Recently, an article wrote about a study where scientists are looking to see if there is a link between tomboyishness and sexual orientation. The study determined that there is not a good correlation between the two (http://tiny.cc/DJyu1).
This got me thinking about my own experiences. I will agree that by definition I was (and still am) a tomboy. I preferred (and still do) to played with the boys; I envied my brother for having the cool toys; I despised dresses and skirts; and I was a whiz at math and science.
But did that make me a lesbian. To put it nicely, NO! I am as much attracted to women as I am to trees. The reason could be that I’ve never found girls to be fun to be around. They were petty, catty, fragile, and superficial. The worse part of my life was the 4 years of being in an all-girl high school. The school and teachers were great and really helped me towards my future. But the daily nonsense of females was not comfortable or enjoyable by any measure.
Now as an adult with two kids, I am a technologist (my brother envies my toys), I enjoy playing sports, and I no longer despise dresses and skirts. If the other things didn’t change, what caused me to change my mind about fashion? Well… thinking about it, I never really had anything against them. What I despised was the fact that I wasn’t allowed to have fun in them. I can remember the day that caused me to turn against dresses and therefore skirts.
I was about 5 or 6 years old and really bubbling with energy that day. Normally, my mom let me burn off my energy the way that kids normally do, but today we were visiting an aunt and I was dressed up. When we got out the car, I jumped on the low dividing wall to perform my usual balancing act. My mom said get down because “little ladies in dresses don’t do that”. Reluctantly I got down, and then dashed to catch up with my sister. My mom then said “don’t run or you may fall and mess up your dress”. For the rest of that day I kept hearing “little ladies don’t do that” or “you’ll mess up your dress”. Until finally, I decided that I didn’t want to be a little lady nor wear dresses especially since I couldn’t do want I wanted to do. From then on, it was a battle to get me into a dress or skirt.
Now if a boy was bubbling with energy like I was, they would have probably just sent him outside to let him burn it off. He’d come back in dirty with his clothes messed up and they wouldn’t think any less of him. Take a girl with the same energy and they put her in a dress and make her sit still. Can you imagine the frustration of a little kid being force to contain that energy? That’s why I hated dresses; they were a cage to me, not allowing me to be myself.
Now, consider how else do energetic boys release their energy. They play sports, they go exploring for worms and frogs, they build things and take them apart , they role play with action figures and toy cars. All the same things that a tomboy likes to do. So, is it far fetched to think that tomboys are nothing more than high energy girls looking for a release? Looking to burn off their energy the same way their male counterparts can. Honestly, I can’t think of one “girl activity” that allows you to burn off that active energy.
Stop trying to box kids (and adults) into these gender specific activities. Stop looking for a sexual connection because a girl is good at math. Look at people by their energy level. This way, high energy girls aren’t forced into playing doll and low energy boys aren’t forced into playing sports. What the worse that can happen? We’ll end up with much happier and well-adjusted kids.