Feminist Halloween Costumes for 2015

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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.)

Blood Moon

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What could be spookier or more topical than a rare lunar eclipse, commonly referred to as a blood moon, which took place a mere month before Halloween? What could be more feminist than a blood moon?

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.

 

Bree Newsome

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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).

 

Directions: Build your fake flagpole by taping together several paper-towel tubes, then spray-painting a styrofoam craft ball gold and gluing or taping it on top; alternatively, just use some balled-up tinfoil and wedge it into the top of your pole. Draw or paint a Confederate flag pattern on an old white handkerchief or piece of paper. Dress up in black outfit, sneakers, bike helmet, and belt; cling to flagpole while victoriously waving Confederate flag.

 

Safety Tip: Consider substituting a piece of paper or cloth with just the words “Confederate Flag” written on it; that way, you can avoid making other Halloween revelers feel unsafe and/or having your costume misinterpreted as a pro-Confederate flag costume. You might also stay safer from pro-Confederate flag partygoers yourself.

 

Anti-Safety Tip: Consider stealing a real Confederate flag to turn your costume into an act of political activism. But keep yourself as safe as you can, kiddo.

 

mancdWant to dress up as something that went viral in 2015? Forget that pizza rat and reeenact the hilarious statue made famous on Twitter by Cathy de la Cruz and her friend Ash. The photo’s exciting media history now includes (intentionally?) ironic appropriation by Jerry Saltz, infuriating-yet-charming debate on Fox News, and the shocking disclosure that the model for the seated girl was in reality the artist’s daughter (because no dad has ever mansplained anything to his daughter).

 

You’ll Need: Dark-brown or gray knee-length skirt, blouse with ruffled bib collar, necklace with tasteful crucifix,  flat shoes, book or notebook; accomplice dressed in button-down dress skirt, pleated khakis, belt, and loafers.

 

Directions: Put on the clothes and style your hair so that you look kinda dorky. Pose all around town seated on various benches with your book open on your lap, with your accomplice/partner posed with one foot on the bench, lovingly mansplaining the contents of your book to you. If you want to cover your bodies and clothes with metallic paint like one of those living statues, just make sure you don’t suffocate like the lady in Goldfinger.

 

I’m thinking specifically of Morgan Parker‘s post from this past March, but really 2015 has been a pretty good year for feminist housewives in general:  don’t forget the Real Housewives of Bohemia and the (possibly fictional) wife bonus. The point is to imagine a world in which work that we don’t think has (monetary) value–including art, including caregiving, including all kinds of un- and under-compensated work most frequently performed by women–could be extravagantly compensated. As Morgan says in her post,
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.

Directions: Put on your costume; carry around the frying pan and the paycheck; imagine your own feminist housewife utopia.

 

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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 BruxellesWARNING: 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.

 

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards

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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.

 

Group Costume: The Rad American Women

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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.

 

A Manspreader

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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!

2 Comments

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2 Responses to Feminist Halloween Costumes for 2015

  1. adam s

    Just to make sure–the pizza rat is not being touted as Feminist, yah? Aside from the grotty shoes, I like the look; call me traditional, but I’d prefer a feminist costume not be in an eye-fuck aesthetic. The notion of a Feminist Halloween costume is kind of funny to me, as one could “read” this as playing dress-up as a Feminist for an evening, but not wearing this philosophy/world-view in one’s regular life.

  2. Pingback: Happy Halloween! and 100 Years of Costumes | Andrea Blythe

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