I think experiencing Halloween Samhain-style in Edinburgh this year moved me to write again to the Griffin, responding to an op-ed by an old friend, about what she felt was the the “slut” culture of Halloween, and how that (again, in her opinion) works against feminist progress.
I didn’t really need much of a spur, here – I’m consistently appalled when men and women, some waving the stolen banner of feminism, label a stubborn, creaky patriarchy as “progress,” or the status quo as “all we hoped for” or all that the movement can achieve. And I’m even more incensed when I hear people complaining about “sluttiness” on Halloween.
Samhain – a torch-bearing procession through Old Town, Edinburgh, and an elaborate pageant outside the National Gallery – was a refreshing reminder that Halloween is really all about death, sex, and drunkenness. Good ol’ paganism.
So, when so-called feminists, or anyone, really, criticize women who dress provocatively on 31 October, they’re either misunderstanding feminist aims or demanding that the world acknowledge their restrictive set of gendered expectations – but beyond that, they demonstrate their total ignorance of the holiday’s history.
I regret that I haven’t written much f late; I’ve been engaged in my course readings, and a (final, I hope) revision of my novel, R.S.V.P. Expect more posts in the first week of December, though, because my backlog’s been building steadily: I’ll have reflections and pictures from Bonfire Night, Edinburgh Castle, the local folk music scene, and university life. And, of course, there are a few adventures from the tail end of my stay in Germany that slipped through the cracks – most notably my sojourn in St. Annaberg, Poland, and a learning how to open a wine bottle against a tree by the Rhine in Köln, on the night before my flight to Edinburgh.
As the Scots say (for everything, always): Cheers.
In the meantime, enjoy this pictures from Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Day. #Deathtotyrants