Never Say “Tomboy” To A Girl Again!

Last updated by Lauren Hart

When I was little, I used to play a lot of Lego and video games. To me, these are passions like any other, and I still play video games at the age of 33. What’s not normal, however, is that when I was younger, I was described as a “tomboy”. In fact, I’ve always hated that term, and I think it’s time to stop using it. It’s sexist and puts a label on girls who don’t fit the stereotypes of their gender, so never say that again!

Never Say “Tomboy” To A Girl Again!

An insult more than an expression

“How do you know if you’re a tomboy?”

“Why do we say tomboy?”

“My daughter’s a tomboy, what can I do?”

“What do you call a girl who behaves like a boy?”

I didn’t make all these up. Just open Google and type in “tomboy” to see the questions asked the search engine. It’s a big concern and it’s parents in particular who are behind it 😥. Indeed, they themselves wonder and have a worry, because they consider that their daughter does activities qualified as masculine or that she has behaviors traditionally associated with boys.

I can't imagine the havoc it wreaks when you have parents who worry about it. Personally, I was “lucky” as my close circle didn’t call me that and, above all, my parents reassured me greatly, because yes, the expression is closer to an insult than anything else 🙃.

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A “failed” child?!

Indeed, by saying this, we imply that we failed to make a “real” boy. This can raise a lot of questions and destroy the self-confidence of the little girl who hears these words about her. We make her understand that if she doesn’t behave like a woman is supposed to, she’s not a woman in her own right. Read up on how good self-esteem can help you through tough situations.

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Not to mention that we've never heard the expression “tom girl”. No, a boy who behaves in ways associated with femininity is “just” called a “girl”. Apparently, being a girl is already an insult in its own right 😅...

Basically, by using this discourse, we perpetuate the idea that girls are less important than boys and above all, we participate in the reinforcement of gender stereotypes.

The need to fit the mold

It goes without saying that parents who are worried about having a “tomboy” have not given their child a gender-neutral upbringing. That’s the main problem 😕! “Tomboy” is a term that appeared during the 20th century in an extremely binary and gendered society, with men on one side and women on the other. Women were barely considered... And yes, when you consider that it was during this period (1944) that we finally had the right to vote!

I’m probably going to be called a wokist, but this expression shows just how much you have to fit the mold, it’s archaic and degrading. Girls who are labelled in this way are made to understand that they behave badly and of course, gender diversity goes out the window with this idea from another time.

The ravages of gender stereotypes

Perhaps some people don’t see why it’s a problem to correspond to the gender assigned to you at birth. If this is the case, we urgently need to deconstruct ourselves and open our eyes, because gender stereotypes cause a great deal of suffering, and are one of the main ills of our society. By using the expression “tomboy”, we perpetuate ideas that help to reinforce 👇:

  • Sexist inequalities,
  • Prejudice and discrimination,
  • The repression of emotions,
  • The limitation of self-expression,
  • etc.

This limits and confines children, making them understand that they can’t be themselves and that the way others look at them is more important than their well-being. Obviously, this causes even more suffering for non-binary or transgender people. Gender dysphoria can develop, leading to depression or suicide attempts...

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A necessary reassessment

I think that if parents worry, it’s precisely because they’re afraid of being judged by others, without thinking about the already harmful consequences outlined earlier in this article. That’s why it’s a good idea to take a step back and not pass on your anxieties to your children, who are themselves the product of a gendered upbringing. On the contrary, it’s important to set up a protective barrier and encourage your daughter, your son, in short your child, to be the person he/she wants to be 💪.

Consequently, rather than using the term “tomboy”, it’s better to... say nothing 🤐 ! As such, we respect and support the freedom of every individual, including our children, and set aside our prejudices and cognitive distortions. Diversity and inclusion are the key to a better world. In other words, a world that doesn’t generate suffering that has a profound impact on individuals, so we might as well change things at our own level by already questioning our vocabulary, right 😉?

Editor’s note: The roots of childhood

Have you also suffered from being called a “tomboy”? Many adult disorders are the result of a childhood trauma, however minor. Getting back to the roots can help you move forward and feel better in your skin. So don’t hesitate to talk to a psychologist about events in your childhood that could still be haunting you today.

🤗 Understanding yourself, accepting yourself, being happy... It’s here and now!

#BornToBeMe

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Article presented by Lauren Hart

Writing is a beautiful means of expression that I cannot do without. It has allowed me to channel my hypersensitivity, plus I love writing about psychology and personal development. For me, self-understanding is the best way to move forward!

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Wengood's favorite tunes 🎵

Wengood's playlist

wengood

  1. Only LoveBen Howard
    4:08
  2. Invalid date
  3. Fix YouColdplay
    4:55
  4. Beautiful DayU2
    4:08
  5. Thinking out LoudEd Sheeran
    4:41
  6. White FlagDido
    4:00
  7. Lay Me DownSam Smith
    4:13
  8. Nine Million BicyclesKatie Melua
    3:17
  9. Put Your Records OnCorinne Bailey Rae
    3:35
  10. Summertime SadnessLana Del Rey
    4:24
  11. Imagine - Remastered 2010John Lennon
    3:07
  12. Shake It OutFlorence + The Machine
    4:37
  13. Space Oddity - Love You Til Tuesday versionDavid Bowie
    3:46
  14. What A Wonderful WorldLouis Armstrong
    2:17
  15. With Or Without YouU2
    4:56
  16. HelloAdele
    4:55
  17. Don't Stop Me NowQueen
    3:29
  18. Skinny LoveBirdy
    3:21
  19. WingsBirdy
    4:12
  20. Californian SoilLondon Grammar
    3:41

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