Double standards within school dances prevent success of Turnabout

Double standards within school dances prevent success of Turnabout


It seems that almost months before Homecoming guys are bombarded with the pressures of what should be a fun, semi-formal dance.

First, we have to propose to our date in a creative way; A Homecoming proposal must have flowers and a sign worthy of an Instagram post. Next, we cover the expenses of a tie to match the dress, tickets, and a dinner reservation most likely at a relatively expensive local Italian restaurant.

Girls expect the best and nothing less for Homecoming. Do not get me wrong, Homecoming is a big deal. It is fun to get dressed up, have a nice dinner, and have a good time with your date and your friends, but I do not think it would be all it is cracked up to be if it were not for the pressures of today’s female teenager.

Turnabout is essentially the same exact dance as Homecoming – with a minor stipulation. For Homecoming, the guy asks the girl. For Turnabout, the girl asks the guy. With such a small difference and considering there is always so much excitement for Homecoming, why are so many students still unsure whether or not they will be attending Turnabout this year?

Turnabout is another name for a Sadie Hawkins’ dance, where a girl is supposed to “turnabout” the norms of a school dance, ask a guy, and pay for all expenses of the night. These dances grew extremely popular in schools across the nation after the publishing of a comic strip about a girl, Sadie Hawkins, asking out a guy in 1941, almost 75 years ago.

Some of our grandmothers, and even great-grandmothers, have participated in the liberating Sadie Hawkins’ dance in their younger days. Nearly ¾ of a century later, one would believe that the Sadie Hawkins’, or Turnabout, tradition would have only grown larger, I mean, it is 2015. For some schools I think this holds true, but at Metea, not so much.

As a member of student government, I want to see a successful return for Turnabout; however, I fault the girls and larger social forces for past failures and the likelihood that this year’s dance is limping toward another poor turnout unless girls find the courage to ask their dates.

Why can’t a girl fill the role they expect of so many guys? I believe it is that girls do not have the same courage of asking as guys do.

Traditionally, when a guy asks a girl to Homecoming he will ask one of their friends if they would like to go with him. “I ask her friends what she likes, and if I find any funny interests she has I try to make a ‘play on words’ and put it on a poster with flowers,” junior Conner Lovely said.

Of course, not all guys are gung-ho and excited to ask their dates. Not many can avoid the sweats and heavy stomach that comes along with asking your date to Homecoming, but we all do it the best we can. “Asking girls to Homecoming is a little frightening, especially meeting the parents,” Lovely added.

It is a proven fact that girls are more prone to anxiety than boys. According to a study by the Child Mind Institute, before puberty, boys and girls have the same three to five percent risk of being diagnosed with a mood disorder. However, by mid-adolescence this risk of a mood or anxiety disorder skyrockets to 14 to 20 percent for girls.

“Girls get embarrassed much easier than guys. Guys can laugh it off [rejection], but girls would get really upset,” junior Nikki Munday said.

I think the lack of popularity regarding Turnabout is due to girls’ fear of rejection. Their increased anxiety levels prevent them from being able to ask who they’d like to ask freely, or even expressing who they would like to go with without fear of judgement. surveyed 5,000 single adults, and only 10.8% of women said they had asked a man out on a date. Despite Sadie’s efforts, it seems that some women are still stuck in the early 1900’s.

“Usually a guy will ask a girl’s friends if she would want to go with him, but girls do not want to ask the guy’s friends because that is awkward if you get rejected,” Munday added.

So girls, if you want to enjoy Turnabout, respectfully: you need to man up.


By Drew Danko