A search on wikipedia says that the word tomboy first appeared as a 16th century term describing a rude and boisterous young man. Over time it changed gender, was later defined as a female strumpet or a rowdy girl, and by the late 19th century it acquired its modern meaning.
Tomboys are easy to identify, given a choice they will wear boy clothes and entertain themselves with boyish interests, climbing trees, getting into fights, burning the legs off ants with a magnifying glass, blowing up snails with firecrackers and other oh-so exciting pursuits. Tomboys are often good at sports. They have dirty knees. They are brave and adventurous. In short, tomboys are girls who transgress and resist the restrictions of feminine gender stereotypes, you know, the kind of social rules that demand girls to be sweet, charming, pretty, quiet, docile and rather dull. Theory suggests that tomboys occur in the family when girls lack sufficient female role models and over-identify with fathers, brothers and other male relatives. Others theories are that an abundance of testosterone in the womb leads to ‘tomboyishness’.
The truth is that nobody really knows why some girls simply prefer trousers, it's odd that it should be regarded as a problem, but there's no doubt that tomboys are part of the 'transgender spectrum'.Tomboy is to girl what sissy is to boy, (I dislike sissy’s big time) a red flag to anxious parents. Well, maybe not every parent, but the kind of Mummy’s and Daddy’s who worry that their little girl might not grow up to be happily, healthily, "correctly gendered," 100% heterosexual. They shouldn't stress about it as studies have shown that a tomboy is not necessarily a seedling lesbian (Phew, breathe out) and that it is often a phase that ends when tomboys get their special spark knocked out of them during adolescence.
This is a shame, really because I feel that being a tomboy helps girls develop assertiveness and self-reliance, and other skills that are useful in adulthood such as leadership ability, ambition competitiveness plus beating the crap out of men who mess with them. Unhappily, even when the odds are against them, some tomboys do become lesbians.
Tomboys are to me sexy and it's no surprise that girlish tomboys are a staple of Japanese manga cartoons. Tomboys are still easy to spot these days in Kuching despite the changing cultural attitudes about what constitutes appropriate gender roles for boys and girls. Areas that used to be cordoned-off to female gender are now open. One wonders if tomboys are or will die out, or whether new varieties, such as sk8ter girls, DJs and rock stars, will take root. Hopefully the tomboy will endure especially as, in my humble opinion, they still make the best lesbians. And some of them are really really hot!