Cultural outfits are not Halloween costumes More and more costume enthusiasts are finding it amusing to appropriate another cultural group’s identity for Halloween in an effort to be well-dressed, original and, in some cases, sexy. This needs to stop. Halloween is a great opportunity to dress up as a zombie, ghost or your favorite fictional character. Heck, if you want to go as a sexy kitty, be that sexy kitty. I’ve got a pair of cat ears you can borrow from my costume last year. Mee-ow! However, Halloween is not an opportunity or an excuse to offend someone or an entire cultural group because you’re trying to be ironic, funny or hot. I hate to be the perpetual Debbie Downer, but being as politically correct as possible is crucial in today’s society. After all, universities today are trying to move towards culturally inclusive methods of education. We should learn from this mentality by being culturally aware in our day-to-day lives. The sad reality is that those who do dress up as PocaHotties, tribal warriors or geishas for Halloween are most likely totally oblivious to the fact that they are offending entire cultures and nations. I think it’s safe to say the vast majority of us non-First Nations people don’t know the first thing about aboriginal beadwork, or what the significance is behind a First Nations headdress. The same issues can be brought forth for another culture’s outfits too. Our society continues to make cultural items of clothing ‘cool’ for everyone to wear. Mukluks are still a popular clothing item sold in stores, but I can’t help but feel a terrible sense of misrepresentation as I see some non-First Nations woman walking around in Mukluks with her Lululemon pants on as she glides into work at a trendy coffee shop. Mukluks are just one example, but I wonder how many people wear clothing from another culture because they know and understand the significance of it, and how many wear it just because “it looks super cute.” Wearing these items of clothing actually oppresses the culture whose fashions are being sported around in town. When you go as PocaHottie for Halloween, you’re saying that this is what a First Nations women should look like. When you throw on a sombrero accompanied by a poncho, you’re saying that this is what a person of Mexican-descent should look like. There are cultural consequences for everything; before we rock a pair of Mukluks or whip out a tribal warrior costume for Halloween, let’s think about what exactly it is that we’re doing. I’ve heard that the best writers are those who know their subjects through and through. Can’t we say the same about those who are the most fashionable? If we can apply this mentality to clothing, how can a person who presumably has very little cultural knowledge on First Nations clothing wear a beaded dress, a headdress or a pair of Mukluks? It doesn’t add up. If you’re not from a certain cultural background, you can never fully understand the trials and tribulations of its peoples. Of course you can try. You can be empathetic. You can attend ceremonies. You can even have friends from that culture. But unless you live it, you’ll never fully get it. This Halloween, please think twice before you decide to falsely represent another culture. After all, Halloween is a day to remember the dead, not offend the living. The University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union’s Pride Centre, the Aboriginal Students’ Centre, the Indigenous Students’ Council, the Student Teachers Anti-Racism Society and the U of S Learning Centre are launching the Is your Halloween Costume Offensive? campaign in collaboration with Take A Stand Against Racism. – Graphic: Cody Schumacher/Graphics Editor Seriously? If you actually get offended by someone wearing clothes or a comical exaggeration of the clothes that your ancestors wore then you’re immature. I’m Scottish, and if I saw someone wearing a kilt and bagpipes and acting like a stereotypical drunk Scot, bad accent and all, I’d laugh and say “nice costume”. If I were to act offended by this and chew him or her out, I’d be an immature ass. If I were to write an opinion article on it for a university newspaper, well then I’d be a sad pathetic man indeed. If a costume doesn’t insight hate or dehumanization then there’s nothing wrong with it. Don’t be that person. kristin So since I am not First Nations, does that mean I am not allowed to wear moccasins that I received as a gift from a First Nations friend? I would think not wearing them would be an insult to the person and their culture… Really? Maybe it’s your judgement that is wrong here. Your comments about non-First Nations wearing mukluks is a perfect example. I am a blonde haired-blue eyed girl who wore just that today. But I actually am Metis. You would never guess that by looking at me. Is it okay for me to wear that now because YOU know I have that status? You don’t know everyone or their backgrounds. And being part of the aboriginal nation, I am not offended at all that people wear mukluks or dress up like native Americans at Halloween. It’s our culture being shown off! I like that people like our style. You jump to conclusions. It’s Halloween. Have fun. People aren’t trying to offend other people. You are just too sensitive. GrabUrShoes @Really? Amen! I am as white as they get; but I have lived in the Arctic my whole life and grew up immersed in the Inuit and Tlicho communities. An Inuit elder once made me a pair of seal skin Mukluks. Am I offending her and her culture by wearing them and being proud of my roots? Really? Exactly!! =) Benj I think the writer is saying, not that we can’t indulge in other cultures but the opposite. That we should have more respect and understanding of another culture. So in your case you have a deep understanding and respect. Where as someone justing