The male feminist: a Halloween conundrum

The male feminist: a Halloween conundrum

By Darcy Knoll, CARE Canada’s Communications Specialist 


Gentlemen! Tired of being a sexy pirate or sexy police officer?

Do you feel the Halloween costume industry is objectifying you and making you feel uncomfortable? Then this year, why not try a costume that is empowering and shows off your feminist style?

A group of women in my office were planning to do feminist costumes for Halloween and I was asked to participate.
Now, I’ll admit I’m not the most creative on Halloween costumes. But when asked what my “feminist man” costume would be, I was stumped.

Others in my office – which includes some of the strongest feminists I know – were as well.
But, as you ruffle through your closet or costume shops ahead of your Halloween party, it’s clear an answer is needed.

So what does a feminist male costume look like? Here are a few ideas: 


1. The feminist dad!

Costume: This costume includes a dad diaper bag, emergency Mum-Mums in your pocket and spit-up on your shoulder.

This man does daycare pick-up, cooks supper and cleans the house, while mom puts in extra hours at work.  


2. The feminist politician!

Costume: Like the S underneath Clark Kent’s suit-and-tie, this man wears the circle and downward cross Venus symbol below his business attire.

He champions causes that give women a fair chance, equal pay or considers their voices from the start.


 3. The feminist celebrity!

Costume: Looking good sporting a t-shirt for a popular women’s organization or a clever women’s march placard, you too can be a "swoon-worthy" feminist celebrity.

Feminist cred achieved by speaking out against sexual harassment or violence against women and advocating for women’s health.


Now, I don’t mean to make fun of those men who are actually doing all of the above and proudly call themselves feminist. There are many fierce advocates for women and girls, who are helping push rights forward and also happen to be male.

However, when you start to think of what is required for a man to labelled a feminist, the bar feels pretty low.

Let’s take the example of the dad who helps with household chores and changes diapers. Is this feminist or, in 2018, is it just being a parent? Or the politician that listens to women or designs policies that give half the population a fair shot. Is this feminist or is it just being a responsible leader?

It’s starting to feel like the definition for a feminist man is not very feminist at all. It’s just, er, being a man and trying to open the space up so we all can move ahead, be heard and live in peace – regardless of gender.

So, I am sorry to disappoint your shopping quest. But, together, maybe we all can try a little harder and there will be no need for a costume.