Author Topic: My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy  (Read 3801 times)

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Offline stephaniec

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My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy
« on: April 19, 2017, 04:12:12 pm »
My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/18/opinion/my-daughter-is-not-transgender-shes-a-tomboy.html

New York Times/By Lisa Selin Davis   04/18/2017

"" I just wanted to check, the teacher said. " your child wants to be called a boy, right? Or is she a boy that wants to be called a girl? Which is it again?""

Offline AnonyMs

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Re: My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2017, 06:44:02 pm »
I find it hard to express why, but I really liked this article. Well worth reading.

Offline arice

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Re: My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2017, 10:03:56 pm »
It is a good article. I love that the author states that she would be supportive if her child was trans. On the other hand, I would love to see an article talking this way about accepting boys who like "girl" things but still identify as boys. In my experiences (being seen as a tomboy for the past 38 years), society is pretty accepting of masculine girls/women and I think most people still default to assuming they are a tomboy rather than trans. The same certainly cannot be said for AMAB folk. I can bind, pack, wear mens fashions, and act like a man... people just think I'm a middle aged tomboy. If a male read person puts on a dress and wears makeup anytime other than Halloween, they are assumed to be trans.
I got into a discussion about this on FB today and was annoyed by the fact that the same people who were cheering about breaking down gender stereotypes for girls saw no problems with enforcing stereotypes on boys.

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Offline Amanda_Combs

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Re: My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2017, 07:44:53 am »
It's great when people can not be judgmental of whatever you're doing.  I just a couple of days ago had my mother complaining at me that I'm wearing nail polish.  And she always tells me to cut my hair.  Coming out to her is probably not going to be great!


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Offline Gertrude

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Re: My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2017, 03:41:12 pm »
To me, tomboys are just people that fall on the trans spectrum, but are socially accepted, so it's not an issue in self identity, at least not to the extent of MtF people. Maybe some day people won't think in terms of gender binary and people will just express how they wish.


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Offline Georgette

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Re: My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2017, 01:28:21 am »
To me, tomboys are just people that fall on the trans spectrum, but are socially accepted,

By that reasoning my mother, who said she was a tomboy when young, fell on the Trans spectrum.  Doubt if she saw it that way.  As an adult she only wore dresses and didn't think women should wear pants.

Did have a Grand Aunt that always dressed in what looked like men's clothes, never got married so she could have just been a Butch style Lesbian.  We never had the nerve to ask her.
AMAB - NOV 13 1950
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Offline ElizabethK

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Re: My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 04:01:54 am »
I thought this was an interesting response to this article....I have mixed feeling about the original article...this one is an interesting view


"An Open Letter to Those Praising the New York Times “Tomboy” Piece"

https://medium.com/@chase.strangio/an-open-letter-to-those-praising-the-new-york-times-tomboy-piece-755e655ce31c
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Offline AnonyMs

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Re: My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 06:19:11 am »
I don't agree with that open letter, so far as I can understand it anyway. I like original Tomboy article, perhaps because its a nice story and on a topic and viewpoint I've not come across before. That open letter reads far more into it and if feels like I'd have to be a activist to fully appreciate it. I'm not.

Offline amberwaves

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Re: My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2017, 07:21:02 am »
To throw some gasoline on this fire, things may not be as clear cut as they seem.  The author wrote an earlier piece about her daughter that indicates she may be more than just a tomboy.  I am not saying anything against tomboys.  My sister was one as are others I know.  In addition gender can be somewhat flexible for some especially while growing up.  While I agree with the assumed premise of the author that gender roles expectations are BS, I feel the medium article does a decent enough job of pointing out some of the nuance behind the statements made.

http://www.parenting.com/article/tomboy?cid=searchresult

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Offline Gertrude

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Re: My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2017, 07:55:07 am »
By that reasoning my mother, who said she was a tomboy when young, fell on the Trans spectrum.  Doubt if she saw it that way.  As an adult she only wore dresses and didn't think women should wear pants.

Did have a Grand Aunt that always dressed in what looked like men's clothes, never got married so she could have just been a Butch style Lesbian.  We never had the nerve to ask her.

It's a spectrum and social pressures can change over time as can ones beliefs vis a vis social constructs.


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Offline AnonyMs

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Re: My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2017, 08:50:33 am »
Personally I don't see being a tomboy as being on the trans spectrum, but on the other hand it is a spectrum so I can't say its not. I doubt anyone can say with any authority if it is or not, and being such an unanswerable point it confuses things that I'd rather not confuse.

If you take the argument to its logical conclusion then I'd argue everyone is transgender, because I don't think anyone can be 100% male or female without the most infinitely small part of the other gender. That's not a particularity useful viewpoint when discussing transgender.

Offline Gertrude

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Re: My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2017, 09:14:26 am »
Personally I don't see being a tomboy as being on the trans spectrum, but on the other hand it is a spectrum so I can't say its not. I doubt anyone can say with any authority if it is or not, and being such an unanswerable point it confuses things that I'd rather not confuse.

If you take the argument to its logical conclusion then I'd argue everyone is transgender, because I don't think anyone can be 100% male or female without the most infinitely small part of the other gender. That's not a particularity useful viewpoint when discussing transgender.