buying a pair off ebay cause its the fad might want to look into the history and just have a general awareness and respect how Mukluks came about. Likewise on Remembrance Day we pay respects to the people who fought so we could be free (we acknowledge or past and those in it that made a difference today). (Not saying the amount of respect deserved is the same) Just saying maybe a person should give a thought to the history behind Mukluks or what ever it is they fancy. lulu hey me to, Status and all, but the blue eyes and blond hair gets me funny looks when i tell people. Vincenzo Being an Italo-Canadian, I have seen my fair share of misrepresentations of my family’s culture in the media, and I have seen people dress up as ‘wiseguys’ and such things, I have even been asked upon meeting someone for the first time if I enjoyed eating pasta (I totally do). But, even if someone were to dress up as an Italian or anything resembling this, I would not be offended. I do not consider a piece of clothing as ‘sacred’ to me, it is merely a tool humans use with great variation. I was beaten by my peers in high school for being the only Italian, but I am still not offended by an article of clothing worn as a gag or as a costume for one night a year. I cannot fathom someone being insulted by another wearing mukluks. Though not an Aboriginal myself, all of my cousins are Metis, and they are most certainly not offended if I wear some comfortable leather footwear. If the wearing of mukluks is deemed offensive, then kindly discard your polyester trousers and your nylon articles, as this misrepresents people from Iowa, especially those working for duPont. I agree with the comment made by “seriously?”, wearing something that others may wear is not offensive in and of itself, provided that it is given the respect that it deserves. just no 10/10 … I think mocking culture on October 31 is a valid point and concern. I don’t think that we should try to demonize wearing trends… doesn’t that do the exact opposite of being inclusive? If donning cultural regalia is done with a cruel intent, that’s one thing. But should we really be having a problem with people wearing mukluks? So because I am white, I can’t enjoy culture, or even follow a fashion trend when my intent is not at all to ridicule or put down an entire cultural group? Maybe you should write an article about the cultural significance of mukluks and head dresses as to educate the masses, rather than demonizing. And for your information, First Nation Culture is something that I very much so respect and admire, and I wear the Moccasins that my neighbour from up North hand-made me as a graduation gift every chance I get. I hope that doesn’t offend you. I think that wearing an extremely special gift shouldn’t be categorized as someone ridiculing First Nations Peoples on halloween. anon Halloween’s just a commercialized holiday, it has no deep meaning behind it, unless you’re a pagan. Otherwise, it’s a day where you’re supposed to dress different, whether that’s to be attractive, look dumb, look scary, or whatever you want, really. It’s not like there’s a RULE for Halloween saying that you have to dress scary, so people who dress in ‘cultural’ costumes aren’t trying to say that that culture is scary. Other than that, if you just have a problem with wearing different cultural clothing, then you also have a problem with a lot of second-generation Canadians who wear jeans and shirts to school. However, I do agree that wearing something sacred (like a headress) just because you want to is offensive; it can be like someone disrespecting The Bible or The Holy Qur’an. So let’s get to the root of the problem; people lack cultural and religious education, which leads to disrespect. But can you really say that Halloween is when cultures are disrespected? There’s not much sense in going door to door asking random strangers for candy anyway. anon Sorry, I meant FIRST-generation Canadians who wear jeans and shirts to school, or immigrants :) . Andrew I find THIS article offensive. How do you possibly find offense in wearing any sort of traditional garb? Would you be offended if yo saw someone wearing traditional garb in a different non-traditional place (say on campus to class)? I wouldn’t. Maybe they just wanted to dress up. Who cares. The fact that some people take some sort of interest in some other county’s traditions is not only not offensive, but I would encourage it. Seeing something like that naturally encourages interest, and promotes SOME sort of exchange – which ultimately increases people’s awareness and ACCEPTANCE of other cultures. Where I think you have issue is seeing a traditional garb next to a slutty pumpkin, sexy harry potter and some costume that pokes fun Michael Jackson, or something equally offensive. And maybe it IS out of place there. But let’s address the costumes that depict priests with pedophilia first, or any costume that in some way demeans the culture. You know, the costumes that ACTUALLY could offend. But a spiritually incorrect head dress doesn’t cause any offense. Maybe the wearer may actually have someone come up to them and have culture explained…who knows. But that causes cultural education. How can that possibly be bad thing? That being said, I would also hope that someone who takes that route wouldn’t be vomiting in the streets that night either. Their choice should come with some respect and restraint. You’re Offensive No ones wearing these costumes to be offensive. They’re COSTUMES. If someone was wearing them on a different day of the year, yeah maybe. And because you’re not aboriginal you’re not allowed to wear moccasins or mukluks? Get over yourself and your sensitive opinions. No ones wearing them because they’re trying to offend anyone and what’s wrong with trying to look cute and also warm. We