41

19 comments

[–] Lipsy 18 points Edited

The actual phrase "two-spirit" was invented in 1990 baha.

As far as "boygirl" goes, there are multiple languages in which the word, or at least a word, for what we American English speakers call a "tomboy"[1] is very literally “boygirl”. These include, at least, Finnish, Estonian, Norwegian, Diné (Navajo), and Hopi.

Here in the States, in the 1910s-1920s—the prime-time of suffragettes, flappers, and 1st wave feminists—the tomboy was not just accepted, but legitimately mainstream and well loved.

From newspapers of that era, here are some examples of the "tomboy" as...

... the affectionately rendered subject of a wholesome, Family Circus-esque cartoon

...well-regarded enough to be an advertising line for clothes

...such Americana that we exported her image across the ocean, and celebrated her as an improvement on her stodgy old grandmother’s generation

...the affectionately described history of a stage performer

The term "boygirl" appears to have had its 15 minutes of fame back then. In the same collection of area papers, I’m finding it (with a hyphen tossed in there) mainly as… an archetypal young Female protagonist in action/adventure plots like this one from exactly 100 years ago (August 1922). HOW BADASS IS THAT. ("Boygirl" in blue highlight this time.)

[1]:
Filipino speakers of Tagalog, Cebuano and Waray, on the other hand (and almost certainly speakers of innumerable other Philippine/Austronesian languages as well) use "tomboy" to mean "butch lesbian" ahhaha.

[–] Midnight 3 points Edited

such Americana that we exported her image across the ocean

Erm... 'tomboy' is a British word & concept:

The OED dates the first printed use of the word 'tomboy' to a play published in 1567 & it was applied to rowdy young men. The word evolved over the next few years and by 1579 the OED definition was a 'bold or immodest woman' and by 1592 it had become 'a girl who behaves like a spirited or boisterous boy; a wild romping girl; a hoyden'.

Tomboys & hoydens featured in British literature & plays, & were a feature of British life. Eg. the highwaywoman Moll Cutpurse who died in 1659, was a notorious thief who dressed in mens clothes & was famously unfeminine - she was immortalised in plays of the time; or the character Miss Matilda Murray in the novel Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë (1847); and the character Ethel May in 'The Daisy Chain' (1856) by Charlotte Yonge, who is frequently regarded as a religious, earlier version of Jo March.

So the tomboy word & concept wasn't exported from the US to Europe - we already had the word for, & concept of, tomboys before the US had even been founded.

Some sources:

Tomboys: Performing gender in popular fiction PDF Version available here

Literary Tomboys in Classic Coming-of-Age Novels by Women Authors

ETA: Bascially, all cultures probably have words for 'people who don't conform to sex-based expectations'. It's not a US concept.

[–] Lipsy 0 points Edited

Yeah—We exported the mainstreaming of Tomboys/gnc Girls and Women and the (closely related) love of Women's sports across the ocean (as narrated at the link)!

[–] Midnight 0 points Edited

We exported Female sports across the ocean

Hilarious! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

There are parish records of women playing football in Scotland in 1628: the US didn't even exist then - you weren't exporting female sports anywhere.

Women were already playing sports in Europe before WW1: in England, womens football was popular from the 1860's onwards after the FA banned violence on the pitch. The first recorded womens international football match was Scotland v England in 1881, and in the 1880s & 1890s there were numerous womens football teams in Britain. From the 1860's onwards, womens football matches were often featured on the front & back pages of newspapers.

In France, the first reported womens football match was played in 1917 in Paris between two teams from Fémina Sport, a womens sports club founded in 1912, which was particualrly known for athletics, football and handball. The first French Womens Football Championship was organized in 1918: Fémina Sport won the first national title - in the final they played against En Avant, a womens sports club also founded in 1912. The first international match for the French womens football team was in April 1920, when they toured England and played against Dick Kerr’s Ladies.

In Europe, womens sports was closely aligned with the suffragette movement (both were about womens liberty to exist as people) and in Britain womens football matches were used as a vehicle to promote the womens suffrage movement.

So I'm not sure how European women playing football is due to US women doing war work during WW1, when we were already playing football & sports before WW1.

I'm guessing that the women of France probably didn't get a lot of time to play sports during WW1 because thier country was a battlefield & they had no time for leisure since all the French men would be called to fight.

Moreover in the article Women's Soccer History in the USA: An Overview David Litterer, an authority on football in the US, states:

Yet, women’s soccer got off to a fairly late start in this country.

And:

For much of the 20th century, women’s soccer had consisted primarily of informational recreational games and intramural college games, particularly at women’s colleges. The first notable exhibition took place in 1922 when the Dick, Kerr Ladies team made a tour of the United States.

So, in the US, the first notable womens football match happened when one of the top British teams, whose matches could draw crowds of tens of thousands, made a tour of the US. In Europe we had international matches, and had major womens teams whose matches could draw 50,000 crowd. While in the US you were playing informal, recreational games.

The assumption that European women never played sports until some US-ians showed us how, is really quite insulting - and it's an assumption rooted in both ignorance & arrogance.

Some sources:

A brief history of women’s soccer

Women's association football

Football féminin

Femina Sport

That sounds not very different from words like "tomboy". It does not sound like the "oh, we can't possibly know which sex this person has" TRAs prefer.

[–] Lipsy 6 points Edited

gaddam revisionist history... next thing i know, y'all gna be tellin me these tribes actually figured out biological sex without White people imposing it on them

BTW "boygirl", the first entry in the table, actually has a history of being used to mean tomboy in U.S. English (see the post with a bunch of links to newspaper photos for more, if you're interested)

I've heard some other terms in Anishinaabemowin, so I find this interesting. What book/source is this from? I'd like to potentially check it out?

So wait are these all female??? Interesting...

well, the title of the table is "Selected Female Roles..." lol

What i mean is, it's not like there weren't also plenty of names for GNC males (and, in the case of the Zapotec of southern México, an actual TIM third-gender role, the muxe).

"Oh my goodness! Ovarit accepts the third gender?" TRA, probably.

To be serious, "muxe" is not a third gender, but homophobic.

[–] ghoul2 Ghost w/the most 0 points

Have you found a comparable chart for men's roles like third genders for natal males basically? Sorry idk how to word this