Originally reported on SensibleReason.com on October 30, 2013
The fun of Halloween is rooted in dressing up as someone or something that you’re not and exploring a whole new personality for just one night. However, for females, with age comes an increasing pressure that this “someone or something” has to be sexy (the Halloween scene in ‘Mean Girls’ anyone?). Four young ladies are attempting to break down this marginalizing stereotype through the power of slam poetry.
In a poem performed during round four of the Brave New Voices Grand Slam Finals this past summer in Washington, D.C., Hannah Halpern, Amina Iro, Reina Privado and Asha Gardner — all members of the DC Youth Poetry Slam Team — provide some insight and analysis of the mixed messages young women receive, especially around Halloween.
Shattering the female stereotype, the girls show that even a monster can be fierce, strong, and beautiful, too. But the poem reaches even greater heights when it ventures in the opposite direction of “slut-shaming,” instead coming to the conclusion that a woman should wear whatever she wants, as long as she’s the one who wants it. One line flawlessly sums up this idea:
“But no matter what garments we wrap ourselves in, a woman’s status as trick, treat or geek is not up for discussion. A woman dressing, acting or being should be her choice.”
This isn’t the first time the DC Youth Poetry Slam Team have used their art to provide us with some social commentary. Check out another slam by members of the group at the finals in Washington DC, where they explore the struggle of minority groups and make us question, is discrimination really over? And if so, why does this struggle continue.