live in Canada. That’s like saying non-caucasian girls shouldn’t wear leggings, Uggs or drink Starbucks cause it’s “offensive” OR making fun of them for it. Stop trying to victimize non-caucasians over something minor as ONE day a year where people dress up. JMG There is so much white liberal guilt in this article it is offending me. Where does it end? So from what you are saying, a Non-Native UofS student should not be allowed to wear mukluks. Therefore a Non-Canadian UofS student should not be allowed to wear a touque? That sounds rather ridiculous to me. I am a Canadian of Ukrainian/French blood, I have heard and seen my share of jokes, caracatures and insults towards my ancestors. That doesn’t mean that I am deeply offended when I see someone wearing a baret or eating perogies! I appreciate others taking an interest in my culture, and I am interested in other cultures as well. I wear Manitobah mukluks because they are comfortable and warm, and to support a Canadian company. And yes they do look cute, what’s wrong with that? Have you spoken to any Native students and asked if they feel oppressed by others wearing mukluks or is that your assumption? You state that it is ok to dress like a zombie for Hallowe’en, but how can you be 100% certain that no one is offended by that costume? The only time that I am offended during Hallowe’en is seeing women who use that day as an excuse to dress like they’re streetwalkers. There is a limit to sexy before crossing into appearing ‘for sale.’ It Never Ends By this author’s logic, one could not say that people are not offended by zombies. Don’t zombies take their root from Haitian myth, folklore, and even religious practices? I wouldn’t know because I am not fully versed on the subject, but I imagine that the Haitian Embassy in the US is not knocking down the door to have the AMC’s the Walking Dead taken off the airwaves. It Never Ends And that should have read, “people are or should be offended by zombies”. Where does it end? I would have agreed to this article had the writer used majorly offensive costumes as their examples (such as Hitler, KKK, Stalin, Al-Quida). Or was less vague on the idea of a “PocaHottie” and rather said to refrain from over sexualizing a culture or religion (such as a Trampy Nun or half naked Aboriginal). I asked a Christian friend of mine if she is offended by Hallowe’en and she replied that zombies and ghosts are offensive to her religion. I asked a Chinese roommate if dressing in an image of her culture would be oppressive, and she said no! it would be showing off an appreciation for her people. I asked my Native Studies professor, who is Metis, about the mukluk issue and he was shocked and angered that that was printed in our university newspaper!! He likes, and gets a chuckle out of, seeing Non-Aboriginal people embracing pieces of his culture through fashion, dreamcatchers, etc. I attended the Pow Wow last weekend at CUC and there were booths selling Aboriginal goods, and yup mukluks and moccasons too! My Ukrainian culture makes and sells Easter eggs, to Non-Ukrainians, bc folks think our eggs are beautiful and like them for decorative purposes. We rarely sell to each other bc we can make our own eggs! If the writer of this article took a moment to think he/she would realize that if all Non-Aboriginal people stopped buying mukluks, for example, that those companies would go out of business. Considering that mukluks are a part of their culture a lot of Natives can probably make their own. Truly enjoying an article/piece of another culture is not an insult to that culture. what? It’s funny: we’re complaining about offending someone on a holiday which today has no moral value attached to it at all, and for the 364 other days of the year, we’re silent. Anyway, it’s not like Halloween promotes any respect. Really #2 One of the many reasons why children are not allowed to receive fails in schools anymore or to be disciplined at all, its offensive how over-sensitive everybody is. I am Ukrainian, countless times I hear and am asked stereotypical things, I don’t write an article about it. If this article was regarding people dressing up as say, Hitler etc, then yes I can see there being a problem with that. But really, a problem with wearing mukluks? There are much more important matters to write articles about.. Partially Offended Female I understand the point that is being made in this article, and so far I have noticed that almost all replies were of non-Aboriginal women referring to the Mukluks.. lol.. Maybe the article should have focused more on the Headdress scenario being offensive to First Nations people rather than spending most of the article referring to Mukluks. I DO NOT find it offensive that women of other cultures would find our clothing fashionable. I am a First Nations woman, and I support anyone who prefers to wear Mukluks, beadwork or any other notable fashion accessory I myself would wear. HOWEVER, I do agree 100% that wearing a Headdress paired with “sexy” clothing (or anything at all) is very offensive. Headdresses, eagle feathers, plumes, etc.. hold a very high value in Aboriginal culture. If you don’t know what these items represent, I suggest doing some research. These are items that have been depreciated by other cultures because some people within these cultures fail to understand the significance. I have heard so many people say.. “why so offended, it’s just a costume.” Here is my proposal, rather than cause events in which people may get offended, ask yourself or someone if what you’re about to do is offensive. I know I wouldn’t think twice about trying to be a “sexy nun” or “sexy priest” for Halloween. I refer to “sexy priest” because a Headdress in my culture is restricted to males; so would it make sense for me to say “hey I want to be a sexy priest for