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From me to you, highlighting challenges faced by girls

Dear Daughters, Gender Is Biological. Don’t Let it Determine What You Can or Cannot Do!

Dear Daughters,

For most, the word tomboy likely conjures up images of girls participating in activities and wearing clothes that were traditionally associated with boys. In Western culture, with more and more girls trading in their dresses and skirts for pants, the term tomboy is more

Hockey goaltender

Natural goaltender

commonly used to describe a girl’s behaviour, as opposed to appearance. Tomboys are often assumed to be lesbians, or of wanting to be boys. Being a tomboy is not a true indicator of one’s sexual orientation, despite the fact that some tomboys do identify as lesbians. Judith Halberstam, a Professor of English and the Director of The Center for Feminist research at University of Southern California, notes that gender defiance seems to be tolerated in younger girls, but is often repressed or punished in older girls or adolescents.

Playing hockey in the driveway

Playing hockey in the driveway

Tomboy is a derogatory term, similar to sissy, which is the derogatory term used to describe boys who do not fit the traditional male gender role. According to the website www.grammarphobia.com tomboy was originally used to refer to a ‘boisterous, rude boy’, beginning sometime before 1553. The ‘tom’ in tomboy comes from the name Thomas, the archetypal male name. ‘Tom’ was often used to denote ‘maleness’ and male aggression in the 16th century. In 1579 tomboy was used to describe a bold or immodest woman and by 1592 it took the meaning it still holds today – ‘a girl who behaves like a spirited or boisterous boy’.

More hockey playing in the driveway

More driveway hockey

The increase in popularity in women’s sports and other activities, and the presence of women in jobs that were traditionally male-dominated, are building tolerance and acceptance of women in these roles and in turn, lessening the impact of the word tomboy as a derogatory term. A patriarchal society created the gender roles by which we continue to be bound. Let’s untie ourselves! Parents shouldn’t limit their daughters! We should let them be who they want to be! The differences between male and female are only biological. Personalities and interests are totally individual and should not be determined by gender!

Players on the Take A Chance Women's hockey team

Players on the Take A Chance Women’s hockey team

 

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