Social Question

ubersiren's avatar

Ladies: Were you considered a tomboy when you were younger?

Asked by ubersiren (15031 points ) December 20th, 2009

If you were, do you still think of yourself that way? What is the same/or different about you now? What’s your view on the term “tomboy?”

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46 Answers

pjanaway's avatar

I had a friend that was always a tomboy.. shes now a lesbian.

Edit: forgot to add, she was always very into football, still is.

chelseababyy's avatar

Nope. Not in the slightest.

asmonet's avatar

I used to chase cars and run along train tracks in my purple silk dress with little rosettes and a sash.

You tell me.

I haven’t changed much.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Not at all.I spend more time in trees and playing in the dirt now than when I was a kid.

bluefox0018's avatar

I was a tomboy at a younger age and still am today. I’m not a lesbian but I am bisexual.

Talimze's avatar

Yes, and I still am.
Although, the fact that I’m an Ultra-Lesbian now explains why I liked to play boy games and wear fake mustaches.

ubersiren's avatar

Welcome to fluther, @bluefox0018! Thanks for your answer.

asmonet's avatar

@Talimze: I’m not an ultra-lesbian, but I sure as shit have a fake mustache collection I got at costume shop. High five. :)

Facade's avatar

Yep. I wouldn’t say I am now. I still like to play sports, but I like to dress nicely and be put together as well.

sliceswiththings's avatar

I wasn’t a tomboy, but my brother and I did the same things. I wore his hand-me-downs, all gender-neutral, and we played gender-neutral games. We did marble runs and art projects, we played outside, we watched the same movies, did puzzles, etc. Sometimes he would play dolls with me, sometimes I would play Battle Beasts with him. I was not a tomboy and he was not the opposite, whatever it is, but I think it was a good way to teach us about gender norms as kids.

SuperMouse's avatar

I was a girly girl all the way. I love my Chrissy and Velvet dolls, my Baby Tenderlove, Easy Curl, lip gloss and perfume! That is not to say I couldn’t run with the boys, I have three big brothers and never failed to hold my own with them.

strange1's avatar

my wife says she was although theres no bearing on that today lol

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

No, my gender expression was very feminine, all about make up and short skirts and seduction, mystery, blah blah blah – I didn’t know yet my own strength, brain, value and played along with society’s gender norms thinking men and women were from different planets, reading Cosmo and Seventeen (all of this makes me shudder now)...somewhere along the line after dealing with other people’s mean remarks about my then bisexuality (I identify as queer now) and my brother’s death and going to college, I began to learn and to see gender for what it was, a performance, and one that didn’t fit me anymore…I met trans people and began questioning my own gender identity…I pass as a woman now but I don’t ‘feel like a woman’...nor do I ‘feel like a man’...so that’s that…

the term tomboy is problematic, to me…because it means that if a teenage girl doesn’t adhere to proper femininity, she is doing something ‘only boys should be doing’ and that’s just stupid.

JustPlainBarb's avatar

I was always into sports and wasn’t a very girly girl. I don’t think I was a tomboy exactly, but I sure enjoyed doing the same stuff the boys did. I even had a really cool Camaro when I teenager and loved that more than any “purdy dresses” I ever had. But I’ve been married to a great guy for almost 40 years so it all worked out fine!!

Symbeline's avatar

I was never a tomboy, but pretty much growing up without much of a maternal figure led me to climb trees (And fall out of them.) watch horror movies and play plenty of video games.

Of course women play games all the time now, it really isn’t an issue anymore, but fuck I used to play them old Final Fantasy games when even boys thought those were lame.

Of course my reasoning behind my own position does not, in any way, state that girls without mothers end up all weird; I like to think I woulda been pretty much the same one way or another.

ccrow's avatar

Yeah, I think so. I still like to play in the dirt!

JLeslie's avatar

No. But, I was not prissy either. I liked playing outside, riding my bike, climbing trees, making terrariums for inchworms when I was very little, but I was not competitive. I did play tennis at times, but did not care about being in a league.

SamIAm's avatar

i was a huge tomboy when i was younger, i played sports forever (soccer, basketball, lacrosse, softball when i was really young) but i’ve grown out of it now. i don’t consider myself a tomboy now but i am not very girly either. i do love pink though!

rooeytoo's avatar

I don’t like the term. It says once again if you want to be a race car driver or do something that society or culture considers not female-like, you are odd or different.

