A “se.xy” handmaiden’s Halloween outfit inspired by Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel and now TV show The Handmaid’s Tale might have been yours for a red hot second. The halloween costume – sold by US lingerie company Yandy – was declared “offensive” by the internet. Of course.
Yandy duly removed the Halloween Costumes, saying: “Over the final few hours, it is obvious which our ‘Yandy Brave Red Maiden Costume’ will be viewed as a symbol of women’s oppression, instead of an expression of women’s empowerment.” Within the true spirit of Halloween, removing the costume from sale was actually a misstep. The costume casts among the spookiest images easy for modern women. The spectre of a handmaiden is really haunting, more so when compared to a ghoul or ghost or zombie.
For all those unfamiliar with Atwood’s nightmarish world, a handmaiden is actually a woman that has an intact reproductive system in an era of increasing infertility. Handmaidens are required to carry the offspring in the ruling class. They wear distinctive red dresses and white bonnets that obscure their faces.
The handmaidens are women that are valued simply for their reproductive function, they may have no autonomy, and they are essentially raped each time these are allotted to bear a kid. In Atwood’s dystopia, women in general aren’t permitted to read or write and are stuck in domestic roles. As Yandy indicates within their apology, handmaiden’s costumes (albeit canonical, non-s.exy versions) have already been donned around the world by protesters demanding greater rights for ladies. The costumes were used in Ireland and Argentina to campaign for abortion rights, these were utilized in Britain to protest Donald Trump’s state visit, and they’ve been used around the US to protest numerous bills, such as funding cuts to reproductive health centres. The idea is to draw a parallel in between the way women are silenced in dystopian fiction and exactly how women in today’s political climate feel silenced on matters relating to their particular bodies. To some extent, the dystopia is here.
The Sexy Halloween Costumes For Women takes this iconic handmaiden image and propels it to the absurd. It shortens and tightens the figureless red robe and adds fishnet stockings and very high heel shoes. Furthermore it connote an (all too real) world where ladies have no say over their reproductive health, it also produces in the fore the truth that women are overtly se.xualised.
It’s not difficult to find out why a lot of people wrote into Yandy saying that it absolutely was offensive, but surely there’s also something darkly humorous about it too. It’s bizarre that somehow the realm of retail has the capacity to spin a tale about oknqdh and misogyny into an empowering garment. The original item description read: “An upsetting dystopian future has emerged where women will no longer possess a say. However, we say be bold and speak your mind within this exclusive Brave Red Maiden costume.” The irony astounds.
Past the laughter, if they designed to or otherwise not, Yandy sold an ideal Sexy Halloween Costumes For Women. It mixes the puritanical reproductive coercion of The Handmaid’s Tale with the objectification and commercialisation of female bodies. It displays a dystopian reality which may be in our future, and might describe our present. It’s a truly scary method to observe Halloween.