I read an article by the Federalist 1 about how the transgender industry is negatively impacting the existence of tomboys. When I think of tomboys, a few famous characters stand out such as Joe March, Laura Ingalls, Éowyn, and Nancy Drew. Could Anne Shirley be considered a tomboy? When compared to other girls in Avonlea, Anne was different which is what Gilbert noticed straight away. Additionally, it was Diana who bridged the gap between Anne and the other girls.
Let’s start with definition of a tomboy otherwise known as a hoyden. The American Heritage Dictionary 2 states: “A high-spirited, boisterous, or saucy girl.” I would add: active not passive, not afraid to get dirty, adventure seeking, bold.
Anne was bold, saucy, and high-spirited. She had an active imagination and wasn’t afraid to act on a dare. And yet, she was also feminine. She dreamed of puffed sleeves and dark-brooding romances. Why do I bring up Anne Shirley? Because being labeled as a tomboy doesn’t equate to sexual perversion. Joe March also experienced feminine maturity in time. Éowyn, a shield-maiden, disguised herself on the field of battle (not a place for delicate sensitive females), with Merry’s aide was able to overthrow the Witch-King, wedded Faramir, and bore a son. There is a sense of awe here. Tomboys are needed and serve a special role within God’s master plan. I think defining tomboys as masculine is dangerous. Wrong. The same goes for boys! Liking classical music and despising football doesn’t equate to being girlish. There is a balance. We should accept ourselves as God designed us: XX and XY. We should accept the gifts, talents, and natural abilities that God gifted to each of us.
Prayer: For Proper Use of God’s Gifts
Gracious God, all that I have comes from you: my body and mind, my strength and intelligence, my time and abilities, my energy and possessions. Guard me from the temptation to use these gifts only for my personal benefit. Make me willing to use them joyfully in service to your and to your people.3
My Top Books for Tomboys
strong female presence
- A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter. Reading level 5th grade.
- The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. Reading level 8th grade.
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Reading level 9-12th grade.
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. Reading level 7th grade.
- Bridge to Terabithia by Katharine Paterson. Reading level 5th grade.
- National Velvet by Enid Bagnold. Reading level 4th grade.
- Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. Reading level 3rd grade.
- The Lamplighter by Maria S. Cummins. (out sold Nathanial Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter)
- The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. Reading level 6th grade.
- “Twelfth Night” or “The Taming of the Shrew” by Shakespeare. (Difficult to read? Then try Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by Edith Nesbit.)
adventure and winsome tales
- The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. Reading level 10th grade.
- Airborn by Kenneth Oppel. Reading level 4th grade.
- The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. Reading level 6th grade.
- Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. Reading level 7th grade.
- The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. Reading level 4th grade.
- Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. Reading level 7th grade.
- Fablehaven by Brandon Mull. Reading level 4th grade.
- The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald. Reading level 7th grade.
Why I Care
Because my mother’s mother was a tomboy. My mother was a tomboy. I was a tomboy. And my daughter is a tomboy. Who are your favorite tomboys? What books would you recommend and why?
- Christian Worship. Personal Prayers p.136.