This February, Wesleyan students are trading their khaki pants (and plaid skirts) for their best 1920’s outfits in honor of the “Flappers and Fellas” themed Winter Dance. This year’s winter dance is an opportunity for the girls to ask the boys and for Wesleyan students to spend a night partying like it’s 1920.
The Winter Dance, formerly known as the Sadie Hawkins Dance, is an event for all high school students. The idea of the name change was decided by the student government because the name “Sadie Hawkins” derives from a cartoon produced by a man named Al Capp.
The original Sadie Hawkins cartoon consists of a picture of an unsightly woman standing with her father and a line of men getting ready to race. The father is telling the men getting ready to race that they are going to have to run and whoever is caught by his daughter will have to marry her. The concept of this comic was to mock the ways of people in the south and single women.
Senior Emma Watkins said, “The whole idea of Sadie originating from men running away from undesirable women of a town puts a damper on things because no girl should feel like someone is going out with them because she trapped or caught him. It’s just demeaning to women.”
This Sadie Hawkins cartoon caused political controversy over the idea that it was only adequate for women to ask men out on one day of the year. This offended many women because they deemed it unfair. Senior feminist Sydney Anderson said, “women should be able to ask men out whatever day of the year it is.” Today, it is acceptable for women to ask men out on a date, because of the way that gender roles and the style of dating has changed over the past century. Women today are more accepted and has made fought to be equal with men, which made it acceptable for women to do anything men can do.
People also have problems with “Sadie Hawkins” because, in the cartoon, the daughter of Hezekiah Hawkins is being forced into marriage. In the 1930’s, it was unacceptable for a woman, especially at the age of 35 to not get married. Today, there is a lot less pressure on women to get married, which is why many people have a problem with this cartoon. Sophomore Analia Thota said, “If a woman doesn’t want to get married, she doesn’t have to. There is nothing wrong with being single and I don’t think there should be a lot of pressure on women to have to get married.”
While there is some of controversy over the issue of the Sadie Hawkins dance, some people see Sadie Hawkins as just a fun way to change up the norm. Senior Elizabeth Bruehl sees Sadie as “just a fun dance. I love being able to ask my guy friends. I think it is so fun and so easy because you get to ask people you are comfortable with.” While many people see Sadie as demeaning or outdated, other people see it as a fun tradition. Freshman Sam Schmitt said, “I don’t see the name change as a problem and I am looking forward to experiencing my first ‘Winter Dance.’” It will be so much fun no matter what its name is.
Although Wesleyan students all have different outlooks on Sadie Hawkins, the student government has decided to call the old Sadie Hawkins Dance, Winter Dance instead, just to prevent controversy. For the Winter Dance, the girls will still have the opportunity to ask the guys; however, there is much less pressure for the girls to ask. Overall, the Winter Dance will be a great opportunity for students to break out their best 1920’s outfits and dance the night away.