Halloween is when the really scary things make their appearance, mostly in the form of the Halloween Costume Industry. This is when we learn about all those latent adult sexual fantasies involving school children, for example.
But more insidious and damaging, if not just plain annoying, is the janus-faced monster of jack-booted gender policing and Disney/Pixar marketing. Little girls should be princesses or some other girly thing, and little boys should be race cars or some other boyish thing.But Halloween is also an opportunity to make a point. Some people I know have suggested handing out science-oriented or skeptical literature along with or instead of candy. Little miniature “Origins of Species” tied to a candy bar, that sort of thing. I object to that. I object because I know that there is already a small but non-zero number of people handing out churchy literature and I don’t like that, and I know that if handing out polemic literature became more common on this particular holiday, the churchy people would totally kick ass and the skeptics and scientists would be looking at yet another channel for insidious anti-science and religious literature to be flowing into the lives of our society’s children.
So just don’t do that, please. You’ll lose and you’ll bring the rest of us down with you.But you can dress in, or more likely, dress your cute little children in costumes that gently and subtly promote skeptical, secular, or scientific values. Obviously, you can make a Flying Spaghetti Monster costume. I don’t know if you can buy such a costume ready made, but you can get a pirate costume such as this one … If you want to avoid participating in the gender police state, perhaps you would get this one for a little girl, not a little boy. Instead, the little boy may be better dressed in what is probably a non-gendered costume, such as a primate or a a dinosaur. This is not to say that dinosaurs and primates are not “gendered” … the original creatures certainly are, being highly sexually dimorphic in many cases and all. But, the costumes per se do not automatically fall into the usual Halloween stereotypes of little girly princesses and tiny boyish warriors and such. Or, one could pick a theme that is skeptical, sciencey, or at least, popular among nerdy geeks who lean towards skepticism, such as Scooby Doo or Dr. Who. There are some nice Dalek Costumes and a full range of Scooby Doo related alternatives.
And to add to the science oriented theme, this year, maybe everybody should hand out Mars Bars!?!?