Ducks are girls, cows are boys, everyone knows that

Barry Deutsch once had a job wearing a duck costume. I was jealous — the only costume I’ve ever had to wear was a lab coat. But then it comes up that the costume was gendered feminine, which led to horrifying freak-outs by people uncomfortable with a boy wearing a girl costume. Of a duck.

Dang. WTF is wrong with people?


  1. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I suspect is was more the name “Daisy” rather than the species of Duck that people latched onto it being a “girls” costume.
    I like to think that if he changed its name to “Davey”, all the harassment would have vanished in a pfoof.
    Gee, no one thinks Disney’s iconic duck is anything but male, eh Don?
    (which bit them when the new so-called”potus” has the SS wondering what will happen when they spot an assassin and have to shout out, “Donald, Duck!!”)
    Names, (eg: “Boy named Sue”), some people think, are required to perfectly match the sexual identity of each person, and get all flustered when there is, what they think is, a mismatch.
    I think this cartoon is trying to address that fluster by raising it to absurdity. Even a true story told in form of cartoon, would still be one of absurdity. IMO

  2. anthrosciguy says

    I remember when, as a six year old, I was dreading being seven because I thought of seven as a girls’ number (I have no idea why). Being a girl’s age for a whole year was an unsettling prospect. Whaddayaknow, turned out being seven wasn’t any different from being six or eight. Valuable lesson, and lucky to get it early on.

  3. says

    uncomfortable with a boy wearing a girl costume

    Are they still getting bent out of shape about those Hibernian men who wear skirts, and the American women who wear pants? WTF is wrong with people?

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    WTF is wrong with people?

    They were exposed at a sensitive age to persons wearing gender-inappropriate clothing.

    The resulting PTSD lasts for a lifetime. (It gets worse in the afterlife – not even macho archangels like Gabriel and Michael, or Jesus Hisself, ever get pictured wearing pants…)

  5. cartomancer says

    Surely a duck costume would be better protection against glogged up bits of dead zebrafish than a boring old lab coat?

  6. davidnangle says

    I don’t consider even my teen-aged self to have been this blind… but in learning German, I kept trying to see the penis-ness of nouns that required “der” and vaginability of words that required the “die.”

  7. chigau (違う) says

    It was fuzzy and yellow so it was actually a duckling.
    Only an expert could determine its sex.

  8. says

    I was thinking there was a cloaca joke in there somewhere, but according to wikipedia, male ducks have dicks.

    I know chicks require expert inspection to determine sex, but is that also true of ducklings?

  9. says

    people uncomfortable with a boy wearing a girl costume.

    Got some bad news for them about nearly every pre-CGI nonhuman ‘girl’ character plus the vast bulk of kigurumi and also the entire Western theatre tradition before about 1850.

  10. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    people uncomfortable with a boy wearing a girl costume.

    I remember The Shakespeare production company routinely had an exercise for the cast, to chant: “It takes a real man to wear tights”, to get past the gendered stereotyping that is often thrown at actors in costume.

  11. says

    Remember, you can be a different species, no matter how far removed from your actual one, even an imaginary one, but being another gender takes this one step too far.


    but in learning German, I kept trying to see the penis-ness of nouns that required “der” and vaginability of words that required the “die.”

    Ach du meine Güte!


    “It takes a real man to wear tights”

    My husband’s been nicking my tights like forever. They’re warm and comfy.

  12. kupo says

    “WTF is wrong with people?”
    They find femininity to be weak and despicable, which makes anyone choosing to be feminine, especially if they’re assumed to be “naturally” masculine, to be perverse and disgusting.

  13. robro says

    I once wore a costume as a street performer (bookstore signings and that sort of thing). The role was definitely male, but the costume was a muumuu (bright yellow with big red polka dots). Most people just had fun with it, but a few people said rude things about a man wearing a muumuu, even in anything goes San Francisco. The weirdest incident was when I appeared at the Astor Place Hairstylists in New York City. One of the male stylists said something like “Wish I could get you into the Italian Social Club”…I don’t think his invitation was particularly friendly.

    Also, I sometimes wore tights with the costume, particularly when it was cold.

    Gender stereotyping is everywhere. Yesterday, my wife was ordering me a bag which came in small, medium, and large. I said I wanted a small, and she informed me that small is usually sized for women. I didn’t know that. I also didn’t care. I wanted the smallest bag that would hold my computer.

  14. says

    One of the big lessons I learned growing up trans is that patriarchy loathes it when they drench you in toxic masculinity expecting you to “correct” to the “proper” presentation and you don’t.

    Like, when they communicate strongly “no, this made up rule means you should freak out about being deemed feminine” and you just shrug and don’t mind or worse, actually like the thing they tried to demean, they see you as a threat to the whole system of toxic masculinity and so violence quickly follows to “set things right” lest other guys notice and think they can also not freak out about the thing and thus limit the power you get from performing your disapproval.

    And it’s this aspect of it that makes it so tenacious and hard to kill, because most times at the first loss of rights or the first threat, it no longer feels worth it not to play along with the bad system to stay safe.

  15. pita says

    I don’t understand this thought process at all. Those costumes are heavy and tall, so men play most mascot characters anyway. Do you think Disney cares if a man or a woman is playing Minnie? They don’t give a shit as long as you can work through the costume.

  16. whheydt says

    NBC had an article about the history of the White House Easter Egg Roll. A couple of the pictures included ones from when W was president, together with the Easter Bunny costume character and one of those shots had said character with the head off. For W…the Easter Bunny was played by…Sean Spicer.

  17. wcorvi says

    You guys got it all wrong. Girl ducks have boobies. Like Lady Snake in Snake Tales. Don’t you know anything?

    And I got a PhD in Biology for this!

  18. jackal says

    @ pita
    Actually, the short characters (Including Micky, Donald, Chip & Dale, etc) have to be played by actors 5’5″ and under. Most are women – latinas at that.

  19. says

    Do a google image search for “peacock costume.” Except for some pictures of babies (whose gender is hard to determine), you’ll see only pictures of women (usually “sexy”) and girls modelling them.