This ‘Blade Gunner’ costume is never getting an Oscar
The Halloween costume is complete with a toy gun and prosthetic legs - and it's on sale online
We all love dressing up for Halloween, but an Oscar Pistorius costume may be taking things a bit too far. The costume – complete with fake prosthetic legs, a toy gun and a green athletics vest emblazoned with the name Blade Gunner – is selling for $25 (about R470) on a UK online shopping website.
It has raised the ire of women’s groups, with the Reeva Steenkamp Foundation calling it “insensitive and inappropriate”.
The Paralympic gold medallist is serving a 13-year sentence for shooting Steenkamp dead at his home on Valentine’s Day in 2013. He claimed he thought she was an intruder.
Other costumes that have caused an international stir include a child’s costume for an Israeli soldier, a sexy Muslim outfit, a “dirty old man flasher” costume complete with a large fake penis, and a Taliban suicide bomber.
The Pistorius costume is for sale on simplyfancydress.co.uk, while the Israeli soldier costume is available on eBay and Amazon. The other costumes come from various online shopping sites.
Samantha Waterhouse‚ head of the Women and Democracy Initiative at the Dullah Omar Institute, said the costume “glorifies violence against women”.
“In SA we have extremely high levels of violence against women, so this is not humorous for us.
“To create something like that for the sake of entertainment is insensitive because you are glorifying the violence. People who have bought it are also part of the problem, not just those who produced it.”
Waterhouse said the costume was “deeply disrespectful, not only for Reeva but for all women who have suffered violence”.
“These kinds of things have a way of normalising and trampling on the pain and victimisation that women experience.”
Foundation spokesperson Tania Koen said the focus of the organisation was to educate and empower victims of abuse and that “the costume is insensitive and inappropriate for various reasons”.
Siyabulela Monakali, spokesperson for social services and education NGO Ilitha Labantu, said the costume minimised the seriousness of the crime and “glorifies the perpetrator”.
“It is highly insensitive as it shows that violence against women is being made a mockery of. Those who purchase such a costume do not see the seriousness of the murder of Reeva Steenkamp at the hands of her intimate partner,” he said.