Opinion: Sadies: Why are we STILL enforcing old gender roles?


The original Sadie Hawkins comic by Al Capp. Graphic by: Sophia Denzler

Sophia Denzler

What does VHS think about the outdated tradition of Sadie Hawkins?

Part of the traditional school dances (Homecoming, Prom, etc), there is also the Sadie Hawkin’s dance. The difference about Sadie’s is that girls invite the boys, contrary to Homecoming and Prom. Sadie’s usually takes place in the springtime and is typically informal. The very concept is outdated and its origin has a certainly sexist undertone.

Sadie Hawkins is named after a comic strip character (deemed “undesirable”) who was allowed to physically chase bachelors around for one day of the year. If she caught one, they were obligated to marry her. Thus, the Sadie Hawkins dance was born, in the very old time of 1937. The original intention of “empowering” women to ask a man on a date is very old and tiresome. While there may have been good intentions at creating a more progressive dance, in this day and age, we simply do not need this dance, where girls are “allowed” to ask guys out on this out-of-the-ordinary day. 

The Sadie Hawkins tradition is still very present in high schools in America, without changing the name, the reminder will be there. Graphic by: Sophia Denzler

Sophomore and current ASB frosh-soph president Emily Sehati said, “I think the tradition of having a Sadie Hawkin’s dance is a really great tradition we have at VHS. While I don’t think it’s as relevant as it was years ago, having the dance itself is, I think, personally, it is a big part of the ‘high school experience,’ especially at VHS. The gender norms (personally) aren’t enacted significantly within the dance, at least for me.” On the topic of the name itself, Sehati said, “Calling the dance ‘Sadie’s’ was actually something we had to reconsider, yet based off of the poll that ASB posted, VHS seemed to lean towards calling it Sadie’s.”

Also part of ASB, freshman Bailey Burman said, “As an underclassman, I’m not too familiar with the tradition of Sadie’s at VHS and I know the origin of Sadie’s has some issues, but that is something my committee is taking into consideration as we plan the dance.”

While I don’t think the message of the dance is relevant today, I don’t think we should get rid of it altogether. Sadie’s is typically the most casual of the school dances and can have a cool and fun spring theme, but giving it a more current name could take the focus off of the old tradition and help us get past it.