My Great-Great Grandmother Was a Dystopian Halloween Costume

By 
Tiffany Morris
Who can resist   the chance to climb
into another skin?   Into myth-spit
caricature?   A sideshow mockery
in   felt-dripped-fringe?
A technicolor   chicken-feathered ghoul
ripped   from a century of
Hollywood   nightmares?
  Look!  
For $30 a pop   there are Indian maidens
princesses   warriors like a million
fake   great-great-grandmothers
born   in family lore and
rolling   in forgotten graves.
But   thank goodness:
no more   Handmaids
with their   bloodred robes
opened   like a mouth
grinning   red
like horror   red
like wounding   red
like a slur   kept alive
under   your eye

 


Artist Statement:

There was enough public outcry when costume retailer Yandy released its "sexy" take on “The Handmaid’s Tale" costume that it was ultimately pulled from their catalog. In a 2017 interview with Cosmopolitan, the same retailer stated it would not pull its racist costumes depicting Indigenous women, due to a lack of controversy and public outcry. So, here are my questions, for retailers and consumers alike: why are fictional women a higher priority than Indigenous women? Whose dystopias reflect whose realities?

Learn more about Turtle Island Responds

Tiffany Morris is a Mi'kmaw writer from K'jipuktuk (Halifax). Her horror fiction and poetry have appeared in Eye To The Telescope, Augur, Room, and anthologies from Clash Books, among others. Find her at tiffmorris.com or on Twitter @tiffmorris.

“It's Canadian, feminist, and one of my favourite things ever.”

—bucketofrhymes, "29 Amazing Literary Magazines You Need To Be Reading", Buzzfeed Books

Room relies on subscriptions from readers like you. Help us continue to promote and support diverse women and genderqueer authors and artists by subscribing today.

SUBSCRIBE

Currently on Newsstands

  • Room 41.4, Emergence
    Edited by Alissa McArthur

    In this issue:

    Tharuna Abbu, Farah Ali, Kristin Bjornerud, Michelle Chen, Nomi Chi, Morgan Christie, Kim Fu, Hannah Graff, nancy viva davis halifax, Ceilidh Isadore, Liz Kellebrew, Jo Lee, Kris Ly, Melanie Mah, Sara Mang, Katie McGarry, Estlin McPhee, Triin Paja, Loghan Paylor, Nagmeh Phelan, Oubah Osman, Lisa Rawn, Yvonne Robertson, Erika Thorkelson, Cara Waterfall

    .