“Halloween is just an excuse for women to dress like sluts”. You will see men (and your friends) whistling and objectifying women, then excusing it by saying “well that’s what they want or else they wouldn't dress like that!” You will see men (and your friends) dressing up as women and trivializing the transgender/cross dressing experience.
It’s a great opportunity to intervene. It’s a great opportunity to have conversations about masculinity. It’s a great opportunity to TAKE ACTION. Remember, this isn't about rescuing women and transgender people. It’s about redefining our masculinities.
Action can take many forms. It could be a simple question, such as, “Hey man, would you do that (cat call) on any other night? Then why now?” Or maybe give them a gentle reminder, “Hey, you gotta get the sober ‘YES’ or else it’s sexual assault, no matter what you think her costume suggests.” Or "Hey do you think that's how women and transgender people act? That says a lot about what you think about your friends..." Even a "Dude... That's not cool" can go a long ways.
For more on Bystander Intervention, check out our blog post from the past! http://meninthemovement.blogspot.com/2013/04/spring-bystander-intervention-workshop.html
Be vigilant, be safe, ask for consent, practice intervening, and have fun!