Halloween!” We learn these simple practices in Kindergarten; play nice, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all, think before you speak and my personal favorite think before you act. It’s funny how though we get older, experience life, and learn, we fail to remember those simple Kindergarten lessons. Have a good Halloween and wear your Mukluks, it’ll be cold. (lol) Partially Offended Female I mean.. “I would think twice about trying to be a “sexy nun”…etc… Derek I would love to see a sexy priest lulu so no one can wear Mukluks if they are not first nations? and lets not be so judgmental I am metis and not a soul would know it, so if i wore mukluks and you judged me as just a white girl in yoga pants that’s offensive. If we took out every piece of clothing that had some religious or cultural back ground we wouldn’t have much to wear! by being offended by everything that daily life brings you your going to live a very sad and horrible life judging people. Things evolve and grow are culture mix and grow together its not offensive its change. The Halloween costumes meh no matter what you wear some one is going to be offended by something dress up as a ghost some one gets upset because there grandmother died 3 years ago and haunts them. But this article is so close minded and essentially the write is being hypocritical and judging others with out knowing there cultural backgrounds. Me So if I go as Tonto I am racist…. He is fictional and happens to be native. XD mythoughts The overall idea of this article is correct (ie. don’t wear racist/prejudicial costumes on Halloween essentially) but the writer’s examples are horrible. How are wearing mukluks offensive to First Nations people and oppressing them? Unless there are religious connotations behind them that I am not aware of, the writer’s insistence on using them as an example is hugely misguided. There is a real discussion to be had on this issue but the writer just did a horrible job fleshing it out. I could keep going but if this gets too long people wont read it all anyway but to close, as a student whose fees go to fund this paper, I expect better from you SHEAF. Appreciate Wikka followers would be offended by people dressing like witches perhaps. Or pagans by people turning Halloween into a commercial event. Halloween in and of itself is an absolute waste and a ridiculous event. I respect, appreciate, and will try to adopt your cultural sensitivity, but applying it to Halloween is like trying to apply feminism to the modelling industry. Logically Consistent There’s a point when making sure everything is politically correct can actually stifle culture instead of supporting diversity. Halloween is a terrible, commercialized “holiday” so I’m not going to bother saying it applies here, but consider the somewhat related case of Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet in the Netherlands (as well as Belgium, Luxembourg). Sinterklaas is their equivalent of Santa Claus, and his assistant is a black adolescent known as Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). Zwarte Piet is usually represented by a Dutch teenager wearing blackface (yes, the terribly offensive black makeup usually associated with 20th century comedy). This has been a Dutch tradition for hundreds of years… however, it clearly has the potential to offend people. That said, if someone were to tell the Dutch they could no longer celebrate through Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet, they would not be fostering diversity. They’d simply be saying one culture’s traditions are not okay (in the country of their origin, no less). Many cultural practices may offend people, but if they don’t break the law, it’s wrong to say they can’t be celebrated just because you don’t like it. Reminds me of the professor on campus who condemned the Aboriginal pipe ceremony because he (mistakenly) thought it was oppressive towards women… In this particular case I think that there’s no reason to go out of your way to appropriate cultural traditions in a tasteless manner (“sexy Pocahontas,” for example) but if it’s not a complete misrepresentation then who cares if they’re going as an Aboriginal, or a Scotsman (as my African-Canadian friend did once – which wasn’t a problem at all and didn’t offend me despite some of my heritage being Scottish… actually I appreciated it), or anything else? That’s the point of the holiday. Perhaps not entirely related but w/e this seemed like a good place to put a rant Mikey J What utter rubbish. It’s nice to see that many of the commenters see this “PC witch hunt of the week” for what it is. For those who wish to quibble or find some middle ground on this issue, please understand that there is no pleasing those who will find offense in everything so it’s best not to try. Wear whatever you like for your Halloween costume and enjoy your right of freedom of expression (which does and must include the right to offend) and enjoy the fact that Commisar Homenuk and his fellow clowns at the Bureau of Proper Thought can do NOTHING about it. mb consensus says: leave the mukluks out of this. Joe I am pretty sure as long as cultures have been meeting there has been a blending and sharing of ideas between the cultures. I do not see why clothes and halloween are any different. Did you know flip flops were invented by Egyptians… better not where them. Joe Speaking of Egyptians… cats were sacred tot hem so better not be a sexy kitty either. ? In Egypt, if a cat died in the family, ALL of the family would shave their heads. Weird eh? Matt Halloween in and of itself is considered offensive by many religious groups. Why is it okay to offend some groups of people, but not others? El Barto you should look up the definition of costume… I think cultural outfit fits into that category quite nicely