A retailer in the US has removed a Handmaid’s Tale-inspired costume from sale, after it was branded “tone deaf” and accused of “sexualising misogyny and rape”.
The outfit consisted of a red cape and white hat – like those worn by the handmaids in both the book by Margaret Atwood and the TV series it inspired – along with a mini-dress:
Slutty Handmaid Tale Costume was the natural progression of things pic.twitter.com/LuW9LiwK8X
— Ben McDonald (@Bmac0507) September 20, 2018
The model in the photograph on their website was wearing black red high heels and the product description read: “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.”
In response, plenty of people did take Yandy up on their call to be bold and speak their minds, though not in the way the site had intended.
“We’re beyond satire right now,” wrote one Twitter user, while another said it was “horrifying” that someone had come up with the idea.
— Zoe Margolis (@girlonetrack) September 20, 2018
Did you love The Handmaids tale for it's dystopian themes about a degraded future society where women no longer have any sort of rights or autonomy, holding up a mirror to our own reality?
Cool, well, here's a sexy version for Halloween.https://t.co/1MtZQqbsiKpic.twitter.com/8z7XrGO0R4
— Kim Horcher (@kimscorcher) September 20, 2018
If you looked up “Offensive Antithesis”, the definition would be this “Sexy” Handmaids Tale costume.
Glad the company removed it and made a statement, but for anyone first to come up with the idea and then for someone to approve it is horrifying. pic.twitter.com/BeobxKHgEY
— b r i t t_m a r i e (@nuggetbritt) September 21, 2018
Apparently “sexy” Handmaid’s Tale costumes are a thing. For those who want to go as tone-deaf for Halloween. pic.twitter.com/JPaWP0ud8V
— Aiden Storey (@aiden_storey) September 21, 2018
As a result, the ‘Brave Red Maiden’ costume – which was retailing for nearly $65 (£49) – was swiftly removed from sale, with Yandy claiming it was “unfortunate” that it had been seen as “a symbol of women’s oppression, rather than an expression of women’s empowerment”.
“Our initial inspiration to create this piece was through witnessing its use in recent months as a powerful protest image,” they added.
The TV adaptation of Atwood’s novel began airing last year and when Halloween rolled around, plenty of fans wore handmaid costumes and shared their efforts online.
The outfits have also been adopted by protestors and when US Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Philadelphia back in July, he was met with rows of women dressed as handmaids, in a protest against his views on reproductive rights.
Stella Creasy References The Handmaid's Tale During Impassioned Plea To Liberalise Abortion In Northern Ireland
Elisabeth Moss Clarifies Comments About ‘The Handmaid's Tale’ Not Being A ‘Feminist’ Story