My eldest daughter has been called a tomboy from an early age.
Not that that's a particularly bad thing, but at 13, she’s realising now how sexist that label is. Rightfully, she’s begun to question why the sports and interests she has are still seen as reserved predominantly for boys.
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And I’m proud of her, because if there’s anything that’s encouraged her to prove people wrong, it’s when they tell her she can’t do certain things because she’s a girl - or that the reason she’s interested in ‘boy things’ is because she's a tomboy. Like that’s some kind of justified explanation.
My daughter has always been a daredevil. I knew it the moment I heard a massive thump come from her nursery at 13 months old after her afternoon nap. I rushed in to find her sitting on the floor, grinning and clapping herself, proud that she’d jumped out of the cot and made it in one piece. I on the other hand was mortified. How on earth did she do that without breaking any of her tiny bones?
From then on, afternoon nap times became a game. She’d sleep happily, then upon waking, launch herself out of the cot with a thud and run out to greet me. She was so small yet so daring. So different to me.
Then she moved on to climbing cupboards and bookshelves and swinging from the washing line, to riding jet-skis, playing football, surfing and dirt bike riding.
As for me, I've had many interesting (and some derogatory) comments over the years about having three daughters and no sons.
‘Do you think you’ll go for a 4th to try for a boy?’
‘Wow, so many girls! You could start a netball team!’ (For the record, none of my girls are netballers).
‘I feel for your husband though, he missed out on having a boy’.
What I want to say in return is, ‘Wow, so many sexist comments…’
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