Scholar: Sadie Hawkins Dance is ‘Blatantly Offensive’

August 26, 2015

Opinion

Letter to the Editor

The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and columnists in this section do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of The Catalyst.

I am distressed by the recent survey sent out via email by The Dance Committee, asking scholars if they would like the next dance to be Sadie Hawkins-style. I am disturbed that no one noticed how blatantly offensive this is before sending it out to the whole school. We are an academy that encourages equality and women in STEM fields, but we have the nerve to present a girl asking a boy to a dance as atypical? By labeling who asks who to a dance, we are separating the genders by traditional role, which I’m sure everyone would agree is wrong. It’s like the idea that women must be stay-at-home mothers, and fathers must work to support an entire family. We know these days that that is not true. A woman can work. A man can stay at home with the kids. There are not roles that are essential to fulfilling one’s life was once forced upon society. However, most people cannot seem to see that thoughts of sexist gender roles still exist. If we are to see men and woman (and those identifying as neither) as equal, we must stop the subtle enforcement of the ideas.

I do not need special permission from a dance committee, because I am a human being, equal in every way, and given the opportunity to live in whatever path and role suits me. So I respectfully ask, why? Do you really want to do this, now that you can see what kind of idea it portrays? If society is to improve, we ourselves must recognize the problem. It is a dance. Merely a dance. All people of the ASK Academy are welcome.

– Sophomore Rylee Felzien

 We would love to hear from scholars in the Comments box below, or feel free to send a Letter to the Editor at marchuleta@theaskacademy.org

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52 Comments on “Scholar: Sadie Hawkins Dance is ‘Blatantly Offensive’”

  1. Shakespeare Says:

    “…we have the nerve to present a girl asking a boy to a dance as atypical?” An interesting viewpoint that is “blatantly” incorrect. According to a survey conducted by Michael Mills, Ph.D, on Psychology Today,”…a great majority of the women, 93%, preferred to be asked out — only 6% perferred to do the asking. The majority of men preferred to do the asking, 83%, while 16% preferred to be asked out on a date”. Please comment if you have any evidence to refute these facts provided.

    Reply

    • jordyjorjor Says:

      this is perfect, you go shakespeare!

      Reply

    • Rylee Felzien Says:

      I think perhaps you have missed the point entirely here. Logos arguments are not the point here. If girls prefer to be asked by a guy? Great! You do you. It is the fact that we must label it and continue to point out differences between genders that enforces stereotypes, and allows room for expectations and assumptions. Stereotypes may not hurt you, but think of the people they do hurt. Even if it’s only a few people who are hurt by stereotypes, shouldn’t we care?

      Reply

      • Jordin Tafoya Says:

        I think your argument is especially selfish and I think you are assuming that all females will agree with your point of view, and that all females are as comfortable with asking males as you.

        Reply

      • Jordin Tafoya Says:

        By the way, please read my response article.

        Reply

      • Zoe Lum Says:

        I think they way you are responding to this suggests you have no argument whether or not they respond in a logos format this is still a valid response. And to be hurt by a such a simple thing as stating a tradition is wrong. Are atheists offended by Christmas or do they just accept the tradition and carry on with their lives.

        for the rest of my argument read my other comment.

        Reply

  2. Vladmir Putin Says:

    In Soviet Russia, it is commonplace for woman to ask man to dance. It is also commonplace for people revolting against the President to have their heads cut off. Which issue should we be foucusing on? Hm?

    Reply

    • Rylee Felzien Says:

      This is like saying to a severely depressed person, “You don’t have any reason to be sad!” It worsens the problem due to your apathy. I agree there are many serious issues in the world, but I ask you, should we only solve one? Why not all? This is one we can all have a voice in. I’m not sure there is a way you can write the Russian President telling him he’s wrong. If so, give me the address and I’ll join you in justice.

