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Tomboys and Other Gender Heroes

Confessions from the Classroom


Karleen Pendleton Jiménez

Have you ever been told that you’re too girlish or too boyish? We are all potential targets of the gender police, some more so than others. And how did you respond? Did you hide or change or rebel or hurt or gleefully celebrate your style? Tomboys and Other Gender Heroes is a study that brings together gender stories from approximately 600 children and youth. Set in both urban and rural contexts, these young people show how their schools and communities respond to their bodies, passions, and imaginations. As one 13-year-old student expresses, «My flowered jeans make me feel happy because they represent the sort of feminine side to me and at the same time show my masculine side. They also make me feel like I’m a part of a large force that stands up to bullying and criticism, to express themselves and to show the world that our lives have meaning.» In this book, student writings are framed by teaching strategies and gender theory, featuring themes of sports, film, media, landscape, joyfulness, and gender creativity. The research will be of great interest to university students in the fields of education, gender, sexuality and women’s studies, sociology, social work, psychology, counseling, and child development. This book is ideal for teachers, professors, parents, and community members who hope to create accepting environments for gender diversity.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Pendleton Jiménez, Karleen, author. Title: Tomboys and other gender heroes: confessions from the classroom / Karleen Pendleton Jiménez. Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2016. Series: Gender and sexualities in education; Vol. 7 ISSN 2166-8507 (print) | ISSN 2166-8515 (online) Includes bibliographical references. Identifiers: LCCN 2015042682 | ISBN 978-1-4331-2695-6 (hardcover: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-2694-9 (paperback: alk. paper) | ISBN 978-1-4539-1802-9 (e-book) Subjects: LCSH: Gender identity in education. | Homosexuality and education. Classification: LCC LC212.9.P458 2016 | DDC 370.81—dc23 LC record available at

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

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