It also strikes me as strange that it is not really considered problematic if your daughter is a tomboy but if your son is feminine or girly, that is usually cause for great consternation. What does that mean??

Nonetheless, according to the definition of tomboy, yes I always was and probably always will be. Mostly because I like what I like and won’t be forced & brainwashed into a niche that society (& the rats in a maze) say I should automatically love and fit into!

Excuse my grammar, heheheh.

littleGirlLost's avatar

No I was more of a girly, girl really I had my moments, none that would describe me as a tomboy.

casheroo's avatar

I was somewhat of a tomboy in elementary school. Not girly girl, but I did do cheerleading and was captain the entire time. I liked sports, I played with all boys (I have an older brother and two male cousins who I had to share a room with for a little while, then I just shared with my brother) so I think that played a part in the sort of things I liked.
I slowly grew out of it, and I’d say around 7th grade is when I got much more feminine. I am, and have never been, prissy by any means. I have never liked make up, and still don’t know how to blow dry my hair and use a brush at the same time. That takes a coordination I just can’t grasp lol. So, maybe I’m just a lazy girly girl haha

JLeslie's avatar

@rooeytoo Good points, I am not fond of the term either.

MissAusten's avatar

Yes, I was. The only girls in my neighborhood as a kid were either much older or much younger than me. If I wanted to play with the boys, I had to play what they wanted to play. Basketball, football, baseball just for fun, never on teams, “guns,” that sort of thing. I actually loved it, and wasn’t really interested in dolls or other girlie things. I refused to wear dresses and hated that my mom made me keep my hair really long. I liked to climb trees, and wanted a boys’ bike instead of a girls’ bike.

Eventually, like around middle school age, I started to pay a little more attention to being feminine. It wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I really got the hang of clothes, hair, and makeup. I still liked fishing, biking, swimming in our pond, hiking in the woods and climbing trees, more than going to those awkward school dances. I was happier dissecting things in zoology class than painting my fingernails or toenails (which I am still not good at, by the way).

I still prefer jeans and comfortable shoes to anything else, am not the least bit squeamish about bugs or reptiles or rodents just spiders and am all to apt to get even dirtier than the kids when we play outside. When we go out to dinner though, I clean up nicely. :)

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Yes. My grandparents indulged me in wanting to “be a boy” (it aggravated my parents sufficiently) so long as dressed up cute & girly and acted as they wanted when it suited them; that suited me fine. I still feel a tomboy in my head but have more positive public response when I play up the feminine so I work at it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I find it interesting that so many follow stories of having been/being a tomboy with qualification statements about ‘proper’ sexuality or gender expression…there should be no reason for any of us to have to say ‘I was a tomboy but don’t worry I eventually saw the light of purses and lipstick’

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: I can’t say I ever saw the light since I saw right from the start the power of lipstick and purses and also the turn on the hold and wield that power, exploring how far to take it, how much to make my own. I really don’t feel anyone pushes gender on kids so much as they feel out what works best for them, what gets them what they want.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence well you’re talking about two distinct things – one is a person picking out what they like and don’t like and the second is parents pushing gendered norms…I want to say that first of all I don’t think any parent consciously wants to force anything on their kids…they simply feel that properly gendering their children is the correct and natural thing to do as it is important for most parents to have their kids fit in ‘properly’ and be happy…what I do say, usually, is that many parents are not aware that gender is a social construct, that things for boys and things for girls have changed every decade, that it’s all very influenced by society…people can pick and choose what they want…say you can choose whatever color shirt and whatever feels right for you but you will not let your boy wear a skirt…even if you, as a parent, think that’s not even a big deal…you just know others will think it is…

mellow_girl's avatar

yes, i was a tomboy until i was about 13 years old.i played with all boys, played in the dirt and woods, and climbed trees. now im totaly different and embrace being a girl…

sjmc1989's avatar

I was the kind of girl that wore a crown and heels as I was climbing trees….I’m not sure what the hell that makes me…

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: you’re right and girls do get so much more leeway than boys to do as they please.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence sadly later on in life they’re a lot more limited in terms of systematic power.

