Hellenistic Halloween costumes for the disaffected feminist on a budget

If you’re an apathetic feminist who would rather spend your weekend reading Thucydides than sewing a slutty Oracle of Delphi costume, chances are you still don’t have anything to wear for Halloween.

But don’t despair! You have plenty of time to throw together a look that’s cute, unique, and lets people know you can point out all the factual inaccuracies in Troy. And as a bonus, you can make any of these costumes out of things you already have lying around, so you’ll plenty of cash left to buy that new edition of the Oresteia you’ve been pining for.

1. Medusa
Put your hair in a bunch of braids — like snakes, get it? Go to a social function without any makeup on whatsoever, so that you appear haggard and deformed. Wear a name tag that reads “ASK ME ABOUT THE MALE GAZE.” Although it’s probably outside your power to literally turn men into stone, you can at least render them immobile by trapping them in lengthy conversations about castration anxiety. Grab one of your snake-braids and wriggle it menacingly. Avoid mirrors.

2. Circe, as she appears in the Odyssey
Wear a dark, regal dress. Or failing that, jeans and a dark, regal shirt. Really, the goal here is just to look regal as fuck but also mysterious and slightly off-putting. In a bind, impeccable posture and a sour expression should do the trick. Print a few dozen cards that read “YOU’RE A PIG” and hand them out to every man you encounter at your Halloween gathering. If you hit it off with someone and decide to take him home, let the guy know ahead of time that you will take his manhood unless he makes you expressly promise not to. If he asks you what you mean by “take his manhood,” give him another card.

3. Penelope, wife of the absent Odysseus
For this look, bring out all the clothes you own that suggest faithfulness. We’re talking lace, restrictive collars, skirts that go below the knee, and faithful colors like navy blue and beige. Bring your needlepoint to a party. (If you don’t have the front-end capital to take up needlepoint, bring your latest t-shirt upcycling project.) Sit your crafting ass down in the middle of a group of guys and needlepoint away. Do your best to ignore the men, but if any of them talk to you, respond only with the word “no.” Go crazy and say “nah” if you’re feeling especially disaffected. When you are ready to leave the party, destroy your creative project and burst into tears.

4. Persephone, of Hades kidnappee fame
The Persephone look is all about youth and tragic innocence. Pull out your favorite white dress and that flower crown you bought when you still thought Coachella was cool. Buy a pomegranate and take it on a spooky bar crawl as both a visual aid and a handy snack for later. Every time your group is ready to move onto the next dive, proclaim with dismay that you can’t possibly leave because you’ve drunk the wine here. Make the best of a hopeless situation and crown yourself the queen of winter and also death. Leave only when the most well-muscled man in your group physically drags you out of the bar.

5. Cassandra of Troy
If you’re a girl you don’t have to do jack shit for this costume. Maybe throw some eyeshadow on your lower lids to give your face a haunted, foreboding look. Venture into the public. Make assertions. Men will contest these assertions because you’re a lady and you must therefore be mistaken. Results are best if your assertions concern the Marvel Cinematic Universe or crimes that wealthy white men have committed against you. Whisper into these men’s ears the day and manner in which they will die.

6. Helen of Argos (of Troy?)
Figure out who came to the party as Cassandra and sleep with her brother.

7. Daphne, that nymph who just wasn’t into Apollo
You’re a nymph, so your color scheme is florals and earth tones. Pull a sundress out from the back of your closet and glue some leaves to a bobby pin or some shit. And while you’re out gathering leaves, make sure to grab a large branch. When you get to the party, giggle at stupid things men say and frolic whenever you go to the snack table. If someone tries to follow you to the snack table, hold the large branch in front of your face and stand perfectly still, channeling your inner tree. Offer no explanation for this change in behavior. If he continues to pursue you, despite your clear lack of interest, try hitting him with the branch.

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