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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,981

    "Tomboy"...old-fashioned word?

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    Have noticed that some people under various topics in TE, have described themselves as a tomboy when they were young...

    In my narrow, naive(?) world (or small mind )..."tomboy" just sounds a tad old-fashioned word for today..when girls and women are freer to look, act and become what they wish to be

    "Tomboy" sounds like a curious word to me..'cause when growing up with sisters who were and are ..still similar..direct in style and communication, pragmatic, aggressive or competitive if called upon....

    so from there, venturing into the bigger external world..of meeting and knowing more girls and women over the decades...it never occurred to me, to view others as tomboyish vs. more "feminine". Visage/appearance/public behaviour on distant/first impressions, can be misleading.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,083
    I think it's probably a bit old-fashioned to use for girls growing up today, but for grown women who were children 20-30-40 years ago I've just assumed it reflects the way they felt about themselves at the time - that they behaved or acted in a more "boyish" way than was expected of girls at that time or in their particular social setting.

    Even though the tomboy concept is outdated you still find IMO that activities that require courage, persistence and physical effort are considered masculine (and have higher status) than activities that require sensitivity, empathy, attention to detail, that are considered feminine and have lower status. People are impressed that my dh can cook, clean and remember our son's shoe size - but they're a lot more impressed when I do outdoorsy stuff. It's pretty unfair.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,863
    Tomboy was used as a way to (unnecessarily IMO) soften the societal view of "unfeminine" behavior. I always bristled when it was applied to me and would reply "no, I'm an athlete".

    I'm glad girls today don't have to deal with this as much.

    Electra Townie 7D

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    mo
    Posts
    706
    Whatever you wanna call 'em, there's still 'girly' girls and tomboys.....and everything in between.

    Whilst the girly ones can and are sometimes raised to believe they can do anything they set their minds to they aren't interested in the mechanics or rough and tumble of everyday life.

    Tomboys, on the other hand, are interested in what makes things go in a more physical manner and not so much how they should look or act.


    The line between feminine and tomboy has fuzzed but since it's a matter of interests and inclinations rather than of what girls can or can't do even though it's archaic it still rings true.
    I used to have an open mind but my brains kept falling out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    around Seattle, WA
    Posts
    3,250
    Girls play under the trees

    Tomboys play IN the trees.

    I used my tree climbing skills to pull down broken branches from my neighbor's hurricane Gustav damaged tree last week. Never know when those skills may come in handy.
    Beth

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    550
    ITA with the other posters. I have two daughters. A true girlie girl and a tomboy. The funny thing is how they managed to balance each other out very well, but DD19 is all about clothes and hair, and DD16 is all about bikes and Tae Kwon Do. The only thing they do have in common is that they are both all about boys. But, they both have guys interested in them - and I think that is a big difference between when I was growing up and now.
    Christine
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

    Cycle! It's Good for the Wattle; it's good for the can!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,715
    I was a Tomboy, still technically am in ways, and so is my DD. I call her Tomboy all the time. I know I am old fashioned in ways and don't mind being so... using the word doesn't bother me. Or DD as far as I know. She's happy being a Tomboy versus a girly girl. To her, pink is the anti-Christ (right now). It was to me too. Now, I think it's even more fun to wear the pink while doing the ruff and tuff boy stuff.

    IMHO ,I think Tomboys go beyound the color pink and sports. Myself, and a couple of my best GFs, think more like guys. I do not like the mind games of gossip, and passive-agressive conflict resolution. If you have something to say, or vice versa, tell it straight up. Then it's over. No drama.

    I see it all the time at my gym, adult "girls" gossiping in the corner about whatever or whoever. Direct ugly conflict would be, well... "not so pretty" or not "sugar and spice and everything nice". So, you show the ugly in another more "appropriate" (BLEAH) softer way.

    There is a lot of drama at school with the girls too DD tells me about (nothing has changed from when I was a girl as I can see). She says, "mom, I just don't get it... this is stupid... I'm glad I'm a Tomboy and my friends that are boys don't do this stuff (aka gossip, back-stab, mix-it-up drama, etc.)...".

    It would be nice if that would become "old fashioned" and go away, but I just don't see as of yet, unfortunately.

