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When I see adults in costume, I think how embarrassed I would have been if my parents had gotten dressed up on Halloween, instead of turning us loose on the streets of Sioux Falls to trick & treat (in what today would be considered completely unsafe: dark costumes, no adults, covered faces).

But really, what do I care if adults dress up? If all the parents in my neighborhood had done that, I'm sure I would remember it as a wonderful, quirky Sioux Falls tradition. It would be normal.

Expectations, context, societal norms aren't intrinsically OK or not-OK, U or non-U, right or wrong.

Except ... I read a remarkable piece in the NYT by American journalist Theo Padnos, who was kidnapped & tortured for almost 2 years by brutal, ignorant fighters in Syria. They sound like adolescents who've had no raising and hate anyone who's not on their team. They had no interest in rebuilding destroyed infrastructure or building, oh, schools & hospitals, & their big desire was for their little kids to become suicide bombers.

Where are the women? I can't help but believe that a society where women are oppressed is a much darker place. Not normal.
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