This Creepy AF Peeping Tom Is Offensive -- but Aren't Most Halloween Decorations?

The leaves are changing; there's a chill in the air; and outside store windows, moms across the country are seeing ghoulish ghosts, skeletons, and costumes galore on display. It must be Halloween time again. Well, this year one Canadian mom wasn't too thrilled with the offerings at her local Home Depot and took a stance. She took offense to a Scary Peeper Creeper decoration -- basically a lifelike Peeping Tom face -- and the backlash has caused Home Depot stores in Canada to get rid of the item. But this shopper's protest begs the question of what is appropriate, even on Halloween.

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Mom-of-two Breanne Hunt Wells told CBC radio,"I fail to see the humor in it. It makes light of a very serious crime. Voyeurism is a crime in Canada."

She goes on to explain her reasoning:

I would say to people that say 'it's just a joke' there are a lot of things in our society that have been just a joke over time -- racial jokes, cultural jokes. It takes some talking and thinking to realize that maybe we need to be more sensitive. The people that commit this crime are not harmless people.

In this case, the store also reportedly received complaints that the mask reminds people of Canadian serial killer Paul Bernardo. I didn't necessarily see the resemblance, but I also don't take issue with the fact that Home Depot stores in Canada decided to stop selling the item if it was a trigger for those who were affected or scared by this man's crimes.

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However, I do find an issue with taking a stand only against this one decoration -- while letting all of the other things that some might consider wrong with Halloween fly under the radar.

Now, I am not making light of the fact that voyeurism is serious and can lead to unspeakable crimes against women as well as children. There is absolutely nothing humorous about it, and I understand why it might be deemed offensive.

But I won't lie. I love Halloween. I watch Hocus Pocus every fall, and if I could get away with trick-or-treating, I would. But there are a lot of Halloween items that could be called offensive out there. The Scary Peeper Creeper is just one in a long list of scary items that people buy for Halloween.

Personally, I've never been much for the scare factor. That stuff doesn't really bother me. But when you really think about it -- it probably should. Whether you're headed to a legitimate haunted house, a theme park, or even a friendly house party, you see eyeballs, skulls, bones, dead babies, and fake blood along with jack-o'-lanterns and cobwebs. Let's not forget about all the horror movies that are about fictional murders (Freddy and Jason, anyone?).

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And yes, it's all supposed to be in good fun. But think about all of the severed hands and heads sticking out of candy bowls and those mannequins with plastic cleavers mounted in closets that pop out. Are they offensive, too?

Then there are the costumes. Why do so many of the female costumes have to have the word sexy attached to them? Sexy witch, sexy nurse, sexy ghost, sexy skeleton, sexy Little Red Riding Hood. Sure, you only wear the costume once, but does that make it any less offensive?

I understand that the banning of this item, especially with its supposed connection to an infamous rapist, is a victory for Canada. But the Scary Peeper Creeper will still be sold in other Home Depot stores and online -- and they're not saying "boo" about it. 

Because for the rest of the world (or at least for me), the Scary Peeper Creeper is just another creepy AF Halloween purchase that some will hang in the window and use to scare their friends on October 31. Does that make it right? Well, I can see both sides of the story.

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The Washington Post reports that the owners of the North Carolina company issued a statement of apology:

We at Scary Peeper would never, ever, condone any type of violence. Our intention for this product is for it to be used as a fun-spirited prank. We offer our sincerest apologies to anyone who has been offended by our products, and certainly, to those who have been victimized by voyeurs. Violence towards women is a serious issue, and our products are not intended to make light of serious crimes.

This product probably wasn't made with malicious intent. Since 2012, the company has been fulfilling a demand from a niche audience that wants products that scare the bejesus out of people. 

Halloween lasts for 24 hours. The kids trick-or-treat, and the adults prank one another and party on. 

Despite your stance on Halloween, it's clear in the case brought by Hunt Wells that it's really up to you to decide whether something's taking the scary joke too far or if it's just another creepy Halloween decoration that comes out for fright fest once a year.

 

 

Image via HomeDepot.com

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