Growing up I didn't celebrate Halloween. My mother, being a strong, born-again Christian, wanted to spare her children from the images of death, horror, and macabre generally associated with the holiday. That didn't mean we missed out. Every October 31st, our local church threw a "Hallelujah" party, where the kids and grownups dressed up as their favorite Bible characters and participated in the great American tradition of gorging on candy.
While my mother protected us from something she felt was wrong, we were never deprived of what made that time of year fun: dressing up in colorful costumes and eating our weight in chocolate.
She just deprived us of the danger and embarrassment that is trick or treating.
What's key about my mother's decision is that it only affected our family. It was a personally held conviction that dictated how she raised her children. It was a choice, born from the idea that in America, we are free to live our lives how we see fit.
Yet today, there are those within our society who are demanding that everyone bows to their personal whims. They believe their own, highly personal convictions, should be forced on the populace. Ironically, I'm not talking about conservative Christians, but left-wing activists.
Social justice warriors, not content to make politics, Hollywood, and social media miserable, have set their sights on one of the most celebrated holidays in America. It seems like this branch of the left feels that not even a time for fun should be spared their severe view of the world.
Last year drama erupted in Yale as professors started to dictate what their students "should" wear when they went to their Halloween keggers and parties. Apparently a time for good-natured mischief should be policed and judged by the regressive left, as in everything else. When Erika Christakis, a professor's wife, thoughtfully defended an individual's choice to dress up for the holiday, she and her husband were nearly kicked out of the college by frothing-mouthed SJW.
A holiday as simple as dressing up for fun has become so convoluted, that a lecturer and educator had to write:
I suppose we could agree that there is a difference between fantasizing about an individual character vs. appropriating a culture, wholesale, the latter of which could be seen as (tacky)(offensive)(jejeune)(hurtful), take your pick. But, then, I wonder what is the statute of limitations on dreaming of dressing as Tiana the Frog Princess if you aren’t a black girl from New Orleans? Is it okay if you are eight, but not 18? I don’t know the answer to these questions; they seem unanswerable. Or at the least, they put us on slippery terrain that I, for one, prefer not to cross. (via Atlantic)
And even with such thoughtful comments, she was attacked by madmen.
But it hasn't stopped at the college campuses of the world. Now everyday citizens are waging war on this once light-hearted holiday. We've learned that retail giant Home Depot was forced to remove a Halloween decoration from their stock because one woman deemed it "inappropriate."
Home Depot says it will pull the Scary Peeper Creeper from its shelves after a woman who saw the Halloween window decoration in a Markham, Ont., store complained it makes light of predatory behaviour against women.
Equipped with suction cups for mounting outside a window, the decoration costs $29 and features the full-sized head, face and hands of a creepy-looking, hooded man peering into a window. The decoration is made to look life-like, not cartoonish. (via CBC)
The decoration, which by all accounts is ugly and tasteless, depicts a face peeping through a window. Although it could hardly be viewed as offensive, considering that as decoration for a house, it would be looking out not in, this precious snowflake of a woman had to turn it into a cause.
Apparently she's never seen the kind of decorations that go up on Halloween. Most make the peeper creeper look like something out of Cartoon Network.
But let's be honest for a moment. The toy is marketed as something to be used for pranks, right? You can put it into a friend's window from the outside and make them believe a peeper is looking into their house--for a split second. Then everyone will laugh and go on with their day.
Maybe, in some sad, desperate corner of the world, it would trigger someone. But that's not very likely.
In my personal opinion, the toy is ugly and stupid. But the free market should decide whether it's on the shelves or not. I do not have the time or energy to bully Home Depot into taking down a toy I find offensive (really I don't find it offensive at all, just tasteless).
But uber-sensative individuals, empowered by a growing regressive left, are trying to take what traditionally is a fun and carefree time of year and make it into a platform for their warped agendas.
Social justice warriors--along with a cadre of ignorant, easily offended citizens--feel the need to censor and police everyone's lives. Whether they slam costumes as being "culture reappropriation" to toys that trigger their personal phobias, they are not content until every aspect of our society is weighed down by their bloated, unrealistic demands.
They are holding our culture hostage. It's time we said enough.
You have my permission to celebrate Halloween however you see fit. Go crazy. Dress up as a zombie. Dress up as Margaret Thatcher for all I care. Be as offensive as you like. Eat pounds of candy.
Just don't let the regressive left slam you for having fun.