“We’ve moved on a lot from the postwar period of petticoats and undershirts but mass cultural anxiety about the clothes we dress our children in seems to persist. It's hard to say which one makes parents more fearful – their son being confused for a girl or their daughter being confused for a boy. Society might have its own insecurity and inherent misogyny, femmephobia and queerphobia to answer to for that but it's definitely an insecurity that has been happily seized on by capitalist forces.”
Why is it that so many people still seem intent on assigning gender and meaning to clothes? When I've protested in the past about how clothing is used to code children's gender, I've invariably been met with naysayers who insist none of this is a big deal. That clothes are (ironically) "just clothes", and children don't know what any of it means anyway. Yes, I've replied. That's the point.
"What of the women whose work we’ll never see at all, because abuse, trauma and exploitation derailed their carts before they even made it on to the tracks? The artists, the writers, the orators, the politicians, the thinkers, the musicians – all the genius undoubtedly lost, because the rights of powerful men to continuing “making mistakes” are still held as sacrosanct to integrity of culture?"
In 2011, Disney Pixar announced it would be changing the title of their upcoming release, Rapunzel, to the more oblique Tangled. "We did not want to be put in a box,” explained Ed Catmull, president of Disney Animation Studios. “Some people might assume it's a fairy tale for girls when it's not. We make movies to be appreciated and loved by everybody."