JLeslie's avatar

I remember the first time I heard the term tomboy. I had moved from NY to MD, I was going into 5th grade. Someone used it to refer to one of the girls in school, and I had no idea what they were talking about. My mom explained it to me later. Before then I had never reall thought about the way girls play vs. boys. I don’t know if it had anything to do with growing up in NY? Probably not. But, there were other surprises regarding the sexes when I moved also.

Tink's avatar

Hmmm, I like to do stuff most girls don’t; skate, videogames, baseball, watch action movies. But I don’t consider myself a tomboy, I’m just not very girlie.

gememers's avatar

When I was young my room was painted pink and I played with barbies. I think I played the way it is thought to be ‘normal’ for girls to play, but I don’t think I was ever an extreme girly girl. Around 10, when my mom was saying to some one that I was a girly girl and a tomboy, I remember saying that I was neither (by this time I had a blue room) not that it matters.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Tink1113 – good for you, no damned labels, just be who you are and do what you want to do and have fun.

You are my kind of human!

YARNLADY's avatar

I was called a tomboy by my relatives, because I did not like to wear dresses, and I was very forward and assertive like a boy. In the 1950’s when I was growing up, people felt gender identification was very important. Girls weren’t ‘supposed’ to be active and explore the unknown. I was always jumping in the lake first, and getting stuck in trees, and digging in the sand.

Tink's avatar

@rooeytoo Haha thanks!

phillis's avatar

I was VERY tomboyish. Rock hopping across creeks to get better and better at it, climbing trees, and oh, my God – swinging on vines was SO MUCH FUN!! I still do that to this day! I hunted for things….lizards, snakes, frogs, salamanders, turtles, moles…...and still do! I love catching snakes and bats, especially. I loved riding bikes, skateboarding, race roller skating. I got my first three-wheeler (a Sandblaster) when I was 11, got my first motorcycle at age 13, and rode through the dirt trails with the rest of the boys in the neighborhood. I loved car racing (powder puff, here in Georgia) and smash-up derby. Fun!

I’m still very much like that, but the feminity is very apparent. Funds go toward family now, rather than equipment.

Symbeline's avatar

@phillis You swing on vines??

ubersiren's avatar

I was a tomboy and actually embraced the term. For some reason I cared more about being accepted/respected by boys than I did the girls. I thought the only way to accomplish that was to dress from the boys’ section of the store and play with boys. My mom likes to tell me the story about me standing in a department store somewhere crying and screaming that I wanted to be a boy. She was always open minded about me being the non-girly daughter.

Now I know that people of any gender will respect me for being me, and I don’t have to pretend to be “one of them.” There are many traits I have that are feminine now. Overall, I’d say I’m not very feminine, but I occasionally like to dress the part and wear make up etc. Sometimes I like to be seen as the submissive 50’s housewife, and sometimes I like to be the powerful career seeker. Both make me feel sexy. I think I have a healthy balance of both, which every human has the right to.

The term “tomboy” itself can be confusing to a girl who is receiving the title. Those girls were just being themselves up until someone gave them a label, comparing them to other girls. This can be empowering, or soul crushing. I hope that these girls can either embrace it or move past it in their own way, for their own sakes.

phillis's avatar

@Symbeline – yeah, I do. I also beat my chest and yell for wild animals who come stampeding toward my area and trample bad guys who are trying to hurt me :) HAHAHAHAHAHAH!!

Coloma's avatar

Oh man was I…had a black eye, fat lip or chipped tooth in every school picture from K-through 8th grade.

THEN…I became a girl!

Still feisty and outdoorsey but love my feminine side and nope, not gay either!

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, from a very young age. I climbed up in a large tree, and then couldn’t get down. My brother gave me a lift up, but had to go get Dad to get me down.

Another time, I was climbing around the rafters of a house that was being built, and I fell. I was knocked unconscious, so my brother put me in our wagon and when he got home, he went in and said “Mom, Sis is dead”. Poor Mom almost had a heart attack.

Coloma's avatar

Your poor mother! hahaha

I was an animal nut too…once I found this HUGE Garter snake, about 3 feet long, digesting a big meal on the side of the road…brought it home and as I was begging my mother to keep it it regurgitated a semi-digested giant frog all over her feet! lololol

Not a happy moment for mom!

Scarlett's avatar

Yup, I was definitely a tomboy, which is funny now, because I’m much more girlier than any of my friend who weren’t tomboys growing up ;)

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