Forget the naughty nurse costume

Same to the X-rated devil and raunchy witch uniforms. How about a subversively sexy Halloween get-up?

Topics: Halloween, Broadsheet, Love and Sex,

Forget the naughty nurse costume

We’ve complained plenty about so-called Slut-o-ween — or as Mary Elizabeth Williams put it, “International Dress Like a Fetish Porn Star Day.” You can’t go out on Halloween anymore without running into several dozen sexy-whatevers. Even girl dogs are slutting it up these days. But instead of once again bemoaning the current state of Hallows’ Eve costuming, I decided to solicit some ideas for feminist-minded get-ups on Twitter and Facebook. I mean, why not crowd-source your costume?

There were the usual women’s history nominees: Rosie the Riveter, Frida Kahlo, Bella Abzug, Marie Curie and Amelia Earhart. All nice suggestions, but a tad too earnest. I was hoping more for smart concept costumes. One friend wrote, “Power suit + heels + briefcase … and you’re costumed as Affordable Childcare?” A guy friend brilliantly, although impractically, suggested:

How about you dress as 10,000 years of agrarian culture where the indeterminacy of paternity (as opposed to the certainty of maternity) combined with the inheritance of possessions through direct lineage has caused the continued, often draconian oppression of female sexuality? It’s amazing what you can do with a bit of paper-mache –



… and perhaps some interpretive dance. Anna Holmes, formerly of Jezebel, hilariously tweeted: “Fish riding bicycle.” In a similar vein, Planned Parenthood NYC solicited ideas last year for pro-choice costumes and comic Katie Halper suggested, “Wear galoshes and carry an oar: You’re Roe v Wade” and “walk around with a bunch of babies: You’re ‘abstinence only’ sex education.” I’m also partial to one pal’s punny solutions: “Cap’n bell hooks, Susan Bee Anthony, Pair a’dimes. Or just cover yourself in red tape and say you’re a bureaucracy.”

You can check out some other suggestions under the Twitter hashtag I started: #feministhalloween. At the moment, I’m leaning toward the idea of a, shall we say, subversively “sexy” costume — but maybe “Sexy Tampon” is taking things too far?

Tracy Clark-Flory

Tracy Clark-Flory is a staff writer at Salon. Follow @tracyclarkflory on Twitter and Facebook.

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