What It Was Like Growing Up a Tomboy

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Final Essay We live in a world that runs off the idea of gender constructions. Every aspect of our lives is affected in some way by the roles society believes that a certain sex should behave. Growing up, I did not fit into the “normal” gender categories that women are believed they should be in. I did not realize that many of the things I did and the ways I dressed were not associated with the “feminine” gender of a young girl. Ever since I can remember I have been a tomboy, who loved sports and dirt bikes a lot more than barbies and princesses, but at such a young age it seemed normal to me. The older I grew the more I realized that these things were not what the majority of young girls liked, and that was when I first began to learn the differences between the gender constructions for both men and women. It is safe to say that I spent the majority of my childhood with my father, he was and still is my best friend. He played a key role in shaping who I am today, which is directly why I am not the typical “girly girl” that our culture believes girls should be. I spent my weekends in a male-dominant environment, usually at dirt bike events or riding in the mountains. The amount of girls there was always slim, so I learned to act more like a boy would than a girl. Contrary to the gentle, feeble characteristics that girls are supposed to possess, I was the complete opposite. Valenti states that, “Femininity is weak, vulnerable and artificial” (64). In these regards I could not be categorized as feminine. I loved playing with the boys in the mud and I was nearly fearless as a child. Usually as Valenti says, “Little girls are always attracted to strong women and girl characters,” (174). In my case, I never once wanted to play with b... ... middle of paper ... ...would enjoy being with the guys more than the stereotypical sorority girl. As long as I can remember, nearly all my friends have be male. This has also influenced my decisions in life. Overall, every aspect of my life growing up, being my parenting and the activities I partook in, shaped the gender constructions I fell under. More dominantly, although, it caused me to reject the typical characteristics that women are expected to possess. My masculine upbringing caused me to become labeled a “tomboy,” which was perfectly fine with me. It was not until nearly the end of my middle school days that pop culture and media components began to have any effect on my life. This oblivion I grew up in shaped me into what gender constructions would see as a masculine girl more than a feminine girl, and I continue to carry these characteristics in life with me even to this day.
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