    Oh, and btw... multiple broken bone Tomboy here... I finally encountered a tree that got the best of me and broke my arm... but, I still figured out how to climb with a cast on.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    251
    I use the word "Tomboy" To describe my 5 yo. It was and is used to describe me. I see it as kind of a "badge of honor".

    It's true that more girls are into sports, but that doesn't make them tomboys. Note all the pink baseball and soccer equipment that can be purchased now. My DD would refuse to touch a pink baseball bat, or football, or basketball.

    But it's more than playing sports (IMO). It's her attitude and interests and how she views the world that makes her a "Tomboy".
    You're invited to visit my blog: http://tris3kidsandlife.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    400
    Quote Originally Posted by Iris616 View Post
    I use the word "Tomboy" To describe my 5 yo. It was and is used to describe me. I see it as kind of a "badge of honor".
    +1. Tomboy and proud. I might be in the minority but I love the term. No matter what rights women have, there will always be girls that are into dolls and girls that are into cars.

    I look forward to the day when it is just as acceptable for boys to be into dolls as it has become for girls to be into cars.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Newberg, OR
    Posts
    758
    My 15 year old daughter is a self-proclaimed tomboy. She has a few friends that are girls, but the majority are guys. She's like Miranda's daughter...she doesn't tolerate the gossip and backstabbing. Instead of sitting around talking about boys, she talks to them. And you know what? Most of the guys she hangs out with are lining up to date her when she turns 16.

    And yes, she loathes pink!
    Road Bike: 2008 Orbea Aqua Dama TDF/Brooks B-68


    Ellen
    www.theotherfoote.blogspot.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,365
    I was not very good at most sports.
    I wrote poetry and hacked all of the hair off of my bride doll.
    I climbed trees.
    I didn't envision my future husband, but I did imagine holding hands with Barry Manilow walking through the park while he sang "Can't smile without you"
    I thought dirt was cool. Still do.
    I like to climb rocks still, and some trees.
    I don't wear makeup, but I wear jewelry.

    And I think of myself as a tomboy still.
    I can do five more miles.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
    Posts
    4,197
    I am a tomboy by southern standards. I think this word has different meanings--and uses--depending on the region you live. For instance, the word "skinny". This has a negative connotation in some regions but in the south it's a standard word for "slender".

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,645
    I was definitely a Tomboy. While my girly-girlfriend squealed at the sight of bugs and mud and stuff like that, I jumped right into it. While she wore white clothing and didn't get dirty; I was proud of the mud on my feet and never was squeamish either.

    To my surprise, I didn't get the opportunity to raise a Tomboy daughter, instead I raised two sons who were incredibly different from my tomboy child self, THEY were real boys. But both of them tend to be attracted to Tomboys. Hehehe
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

    Davidson Custom Bike - Cavaletta
    Dahon 2009 Sport - Luna
    Old Raleigh Mixte - Mitzi

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    818
    Another proud tomboy. I've been one my whole life and figure my life has been better for my tomboyish way. I always felt that I've had more fun than my more girlie girlfriends. While I was outside riding my skateboard or bike, climbing trees or playing in the dirt they were inside swooning over the lastest movies, movie stars, clothes and make up. Please! To this day I could careless about those things. Give me the great outdoors. Go out and enjoying life and get good and dirty doing it. It's much more fun than shopping.

    Yes, in this PC world tomboy is more than likely some sort of awful lable. But at 52 I'm proud to still call myself a tomboy! bikerHen

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    5,050
    I was called a Tomboy. I used to ask why it was tomBOY and not tomGIRL.

    I was into and good at most sports. I climbed trees and picked up snakes and got dirty. I had LEGOs and Tonka trucks. I also wore dresses and played with Barbies. I didn't learn how to 'flirt' with boys until I was a senior in high school. Up until then, I was too preoccupied with just beating them at everything. But I liked jewelry, and hair ribbons and princess movies/stories. And then I liked driving the go-cart and throwing a football (in a perfect spiral, of course).

    I think I was a 'gender confused' child? Or maybe just a true jack of all trades.

    Either way, I never thought 'tomboy' was a bad thing. Of course, I don't think 'girly girl' is a bad thing either. I'm living proof that one woman can be both.
    My new non-farm blog: Finding Freedom

 

 

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