Does Sadie Hawkins perpetuate a mindset that prevents women from making the first move?

The views expressed in the Point and Counter Point do not necessarily reflect the views of the writers, but rather opposing sides of a specific issue.


Niza Metoyer

Assistant Section Editor

We can thank cartoonist Al Cap for the creation of Sadie Hawkins who was a character in his strip Li’l Abner. The story states that since Sadie Hawkins could not find a husband after fifteen year, her father organized a race by gathering all the eligible men together giving them a head start and then sending her off to catch one.

Many schools, clubs, and organizations adopted this cartoon idea into events such as the popular Sadie Hawkins dance. This dance was introduced as an opportunity in which men would no longer be the only ones to make the first move for this one occasion. The Sadie Hawkins dance is seen as a way to release the men’s pressure asking the women out, and giving women the opportunity to take the lead.

Sadie Hawkins is not challenging social norms, but encouraging them. It is saying we are making it okay for women to ask men on this day, but no other day. It almost mocks women’s efforts to have the same power men are granted by society.

Some may say that women enjoy being pursued and asked. Although this may be true for some, women should not feel like they cannot make the first move if they wanted to on any occasion.

This dance is the one time society deems it acceptable for a woman to ask a man out. Women should not need special permission in order to ask a man to a dance or to anything else for that matter. We say we want men and women to be seen as equal, but we continue to subtlety enforce gender roles; by choosing dance themes like Sadie Hawkins, where the specific theme of the dance is that women are allowed to ask men.

In an interview with “International Business Times” Whitney Wolfe, creator of the app Bumble (a dating app in which men are not allowed to message the girl first), says “Our motto, ‘Ladies hold the key,’ is not to take power away from a man — it’s to flip the roles.”

Women should be able to take charge of their lives and challenge gender roles instead of stepping back and allowing society to dictate actions. Flipping gender roles should be in everyday life instead of just on one specific day.

Dances, especially at universities, should empower women to ask on any occasion. They should not enforce gender norms, and set occasions for girls to show their power. Dances should not specify which gender should ask, but empower women to ask on any occasion.

Read the Counter Point of this article here


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