Sadie Hawkins Name Change

sadie_hawkins_crop
Li’l Abner Comic Strip from 1937

Yesterday Ms. Ryerson announced at school meeting that the event formerly known as the Sadie Hawkins Dance will henceforth be known officially as the Mid-Winter Formal. The old name, she said, was “heteronormative,” promoting the idea or world view that heterosexuality is the normal or preferred sexual orientation, and that the administration altered it so the language used would be more inclusive. While students agreed that no school function should be in any way biased against LGBTQ students in our community, many didn’t understand why the name had to go; indeed, some even said it was calling attention to an issue that didn’t exist in the first place.

Because of this confusion, I spoke to Ms. Ryerson today to clarify the reasons behind the change. Despite the seeming innocence of the name, Ms. Ryerson explained that a Sadie Hawkins dance, by definition, is a dance “where girls ask the guys.” Many may be surprised to learn that Sadie Hawkins isn’t even specific to Blair, but is, in fact, a widespread sort of high school dance, which originally got its name from a 1937 edition of the Li’l Abner comic strip.

Comment below.

(Cover from Li’l Abner) (Copyright Tys Sweeney 2015)

Tys Sweeney

Founder & Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

Tys Sweeney ’17 founded the Blair Oracle in April 2015. He wrote news, fiction, poetry, and announcements for the publication until he graduated in 2017. He served as Editor-in-Chief until 2016 and was succeeded by Seth Kim.

  • Nick

    This is just plain silly!

  • Anonymous

    So by this new measure for inclusiveness, can a boy say no to a girl that asks him to the dance? I always thought that was ridiculous and beyond unequal that a girl could decline a boy’s invitation to prom, but that does not apply the same way to boys during Sadie. It can be just as hard for boys to get the courage to ask a girl as it is a girl to find the courage to ask a boy.