D.A. Ridgely wrote: ↑27 Feb 2021, 13:19
Honestly, on reflection, if the net effect of such a law was that a department store simply stopped separating boys' and girls' clothing into two different store locations and stopped identifying clothing items as specifically for boys or girls, I don't see the big deal. That's not to say I think the state has or should have the power to legislate such a thing; to be clear, it shouldn't.
Well, the closer kids get to puberty, the more differentiated their shapes become. Yeah, some kids don't change until late, others early, but the point is that there's a very practical issue here, at least for many older kids. Ban the gender label and the marketers will label the jeans for female figures with pink letters and "girly" fonts.
Also, I largely sympathize with the goal. I like Meghan Daum's observation on how undifferentiated most kids' clothing was in the 1970's and how much less neurotic Gen X was/is about gender compared with millennials. I would love to see a future where more kids wore simpler, less adorned clothes for many situations.
At the same time, even beyond libertarian decoder ring stuff about telling businesses how to label stuff, I think it's very much an open question whether marketers lead or follow the culture here. (Surely both, in various ways.) That matters for whether this social engineering attempt has a snowball's chance in hell of coming even vaguely close to achieving its goals. And I think legislators should stay the hell away from that.
If anything, when you don't let them put the word "girl" or "boy" on the clothes it's more likely that the brands will double down on other forms of signaling.
I don't know how to break the immense gendering of clothing. There's some real nature here (clothes have to fit physical bodies), a ton of nurture, probably a bit of nature combining with nurture in the brain (not an innate preference for pink or blue but an intense instinct to emulate one half of the species and contrast with the other), and a bunch of mystery. And none of this is something that the CA Legislature can hope to fix.