Should We Have a “Sadie Hawkins” Dance?


Image Drawn by Madeline Chia

Hellen Jin, Online Staff Writer

The Sadie Hawkins Dance, also known as the “Sadie” is formal dance in middle school, high school and college. What makes this dance so special? In a “Sadie”, the woman invites the man to the dance. 

When homecoming or prom seasons approach, we often see cute proposal signs that invite someone to be another’s date. One thing that the majority of these proposals have in common is that a boy invites a girl. Though no rules are set for which gender must ask the other, the notion of men asking women is somehow viewed as customary in our minds. The Sadie Hawkins dance breaks the tradition of the “norm” or what is believed to be “courteous” and “the right thing to do”. 

Many will argue that the Sadie Hawkins dance is an attempt to promote gender equality by eliminating traditional gender roles. However, it might also serve as another way to support the traditional gender roles. As stated before, no rules specifically requires boys to invite girls to proms and homecomings; which implies that regardless of gender, one can ask each other out. The “Sadie” dance sets rules in which the women should invite the men, which adds restrictions that weren’t explicitly present previously. It does not solely set rules for itself, but also for other dances, such as prom and homecoming. If we need to have a dance that is specially designed to give women an opportunity to invite men, then we normalize the stereotypical belief of boys inviting girls to dances. 

Setting restrictions on the invitation policies regarding gender is also a very sensitive issue that can lead to stereotypes. The way of promoting a “Sadie” dance is to encourage women to invite their men of choice to the dance. However, what if one doesn’t identify as a man or woman? What if a woman wants to invite another woman instead of a man? The many “what ifs” should allow us to reflect on whether or not having such dances will benefit our community. 

There are numerous other approaches to normalize the invitations from women to men for a school social event. Instead of creating a separate category of event, we should make attempts to change the change the traditional stereotype of school dances

We should put in our best effort to eliminate stereotypical gender roles in all events in life, including school dances. While the “Sadie Hawkins” dance might be seen as an approach to eliminating stereotypical gender roles, we should focus instead on allowing people to do what they want at dances such as proms and homecomings.