Based on the author's viral New York Times op-ed, a celebration of the tomboy phenomenon and its implications for girlhood explores its origins in a Victorian ideal and role in shaping history, science and culture.
... a comprehensive look at gender performance in girls ... The consideration of gender scripts for girls is a well-worn topic. Davis takes the reader in a fresh direction by illuminating the forces behind the shifting regard in which tomboys have been held ... Given Davis’s thoughtful consideration of how money and power have shaped our ever-changing view of tomboys, I would have welcomed more from her about the sexual objectification of girls in the media they consume ... On the one hand, we embrace a vastly more fluid understanding than ever before ... On the other hand, gender reveal parties are now a thing. While Davis does not seek to explain or reconcile these extremes, she offers excellent, overarching guidance on how to approach the entire subject[.]
... fascinating ... Though sometimes a bit wonky (look for words like androstenedione, neuroimaging, androphilic), the book is always well written and accessible, and interest never flags, even when the dive into the subject is at its deepest ... Interspersed throughout are accounts of actual tomboys, humanizing the text. The conclusion is clear: tomboys rule!
In this thorough and engrossing investigation...Davis’s persuasive and deeply personal argument for moving beyond the gender binary will resonate with those curious about child rearing free of normative expectations.