      Reply

  3. Link Says:

    Why is it that in our society everybody is offended by something? I for one, and many others, found nothing “blatant” about the survey; and the proposed dance actually fights the established system. The idea that is pervasive in our society is that the male asks the female out on a date; does this sentiment not encourage the sexist opinion that you find offensive? Sadly, it is a fact that the male is typically expected to ask the female out and I agree with you this needs to change; by promoting females to ask the males out, as suggested by the dance committee, actually encourages an end to this behavior. It is true that at our school we encourage women into the typically male dominated STEM field. Many organizations provide scholarships for this goal, yet nobody finds those scholarships offensive. I am highly doubtful that anybody meant anything to be offensive and I encourage a reply.

    Reply

    • Rylee Felzien Says:

      I do find such scholarships offensive, because once again, it is displaying a female in the role as atypical (which it is statistics-wise, but that is due to a majority of reasons I do not wish to debate here.). I see your point here and I appreciate it. I’m thinking on it, even though I strongly believe that we merely must erase the expectation for any gender to be the one to “ask”. It should be a matter left up to the individual’s preferences.

      Reply

    • Zoe Lum Says:

      I completely agree and that was the exact point it was trying to get across. you go link.

      But rylee I don’t think you see the point that this is stating a mere tradition and is trying to break out of that and not encourage that. These I personally don’t see as sexist or offensive and should not be for that matter. People have become very easily offended and we should try to push past that first and for most.

      Reply

  4. Shannon Dunning Says:

    Rylee,
    I can almost assure you that no one thought of this point until you presented it here. The fact that you are making a basic dance theme an idea of sexism and discrimination makes YOU the one that is objectifying women. If women expect to be treated with equal rights then why are you making this argument?? NO MAN would create this article when we have the basic dances. You are the one that is wanting to be treated different then men, you are objectifying women. Please read your article before you post because your argument is invalid in this situation. Please reply if you have a better argument.
    Shannon Dunning

    Reply

    • Rylee Felzien Says:

      Where do I ask anyone to treat me differently? And objectifying women is to see them as inhuman or less human that a man, so I’m not sure where you got that, either. And of course no man writes an article about a “normal” dance, because it doesn’t strictly say “Guys ask girls!” I asked my date last year. Didn’t feel atypical or rebellious to me. It was just a thing I did.

      Reply

      • Shannon dunning (@Shane_mia98) Says:

        Rylee,
        Typically, men ask women to dances, would that not offend you? This is a way of opening a beautiful door of “women’s rights” for people like you, some women feel like they do not want to break the stereotype and ask a guy, so here again is your chance to break the stereotype. I don’t understand how this DANCE THEME is undermining women, this idea is not taking away any rights for women. It is making it closer to “normal” for women to ask men, is that not what you are asking for? I hope this has opened your eyes to realizing that women, like you, ask to be treated equal but then expect to be catered to, like a child. Enjoy your weekend.
        Shannon Dunning

        Reply

  5. Midna Says:

    I think you have blown the idea of a Sadie Hawkins out of proportion. It is not the secret agenda of Dance Committee to be sexist and conform women into “traditional roles.”

    Reply

    • Rylee Felzien Says:

      Of course not. It’s the problem that these are the types of things that very subtly enforce sexism, and most people don’t recognize it, which is why I said something.

      Reply

  6. Ace_Of_Janes Says:

    I don’t think that the idea of the dance was atypical, more or less a way to get so many shy or reserved girls out of their shells. Often times when dances arise I notice just how many girls are so worried about “who will ask me”, however, the question now becomes “Who will I ask?”. As sad as it may be, the social normality is often that guys must ask the girls. While i may not like it much myself, this is what often seems to happen. I honestly don’t see how a dance where Girls ask guys is so offensive, when the idea that guys ask girls is never challenged. Personally, I don’t find the idea to be offensive. The dance comity is not saying that that girls MUST ask the guys, nor that guys MUST ask girls, but simply that anybody should be welcome to ask anybody. I believe this is the main reason that the survey was sent.

