Constantly Being “One Of The Guys” & Other Struggles Of Being A Tomboy

Constantly Being “One Of The Guys” & Other Struggles Of Being A Tomboy ¬©iStock/JohanJK

As hard as we’ve tried to overcome traditional gender roles in recent years, they’re still around to some degree, and nobody understands that problem better than the tomboys among us — the women who think more like one of the guys and act like them, too. The world is slowly accepting that we exist, but we still face plenty of struggles for failing to fall into the standard definition of womanhood.

  1. “Normal” women think we’re really weird. Truthfully, there’s no such thing as normal because everyone’s different, but there are still plenty of women who are girly enough to be perceived as such. They’re the ones who don’t understand why their boyfriends would rather drink beer around a campfire than go to a fancy restaurant or club, and are even more baffled by women who feel the same. Because of this, we don’t tend to have a lot of girlfriends, even though many of us also enjoy girly days sometimes, like mani/pedi appointments or brunch and mimosas.
  2. Guys think we’re amazing… as friends. A lot of guys are still a bit old fashioned, and they still think in terms of gender norms without even trying. When they meet a woman who has so much in common with them, their brains sometimes mistakenly categorize her as a “bro.” It sucks when cute guys think of us as bros just because we dare to be as fun, awesome and laid back as they are. We know we’re awesome, and those qualities make us terrific girlfriends and wives, as well.
  3. Guys hate when we beat them at at their own game. It’s a strange catch-22. Whenever we meet a new guy, he’s pleasantly surprised at first to discover how different we are from those “normal” women they claim to be so sick of. Then we dare to beat him in a drag race or a video game and suddenly, he feels emasculated. We’re sorry (not sorry), but we refuse to lose on purpose to protect a dude’s delicate ego. Guys are encouraged to perform at full awesomeness levels at all times, and we should be, too.
  4. People think we’re bitches when we’re good at our jobs. This is especially true if we’re working in a male-dominated field. The business world is being slowly taken over by women, yet there’s still just enough misogyny floating around to maintain the fallacy that women who kick ass at their jobs are bitches, while guys who kick ass at their jobs are simply rock stars. Again, we’re not sorry and we’ll continue to be awesome even if you don’t like it.
  5. Men underestimate us as soon as they meet us. We usually know right away because they’re the ones who call us “honey” or something equally off-putting. That’s a completely inappropriate way to address a woman you just met, ESPECIALLY if she’s visiting you in a purely professional capacity. As soon as we hear that, we know this guy thinks we’re incapable of doing anything worthwhile, and we prepare to teach him a much-needed lesson.
  6. Our mothers sometimes wonder where they “went wrong.” Our moms mean well, but sometimes it seems like they lose sight of our dreams for our own lives in favor of their dreams for theirs. The good thing about strong, independent women is that we don’t let our parents’ disapproval coerce us into living a life we’re unhappy with, and we try our best to maintain a peaceful relationship with the (literal) mothership.
  7. We’re honestly not sure to raise a hypothetical future daughter. We know that if we do have a daughter someday, we want to empower her to follow all of her dreams and find happiness just as we’re doing. However, we had to find our own path to enlightenment and it was full of trial and error. The thought of attempting to show someone else how to go as far as we have in life is pretty daunting. There’s a difference between blazing a trail and teaching a course on how to blaze one, and we don’t want to let the next generation of women down.
Anna Martin Yonk is a freelance writer and blogger in sunny North Carolina. She loves hanging out with her goofy husband and two rescue dogs and can be found at the beach with a drink in hand whenever possible. You can find her on Instagram @mrsyonkdogmom or on her Facebook page.