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It Isn’t Weird That I Can Recognize an Escape From New York Costume

Men and their obsession with what movies women know and recognize continues to infuriate me.

Snake Plissken in Escape From New York

Every year, my encyclopedic knowledge of movies makes me the fun one on Halloween. I typically know every costume in the room and get overly excited about the ones that I end up seeing. For the last three years, however, something has happened to me that I don’t understand.

I’ve seen three different Snake Plissken costumes and every time I’ve called out to them, I’ve watched as the men dressed up lost their minds that I knew who they were. Last night, I received free wine from the bartender because I knew he was dressed like Kurt Russell in Escape from New York.

What is it about these “male-centric” costumes that make men so amazed when anyone (especially women) can recognize what it is? Or, more importantly, why does no one know what Escape from New York is? Why is it especially expected that a young woman would not know? This phenomenon has happened to me with more popular costumes as well. The amount of times a man is shocked that I know who the Dude from The Big Lebowski is frustrates me to no end. Dude.

Maybe it goes back to the idea that women have to be taught these things, that we have to be shown the movies and TV shows these men love in order to understand them. So when, out in the wild, a woman recognizes a costume that is seen as a “man’s movie,” all on her own, it throws people for a loop.

In defense of all the Snakes I have seen in my days, they’re all just generally excited that someone knows who they are. Last night, the bartender was thrilled that I could recognize what he was going for. Which, again, why have none of you seen Escape from New York? Kurt Russell is incredible. Stop reading this and go watch that movie. So then maybe the Snake Plisskens of the Halloween circuit won’t have to go throughout the night being upset that no one knows who they are.

I can’t say the same for the Dudes of the world, though. Most stare at me like I’ve grown a third head because I’m so excited to see the Dude out and about. Who hasn’t seen a guy dressed up like the Dude on Halloween, though? The more shocking thing is that most of the Dudes are skeptical of a woman knowing what The Big Lebowski is, despite my vocal recognition of the character. Which, guys, the Dude would not be cool with you judging a woman for liking The Big Lebowski.

Maybe I thought we were past men being shocked by women recognizing their costumes and further expecting them to qualify that knowledge. Or maybe I’m just the kind of lucky girl who grew up in a family of men who never questioned her knowledge of movie characters. But it would be great if by Halloween of 2019, we stopped with the “you know what that is?” follow-up when someone commends or comments upon your costume choices.

Explaining your costume is one thing, questioning how someone knows your character choice is another.

(image: AVCO Embassy Pictures)

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She/Her. A writer who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.