It's not too late: Feminist Halloween Costumes

Sure, there’s Rosie, Lady Gaga, and this lovely list of pun-tastic pro-choice outfits for you to choose from, but it still seems like it’s hard for feminists to get a break on Halloween! Here are some suggestions from the Bitch Media office….

Peggy Hill

Jennifer K. Stuller called this Arlen, TX native “the most empowered and progressive of cartoon women” (and she hasn’t posed for Playboy!). Cattle ranching, roller derby, and mothering are just some of Peggy Hill’s pastimes.

“mom” jeans, 80s glasses, Spanish textbook

You might also consider: Daria Morgendorffer

Guerilla Girl

Hitting the art world where it hurts since 1985, this undercover group of activists is any easy outfit with a message!

Costume: black clothes, gorilla mask, name of rad female artist (or, if you really want to make a statement, go as Venus de Milo with a gorilla mask!)

You might also consider: actually dressing like a rad female artist, such as Frida Kahlo

Angela Davis

Black Power activist, political prisoner, academic. This is an especially frightening outfit…if you’re the FBI circa 1970.

Costume: megaphone, hoop earrings, Afro, broken handcuffs (it’s a metaphor!)

You might also consider: Dolores Huerta (see: America Ferrera)

Gloria Steinem… undercover as a Playboy Bunny

That’s right. The Sexy Feminist Costume.


Ida B. Wells

This 19th century anti-lynching activist worked tirelessly, and co-founded the NAACP as well as advocating for women’s right to vote.

Costume: Old-timey clothes (frilly collar, long skirt, etc.), newspaper (Check out this awesome Ida job!)

You might also consider: Emma Goldman

Ellen Ripley

Kick-ass or treat! Aliens, parasites, and insubordinate spaceship members will quake at your feet.

Costume: white tee, fatigue pants, ginormous automatic weapon

You might also consider: G.I Jane

Hopey and Maggie
Ghostworld’s Enid and Rebecca are so five years ago! Why not go as this invincible Cali duo from Jaimie Hernandez’s Love and Rockets?

Costume: Hopey: crust punk tee, ripped black pants, trench coat. Maggie: tight pants to show off curves, heart on sleeve (optional)

You might also consider: Tank Girl

Jem and the Holograms

If you’re feeling especially ambitious and creative, grab some friends and go as this ’80s cartoon rock band (…it’s doable!)

Costume: make-up, hair dye/wigs, colorful blazer, keytar, GLITTER. LOTS OF GLITTER.

You might also consider: the Powerpuff girls

What feminist figure are YOU going as this Halloween? Share your costume, photos, and tips below! Have a good weekend and Happy Halloween!

by Kjerstin Johnson
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Kjerstin Johnson is a writer and editor in Portland, Oregon. She is the former editor in chief of Bitch. She tweets at @kajerstin

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22 Comments Have Been Posted

I'm going as Buffy the

I'm going as Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The Patriarchy

My girlfriend and I are going as the patriarchy. I'll be wearing a skirt, pearls, and apron and holding a tray of cookies and she will be in a suit and tie carrying around The Wall Street Journal. I'll be saying a lot of, "Yes, Dear"s.

OMG I LOVE IT!! I wish I had

OMG I LOVE IT!! I wish I had a girlfriend just so I could steal this idea.

Xena, Warrior Princess and Gabrielle

That's what me and my friend are going to a party as. We were so into that show around 10 years' ago.

where can you buy it ive

where can you buy it ive been looking for one thats xena or gabby but i cant find it help!



I was a nuva-ring, as was

I was a nuva-ring, as was suggested on a list of pro-choice costumes that Bitch linked to; I wore all pink and carried a hula hoop with me. But yesterday, at a party, I saw the most horrifyingly anti-feminist costume. A girl wore a nude leotard, with red paint (blood) hand prints on the body and over the nipples of the leotard. When asked what she was, she replied, "a dead rape victim."
WHAT would possess a woman to do that? It was terrible.

I've noticed that some

I've noticed that some people think it's cute to go as things like dead rape victims. I recently went to a party where a girl dressed as a "battered housewife" and was all "heheheh" about it, instead of maybe.. I don't know, putting a positive spin on it (if you can?) and educating about the issue. It was... UGH.

I was actually a zombie

I was actually a zombie retro housewife tonight, and 2 people asked me if I was a battered housewife! I was like... who would make that into a costume seriously? that's horrible. I didn't know people were doing that on purpose...

Taarna from Heavy Metal

I would go either as Sechmet the lion headed goddess, or Taarna from the original Heavy Metal movie. Both of those bitches kick butt.

Wait. What? You must be

Wait. What? You must be kidding. I don't know what I would do if I heard the words "I'm a dead rape victim!" come out of a woman's mouth. Amazing.

I was totally a PowerPuff Girl

My friends and I last year did PowerPuff. I had to be Blossom as I was the only one with long enough hair. This year has been Rosie the Riveter (should be done at least once) and Maid Marian, but my Robin Hood is a girl so I still got to subvert the system in a full length medieval dress.

The goal is to either be Wonder Woman (should also be done at least once) or Princess Leia/ Padme Amadala next year. Preferably in one of their more kickass outfits.

I am going as Coraline, made

I am going as Coraline, made the costume myself (:

I went as Kaylee Frye from

I went as Kaylee Frye from Firefly, and it was awesome. :)

Marge Simpson!

Why all the love lost just because she was in Playboy? I love Marge! I wore a blue afro wig, strung some red beads together, sewed a green tube dress, and wore some $5 red flats. It was awesome! Like Marge!

I went as Emily Dickinson,

I went as Emily Dickinson, and my friends were Sylvia Plath and Sara Teasdale. All dead poets, all AWESOME.

Peggy Hill wore jean shorts,

Peggy Hill wore jean shorts, not jeans. Pfft. And you have to do the hair and you have to wear the sleeveless 'oxidized sterling silver' top, extra-large size 16 shoes, and so on.

Get yr Peggy Hill right.

Miss Bennett

I was Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, because I had this Regency-style dress lying around that I made on a whim last year. Add an updo, some long gloves, and a wrap/shawl/scarf thing, and there you go! 1813 proto-feminist.

Costume ideas

-A member of Pussy Riot (complete with handcuffs!)
-An astronaut (Last year I just wore an astronaut jump suit to hand out candy. I saw the look of gratitude on the face of a mother of a little bat-girl and knew this was a feminist costume.) Also: other cool explorer/smart professional costumes. Detective, archeologist, etc.
-One of the Battlestar Galactica ladies.
-Princess Mononoke
-Mulan (oldie-times Chinese military garb)
-old school lady rocker or rapper. Queen Latifah, Salt-n-pepa, Janis Joplin, Madonna, etc.
-Dora the Explorer
-Paper bag Princess
Almost any smart, fun, creative costume a woman wears is feminist because it's one less dull, sex-object-y, un-funny costume. Go as an angel, nurse, or a cop or whatever, just make it yours and don't be scared to get creative.

I'm going as a Manic Pixie

I'm going as a Manic Pixie Dreamgirl

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