People are furious about this Oscar Pistorius Halloween costume that comes with a gun
I had almost forgotten about Oscar Pistorius, that long-spanning legal case featuring the optimistic rise and terrible fall of an unlikely champion. Pistorius had both his legs amputated when he was a mere eleven months old, and yet he went on to participate in the 2012 Summer Olympics, after winning at the Paralympic Games. It was a story that captivated the world, until seemingly out of nowhere, in 2013, he shot his girlfriend to death in South Africa.
Reeva Steenkamp was a South African model, and Pistorius had shot her four times. He claimed he thought that she was an intruder, and he shot her four time erringly, but the defense didn't wash. Pistorius was sentenced to six years in prison for the homicide.
Now, in the unfolding saga of offensive Halloween costumes, we have a new genre: famous murderer. Instead of an Aaron Hernandez costume or perhaps OJ Simpson, now we've got a Pistorius costume that many online are considering rather offensive.
We know people are angry at it, because Amazon has stopped selling it after public backlash. One Twitter user had said: "How can extreme violence against women ever be a joke or a marketing opportunity?"
The costume was criticized as offensive against women, for fetishizing a murderer, and also for being ableist, or mocking disabled people. The costume was titled "Blade gunner", a play on the film Blade Runner and the fact that Pistorius used metal prosthetics to walk upon, which were compared to ice blades. The costume also came with a gun, which was thought to be tasteless considering his murder.
What do you think? Is it too soon for this kind of costume? What about a John Wayne Gacy costume, or Charles Manson? Somehow, I feel like those are more acceptable. Is it just the recent celebrity nature of the crime? Seemingly so, as a Jack The Ripper costume is considered alright.
What is it about Halloween costumes that gets people so bothered? Does anyone actually think that a Halloween costume is normalizing killing women? I mean, lol, it sounds utterly absurd, does it not? That seeing an Oscar Pistorius costume on Halloween would lead anybody to think "Oh yeah, that guy wore a Pistorius costume, so clearly he likes Pistorius, and I should like him too, it's no big deal to shoot your girlfriend." I highly doubt it.
Yes, the "blade gunner" is offensive from a lingual perspective, but also kind of a brilliant pun for having three layers to it. Also, if I saw this costume, I frankly would not even know it was Pistorius. I would just assume it's a track runner, I would never even make the Pistorius connection. I'd nearly forgotten about the case.
Maybe Halloween costumes are the central pivot in the war for social justice. But maybe they're also meaningless and most people won't even recognize Pistorius, without the strange Amazon description to provide context. What do you think? Would you care if you saw this costume on Halloween?