No one is 100% anything I suppose, so why bother discussing anything? Anyway, for the purpose of study and observation, people usually fall within a bell curve when measuring an attribute. Most people on the earth have brown eyes, most fall within a height range and most self identify as either female or male gender, even if they skew away from the center. We're on the edges. A Tom boy will have different socialization because male is more acceptable and expressing such is a lot less problematic than men expressing as feminine. So, social acceptance may lead to self acceptance for who they are, whereas with mtf, there's more pressure to conform to a more extreme binary and a choice has to be made. I think that as societies morals change about gender towards acceptance, we will see more males that may have chosen the archetypical female role in the past , be gender fluid. The diversity will always exist, the the social template will change.


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Offline AnonyMs

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Re: My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2017, 09:20:55 am »
No one is 100% anything I suppose, so why bother discussing anything?

If everyone is trans then the word has no real meaning unless you're talking in fairly abstract terms. Hence my preference to limit it to where its clear. Its just a preference though, I'm not saying its right or wrong because I don't know.

Offline SiobhánF

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Re: My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2017, 09:47:44 am »
Honestly, there are some things that they both miss. The NYT article, I agree, didn't need to bring in trans-ness because it discredits her argument. I agree with the open letter, to a point. It would seem that the NYT article author didn't realize that she's actually making it easier and more justified for people to question the legitimacy of trans identities.

I agree with a few here that it is entirely possible for someone considered a tomboy to belong on the spectrum, but I wouldn't hold out for that to be any sort of conclusive argument. Honestly, every person in the world is on the spectrum; some just happen to be less of an extreme than others.

That being said, I've been attacked (CPS involvement and everything) by the community in which I live for allowing my son to dress the way he wants. He, at times, will wear dresses, earrings, fingernail polish, and many other things considered "girly". Do I question him about it? I have once, but I don't hound him about it. He likes typical boy things and typical girl things. Does he have to choose? Hell to the naw. I asked him whether he feels that he is a boy or girl and he just says, "I don't know," with a shrug. I showed him a chart of the gender spectrum and he pointed to somewhere in the middle. That's good enough for me. He still gets treated the same as before, with the same pronouns and name. If he feels differently and wants to be treated as such, I will make it happen for him. Until then, he can do what he likes. My point is that people need to keep their noses out of other people's business and stop trying to tell them how to live their lives.
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Offline staciM

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My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2017, 10:40:21 am »
My point is that people need to keep their noses out of other people's business and stop trying to tell them how to live their lives.

This.  There's far too much bother about other people's lifestyles.  If it's not illegal or harmful/destructive to my life, i don't care about it.  This and articles like it, are written specifically to raise a reaction from both sides....get page hits by stirring the pot.  Transphobes see it as a way to generally discount a transgender life and trans-allies praise it because the mother said she would have supported her daughter if she was in fact transgender.  In my world, this stops getting "discussed"(argued) altogether and people go back to living their own lives instead of worrying about others.

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Offline Clara Kay

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Re: My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2017, 11:01:42 am »
I was a tomboy who everyone thought was a boy! 

Offline SiobhánF

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Re: My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2017, 11:07:20 am »
My son also gets mistaken for a girl. I leave it up to him to correct them, which he has.
Be your own master, not the slave to illusion;
The lord of your own life, not the servant to falsities;
Only then will you realize your true potential and shake off the burdens of your fears and doubts.



Offline Vincent J

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Re: My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2017, 11:42:42 am »
What a great article and what a wonderful parent this mother is for supporting her child if she ever does feel uncomfortable with her gender.

Offline RobynD

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Re: My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2017, 11:57:15 am »
I see both the article and open letter as being correct, although the article should have also defended trans people from all of the accusations and prejudice we face.

A world where gender matters less, is thought of equal terms and as a non-binary thing, sounds like a very good world indeed.



Offline Susan

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Re: My daughter is not transgender she's a tomboy
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2017, 12:30:29 pm »
Thinkprogress has a response...

Quote
"Chase Strangio, a trans man who heads up much of the ACLU’s transgender legal advocacy, offered an even more critical response. He argued that Davis was speaking from a place of significant privilege and that by framing her daughter’s experience in contrast to trans youth, her op-ed is contributing to the narrative that questions the legitimacy of transgender identities. “Trans youth are dying because society is telling them, telling us, that we are fake,” he wrote. “A white young person being asked questions about her gender is not a new problem and it is not a problem that should be blamed on trans people or trans affirmative shifts in society or medicine.”...

...Like Strangio argued, just because some transgender people feel comfortable embracing some aspects of society’s prescribed gender roles doesn’t mean that transgender equality actually requires the reinforcement of a strict gender binary. It just means that trans people live in the same world as everybody else and aren’t necessarily immune to society’s gender expectations just because they’re trans.

Davis may be frustrated that her daughter is often mistaken for transgender, but her daughter is also much freer to be who she is because of the progress made by transgender pioneers. It’s intellectually lazy to blame transgender people for reinforcing gender roles when they are, in fact, at the forefront of breaking down the limitations on how anyone can express their gender."

Read more: https://thinkprogress.org/tomboy-article-transgender-8d398a1f0f32

I agree with them.
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