A ‘sexy’ Halloween costume has sparked outrage with claims it trivialises sexual assault.
Online retailer Yandy.com released a suggestive version of the outfits worn by kidnapped sex slaves in the dystopian TV series ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’.
“An upsetting dystopian future has emerged where women no longer have a say,” the company’s advertisement said.
“However, we say be bold and speak your mind in this exclusive Brave Red Maiden costume.”
The outfit, which retailed for $89 featured a red mini dress, a matching cloak with an attached hood and a white bonnet head piece.
The TV series is based on a 1985 novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood and highlights themes of misogyny, feminism and the abuse of state power.
It is set in a bleak future, where the US government strips women of civil rights and forces young women to be sex slaves or ‘handmaids’ for elite government officials.
The handmaids, who wear red robes and white bonnets, are regularly raped and made to have children for powerful couples.
Women across the world have donned the handmaid’s outfits to protest women’s oppression.
The sexualised outfit has attracted criticism from the wider public.
“Why would they make a sexy handmaids tale outfit like (those) women were raped in that show … insensitive,” one Twitter user posted.
“Your sexy Handmaids Tale outfit missed the point entirely!” another user wrote.
Another said handmaids were forced into slavery and used as baby-making machines, and was not something that should be described as “sexy”.
“Someone thought it was appropriate to create a ‘sexy’ version of The Handmaids Tale outfit?,” one Twitter user posted.
“Sexualising an outfit which represents monthly rape, routine torture including FGM, forced pregnancy and forced removal of babies from mothers.”
The company announced that it was removing the costume from its site on September 20.
“Yandy has always stood, and will continue to stand, at the forefront of encouraging our customers to “Own Your Sexy”,” Yandy.com wrote in a Twitter statement.
“Over the last few hours, it has become obvious that [the costume] is being seen as a symbol of women’s oppression, rather than 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.”