The Demeaning concept of a ‘Tomboy’

The Demeaning concept of a ‘Tomboy’

I have always had this tag of a ‘tomboy’ along, as I grew up! Surprisingly I have lost this prefix now. It is strange! I tried to figure out the difference. The difference is while I was younger, I did not like to dress up. I preferred sneakers over heels, jeans over skirts, shirts over tops and never used kohl. Now that I am twenty, I don’t mind wearing heels or a bright lip color at times. Kurtis are cool for me and I also wear big ear rings now. So, I am no more a tomboy? We have certain fixed notions about ‘what a girl is’. We have rigid ideas for ‘what is feminine and what isn’t’. {I still loathe heena (mehendi) and cannot put any make up on my eyes. So? I am still not completely a girl? Am I?} I am representing here all those women who because they are slightly different from the majority of womankind; who are sporty, easy-going, make up free, sneaker lovers, all of them somehow get tagged as a tomboy. I am not. We are not. We are women. We are born to be called that and we are proud of it! If we do not like certain things that you think is ‘feminine’ or must be loved by all ‘womankind’ in general or ‘fits a woman’ it does not give you the right to tag us as anything other than a woman, anything that is less feminine and more masculine as per your conventional definitions.

I didn’t like certain woman items but now I am okay with them. It is not about my being a tomboy initially and growing up to be a woman gradually, it is about personal choice – which grows and changes with time. We were, we are and we will remain women all our lives no matter what we like what we don’t. It is our choice and tastes that may vary! Because I like black more than pink or flats more than heels or I drink Coke instead of Fanta does not mean I am a Tom Boy. I am a girl, no matter what. You are confusing yourself with giving name tags to specific kind of women, why do that? When every man can be different, when every human being is acceptably different, why is it so difficult to accept variety in womankind too? So, the next time you call a girl a ‘tomboy’ or question “yeh kaisi ladki hui, tum ladki ho kar yeh sab kaise nahi kar sakti”, remind yourself of these points. Stereotyping us with all women do this, all women like this, all women must like this and all women must do this, you need to stop that now!

———— About the Author: This article is contributed by Ojaswini SrivastavaOjaswini is a Respect Women’s contributor and a student of English Literature at the University of Delhi, who looks forward to study and work on gender issues. Believing herself as a feminist, an agnostic, thinker and writer, she aspires to become a respected writer someday!

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