Hey, Brad. Hey, Addison.
Look, I know you’re excited for Halloween, but, uh, we have to talk.
Yes, I understand that you’re really pumped to go to Cody and Holly’s Halloween party on Wednesday, but we should discuss your planned couple’s costume—I heard from around that you want to dress up as Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
Here’s the short answer: don’t do that you fu*cking smug, gleefully cruel morons.
Here’s the long answer, with less name-calling, because I know you’re very sensitive and don’t respond well to that:
You want to dress up as an abuse survivor and their abuser. The abuser who came out ahead and got the top judicial position in America. The abuser, who even if you don’t believe the multitude of women who came out to say that he abused them (which he most definitely did), clearly has anger and alcohol issues.
What part of that is funny?
Look, I get it. I’m one of those liberal snowflakes that can’t take a joke (in your opinion. My mom says I’m hilarious.) It’s funny…right? Ha ha ha! Look at all the cool people laughing. I’m not even invited to Cody and Holly’s party, and they’ll think it’s great, right? That’s all that matters!
Empathy and kindness are dead, long live #winning! Huzzah!
I know that you hate “PC Culture” and you don’t really understand why Megyn Kelly got fired for asking the question you’re thinking about blackface. Halloween used to be fun, why is everyone trying to ruin it?
I get it—you don’t know where the line is drawn, so you’re just gonna do you. I’m going to help you out a bit and introduce you to something I’ve come up with: The Rogers Rule.
It’s a really simple test to help you decide whether what you’re going to wear on Halloween could blow up in your face.
It’s this: Imagine you’re explaining your costume to Mr. Rogers, one of the kindest men in recent history who believes in the best version of yourself. You love Mr. Rogers, right? Everyone does!
So, all you have to do when deciding whether to wear (or tweet…or say something out loud…or basically anything) if Mr. Rogers asked you to explain it, do you think he’ll like your answer, or will he be disappointed in you?
Let me demonstrate.
Mr. Rogers: Oh, that’s a nice costume. Who are you supposed to be?
Addison: We’re Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Ford! Woooooo!
Mr. Rogers: And who are they?
Brad: Oh come on, you know. That judge who likes to drink a lot and has that calendar, and the woman who accused him of rape, or something. It was a big thing.
Mr. Rogers: And why are you dressed like them?
Addison: Because it’s funny!!
Mr. Rogers: Well, I don’t think that’s very funny. Do you find other people’s pain, funny?
Mr. Rogers: I hope you make wiser choices next time, I know you’re capable of being better than this.
Brad, Addison—feel that? That feeling is shame. You let Mr. Rogers down, because he knows that other people’s pain or identity are not a fun, kicky costume for you to try on (and drink too much in.) He knows that you’re capable of more than base, cruel jokes. He knows you can be better.
If your costume relies heavily on a characteristic of someone (alive or fictional) that can’t be taken off at the end of the evening, then you probably shouldn’t do it. That’s why it’s gross to alter your skin to mimic someone else’s, and that’s why it’s vile to dress up as Dr. Blasey Ford and KavaNAW for Halloween. You’re wearing her pain (and his abuse, which he got away with…for now) as a spectacle. It’s something you get to take off at the end of the evening (or, let’s be honest, while you’re puking your guts out after drinking too much), but she’ll carry with her in some part for the rest of her life.
What part of that is funny?!
So, it brings us to the conclusion. I’m sure you’re wondering, Brad and Addison, who possibly could dress up as them?
Well, here it is. Men really shouldn’t dress up as either, because it’s what’s known in comedy as punching down. Men sit in a position of power in society, and by dressing as one or the other, you’re either embodying the abuser, who is also in the apex position or you’re embodying the abusee—who didn’t come out ahead. Dressing as either person constitutes as punching down, because nothing changed for men (you) in this situation.
As for women? Ladies—be careful. If you want to go swimming in this pond, be sure of the statement you want to make. Is your costume going to wear pain as a joke? Don’t do it. That’s gross, and Mr. Rogers wouldn’t be proud of you.
Do you want to embody the anger that many of us feel toward the situation? Go for it! Mr. Rogers would probably give you an encouraging smile in the process—non-violent resistance is the pacifist way.
Brad, Addison, I hope this was helpful. For everyone else, I hope your exposure to the white-nonsense that is about to permeate your social media feed is limited.
Header Image Source: Netflix