Last year there was the Sexy Bunch of Grapes. This year it’s the Sexy Pizza Rat. The more things change, the more you need a list of feminist Halloween costume ideas. In honor of WEIRD SISTER’s upcoming first birthday (!!!!) I’m updating last year’s hoary old list of literary feminist costume ideas with some Totally Topical Feminist Costumes for 2015, including plenty of references drawn from WEIRD SISTER’s first twelve months! (Don’t forget to review last year’s list of Feminist Halloween Do’s and Don’ts to make sure your Edgy Feminist Halloween Costume is feminist fun for everyone.)
You’ll Need: two large pieces of cardboard, red paint, heavy scissors, hole punch, string. Optional: red lipstick or face paint, white acrylic paint, tampons, pads
Directions: Cut your cardboard into two large disks. Paint white if desired. Using hole punch and string, tie disks together in two places to create a sandwich board. Spatter about two-thirds of front disk with red paint. If you’re into Feminist Period Visibility (while you’re thinking about this, check out Juliana Delgado Lopera‘s Bilingual Guide to Bleeding Properly), stick pads and tampons all over the red paint. If you want to, extend the blood-moon motif to your face and stipple about half your face with red paint or lipstick. Reenact multiple WEIRD SISTER Supermoon stories throughout Halloween night.
Probably one of the coolest women to make the news in 2015, filmmaker and activist Bree Newsome scaled a 30-foot flagpole this past June to remove the Confederate flag that was flying in front of the South Carolina State House.
You’ll Need: bike helmet, black t-shirt, black sweatpants or yoga pants, sneakers, a climbing harness (or maybe just a cool belt with a lot of hardware), a Confederate flag (you can draw one with colored Sharpies on a piece of fabric or make it out of construction paper), a fake flagpole (assemble out of paper-towel tubes, with a gold ball stuck on top).
Bring on the Carefree Black Girl, The Feminist “Housewife,” The Successful Artist. My dream is to talk more about money and the structures and arrangements that allow women artists to sustain their work. My dream is to reinvent what stability looks like, to get creative, to dare to want a better quality of life.
You’ll Need: Housewife clothes (yoga pants and an adorable camisole? a housedress? an apron? a silk robe?); a frying pan; a paycheck.
Speaking of feminist housewives: mourn the recent death and celebrate the legacy of legendary feminist filmmaker Chantal Akerman with a tribute to her 1975 film Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles. WARNING: SPOILERS IN COSTUME DESCRIPTION BELOW!
You’ll Need: Cardigan sweater, skirt, blouse, and scarf; gray check housecoat; stockings; high heels; well-coiffed brunette wig; bloody scissors
Directions: Put on your outfit; curl and style your hair or wig; dip your scissors in red paint; spend Halloween painstakingly making meat loaf in real time.
Show your support for an embattled Planned Parenthood by dressing up as its president and defending it to Congress!
You’ll Need: short blonde wig; blue dress with matching jacket; fancy gold lapel pin; tasteful makeup; microphone.
Directions: Dress up like Cecile Richards and defend, don’t defund, Planned Parenthood! Alternatively, assert your reproductive rights in a threatening political climate by dressing up like birth control pills or an IUD.
If you’re a girls’ school with 26 students, you could pull off an amazingly abecedarian Halloween costume this year by dressing up as all the women from Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl’s 2015 alphabet book, Rad American Women A-Z. Ranging from Angela Davis to Zora Neale Hurston, with plenty of role models like Patti Smith, Maya Lin, and Dolores Huerta in between, the feminist heroines in this book form a Who’s Who of fabulous historical Halloween ideas. Try dressing up like individual women: author Kate Schatz compiled this amazing post chock full of Rad American Women costume ideas for kids that also totally work for adults! Or try your hand at copying Stahl’s bold graphic style and creating wearable alphabet cards on sandwich boards or t-shirts.
Just relax and take up a bunch of space on the train. As my two-year-old daughter (pictured) said yesterday, “Don’t bother me. I’m a man. I’ve got my ticket.” Incidentally, she plans to be a pumpkin for Halloween, so that’s another idea.
Whatever feminist costume you choose, we’d love to see it! Post a photo in the comments, or show it off at WEIRD SISTER’s upcoming Halloween/birthday bash in NYC!