    Reply

  7. Quinton Valencia Says:

    I find this amazingly ironic. I understand the removal of typical gender roles in the pursuit of equality. I don’t understand how asking for something atypical is offensive. By challenging a typical gender role, aren’t we pursuing the removal of gender roles? Simply, if the dance was normal, there wouldn’t be many women asking men. So, taking down the idea might work for you, but the argument was always for women/men in general. Just because it offends you, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Perhaps you’re thinking to much about a dance. Perhaps you’re partially correct, but missing the main point considering no one brought up gender norms until you did. Lastly, society as a whole cannot put trigger warning on each idea (especially ones that haven’t even passed yet) unless we are to drag us to sensitive, useless martyrs to what our narrow minded idea of what right is.

    Reply

  8. Ryan Medina Says:

    I personally am not fond of the idea for a Sadie Hawkins dance, but for the exact opposite reason than the one presented in this article. I believe in boys ask girls. I believe that it is the gentlemanly thing to do. As a girl myself, I do not believe that a boy asking a girl to the dance is sexist or discriminatory in the slightest. I fail to see how that could be considered offensive.
    Thank you,
    Ryan medina

    Reply

    • jordyjorjor Says:

      i completely and totally agree, ryan.

      Reply

    • Rylee Felzien Says:

      And that is an opinion, which you are entitled to.

      Reply

      • Gabe Santacroce (@CountGabeula) Says:

        Exactly Rylee, I completely agree, everyone is entitled to their opinion and not all opinions may come off as being the same, and that is the beauty of it, this allows for friendly discussions concerning important topics of todays life, however I do find it very disconcerting and completely inappropriate that people have chosen to go out of their way to attack you r argument and so many others in an unfriendly manor. Therefore I applaud you for resisting the temptation to give up, and for continuing to empower your argument with every comment.

        Reply

  9. u srs m8 Says:

    Your entire argument is being forced on the fun idea the dance committee put together. You’re looking for an issue where none exists, grasping for straws to make a point in your feminist agenda. The idea of a Sadie-Hawkins style dance is not to show how unequal women are, or give women power in this situation. You can ask a man, woman, horse, ghost, robot, family member, digital assistant, or former president George W. Bush to this dance if you really want to. There’s nothing stopping you. A Sadie-Hawkins style dance is a dance in when the men *don’t* ask, rather than “allowing” a women to ask. The only thing stopping you from asking someone is your own scene of self righteousness.

    Reply

  10. Gannondorf Says:

    I have to agree, you make a great point with your article. You really hit your stride in your arguement in that second paragraph. I think you’re right, we do need some better options for lunches. Oh, wait, I was reading the wrong article here. I just have to say, you’re completely wrong, and putting way too much thought into this whole thing.

    Reply

    • Rylee Felzien Says:

      Maybe you should read the title of the argument first… And nice sass. Sass is amazing. Keep up the good sass. (Also, you’re completely wrong. This is an article about school lunches.)

      Reply

  11. Saria Says:

    You didn’t have to bring sexism into this. Like you said, it’s merely a dance. Everyone is welcome, and if you don’t want to ask a male to the dance, don’t do it.

    Reply

  12. Vladmir Lenin Says:

    Congrats, you won the “Article with the most backlash award”!

    Reply

  13. AllTheOtherNamesWereTaken Says:

    The only thing I agree with in this whole article is the last sentence! That’s all I have to say.

    Reply

  14. Woodchuck Says:

    Personally, I disagree.

    Reply

  15. Samantha Kellogg-Howell Says:

    Bravo! Thabk you for posting your words of wisdom. As a former scholar of The ASK Academy and a former member of The Dance Committee I can understand the idea they had behind the email. They probably didn’t want to offend or upset anyone. While the intention was pure and good, the execution of the intention was a little mishandled. You’re observation and this letter is amazing for anyone. I can honestly say that I wasn’t even near this way of thinking at your age. I am still learning to think this way today as a sophomore in college. I hope you can continue this way of thinking and engage not just ASK, but everyone around you.

