Sunday, November 01, 2009

Everyone loves a tomboy

I was never big on girl-culture as a child (that is, I don't remember much interest in dolls or makeup or family-type games), but I didn't fit any description of a tomboy (I am a total weakling and uninterested in sports), so I didn't really feel that I had a gender-mold to fit into, but I found that I tended to identify a lot with tomboy characters in books, and loved the idea of a girl having a boy's name. My name is most definitely a girl's name. I was so disappointed when I found out that it had such a lamely-patriarchal meaning (it's often just defined as "Abraham's wife," but "princess" comes up a lot.) I thought about this when I came across this article about androgynous names trending toward girls, and how parents who prefer androgynous names usually go for more-masculine ones, regardless of their child's gender. The author uses the example of the name Leslie as one that began as a boy's name, and once it became popular for girls, boys' parents dropped it like a hot rock. Hello, ambient misogyny. Girls who act like boys are cool, but boys who act like girls are fags.

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