SCENE | Sweet Briar College Lacrosse

Photo of Sweet Briar College lacrosse practice by Peter Stackpole, 1951.

After a brief grace period, when she would be called a tomboy and allowed to play second base, a girl has traditionally been subjected to heavy social pressure to withdraw from athletics. "Sports was the laboratory where they turned boys into men," says Penn State Psychologist Dr. Dorothy Harris. "As for girls, they were supposed to stand out in the hall, quaking in their tennis shoes. The penalty for daring to take part was to be labeled unfeminine, a social deviant. What is considered healthy psychological development in a man—aggressiveness, independence, ambition, courage, competitiveness—was viewed as unhealthy in a woman. Yet it is precisely those qualities that are found in every athlete, male or female. Whatever it is that works for little boys also works for little girls." —an excerpt from Comes The Revolution, Time Magazine, June 26, 1978.

1 comment:

lesley turnbull said...

hi, i find your blog really great and helpful. i have been looking at the Tomboy in my work (im a visual artist)for the past few years and currently i'm looking at what happens to the tomboy during the transition from childhood to womanhood? what does she look like? who is she etc? she really is hidden and in a commercial world obsessesd with adolescent girls and saturated by images of girls, interesting there is little to no representation of the tomboy-don't you think? anyways, a uni here in melbourne has recently offered me a shcolarship in order to research this! people are actually fascinated by the tomboy. don't blame em really. look forward to your next instalment! cheers lesley.