brave Red Maiden costume.”
The Halloween costume instantly sparked outraged across social media.
But of course.
One Twitter user shared a screenshot of the costume and asked “why,” sarcastically adding “nothing like a sexy rape victim for Halloween fun.”
Another user said, “This is so far from the point I can’t even,” while another added, “Our society doesn’t take the rape of real women seriously, why should they take the rape of fictional women seriously?”
Yandy responded to the brewing controversy by removing the listing from its site. The Phoenix-based company issued an apology in place of the previous link to the costume.
But of course again.
“Over the last few hours, it has become obvious that our “Yandy Brave Red Maiden Costume” is being seen as a symbol of women’s oppression, rather than an expression of women’s empowerment,” the clothing retailer said. “This is unfortunate, as it was not our intention on any level.”
This is reminder that Handmaids are fictional characters from a science fiction alternative history novel, a sort of “The Man in the High Castle” for feminists. Halloween is an occasion to dress up as all sorts of fictional characters, a lot of them tasteless – like a murdered nurse, for example, or a sexy schoolgirl. But hey, if you take on a symbol of Resistance(TM) to non-existing fascism, well, that’s blasphemy and sacrilege. Never mind that women dressing up as Handmaids because they can supposedly see dire parallels between Margaret Atwood’s dystopia and today’s politics are themselves a farce. Maybe the real problem here is that you can’t parody a parody.