I was born just after WW II and grew up at a time where mothers were a part of the major work force, due to the impact of the war, supplies needed and lack of available men to work at factory jobs. We had a very pleasant life in the country. My father owned a farm and my mother had worked at a variety of jobs, including sewing her way around Sweden to visit her relatives, and after marrying my father, taught third grade until retirement age. I believe my mother enjoyed her work away from home, she always told me I needed to have "something to fall back on", hence, I also became an elementary teacher. However, I really didn't enjoy the job. I liked the kids, but I didn't want to devote my life to teaching.
While growing up with a couple of brothers, I was able to work around the farm with them and my father. I also did the chores my mother had me help her with. She paid me twenty-five cents to wash loads of clothes in the wringer washer. I enjoyed those jobs. She and my 4-H leader taught me to sew and expected excellent work for which I have ever been grateful.
The women in my family always wore dresses (and they were modest in those days) every time we went to church, to the big city, to visit family and friends, and for a variety of gatherings.
However, at home, we wore womens pants and blue jeans. We worked in the gardens, hayfields,barns, chicken houses, a big yard full of fruit trees, maples, flowering bushes and shrubs, and evergreens. We even made our own "go-carts" out of old wagons and tricycles and our power was the hill on the driveway.
One might have called me a "tom-boy" because I could climb apple trees as high as my brothers, help out on similar chores, wore pants to prove I could, etc., but I really liked to wear a dress when we were supposed to present ourselves as ladies, young ladies, and very young ladies at different functions. My mother had good taste in clothes and let us choose what we wanted within her dictates when we were old enough to be sensible about styles and colors.
I would not say that I was a "tom-boy" although I did like outdoor activities and chores, however, the only thing I remember is that I was jealous of the good time my brothers and their friends had playing football and baseball together and there weren't that many girls around to play with. I didn't develop the "tom-boy attitude". Girls were expected to act like girls and boys were boys and did the activities boys did without having any girls to tag along with them.
It is interesting to note, and you may have picked up on this too, is that those girls whose father wanted a boy or treated them like a boy tend to have a hard time really enjoying being the woman God has created them to be. I find them often in man-style clothes, mannish haircuts, and mannerisms--"one-of-the-boys" type females. Fathers may think it alright to have these traits in their daughters, but it doesn't enforce their calling from God. Think how many young girls have been involved in a lot of contact sports because it pleased their parents, particularly dad, that daughter can really play a (mean) game. Why?
On a side note of outdoor activities, there are women who do archery, shooting sports, hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, equestrian activities, etc., who still behave like ladies.
This picture is called "Target Practice" by Tom Lovell.
I do believe that one of the wiles of the devil is to cause confusion in roles by various methods. It is part of the destruction of our society and innately ruining godly examples of womanhood. The ramifications of not following God's word does more damage than one can ever imagine.
Going backwards from a modern definition for the "tom-boy"word, one internet site listed it this way here, with a little history.
My Twentieth Century Websters 1937 Dictionary listed it as 1. a rude , boisterous boy (obsolete)2. a romping girl (colloquial). Romping means fond of romps. Romp means 1. one who romps; especially a girl who indulges in boisterous play. Rompish means given to rude play.
My Webster's 1828 Dictionary lists TOM' BOY, n. [Tom, Thomas, and boy] A rude boisterous boy; also in sarcasm, a romping girl.
There are sub-cultures in our society where this attitude of boyish or manly traits really speak a language of their own and they are openly promoted to the point where it spills over into our vulnerable youth who lack role models of (great) godly character.
The end of these matters will show where your heart really is. If you fit in the category of "tom-boy", perhaps you might want to check out what our heavenly Father desires His girls to be like and what attitudes they should have.
Ask yourself these questions:
Where do I go for inspiration? ( This site give us clues about some Hollywood influence.)
Where do I spend time studying for deciding my style?
Do I like to look at the latest fashions to see what I can wear?
Do I have a standard by which I judge clothing?
Am I one of the stately pillars described in the Psalms?
Do I run these ideas/clothes by my parents/my husband/even godly brothers?
Am I trying to get a "look" instead of displaying my character by dressing modestly?
Is my modest style as close as I can get to look decent?
One might check out this site for a great checklist.
May your life be one that glorifies our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.