And I remember that night
When I’m leaving a late night with some friends
And I hear somebody tell me it’s not safe,
someone should help me
I need to find a nice man to walk me home.
When I was a boy, I scared the pants off of my mom,
Climbed what I could climb upon
And I don’t know how I survived,
I guess I knew the tricks that all boys knew.
And you can walk me home, but I was a boy, too.
I was a kid that you would like, just a small boy on her bike
Riding topless, yeah, I never cared who saw.
My neighbor come outside to say, “Get your shirt,”
I said “No way, it’s the last time I’m not breaking any law.”
Reminded me of the freedom of girlhood, before boys find us.
Now let me say right here that I enjoy the company of men, and I adore my children, a direct result of having been, well, found. But let me also say, as I have before, that I struggled with male attentions. I would engage, often to be set aside, I would try to do my job, only to be pestered. I never got the hang of Queen for the Day, the young woman who glides over the throng bestowing favors like handkerchiefs.
“But why, with all their achievements and experience, were these women so lacking in self-belief?
Four in ten said missing out on male attention was a factor while for more than half, the presence of younger women at a social event was totally confidence sapping.” (italics mine)
Granted, the study was commissioned by a purveyor of menopause amelioration products, but still. It seems that in the best of all possible worlds, at this age we can free ourselves from the need for power in the male gaze, if we choose. We can ride our metaphorical bikes again, albeit most likely with our shirts on. We are no longer under the spell of the species calling to itself, “More, I want more!”
Which brings me, given the topic of this blog, to “Which shirts?” We fête women with Advanced Style, all varied and vivid wardrobes, right? But if one has always fondly remembered the days of scrambling through meadows, one might prefer to re-embrace dressing in commonly “masculine” garments. Right? To date, I think there’s no “Advanced Tomboy” site.
How about Tomboy Xchange? Focused on the 0ver-40, but way more tomboy than polished.
How about La Garçonne? Tomboy buffed to the point of brilliance. While their brand clearly focuses on late-20’s early 30’s creatives, they do showcase Joan Didion as a “Garçonne We Love.” That’s close. I don’t mind approximations. Who among us finds their precise style, hung on a web page all perfect like? All I ask is that my concept, and a few sound implementations, are supported. I will defend your right to ruffles and lace in turn, even if I have to lock myself to the bars on Bergdorf’s windows.
One final thought. As society loosens the concept of gender – driven primarily by those breaking boundaries of sexual identities – those of us driven by other questions of identity may benefit.
Confession. I’ve always been uncomfortable with the word, “feminine,” probably because I never was. Feminine meaning, soft, quiet, deferential; a wearer of soft fabrics and embellishments. But I never, ever chafed against being female. Perhaps we could discard the term, “feminine,” and expand “female” instead, giving everyone a place.
A place with good pants.