Does Sadie Hawkins Set A Double Standard?

It’s February. The boys are thinking about how to woo their girlfriends for Valentine’s Day, and the girls are thinking about Sadie Hawkins. Sadie Hawkins was originally a comic book character. She was a kind of nerd, and she was reaching the age where a girl really needs to be married, and she was still single. Her Dad declared that she would chase after her husband. After the comic strip was published, it inspired many Sadie Hawkins days across the country in which the girls would chase the boys. In normal pop culture, it has evolved into a dance where—you guessed it—the girls ask the boys. This kind of go get ’em attitude is great for girls across the country. It lets us know that the notion of boys asking the girls is antiquated, and we can secure our own date, win the volleyball championship and maybe even run for president. But Sadie Hawkins inspires a double standard among high schoolers. For all the other dances, the boys are expected to ask girls. But are they really? Rebekah Skinner and Carlo Balmes have been dating for two years. They’ve gone to every dance since Sadie Hawkins of their sophomore year. This Sadie Hawkins is no exception. Skinner spent the few weeks before Sadies trying to think of clever ways to ask Balmes to the dance. She eventually came up with a five-day plan involving cookies, notes, confetti, tennis balls, balloons and finally asking her boyfriend to the dance. Girls usually go to extreme lengths to creatively ask out the boy they have their heart set on, but guys usually adopt a more laissez-faire approach. They just ask. This is the case with Balmes and Skinner. He just asks. Sometimes there’s a variation in the routine, such as sticking a note in a potato chip bag that says “Prom?” But most of the time he opts to keep things simple. Even after two years of dating, Skinner still feels that she needs to be creative about asking Balmes to Sadie Hawkins. “It’s all the Sadies signs,” says Skinner, “I wish they’d take them down. It puts a lot of pressure on a girl.” While Sadie Hawkins is a good opportunity for girls to take matters into their own hands, it’s not always what it seems. “I don’t like showing up dateless to this dance,” says Senior Sarah Cain. Most girls feel the same way. There is an expectation that Sadie Hawkins is the dance you need a date for. It’s right after Valentine’s Day, and girls can use the excuse that they weren’t asked. But most girls don’t want to put the time and energy into thinking up a creative process to ask boys to the dance, or there is no one they particularly want to go with. This year, among the many signs hung up around the school, there were frogs, glow-in-the-dark stars, four-page love notes, jelly hearts and many more things incorporated into asking boys. When you think about the fact that most girls don’t expect signs or jelly hearts from boys when they’re being asked to Homecoming, you have to ask: Does Sadie Hawkins set a double standard?