This week's guest columnist is Lisbeth Salander, who's a hacker but not a hack, Wasp but not a WASP, and an all-around tough-as-nails badass.
With a Halloween party just around the corner, I am torn about what to wear. What fairy-tale figure should I be for that one night? Do I go sweet and angelic like the older versions of Disney characters, or do I opt for something more in the vein of tough and can-take-care-of-myself modern mode?
My boyfriend wants me to be either Snow White or Sleeping Beauty, but I have no idea why he chose those two. I’d like to be either Elsa from Frozen or Ursula the Sea Witch from The Little Mermaid. Please help me decide what to do. I value your advice; what would you be for Halloween?
Not Sugar Sweet
Dear Not Sugar Sweet,
Okay, let me get this straight. Your boyfriend wants you to be either Snow White or Sleeping Beauty for Halloween and you don’t know why? Think about it. Both those characters were very dependent on the male of the species for their very survival. Jeez! Both had to be rescued because they were weak and unable, or unwilling, to take responsibility for their own lives.
I mean, take Snow White as an example. Typical stereotype female; she cleaned and cooked for seven men. Seven! Then after she “falls into a death-like sleep” because she ate that poisoned apple, she has to wait around in that damn glass coffin for Mr. Wonderful, aka Prince Charming, to come wake her up with, of all things, a kiss. By the way, what is this thing with women and apples and tragedy? It’s very disturbing. I would rather eat a peach myself. Oh well.
Look at Sleeping Beauty, the other weak female. She went tra-la-la-ing through the forest like a total airhead, giving blondes a bad name, instead of asking those three fairies she lived with to teach her some magic so she could stand a fighting chance against Maleficent. But no, she too had to wait for true love to come save her, again with the kiss. It’s depressing.
Just remember that fairy tales and myths like to show a woman as vulnerable, overly emotional, and concerned with domestic issues. That doesn’t work for me, and it shouldn’t work for you. I believe that a woman can, and should, be able to take care of herself.
I say you should tell your boyfriend that you’re going to surprise him on Halloween. Show up as Elsa, she didn’t need a prince to save her. Also, remember that she, along with her sister, saved her whole damn kingdom. Girl power, no men needed.
Or really blow his mind and go as Ursula. For all her scheming and general evilness, there’s something refreshingly honest about Ursula’s take on the world. This Sea Witch really says it all when she spouts, “Life’s full of tough choices, isn’t it?” Remember to say that to your boyfriend when he questions your choice of costume.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to run to a local costume shop. We’re having a Halloween party here at Criminal Element, and your email gave me an idea for who I want to be. That witchy fairy Maleficent has always been my all-time favorite character—gutsy, takes care of herself, and is really good at getting revenge. What a perfect character for me!
—Lisbeth Salander, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Kristen Houghton is the author of nine top-selling novels, including For I Have Sinned and Grave Misgivings, books 1 and 2 in the best-selling new series, A Cate Harlow Private Investigation. Book 3 in the series, Unrepentant: Pray for Us Sinners, will be published Fall of 2016. She is hard at work on a new series that features a paranormal investigator with distinct powers of her own.
Houghton is also the author of two non-fiction books and numerous short stories which appear in popular anthologies.