The Modern “Sadie Hawkins”
We are surrounded by calls for modernism. Feminism is a thing of the past, as it implies girls have to work to be treated equally, and by now it is expected that girls and guys have equal leverage in all areas of life. Our school is on top of this modernism; in just five years we turned from having four male heads of school to four female heads. This is not to say males in power are a thing of the past or to imply that the school made the conscious decision to hire four top female administrators, but rather it shows that our school hired heads based on their qualifications, not their gender.Despite our administration’s great efforts to ignore gender, we–the students, the generation that is supposedly the leaders of modernist thinking–are still forcing ourselves to continue ancient, gender-based traditions. How many girls asked a guy to Homecoming this year? How many girls asked girls? And did any guys ask guys? Not many names leap to mind.Girls can parade around and claim they want to be treated as equals, but as soon as a dance approaches, we subscribe to the idea that we can only be happy if we are asked by a guy. We could never be the one doing the asking! It would be too forward. What would people say if they heard that you asked that guy in math to the dance? You would be the talk of the school. Every girl is afraid of the gossip and judgement if she were to step out of the norm and ask a guy to a dance, yet she feels a pressure to say yes when she is asked.
The Sadie Hawkins dance challenges the seemingly progressive social ideals of our school. The ONE dance a year where girls asking guys is not only socially acceptable, but encouraged. The odd one out. The abnormal dance. In addition, it is traditionally saved for the least-attended dance of the year, Winter Formal. Sadie Hawkins is meant to give girls the chance to choose and ask their date, which serves to say that for every other “normal” dance, girls have no option. And what about girls who would like to ask another girl to the dance, or boys who would ask another boy? The social norm here at Academy still says this is wrong: a boy must ask a girl, and a girl must wait to be asked, because that is how it is done. We encourage modernism in our school, yet look down upon people who do not oblige to the social norm. Sadie Hawkins seems to solidify the idea that it is not acceptable for girls to ask boys under “normal” dance circumstances–let alone for girls to ask girls or boys to ask boys–that is not yet.
With these social norms in mind, the Winter Formal committee decided to make this year’s dance a “Daisy’s Dance.” It did so to encourage people to step out from traditional roles. Anyone can ask anyone. While this idea seems to promote an open-minded dance, this acceptance cannot stop after Winter Formal. If we really mean to move forward on the issue of gender relations as a student body, we must conduct every dance in the same manner by encouraging an open-gender invitation social policy. Anyone and everyone can ask whomever they so desire.