As Halloween draws near, we are again besieged with ads for Halloween costumes that range from truly horrifying to…well, truly horrifying. And as always, the easiest costumes to find for women invariably begin with the adjective “sexy” or “slutty”. Here at SJFB, however, we know that what can be truly horrifying – in the monster-under-the-bed/what’s-behind-the-shower-curtain/who’s-waiting-for-you-in-the-parking-garage kind of way, is the idea of real empowerment for women that is not predicated on men’s whims, permissions, or fantasies. BOO!
To that end, as huge Halloween fans, and with the history of being the ones at the party wearing the tongue-in-cheek Halloween costume with irreverent delight, serious irony, and finely honed feminist analysis, we thus offer you JANE’S TOP 10 HALLOWEEN COSTUMES FOR 2014:**
10. SEXY STRIP OF BACON
Rather than making all the respectable occupations women have fought their way into “sexy” costumes for Halloween, select an inanimate object that looks decidedly nonsexy when dressed in it. For example, this year Wal-Mart sells a body-length bacon strip costume. Add this year’s popular TaTa top over your bacon-clad chest and you’re done. [You had me at bacon. . . .]
9. FEMINIST PROSTITUTE
If most people are out there setting the women’s movement back three decades by sexualizing women in respectable professions, we’ll take a profession most think of as not respectable and remind people that feminism is about beliefs, actions, and perspectives, not occupations. Dress like a siren, carry a red umbrella as well as signs that say, “De-criminalize Prostitution”, “Rights for Sex Workers” and “No More Slut-Shaming”.
8. BEYONCÉ VOTER
While the conservatives on Fox News this year may have dismissed single mothers as “Beyoncé Voters” you’ll frighten Fox News when you show them just how women can vote like Beyoncé. Wear a fantastic gown that hugs your awesome booty, add an “I Voted” sticker, and carry signs with some of Beyonce’s most frightening-to-Fox music lyrics: “Try to Control Me, Boy You Get Dismissed”; “All My Ladies on the Floor (of the House and Senate)”; and “If You Liked it then You Shoulda Put a (Nuva) Ring on it (even if you work at Hobby Lobby)”.
7. THE CAVEWOMAN WHO HAS IT ALL
Wear a one-shoulder fur pelt, carry a stone club for hunting in one hand and a woven basket for gathering in the other, cavebaby strapped on so she can breastfeed while simultaneously hunting and/or gathering, and hum “Me Will Survive”.
6. DISNEY’S VERSION OF FEMINISM
Choose your favorite feminist–Gloria Steinem, Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Susan B. Anthony, bell hooks, Benazir Bhutto, Joan of Arc. Now, make her look fancy! A frilly dress, pretty shoes, a sparkly necklace, and a jeweled crown. And, of course, the requisite (male, taller) prince by your side.
5. A WOMAN AGAINST FEMINISM
You may have seen the Tumblr site (it really exists and it’s really scary!). You’ll need to wear your best frock (pressed by your housekeeper, if you don’t have time!), looking hot enough to turn on your husband when he comes home from work but not so hot that any other man would ever look at you with anything other than envy for your husband; forced smile and gritted teeth holding back your rage that only 18% of the Senate is female and that 1 in 5 women will be raped during college; and holding a sign that says “I don’t need feminism because I don’t mind not having equal rights, finding my value in men’s assessment of my appearance, and living in a rape culture”.
4. BYSTANDER BRIGADE
(fun group costume!)
Your opportunity to be the knights in shining armor! So own it – shiny metal knight attire, sword at the ready to slay the dragon/rapist, steed at hand to carry off grateful damsel in distress. Bring your friends! That, and script in hand, prompting you to invite the errant evil knight to get another beer, play another game of pool, or whatever distraction technique you might need to employ to redirect his plan to rape. Optional props: red flags to wave, or green dots to apply, as needed; damsel in distress.
3. MONTY PYTHON KNIGHTS WITH KILLER COLLEGE GIRL
(another fun group costume!)
Use the same costuming as above (a groups of knights), only this damsel wears a white eyelet party dress. From a distance, she may look all innocent and helpless but, just like the white rabbit in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, don’t let her fool you. She has a mouth dripping with blood and is carrying a skull along with her red Solo cup. Suggested dialogue:
College Guy 1: “That girl’s got a vicious streak a mile wide!”
College Guy 2: “What, behind the college girl?”
College Guy 1: “That’s no ordinary college girl!”
College Guy 3: “What’ll she do, nibble your bum?”
College Guy 1: “She’s got huge, sharp—eh. . . she can leap about. . . look at the bones!”
College Guy 2: “Right, silly little bleeder. One blow job comin’ right up!”
Every once in a while, the college girl attacks and the group of knights retreat shouting, “Run away! Run away!”
2. NFL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CONSULTANT
Wear athletic workout wear, protective eyeglasses, and carry a clipboard with a pen. Attach a nametag, “NFL DV Investigations” to your jacket. Everywhere you go, explain how the NFL takes the crime of domestic violence very seriously. Then sit back and enjoy the party because you’re not really going to do anything!
1. TODD AKIN’S LEGITIMATE RAPE TEST
Using a white plastic trash bag, dress as a home pregnancy test stick. Have people pee on you, and if the stick reveals just one horizontal pink line, that person was legitimately raped (and not pregnant). If there is a pink plus sign, that person was not legitimately raped (and can make “barefoot and pregnant” their Halloween costume). [If you’re out with friends, have them wear buttons that say, “Evolution is Religion, not Science”, “Card-Carrying Member of the Institute for Creation Research”, or “I’m With Todd”.]**Be aware you run the risk of needing to explain not just who you are dressed in but the fact that you are, actually, dressed for the holiday. One of your SJFB bloggers had the experience in college of attending a “come as you’re not” Halloween party, dressed as a fellow (highly annoying) classmate, only to have said classmate appear at the party and ask why she was not wearing a costume. True story.