Naughty Handmaid’s Tale Costume Discontinued After Backlash

Jon Brown | Contributor

Following online outrage, the Halloween costume and lingerie website has discontinued sale of its “brave red maiden costume,” which many took to be a sexualized version of an iconic dress from The Handmaid’s Tale.

The scarlet garb paired with a white bonnet was made famous by a 2017 Hulu series adaptation of the 1985 Margaret Atwood novel, in which women are brutally oppressed and reduced to sex slavery in a society ruled by patriarchal quasi-Christian fundamentalists. The costume has become a favorite symbol of left-wing protesters worldwide, most recently making an appearance at the confirmation hearings of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Comments made by users on Twitter included, “I can’t decide if this misses the point of The Handmaid’s Tale or encapsulates it completely,” and, “Our society doesn’t take the rape of real women seriously, why should they take the rape of fictional women seriously?”

Though a picture of the costume remains on the company’s website, it now leads to an apologetic statement.

The statement reads, in part:

“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.”

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