    Reply

    • William Rader Says:

      I have to disagree with you here. This isn’t a new way of thinking. This is looking for a problem where it doesn’t exist. A Sadie-Hawkins dance isn’t created to “empower otherwise powerless women”, it’s a different way of doing things, preventing men from following a standard system. A Sadie-Hawkins dance doesn’t “allow” women to ask men out, but simply make it easier for them to do so, preventing men from being the ones to ask first. There isn’t a special occasion in which women are or aren’t allowed to ask anyone they want to a dance. Looking at this as an such an occasion is nothing more than self-depreciating.

      Reply

  16. this is a load of barnacles Says:

    this is a load of barnacles

    Reply

  17. Donald Trump's Nephew Says:

    Just as Colored people are continuing to be discriminated in this day and age, women will continue to be subject to inequality. It is impossible to be treated equal when women are better in some aspects than men are. This can be easily biased as to the point that a man can say it is not “equal” for a girl to ask him out. Everything can be labeled as racist or sexist. Quite literally anything. A guy can be better at finances or a girl can be better at finances. However, a girl cannot be better than a guy at having two xx chromosomes. It doesn’t happen like that. Therefore, a girl can never be “truly” equal to a boy, neither can a man be “truly” equal to a woman.

    Reply

    • gabeandnathaniel Says:

      I also would suggest you find a better way to describe “Colored people.” It’s not modern vernacular, and that word choice could weaken your point as well as offend your audience.

      Reply

  18. xxeria Says:

    I know from personal experience that I think having a Sadie Hawkins theme dance, would help break girls out of their comfort zone. Just because guys typically ask the girls, doesn’t mean it can’t be the other way around. I mean, for the prom last year, I asked a guy and I think it helped improve my typically low self confidence. Also just because the requested theme is girls ask guys, doesn’t mean you have to go by that. It’s your personal decision about what you want to do. This is just an idea to try something different as ASK, and give girls a little push to getting their confidence and asking the guy/girl they want.

    Reply

  19. ASKmom Says:

    Rylee,

    Good for you for posting your opinion. I was also a person who would often write letters to the editor of my school newspaper, as well as my local newspaper when I was in high school. It takes guts to put your opinion out there – especially in this day and age where people may respond anonymously, thus giving them the feeling that they may get away with any degree of rudeness they choose. A few of my teachers in high school encouraged me, and they even wrote my letters of recommendation to college. I still am opinionated – because I have a deep sense of justice. I have noticed as I drop my son off at ASK that there are not as many girls as boys there, but there seems to be a larger proportion of girls in the younger grades. I experienced this in school too – the further I got in math and science classes, the fewer girls there were. It can be difficult, and most boys your age won’t understand this until much later in life (if at all). This can make the email asking your opinion about a Sadie-Hawkins style dance even more frustrating. It’s hard to rise above the culture around you, and this may be a symptom of a deeper issue in your school culture regarding males/females. Drawing attention to this flaw will make people uncomfortable – but keep doing it! You are on to something! I hope by the time that you get into the professional work force, things are better for you than they are for me (which are better than they were for my mom).

    Reply

  20. ASKMom Says:

    I think that if your response to a person’s legitimate opinion is to devalue it as being “stupid” then you need to put more thought into this. Obviously, this has hit a nerve with many students at ASK – but think about it a bit harder, everyone. WHY does this bother you? Is this student entitled to her opinion about the matter? Is there a way to debate civilly with a student without demeaning her? I know that ASK has rules about online etiquette. I would ask students responding here to consider that – what is the appropriate way to respond to someone that you don’t agree with without a personal attack? If the first reaction of students is to personally attack a female student because she expressed her opinion without first attempting to understand that point of view, doesn’t that point to a larger issue with the culture of ASK?

    Reply

    • Jordin Tafoya Says:

      Read my response article- I would say that it is civil and non-demeaning.