also dressing like an aboriginal could be considered a period costume. Kiki I don’t think dressing in a buck skin bikini, headdress, and braid with a painted on red face is very authentic tho haha Emma I think this is being a bit..narrow minded. I mean, can’t many costumes be deemed as offensive? I mean, I’m Hungarian, decended from a band of gypsies who fucked their way across Europe (good ol’ family history..), so does that mean I am supposed to be offended by every girl who dresses as a gypsy? I’m not. I’m not offended by people dressing slutty or sexy with regard to a specific costume, it’s the outfits that are slutty for the only purpose of being slutty. That Guy I think it’s very difficult to decide where to stop the bus and get off. I.e., my Halloween costume is a ninja. Ninjas most definitely have cultural roots, and well I am not well educated in the intricacies of ninja culture; I would still be very surprised that I am offending anyone aside from… a modern day ninja? Who is, perhaps, not satisfied with the ninjaness in my ninja outfit? I think there are far more offensive activities of cultural appropriation that occur on a daily basis that get nowhere near the attention that Halloween costumes seem to garner on an annual basis… For example, if you are a Ryan & Macklemore (or however you spell their names) fan, you are, to an extent, a cultural appropriator and I — not for one — find it offensive. And no, because you have an African American friend who’s family lineage can be traced through the inception of hip hop that thinks Ryan & Macklemore are alright, that doesn’t make it so. I don’t care to get into the details of why Ryan & Macklemore are cultural appropriators, but I will leave it at this: their music lacks the voice, character, identity, and soul that is unique to that genre or culture of music. Just because they hi-jack elements of what may or may not be real and use it to their advantage, doesn’t make the final product authentic… It’s like having a set of 24s on a Pontiac Sunfire — has anyone ever seen that?? — anyway, doesn’t do those 24s justice. That Guy Did I say i find it offensive? I don’t really… I’m more feeling like “it is what it is” (cultural appropriation) ThAt ChIcK Why would you put 24s wheels on a Pontiac Sunfire lol? That’s almost as ridiculous as a Chevy Cobalt with a glass pack lol That Guy I know right? That’s how I feel about “Ryan” and “Mackelmore” — they seem ridiculous to me ( I do like some of their songs — the ones that aren’t all poetic-coffee-shop-with-sandals-”oh man life is hard”-in-the-O.C.-when-your-parents-sometimes-fight)… Surely you know what I mean. Allison Yes, singing about bitches and ho’s is SOOOOO much better than singing positive messages. Moron. Allison So, because Macklemore is white he shouldn’t be able to sing hip-hop? Hmmmm…that seems a little ridiculous. There are a TON of coloured “hip-hop” musicians who sing poppy hip-hop song just like him. Check the radio. People enjoy his music because his messages are relevant. At least he isn’t all “bitches ‘n’ ho’s/n word” like most hip-hop musicians are. He sings about equality…”Lacks soul that is unique to the culture, etc etc…” Wake up!! 99 percent of hip-hop musicians are singing about irrelevant shit behind a beat synthesizer. You don’t have to like him, but saying that he shouldn’t be able to express his opinion through music is crap. And if you think that all hip-hop should be authentic hip-hop, that’s fine…BUUUUUT most of it isn’t. Not to mention a lot of hip-hop is usually misogynistic, and then you have a whole other can of worms. Get over yourself. By your logic, if you didn’t grow up in the “hood” you shouldn’t be able to listen to authentic hip-hop either because you’d know nothing about it. My guess is that you grew up in a decent area…so start recognizing your own biases and prejudices and start being a more accepting person. That Guy Ok Allison, didn’t mean to shit in your cornflakes, but the fact is, you’ve made several horrible and essentially racist comments regarding what the majority of hip hop constitutes. Macklemore’s marketing ploy of deliberately juxtaposing himself with the worst of stereotypes of hip hop music, while also dedicating his entire wealth and success to the prevalence of this genre of music, not only makes him a hypocrite but also a cultural appropriator. This guy isn’t the “great white hope” for hip hop, and it’s apparent that his fanatical fan base largely regards him as such. And while I won’t hold Macklemore responsible for his fan base or his upbringing (which I know nothing about), I will call him out on blatantly throwing Hip Hop under the bus by taking on the predictable role of the sophisticated savior for the “poorly ignorant genre that is hip hop music”. I see you believe it’s your role, as “Allison” to determine the acceptable subject material for a genre and culture of music you know absolutely nothing about. I’m sure you’re just as big a fan of all of the artists that have already been there and done all of what Mackelmore is doing as you are Macklemore. Or is it more the fact that you felt a resonance with a white musician doing black music and self-righteously expressing (although indirectly) his superiority to the historic “black version” of the music. Plain and simple, if you don’t know ask, you don’t get respect calling people morons. Nicole How does this apply to other holidays, take Saint Patricks Day for example.. Is it offensive to people with an Irish background when non Irish people dress as leprechauns or wear ‘Kiss Me, I’m Irish’ clothing? Really? while we’re on the topic of taking offence to the way people dress, should we ban goths and kids dressing in drag? I’m offended by boys wearing make up, and black leather straps, spiky chains, and tattered clothing so should we