Is the idea of a school dance where girls ask guys empowering, or does it actually cause more harm than good? Does it create negative norms for other dances? Or, does nobody care? For this year’s fall dance, there was a debate on whether to call the dance a Sadie, or just a fall dance. What is a Sadie anyways, and why would anyone care?
The Sadie Hawkins dance got its name and practices from a comic strip created by Al Capp in 1937. In the comic, an unmarried woman got the opportunity to chase bachelors and court the one that they caught. While this is a dated approach to empowering women, it is only the name and loose idea that remains today in the form of this school dance. In 2019, the practice of empowering women is a widespread notion, riding on the back of social changes like the Me Too movement.
So you could say this dance is perfect for the times and new ideals in society.“The Weber community happens to be rather accepting, but at my old school if a female asked a male to a dance it would be weird and he’d probably say no,” said an anonymous Weber Sophomore. Perhaps, this dance actually has the opposite effect: if girls are supposed to ask guys to this dance, does it mean they can’t ask guys to any other dance?
“I don’t know, it just doesn’t feel right to have to bring up gender in going to school dances. Anyone should be able to ask anyone to any dance. I also just don’t want to be told to ask a guy, no one is ever telling them to ask us,” explained an anonymous Weber Freshman. This student brings up a good point: one could say Sadie is the reverse of normal dances, but the reverse of what? A Rampage poll comprised of half girls and half guys showed that 60 percent of students thought it was “normal” for a guy to ask a girl. Interestingly, 85 percent of students at Weber would feel comfortable if this norm was flipped.
The decision on what to call the Weber fall dance came down to student council and the faculty. “Since other schools have a Sadie, we thought that everyone would be more excited about the dance if that’s what we called it,” said Sydney Fialkow, the President of the Student Council. Students wanted the dance to feel more like a public school and to get a high school experience. However, many people didn’t want it to be a Sadie so that no one felt excluded from the event, so they ultimately came to the decision to call it “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” a theme dance. “We are advertising it as just a fall dance, but then spreading that its a Sadie by word of mouth,” continued Fialkow.
When asked their opinions on Sadie versus a fall dance, an anonymous Weber Sophomore said “I don’t care what its called, people always end up asking whoever they want. The name doesn’t matter for anything.” Multiple interviews confirmed this consensus. The majority of Weber students aren’t actually affected by what the dance is called.
As Ms.Geppert put it, “For some kids it’s their first time at a high school dance, so I just want it to be a way to bring everybody together… just a time to gather.”
No matter what its called, the students that attend are bound to have a good time.