      Reply

    • Kaylee Brantson (@Kaileeysd) Says:

      Sadly, some people will use this as an opportunity to attack a person; however, many of us “students” have debated this in class and have written respectful and constructive comments. Of course Rylee is entitled to her own opinion, that’s why this article is here. Just because we disagree and write our own views does not mean we are attacking Rylee in any way, just disagreeing with her. You chastise us for our opinion while at the same time hypocritically defending Rylee’s ability to express her own. All this while using the word “students” derogatorily as if by being older, your opinion carries more gravitas- simply untrue. You also criticize us “attacking a female student because she expressed her opinion,” but it makes me wonder, would you be so strongly interested in a high school debate if it was a male author who had written the article?

      Reply

      • gabeandnathaniel Says:

        I’m very happy to hear that you are debating this in class and writing respectful and constructive comments. I have noticed that the tone of the debate on this thread has changed to a more mature tone, and I’m glad to see this. We don’t have to all agree, but it is important to disagree civilly. Calling each other’s opinions “stupid” definitely doesn’t meet that standard – and I would consider that to be a personal attack. Calling someone’s argument “stupid” is insulting, and could be taken to mean that you believe the writer of the argument is stupid – something that I would guess is far from the truth. I would consider my contribution more of a challenge to you all than a chastisement. I’ve been part of many online debates with adults that quickly descend into a chaos of insults. What a great opportunity you all have here to rise above that and demonstrate thoughtful consideration of other points of view! This is a skill you will use quite often in life.

        As far as your observation that I may or may not have been interested in the article if it were written by a male – My interest in this article came from it’s posting on Facebook. It was the first time that I saw Catalyst post something on Facebook. I tend to be the type of person who likes to stick up for anyone expressing their opinion in a civil way, and not very tolerant of those who seek to discredit them by using personal attacks. This is regardless of the gender of the writer.

        Reply

    • Kaylee Brantson (@Kaileeysd) Says:

      Sadly, some people will use this as an opportunity to attack a person; however, many of us “students” have debated this in class and have written respectful and constructive comments. Of course Rylee is entitled to her own opinion, that’s why this article is here. Just because we disagree and write our own views does not mean we are attacking Rylee in any way, just disagreeing with her. You chastise us for our opinion while at the same time hypocritically defending Rylee’s ability to express her own. All this while using the word “students” derogatorily as if by being older, your opinion carries more gravitas- simply untrue. You also criticize us “attacking a female student because she expressed her opinion,” but it makes me wonder, would you be so strongly interested in a high school debate if it was a male author who had written the article?

      Reply

  21. Jordin Tafoya Says:

    Rylee,

    Please read my reply article.

    Thanks!

    Reply

  22. Zoe Lum Says:

    Your opinion of a Sadie Hawkins dance is completely inaccurate. A Sadie Hawkins dance encourages girls to leave the norm. We can not help that the norm is girls asking boys for that was the tradition for years. Many girls are shy and appreciate the boys asking them, and now this dance will encourage them to ask the boy they want to go with. And saying that a tradition is sexist is wrong, other traditions like wedding proposals are not looked down upon. None of these things are sexist since the girls still have a choice and as long as they have a choice there is nothing wrong. Girls can still ask boys to the dance if they so feel like it, but this dance dares the girls to try and ask the boys, if anything this is trying to equalize us at this wonderful academy.

    Reply

  23. Rylee Felzien Says:

    Okay, everyone. I have been called a feminist way too many times on here (and one would be too much). I am NOT a feminist. I am an equalist. If I saw injustice to any gender, I would address it. Please do not label me without asking me. You are not me.

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Dance Committee President: There are No Gender Rules at ASK Dances | ASK Catalyst - August 26, 2015

    […] This letter was in response to Rylee Felzien’s letter, published on August 26, 2015. Click here to read that article.  […]

  2. Scholar: Sadie Hawkins Encourages a Change in Expectations | ASK Catalyst - August 26, 2015

    […] This letter was in response to Rylee Felzien’s letter, published on August 26, 2015. Click here to read the article.  […]

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