move to a totalitarian uniform approach for school and just wear matching robes every day? Nana Jane Oh puuuuleeeeezzzeee! Anyone who is NOT a Canadian of mixed race must have just dropped in from outer space or recently emmigrated from the last culturally isolated corner of this planet. What offends ME are all these self-rightious people who are so offended on behalf of everyone they THINK might be offended! GET OVER IT! Halloween (or All Hallows Eve) is a pagen celebration of the coming of Winter and a chance to celebrate LIFE in case the harsh realities of winter end it. Next big party, the winter solstice – the pagen celebration of the shortest day of the year and the COMING OF SPRING! BTW, if anyone should be “offended” by non-pagens celebrating these rites, its us pagen/wiccans – but do you see us marching to the human rights office?!? Hell no, we are all CANADIANS, getting ready to survive another winter! We should ALL be out there, celebrating! ;-) seb mukluks are the new uggs. I learned that from the OC. HL When I first heard about this campaign against cultural costumes I must say that I was a little offended by it. As many people have already commented, Halloween is a commercial holiday where everything can seem offensive. I watched a group of peopled dressed up as police officers the other day and little did they know it, they were pointing flashlights into a face of a real cop calling him their worst enemy (his costume). I myself have dressed up in real traditional Asian outfits that I had tailored for me and was not offended when someone pointed at me and called me a National rebel of that culture. In fact, I was more impressed that people knew about that culture then I was offended. I would however be very offended if those comments were made or costumes were worn on a different day in the year. I find that by trying to stay so politically correct, we are in fact offending even more people, as seems to be the message I’m reading in these comments. Matt Many of the clothing items we wear today have meaningful historical value in culture and heritage… this includes virtually every piece of semi-formal/formal wear. For example, the cardigan is named after James Brudenell, the Earl of Cardigan, who led the charge of the light brigade in the Crimean War. Would you say that non-British people not be allowed to wear cardigans? Please take your progressive authoritarianism elsewhere. Lara This article is a bit ridiculous. I think we can all agree: 1) Mukluks/moccasins (as well as beaded accessories) can be worn by anyone and everyone. Wouldn’t only allowing a certain race or ethnicity to wear an item of clothing be EXTREMELY discriminatory in itself? Say, only white Canadians can wear toques – see the double standard? Have you not seen the new fashion statement of wearing crosses on clothing and accessories – in this case wouldn’t this too be deemed as offensive to Christians? Mukluks/moccasins are typically worn because they are beautiful and an expression of art. Not to mention, extremely warm in our harsh winter months – as they were designed to be 2) Halloween is not meant to be a PC festivity. Nearly, any costume can be deemed at prejudice or offensive. Gypsies and witches being a key example of this. Halloween in itself is offensive to many religious group. Why ignore their beliefs while we worry over other groups? Moral of the story. Enjoy Halloween or not, if you so choose. Dress how you want and have good intentions. Just my two scents. David Suzuki This was literally the worst article I’ve ever read. “If you’re not from a certain cultural background, you can never fully understand the trials and tribulations of its peoples” So much for intercultural understanding. I’m going to be perfectly frank with my comments. I’ll wear anything I want on Halloween. If it offends you, that is your problem. You need a thicker skin. Dressing up as a “PochaHottie” in no way oppresses indigenous peoples. It similarly doesn’t make a statement about what an indigenous person ought to look like. If you think it does, it’s because you’re looking to be offended. You suggest that “…being as politically correct as possible is crucial in today’s society”. I disagree. Political correctness is not a substitute for critical thinking. Political correctness stifles free speech and provides a false sense of superiority to the individuals who preach the virtues of political ‘correctness’. Political correctness is often used as a thin disguise for reverse discrimination. Stop looking to be offended. It is so very boring. Mel Many cultural groups no longer wear traditional garb, instead they have adapted the mainstream fashions of North America. Is that considered wrong and offensive as well? I am from a mennonite background, and today I am wearing lulu lemons and a Hollister t-shirt. Is that wrong? BC Boy I am from Vancouver, the birthplace of Lululemon. I am grossly offended by a Saskatonian where Lulus. I do not know where Hollister heralds from, but I’m pretty sure the people there are vomiting in their mouths with rage. Anonymous I feel like you are misunderstanding the essence of Halloween. Its not about judging other people and deciding who’s costume is acceptable or not. That is not up to you. Halloween is the one day of the year that people can dress however they like, and I don’t feel like we should be judged by the likes of you. I understand if you made a case about dressing up like Ariel Castro or Blackface, but how does cultural clothing offend others? I think you really need to find something better to do with your time. Guilty Cracker Maybe because white people with money to spend on those costumes have a long history of sidelining the people that wore what they were based on? Think of an antisemite dressing up as an orthodox Jew for Halloween. Offensive? How