I’m NOT a tomboy!

I like to think that I’m a relatively chilled and laid back person. (Others might say I’m just lazy!)

Since I uttered those immortal words Oh my God it’s a girl two years ago I’ve found my blood pressure rising on more than  one occasion.

There was the Girls Life Magazine cover. Then we had Baby Talk getting my boxers in a twist. These were like small mosquito bites mildly irritating, well now I’ve found the mother of all irritants! A simple phrase. She’s a tomboy!

When the phrase “tomboy” made its appearance in the 16th century it was in reference to a boy who was rude and boisterous.

When we hear “tomboy” we instantly think of a girl with short hair and scuffed knees who engages in traditional “boys” games. Climbing trees, sports and outdoorsy activities, as well as risk taking.

You wouldn’t find a tomboy practicing her plaits on a doll or in her Ikea kitchen making dinner for a teddy bears tea party.

It’s an ideology that’s embedded deep in the stereotyped psyche of many from mine and previous generations. Is it time to return the phrase to closer to its 16th century beginnings? Instead using it to describe a child of either sex that is boisterous. Or should it be removed from use entirely?

After all the world of professional sport has embraced women competitors in what would be previously classed male sports. Boxing, football, rugby.

One of Irelands best loved female sports stars is a multi title winning boxer. Katie Taylor now a professional. She is held in just as high a regard among the public as another fighter Connor McGregor. Both of whom have fans from outside the normal fight enthusiasts.

In a world where there is still inequality between the sexes do we really want to be reinforcing the ideal that to succeed women need to behave like men?

Women in many areas of life who display behaviours and traits tradionally seen as male are normally referred to in derogatory terms. A Cougar as opposed to the nicer sounding Sugar Daddy.

Little Miss OMG is happiest when she is outside kicking a ball, playing in the muck or jumping in puddles. Does this make her any less of a girl? NO it doesn’t. 

I want my daughter to know that as she grows up she can do or be whatever she wants. Girls out perform boys in Science and Math subjects yet the ratio of women to men employed in these fields is still heavily biased towards men. Why is this? Is it because these are seen as traditionally male roles?

In the early days of toy advertising there was no gender differential. Then someone cottoned on to the idea they could sell more if toys were aimed at a specific gender. Which probably made the “tomboy” stand out more. Girls were supposed to play with tea sets and dolls  Boys with sports and building type games. Lego, meccano etc. We are slowly coming full circle with many toy brands marketing their products at boys and girls.
Nerf are an example. They now have a range of guns made for girls. They are pink but it’s a start. Even soccer balls are now available in pink for girls.

I don’t see why we even need to differentiate on colour. Surely a toy is a toy and can be played with by either sex.

In just the same way running, climbing trees and energetic activities are not exclusively for boys.

So please don’t call my daughter a tomboy, or a princess for that matter. She’s just a girl who loves being outdoors with her brothers, exploring the world and having fun.

That’s partly why I love going to the park with her. Boys and Girls play together on the swings, slides, zip wire and other equipment with no gender segregation.

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24 thoughts on “I’m NOT a tomboy!

  1. Agree with all of this post. I just don’t see the need for half of these labels, when all they do is pigeon hole children as one thing. As you say, everyone is different. Little girls should be able to climb trees without being labelled as tomboys – heck they can climb trees in princess dresses if they want to! We all have complex personalities and interests and children are just the same. Great post. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic post! Interesting as I have two boys. I’m a feminist. I’m trying my hardest to bring them up as future feminists. The divide has started with my oldest who’s in year 1 at school, he now says “boys like this” and “girls like that” I point out that I’m a girl. I like Star Wars and lego etc.
    As for princesses, don’t get me started…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wrote a post on Princesses too!! My boys are the same. Buddy not so much. He likes One Direction and said to me “Boys can like them can’t they?” I said “Yes. You like any music you want and don’t mind anyone else” He still happily listens to them.

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      1. I’ve written a couple of posts in a similar vein. Being a stay at home mum surely means I float around in a pinny like something out of a 50s advert. For a start I couldn’t float if I tried 😉
        It’s certainly up to us to ensure the future generations continue the hard work of closing the gender divide. It starts here 💪

