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Queering masculinity: Re-theorising contemporary tomboyism in the schizoid space of innocent/heterosexualized young femininities

Renold, Emma 2008. Queering masculinity: Re-theorising contemporary tomboyism in the schizoid space of innocent/heterosexualized young femininities. Girlhood Studies 1 (2) , pp. 129-151. 10.3167/ghs.2008.010208

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Abstract

This article critically explores the seduction of contemporary tomboyism for young tweenage girls within neo-liberal postfeminist times and an increasingly commodified (hetero)sexualised girlhood culture. A central aim of the article is to contextualize the persistence of the tomboy discourse and girls' appropriation of tomboyism within competing schizoid discourses of presumed innocence and compulsory normative (hetero)sexuality. Drawing on past and current predominantly UK based ethnographic research mapping girls' relationship to tomboyism, the first half of the article considers how to theorise girls' fluid appropriation of 'being a bit tomboy' within a discursive terrain of multiple femininities and fashion feminism. The second half of the article revisits a case study of one eleven-year-old self-identified tomboy, Eric/a, to re-think conceptualisations of girls' sustained appropriation of 'tomboy' as more than some licensed mimicry of masculinity when it is taken-up as a performative politics of subverting emphasized (hetero)sexualized femininities. The article concludes with a call for future theorizations of girlhood (for example, tomboyism) that foreground the intersection of gender, sex, sexuality, age and time and their socio-cultural and contextual contingency.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Tomboy; Female Masculinity; Heterosexual Matrix; Innocence; Post-feminism; Pre-teen Girls; Judith Butler
Publisher: Berghahn Journals
ISSN: 1938-8209
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:52
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/28229

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