about dressing up as someone from a traditional African society? The case is simply where the line is drawn. The history of oppression that Europeans have stamped into the cultures of the world should not be dismissed because we thought we were better than them when the modern idea of Halloween was popularised. Anonymous I feel like my money is being wasted by the Sheaf if this is the garbage that is written in it. Why should I pay to produce something that is complete and utter garbage? Three words. GET OVER YOURSELF. Who are you to tell me what to do? I’ll do what I damn well want and if I offend someone by doing that, tough break for them. People do things that offend me every single day. They neglect and ignore their children. They steal, lie and commit crimes. They damage and destroy the property of others. Those things are offensive and rightly so. There are bigger issues to worry about in the world than if someone is offended by a Halloween costume. Maybe it’s time you figured that out. lulu “Heck, if you want to go as a sexy kitty, be that sexy kitty.” i think we should stop promoting bestiality now lol dude This article just goes to show how out of touch this newspaper is. Every week our school is littered with environmentally un-friendly newspapers with opinions and articles that do not reflect the true opinions of the students that are forced to pay for them through their school fees. Dressing up as a Nazi is offensive. A sexy Indian? I don’t think so. Where is the outcry on on St. Patrick’s day? Surely dressing up as a slutty leprechaun is just as offensive as dressing up as a Indian on Halloween. I am quite glad though, many people defied this PC absurdity on Halloween and dressed up as tyrannies, Indians, Mexicans, scots, et cetera. Goeball’s Gerbils Why is dressing up as a Nazi offensive? Is dressing up as a British Redshirt offensive? What about blacking up to better be a “tribal African”? What makes something offensive? Intent or content? A mix of both maybe? dude Dressing up as a Nazi 11 days before remembrance day I find is quite offensive. Over a million Canadians served in the armed forces during WW2 to banish the ideas of Nazism from the face of the earth. As someone who had a grandfather fight in ww2 I take offense to someone dressing up as a Nazi especially when we have elderly legion members out and about selling poppies. 1234 You dumb-dumb. Leprechauns are fictitious. Indians, “trannies”, Mexicans, and scots are real. Your logic is fucking shitty. dude Well I’m glad we are able to have an intelligent grown up conversation about our disagreement instead of resorting to 3rd grade name calling. Thank you for pointing out leprechauns are fictitious. In other news the pope is catholic. My point is that people dress up for Saint Patrick’s day and wear all sorts of nonsense that has no roots or legitimacy in Irish culture. Its an exaggeration or a stereotype of what people think the Irish people are like. As a person of Irish descent I could make the case that I am offended by the exaggerated portrayal of my culture. Why isn’t the Sheaf or the USSU protecting me on Saint Patrick’s day from feeling offended? See when you really think about it this campaign for a politically correct Halloween is silly. Why do we need the university elites telling us what should offend us? I would think as full grown adults we don’t need anyone taking care of us anymore. Sask Langer Just offhand, as a person of Irish descent, have you ever lived in Ireland? How many generations back did your ancestors come from Ireland? dude I am 4th generation Canadian. I am not an Irishman or Irish-Canadian. I am a Canadian of Irish descent. Just because I have never lived or been to Ireland does not mean I could not theoretically be offended by the stereotypical portrayal of the Irish people from whom I am descended. Sask Langer Listen, I’m going to let you in on a secret. Leprechauns? Green Beer? Calling it “Saint Patrick’s Day”? The Irish don’t care. Dress up as the sluttiest Leprechaun you can imagine and you might offend one in a hundred. But you know something that actually does offend the Irish? North Americans who claim to be Irish. Sorry, but after four generations you aren’t going to be considered Irish by the Irish, and if you went to Ireland and said you are, the reply would be “No yer feckin’ not”. Not even a bit. And claiming to speak for what offends Irish people but never having even BEEN to the country? That’s definitely going to offend people. I mean come on. I’ve got “Irish Heritage”, too. And I’ve actually lived in Ireland. For quite a few years, actually. Were it not for changes to the legal definition of residency status I would have an Irish passport by now. And I still won’t ever say I’m Irish. dude You’ve clearly misunderstood my point. I am saying all cultures are made fun of and its going to happen whether people like it or not. I have pointed out several times I am not offended at all by Saint Patrick’s day nor do I consider myself Irish. I have never claimed to be Irish and I have said this multiple times on this page which you have somehow failed to read. I am of Irish descent. That is not wishful thinking on my part that is a genuine fact. My last name is Irish and my ancestors came from Ireland. I don’t give a shit if you lived there once upon a time that doesn’t change the fact I have Irish heritage. I’m also of French descent are you going to accuse me of pretending to be a French national as well? I was trying to make a comparison of another holiday to make my point about how stupid this political correctness is. You have somehow taken this to mean that I go around pretending to be an Irishman who is offended by Saint Patrick’s day which cannot be further from the truth. I am Canadian and have not pretended to be anything else. You sir need to read shit more carefully. 