Washington Post: Dog Halloween Costumes ‘Sexist’ for Perpetuating Gender Norms

Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images
Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images

The Washington Post has published a piece questioning whether costumes worn by dogs at Halloween are sexist because they perpetuate gender stereotypes.

In an article entitled “Is your dog’s Halloween costume sexist?” the Post’s business reporter Abha Bhattarai claims that the “glass ceiling appears to be firmly in place at PetSmart,” a pet store with a range of costumes for dogs.

Bhattarai bemoans that “career costumes labeled ‘male’ include firefighter and police officer, while female dogs can choose between a pink cowgirl costume and pink loofah.”

She goes on to complain that on BaxterBoo.com, an online pet store, options for female dogs include a “sweet heart nurse or French maid,” whilst the choices for male dogs include “firemen, mob boss and doctor.”

The article quotes Scott Lawrie, who hosts a podcast on “gender issues,” arguing that “it seems silly on the surface, but this is part of a larger message we’re sending, that there are certain jobs for men, and certain jobs for women.”

Bhattarai adds that because of the perceived sexism, “national retailers have begun taking steps to eliminate gender labels from their products,” with stores such as Wal-Mart, Toys-R-Us, and Amazon taking steps to ensure their products are no longer perceived as sexist.

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