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes! This needed to be said! Tomboy is almost a derogatory term in my opinion “she doesn’t behave like a girl”
    No. She behaves like a child exploring the world, regardless of whether that’s making mud pies, trailing in a zip wire or kicking a ball around! Most of our toys are just that. Toys. It doesn’t matter if Vivienne is playing with cars whilst Sebastien rocks his baby doll to sleep. Playtime should just be playtime, regardless of the toys/game.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really hate it. Like you say it’s not said as a compliment.
      Yep a toy is a toy. Toys are there to entertain, educate and stimulate their imaginations. Buddy loved Dora when he was a small boy. So we let him watch it.
      Just because a girl likes being active and rough and tumble doesn’t mean she is any less of a girl.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I genuinely think people are finally starting to move away from gender stereotypes when it comes to kids and labels in general. The tomboy label in particular has always annoyed me. Love your post. I genuinely never thought about Cougar v. Sugar Daddy before but as my sometimes-super-feminine, often not-so-effeminate, always-adorable four-year-old daughter might say, Oh.M.Goodness! You’re so right!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post. I agree with a lot of it. Although I have to say I have totally embraced pink clothes for my daughter, but I don’t care what she wants to play with or do, she can do whatever as long as she’s happy x

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  6. SO MUCH LOVE FOR THIS POST! It drives me mad. Youngest has been told by a shop asst that should couldn’t have a pair of blue shoes because they are for boys. She is always called Princess, this drives me round the bend. The idea being that a Princess is simply pretty, well behaved and very quiet. But on the other hand she is then called a tomboy. She has spent most of today playing Lego Ninjas and karate chopping her way round the shops. I love her for it all the more. She is loud and proud, she is herself, not some Tomboy! Also our toy shop is so sexist. There is a pink section for the girls’ toys which are all dollies etc and the boys section for boys all Lego and construction toys. Both my girls live in the boy section. I will stop now before I leave an essay!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know it’s shocking. Our local toy shop doesn’t go so far as to segregate with colour, but they might as well.
      From a marketing point of view is Crap layout. You’d think they’d want kids to HAVE to go round the whole shop. Chances are they might want something from another “section”
      Ooh I won’t start on Princesses!!

      Whilst researching I did laugh at the irony that it started as a description for boisterous and rude boys lol…
      Little Miss OMG can be boisterous (no rudeness yet, though she does giggle at burps and farts)
      I do love when she’s out climbing in the muck in her dress and pink wellies!!

      Like

  7. Exactly how I feel too!One minute my daughter will be tucking her ‘babies’ into bed the next dressing as Batman and kicking her brothers butt!I always preferred my brothers toys & climbed trees but at the same time loved to try my Mum’s makeup & shoes on.Let kids be kids!

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  8. I see it differently. I was not a typical girl growing up, to such a degree that I cut my hair and wore my brothers clothes. I didn’t really want to be a boy, just be allowed to be with them, climb trees, play football and soldiers. The term ‘tomboy’ made me feel I had a place. It was okay not to be a girl or a boy.
    I get where you are coming from, I’ve reared three girls, but for me, as a child, the term worked and in truth I was happy when I heard anyone refer to me as one.
    The world is every changing, perhaps I am the last Tomboy, but it worked for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post – my little girl loves being outdoors and getting mucky, but that doesn’t make her less of a girl. The gendered Kinder eggs enrage me too, Barbie toys for girls and Marvel Superheros for boys… thanks a bunch Kinder! #ThatFridayLinky

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  10. 100% agree mate let children be children whatever that is I also hate the word tomboy it’s a shocking name to call a girl Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Happy is all children should be. It made my daughter happy yesterday to go to her party as a Jedi, it made her happy the week before to play as Rapunzel. I agree it’s not for us adults to put expectations of gender on them from an early age. A nice post. #ThatFridayLinky

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  12. I couldn’t agree more. As you know we have twins, one is very girly, the other hates ‘girly’ things. For all that I hate when people call her a tom boy. She loves football, star wars and superheroes. She’s a girl and it’s ok for girls to like these things too. Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I couldn’t agree more – our eldest is told constantly that she is a tomboy. She says it herself – I’m a tomboy. To which I always reiterate that she isn’t, she likes some more traditionally girly things and on balance rather more traditionally boy things. She shouldn’t be pigeon holed at 6 as being a certain character. I’ve noticed her sometimes trying to conform to the character she has been assigned. As an adult I can categorise myself as ‘Wellies and Stillettos’ I love lumping around the countryside in my wellies and I also love a posh frock and a pair of posh heels. Why can’t a child be the same?

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  14. What a fantastic post! Such an interesting read after having a girl after two boys. I brought them up to be whoever they wanted to be. Toys were toys, stuff was stuff and clothes were clothes. It gets more difficult when others influence, but I was the same with my little girl. She is very much into pink and sparkles, but so was my oldest boy and both is ok. She loves princesses just as my oldest did. I’ve tried to encourage her at football, but she wants to do gymnastics and that’s all ok, because these are her choices, not ones influenced but girl stuff or boy stuff. She is herself as are the boys.

    Liked by 1 person

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