1234 You’re welcome! It seems you needed the clarification about real and fictitious cultural entities. I rarely hear about Irish people/descendants being offended on St Patrick’s Day. Plus it’s a holiday that is for the Irish, and celebrates the Irish. This is opposed to Halloween, which is not a holiday for the natives, Mexicans, or any other minorities who are usually stereotyped and mocked on Halloween. And if anyone dresses in a way that you feel is offensive to you as an Irishman, then you should tell them. dude You don’t seem to understand what I am saying. I could be offended by saint Patrick’s day because people dress up, many of them are not of Irish descent and portray the Irish culture in a stereotypical way. Again I will repeat that I could be offended as this particular situation meets the Sheaf/USSU’s criteria for being offended. But I am not offended because I realise its just a bit of harmless fun. Just like dressing up as a slutty Indian, terrorist, drunk Scotsman, etc. You sir and the rest of the PC brigade are nothing but a bunch of over sensitive liberals who feel the need to police the thoughts and actions of regular people. Enough is enough. You lose. We, and by that I mean the majority of students at the U of S and the majority of the commenter on this article, win the argument. Take your special snowflake over sensitive PC nonsense elsewhere. This is Halloween, warts and all. dude You don’t seem to understand what I am saying. I made the point that I could be offended by the stereotypical portrayal of the Irish culture on Saint Patrick’s day by many people who are not of Irish descent. I am not offended in the least bit because I know this is just a bit of harmless fun. However one can argue this situation would meet the Sheaf/USSU’s criteria for being offended. My point is that if the USSU/Sheaf love protecting everyone from being offended all the time why are they not out protecting Irish people on Saint Patrick’s day? We are adults going to University we do not need mommy to protect us from a holiday. I once knew a family that did not believe in Halloween due to their religious convictions and they found it offensive. Lets suppose their children attend the U of S. I suppose this means we should ban Halloween from the school? Enough is enough. We win, And by ‘we’ I mean the majority of University students and commenters on this article. We don’t need the thought police telling us what should and should not offend us. We are adults. Take your PC special snowflake liberal nonsense elsewhere. This is Halloween, warts and all. just no wah wah people liek thing i dont like wah Benj I understand the misrepresentation of cultures can be offensive (assumption that all of an ethnicity are a certain way) and I think that’s what the writer is trying to get across. Though I don’t really find it offensive to make light of some stereotypes (yes some can be very offensive but not all). Take Canadian stereotypes for example. If someone dressed up and acted like the characters Bob and Doug McKenzie (whether you agree they are a good representation of being Canadian or not) I wouldn’t be offended. The person is making light of a general stereotype – the person is not proclaiming all Canadians are beer chugging dim-wits. Or even dressing as a Mountie. It’s part of our past and heritage. It’s not making fun of or discriminating; merely it’s just having fun. So I believe the same could be said for dressing up like how some First-Nations ancestors did so long ago. It’s not discriminating against the First-Nations nor is it proclaiming “this is how they all looked like” or “should look like”. In regards to dressing up as Hitler and things representing a more sensitive issue is a different matter and offensive. Bookoo-Sau – Lamar Hernandez Na, 1st off –if you care about my grammar and how my syntax and all that ish is presented in this reply …and it pisses you off good. I hope it does. I hope you loss (haha) sleep over it. I wont.(haha agian)e 2nd. “When you go as PocaHottie for Halloween, you’re saying that this is what a First Nations women should look like.” … . okay wtf. since when does what I wear mean the same thing as what I’m saying. With that logic the same person that accuses the little girl of being a ‘pochahottie’ and saying THIS IS HOW NATIVE WOMAN SHOULD LOOK LIKe. C’mon man you really think this girl woke up and thought Today (october 31st 201x) , Todays the day I wear pocahottie and want everyone to know this is what native women should look like. Naw she isnt thinking that. 3 this is more of a continuation of 2… I am totally agreeing that “.. most likely totally oblivious to the fact that they are offending entire cultures and nations.” the people that dress up as ethnic groups, geishas, trannies, this or that, are definitely oblivious to the fact that they are representing someone(whether it be there heritage, the way they look, sing, act in groups, ) … but again with the C’mon man. Why are we in an age where if 35 natives are cool with this girl being a pocahottie and if 1 native guy says this is bad it mocks me and my family and our heritage THE WHOLE u of s “should not” dress up as other people. man the real world isnt like how all you metro/urban/ everyone is equal people want to think it is. if you really have a problem with someone let them know about it. dont fkin ruin everyones halloween because your black and someone dressed up as lebron james. or your native and you saw a pocahottie at the club. or your asian and you see a white kid dressed up as a samurai. or you indian and you see someone dressed up as a guru. One day out of 365. the world gets much harder than what the fkck you want to wear on halloween. its November now . IDGAF. just seein if anyone wants to get some..