Now personally, I don’t love the word ‘tomboy’. I mean, it’s irrational that just because my interests are associated with boys (which seems wrong) I am automatically put into this little box with a label on it that says “similar to a boy thus, in a way, male.” NO. I am my own person thank you very much. I may be a certain way, act a certain way, do certain things but that doesn’t mean I belong in another ‘branch’ of gender or whatever is implied by the word ‘tomboy’.
Now that this is out of the way, I thought that some of you would get a good laugh out of all the things that I’ve been told as a ‘tomboy’ over the years. I’m sure that many women who, when they were my age and younger, were interested in sports, more boy-oriented toys and games can definitely relate to some of the insane comments that have come my way.
The first and most common one was the question, “Are you a lesbian?” Now sure, this one is not so funny but it is very common and I thought I might mention it. Moving on, one that actually really did make me laugh was “you have boy's knees” or “a girl like you shouldn’t have knees like that.” I mean… ok? The thing is, I still don’t really understand how on earth scratches and bruises on my knees take away from my gender but alright. Honestly, just because girls are convinced that they should play ‘family’ or ‘restaurant’ as kids while boys should go outside and be more athletic and active, that doesn’t mean that this is what we should do. When I was younger I wanted to play cops and robbers, climb up trees and kick a ball around rather than serve fake tea to my parents. Both are fine options but it really shouldn’t be considered weird for a girl to prefer the former and for a boy to prefer the latter.
Oh, another comment which kind of got on my nerves because of how unjust it seems was: “You are too aggressive.” I was not. In fact, I was less aggressive than most of the boys in my class, however being a girl and as ‘aggressive’ as the average boy was apparently a terrible crime. Once again, this false idea that girls are timid, kind, collected and shy while boys are the polar opposite has led to people thinking that any female who dares to show emotion, especially anger, or who plays ‘rough’ sports is immediately perceived as violent, harsh or uncompassionate. I’ve even heard the word tyrant being thrown around.
Something that I’m still being told is that I walk, talk and altogether behave like a guy. Some people seem to throw this at me like an insult but I’m not going to apologize for my sarcastic humor, my hobbies and whatever else I do that seemingly gives off masculine vibes. It’s just me and I’m comfortable with it.
I feel like modern day society is slowly outgrowing all these stereotypes and through numerous platforms, everyone is managing to create their own identity. There is an unprecedented freedom and I love how we are slowly being unchained from the things that used to confine who each and every one of us really is. There is still a long way to go but I think we have reached a checkpoint and I’m so happy and proud to be a part of the generation that is finally bringing about change.
Finally, I’d just like to add my own personal comment about how I believe there shouldn’t be labels such as tomboys and tomgirls (for more masculine girls and more feminine boys). Actually, I believe that there should be a word to replace tomboy, something a bit more gender neutral perhaps and as a little assignment please feel free to come up with your own term in the comments!
About the author:
My name is Louisa Vichou and I’m a 14 year old aspiring writer who loves painting, pretty much all sports, singing and piano. However, (like all the greats) I have an arch-enemy... maths!