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Sadie Hawkins dance breaks gender norms

Another school dance approaching on the calendar? It’s time to ask the beautiful girl sitting next to you in English class. But wait, it’s the Sadie Hawkins dance, girls’ choice. The question is: will she ask you to the dance? The concept of Sadies’ gives girls the opportunity to look for and choose their partner without fear of judgment from breaking norms. It also gives both genders a new experience and a new perspective.

Traditionally, for all school dances, we picture girls anxiously waiting for a boy to ask them to the dance. These actions may appear as stereotypical, but psychologists call them “behavioral scripts” or events that we predict will happen in certain situations. Of course the scenario does not always play out like this in every school. It’s entirely possible that a girl may ask a boy to a dance, regardless if it is Sadies’, Homecoming or Prom.

With this in mind, it’s easy to see why girls may feel nervous when the roles are reversed. Although girls can ask a boy out to any dance, many simply don’t make that move because it’s unusual for them to do. As humans, we naturally feel discomfort when changing our routine. In addition, girls may feel pressured to make a decision as there are a few factors to consider, such as judgment from boys.

In the eyes of their friends, a girl who takes initiative in asking a boy to a dance may seem arrogant or selfish. It’s as if the girl believes she is the best candidate for the boy’s date. After all, the girl’s friends may feel cheated since they could’ve been asked by the boy. Despite the traditional view, there is no rule preventing girls from doing so. Therefore, girls should remember that there is no shame in asking a boy out to a dance.

Like girls, boys will also experience the struggle of waiting for a girl to ask them to the dance. Since the situation is reversed, boys will adjust their physical, intellectual and emotional personalities to make themselves more attractive to their female counterparts. For example, one of my friends is hoping a new female student will ask him to Sadies’. He has begun combing his hair, using gel, applying cologne and wearing collared shirts. Again, this may be awkward to boys at first, as this is a new experience, but over time, they will get used to it.

For both boys and girls, Sadies’ offers an unforgettable experience. Reversing gender roles encourages girls to take the initiative and ask a boy out. Likewise, boys also learn about the struggles girls face when waiting for a partner. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. Now go ask that boy out!

By Phillip Leung, Scene editor
Photo courtesy of Lauren Wonn