16 Feminist Halloween Costume Ideas

There’s lots of advice out there about what not to be on Halloween—people dressing up as “Indians” and domestic abusers, I’m looking at you—but not a lot of advice for actually good costumes. Here’s a fun list we put together of pop-culture-inspired costumes.

ruth bader ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Get a lacy cravat and dress up as a superhero for our time. If you want to truly terrify people, go as Scalia instead. (photo via Beyonce Voters)

a woman cosplaying as a ghostbuster
All-Lady Ghostbuster Squad: 
This fall, Paul Feig and Katie Dippold announced that they’re writing a new Ghostbusters movie that will star “hilarious women.” Bonus points on this costume if you can dress someone’s dog up as slimer. (photo by Garry Knight

april o'neil

Six Versions of April O’Neil: There are so many April O’Neils to choose from. You can be the current Megan Fox bike-riding hipster April O’Neil, early comic book days moody-huge-hair April O’Neil, 90’s movie tough sleeves-rolled-up April O’Neil, or the animated TV show classic yellow jumpsuit April O’Neil.

ellie satler reaches into a big pile of dino poovelociraptor

Dr. Ellie Sattler and  “Clever Girl”: Laura Dern’s capable doctor from Jurassic Park is a classic costume and you can get a ladyfriend to dress up as the smart velociraptor that killed game warden Robert Muldoon. (image source)

a ripped dollar bill

The Severed Paycheck: A paycheck stub that’s been gruesomely ripped down to the size of women’s actual average paychecks. (image source)

olivia pope

Olivia Pope: Wear awesome heels and boss everyone around all night. Done. Extra points if you can get someone else to dress up as “web of lies.” (Image via ABC)

the cast of we are the best

A Swedish Teen Punk Band: Think up nicknames for yourselves and rock scarves, huge sweaters, and mohawks a la We Are the Best.  (image source)

bee and puppycat

Bee and Puppycat: Not everyone will understand why you’re talking about space travel and carrying around a cat, but the ones who do get it will love you. (Image source)

kamala khan as ms marvel

The new Batgirl and Ms. Marvel: The newest versions of Batgirl and Ms. Marvel are actually fleshed-out heros who we can look up to. (image source)

ursula le guinoctavia butler

Feminist Sci-fi Superheroes: Go as Ursula K. Le Guin, Octavia Butler, and Margaret Atwood. Then if y’all get bored at the party, you can just sit in the corner reading great books.  (image credit: Marian Wood Kolisch and Nikolas Coukouma

sally draper saying "are you going to make yourself cry?"

Sally Draper: The more intolerable everyone else gets on Mad Men, the better Sally Draper becomes. It’s a fact. (Image via AMC)

lisa simpson

Lisa Simpson: If watching every Simpsons episode ever taught us one thing, it’s that the world needs more Lisa Simpsons.

eleanor and park

Eleanor of Eleanor and Park: Giant red, curly wig. Even bigger headphones. A notebook full of notes to Park. You’re golden.  

serena williams

Serena Williams: Any year would be a good year to the tough-as-nails tennis star, but especially now that she’s taken up the part-time gig of shutting down racist, sexist comments from tennis officials. (photo by Yann Caradec)

I'm just a bill

The Ghost of Texas Abortion Rights Restrictions:  Cover a white sheet with the language of Texas’ bill that’s closed all but eight clinics in the state, which will continue to linger and haunt people even after the Supreme Court has blocked most of the law. (Image by Schoolhouse Rock

the fremont troll

Internet Trolls: Be an actually-scary basement-dweller. (photo by Sue Elias)

Related Listening: Oh the Horror! Feminism and Horror Films. 


by Sarah Mirk
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Sarah Mirk is the former host of Bitch Media’s podcast Popaganda. She’s interested in gender, history, comics, and talking to strangers. You can follow her on Twitter

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2 Comments Have Been Posted

Don't forget Tina Belcher!

Don't forget Tina Belcher!

Ana Mendieta


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