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From the Ominous Mountain State University Spectator, October 27, 2010,  p. B6.

Is My Sexy Costume Sexist?

Features: Ask Emily

NOTE: Emily, our in-house advice columnist, is out this week to attend the Nationyl Womyn’s Journalysm Conclayve in Portland.  Answering your questions this week is the author of our “Wheelie Dan” auto repair blog, Dan Klabrowisz.

Dear Emily,

Though a proud sorority member who takes on many of the trappings of a modern American girlie-girl, I consider myself a strong feminist.  I am a double major in Physics and Classics and do better than most of the boys in these male-dominated fields.  I’m such a good feminist that I don’t listen to John Mayer not just because his music is terrible, but also because he’s a chauvinist pig!

However, Halloween is coming up and I face a dilemma.  My two best friends are dressing up as a Sexy French Maid and a “Sexy Cthulu” (whatever that means) and I planned on donning a Sexy Catwoman number.  Though I can pull it off – and do I ever! – I worry that I will be seen as nothing more than a shapely pile of supple flesh under some shiny black vinyl and not someone who knows the details of string theory as well as most people know their own phone number.

Lately, I’ve been thinking of switching to a costume that’s a little more empowering, like Zombie Madeleine Albright or talking TARDIS made of Four Loko cans.  So, should I go the sleazy route with my friends or say no to objectification?

- Friends Like Extremely Sexy Halloweens

Dear FLESH,

Oh boy oh boy.  If you don’t want to be objectified, you’ve come to the wrong place.  Not objectified in the “women are only good for making babies and sandwiches” sense, but in the “I was poorly socialized as a child so I relate to everything through automotive metaphors” way.

You remind me of my XC-200 2.5L V7 quint-cam double turbocharged 2001 Dodge Del Monte hatchback.  It was a truly beautiful thing to behold, at least until I Tokyo Drifted it into a Fluffton (snow)Drift last winter, messing up the hydraulics so badly that it only stutter-bounces like a broken chattering teeth toy.

But my reckless and distracted driving is neither here nor there (except if you’re reading this in a snowbank along State Route 110, in which case it was there).

The point I’m trying to make is that when I was trying to convince my parents to buy it for my 17th birthday, I showed them a different car from the one they saw.  I wanted them to see a reliable American car that gets 34 mpg and has 5 airbags and 7 cupholders.  All they saw was the tinted windows, blue neon ground effects and the Ed Hardy dragon decals running the length of both sides.  When I told them how many bags of groceries could fit in the trunk, all they could hear was the custom sound system blasting Lil’ Wayne loud enough to make their teeth chatter.

I eventually saved up to get the car because I could see what was inside and they couldn’t.  If you want to put on the lady equivalents of 22″ spinner rims on, never lose sight of your inner sensible commuter sedan.  If some drunk frat boy stares at your chrome, remind him that you meet California emissiosn standards and can seat 5.  Go out on Halloween.  Enjoy being the center of attention. Just remember what you’ve got under the hood and you’ll maintain your self-respect, which is all that matters.

I hope this helps.

- Dan