The Wire Hanger.

I would just like to get something off my chest.

Since Fresher’s week I’ve been thinking about the seemingly limited variety of costumes that young women don at fancy dress events, which naturally came to a head last night after serving an endless queue of sexy cats, sexy witches, and sexy zombies. I could feel a rant brewing.

But another costume, worn by a quiet first year, blew that rant out of the water. Last night, a young man turned up to the bar’s Halloween party with a plastic hanger around his neck and a poorly scribbled sheet of paper with harrowing words ‘Abortion Survivor’.

To many people, this image might not seem all that offensive, it’s just a hanger, just words. But I couldn’t help but wonder what that boy’s mother might have said if she’d seen his outfit. Had she ever faced that decision, a child, an abortion, doctors or backstreet?

The image of the wire hanger (the idiot couldn’t even get that right) represents a dark period in the history of women’s rights – a time when choice did not exist, when desperation drove women to the most horrific of measures. Even now, when abortion is more socially accepted, procedures safer, less invasive, and more sympathetic to the mother’s feelings, even still it is not a decision any woman will ever make lightly.

Thankfully it’s a decision I’ve never had to face, but I know people who have and I can’t imagine how they might have faced up to an 18 year old boy with a plastic hanger around his neck.

I know Halloween costumes are meant to be scary, but in future I’ll welcome the sexy cats, sexy witches and sexy zombies with a smile, because at least they’ve made it out of the dark ages. They have the choice to wear fishnets and fake eyelashes. Because thankfully, for these girls, the wire hanger will only ever be used to hang clothes.

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