Certain girls’ costumes for Öskudagur sexualise children, contends the Feminist Society of Iceland. One store owner believes parents should decide for themselves which costumes are appropriate for their children.
Today is Öskudagur (Ashes Day) in Iceland. Similar to Halloween in practice, children typically dress in costumes and visit different places of business to sing for candy. Vísir reports that some of the costumes for sale for girls this year have drawn criticism from the Feminist Society of Iceland.
Thomas Brorsen Smidt told reports that children do not have full agency over their actions and decisions, and cannot work themselves through the gender-bound messages which society gives them; that this is rather the job of adults. When costumes featuring short skirts and high heels are being sold to girls aged five to twelve, “it is nothing more than the pornification of youth, if not borderline child pornography”.
Jón Gunnar Bergs, the director of the Partýbúðin chain of stores, says he has no intention of not selling the costumes. He pointed out that there were boys’ costumes featuring pirates and mass murderers, and that it was up to each parent to decide whether they wanted their child dressed as a pirate or a song diva for Öskudagur.