The New York Times has some advice for parents considering what costume their preteen girls should wear this Halloween: Go “sexy.”
For the Times, columnist Leora Tanenbaum, a senior writer and editor for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, tells parents that if their little girls want to play “sexy cat,” then they should let them don the whiskers, fishnet stockings, and skimpy leotards. Or, Tanenbaum helpfully writes, let your little angel be a “Sexy police officer. Sexy nurse. Sexy angel. Sexy devil.”
The Planned Parenthood operative goes on to quote several teenaged girls who say that girls are “supposed to wear a sexy costume” at Halloween. Why? “Because everyone knows it,” we are told.
Tanenbaum then goes on to evoke a list of feminist buzzwords to convince readers that allowing a little girl to go sexy is a good idea.
“Helping your daughter put together a costume she feels confident in requires consideration of the conflicting pressures she may be experiencing and opening a dialogue with her about everyday sexism,” she writes, turning a little girl’s Halloween into a feminist teaching moment.
Approvingly quoting a character played by actress Lindsey Lohan, Tanenbaum writes, “Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”
The writer finally notes that there is a danger of a child dressing too sexy. “The pressure to be sexy without being slutty can ruin the holiday,” she says.
Naturally, Tanenbaum sees racism in Halloween, too. “Many girls of color feel the pressure particularly intensely,” she says.
Then there are “body issues” that girls have when choosing the “sexy cat” route. Tanenbaum warns of that these “pressures” may be too much for some girls.
Only after spending many paragraphs extolling the “sexy” look does Tanenbaum then tell parents to “set reasonable limits,” especially if that costume might bring unwanted attention from boys or lead to “body shaming.”
Still, Tanenbaum notes, in true feminist form, a girl should be allowed to choose her own costume because “what’s really important” is “how she feels about herself, and whether she recognizes the larger sexist forces at play.”
Now the Times joins Salon.com with sex advice for kids. Salon recently regaled readers with the story of Todd Nickerson, the self-described “virtuous pedophile,” who feels he is “not the monster you think me to be.”
So, while Salon gives space to pedophiles to try and normalize their predilections, the New York Times is ready to urge parents to give the Todd Nickersons of the world something to “share” on their favorite “pro-contact” kiddie porn sites.
Just remember, parents, when your little girl is knocking on doors in her “sexy cat” costume on Halloween that she should say “cheese” when the local Todd Nickerson comes to the door with his cell phone in one hand and a bowl of popcorn balls in the other.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.