Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Costumes and the Gender Line

This image from online retailer is pretty typical in how it presents the categories of costumes: Men: Creepy, Women: Sexy, Boys: Aggressive, Girls: Girly
Have you noticed the aisles of "boy" costumes separate from the "girl" costumes? 

In our culture that sees gender as binary, it's challenging to find a Halloween costume idea that transcends the boundaries of gender.

Last week, Fandango surveyed 1,000 people who were going to dress up for Halloween, and among the top 20 costumes - divided, of course, by top ten for men and top ten for women -  only ONE Halloween get-up bent gender at all:  For women, the fifth most popular classic character costume was The Mad Hatter.

There was a good discussion thread over at genderfork about Gender Neutral costumes, which brought up the frustration of how to be gender-neutral without being an object - like an undersea fiberoptic cable, or a bunch of grapes.

Some suggestions were fascinating, and androgynous:

An Angel

Dr. Seuss' Thing One and Thing Two

Genderbending burlesque Zombie

A Lord Of The Rings Elf

and, of course,

a Zombie Apocalypse Rescue Team member.

What about YOUR costume? How gender-conforming, or non-conforming is it?

Let me know in comments - and if you send me a picture (as long as it's appropriate) I'll share it here!

Happy Halloween!



Samantha said...

I was Alice in Wonderland for work (Disney theme, friend had the costume, didn't feel like thinking hard) but I was Justin Bieber for a party and had WAY more fun.

One year at work I was a terminator, complete with metallic head wound and shrapnel in leg. Another year I was a zombie. Both times People made comments about me not being sexy enough. Totally lame. Halloween is about being creepy and as a girl, I like to get in on that!

Keri said...

Sadly because of Sandy my Halloween Nerdfighter gathering and the parade have been cancelled, so I will be wearing my costume around the apartment...but I'm going to be the Cheshire Cat. I think that's a character anyone can don.

Kelly Robinson said...

I'm a woman dressing as a man dressed as a woman --I'm going as Divine.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Hi Kelly, Keri and Samantha,
Love hearing about your outfits!

Oh, and Samantha - with all respect, I'm trying to help folks avoid using "lame" as a negative - it's another cultural moment of putting down a minority (in this case people with physical disabilities) and it's so much like saying "that's so gay" as a negative.

I think we should stop using all of that putting others down language, and if something is ridiculous or pathetic, saying that instead.

Hope you can hear that in the good spirit it's intended.

Happy Halloween to all!