It’s a cliche at this point that anything can and will eventually be turned into a sexy version of itself for a Halloween costume.
But some Handmaid’s Tale fans are saying a costume based on the acclaimed, dystopian, sexual assault-filled Hulu drama is too much.
Behold, the Sexy Handmaiden (er, “Brave Red Maiden Costume”):
The item’s description reads: “An upsetting dystopian future has emerged where women no longer have a say. However, we say be bold and speak your mind in this exclusive Brave Red Maiden costume.”
One Twitter used it slammed it with “WHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYY” and “nothing like a sexy rape victim for Halloween fun.” While another wrote, “Our society doesn’t take the rape of real women seriously, why should they take the rape of fictional women seriously?”
Not to mention, the thing cost $64.95.
Yet many online defended the costume, either for being, well, kinda funny, or for coyly flipping the script by turning a costume that represents repression into something empowering, as the makers of the costume claim they intended: “If you can’t see the irony in the costume…I don’t know what to tell you,” wrote one Twitter user. “Do you need to be reminded that when a woman is sexually assaulted that one of the first questions she’s asked is ‘What were you wearing?’ Back off that trigger, turbo.”
Either way, the site selling the costume, Yandy, has since removed the item, and released this statement:
“Yandy always has stood, and will continue to stand, at the forefront of encouraging our customers to ‘Own Your Sexy’. We support our customers being comfortable in their skin, regardless of who they are or what they choose to wear. Our corporate ideology is rooted in female empowerment, and gender empowerment overall. Over the last few hours, it has become obvious that our ‘Yandy Brave Red Maiden Costume’ is being seen as a symbol of women’s oppression, rather than an expression of women’s empowerment. This is unfortunate, as it was not our intention on any level. Our initial inspiration to create the piece was through witnessing its use in recent months as a powerful protest image. Given the sincere, heartfelt response, supported by numerous personal stories we’ve received, we are removing the costume from our site.”