Did you know its Sadie Hawkins Day today? In high schools and institutions across the country there are celebrations and dances planned around this semi-famous woman who dared to do the unthinkable – she pursued a guy! It is intriguing to me that this woman’s deed is still celebrated today, as modern society tells us that anything goes. This is nothing novel. You can do or be anything you want to be, right? But my question is – should you? Should a woman initiate a relationship?
A large part of my investigative work deals in relationships and what the truth is between partners, lovers and spouses. And I have to say that in my professional opinion the common denominator in any relationship that goes bad is the balance of power in that relationship. Who has the power, how do they use that power and does it work for the two parties involved. So I decided to take a quick look into Sadie Hawkins and who she was and why she decided to ask out a guy and what the result was. Well, needless to say I’m surprised to learn that Sadie Hawkins was not even a real woman!
Did you know she was a character in a comic strip created by Al Capp called Li’l Abner? Sadie was the daughter of one of the main characters and she was known as the “homeliest gal in all the hills”. How nice. When she reached the age of 35 (and still a spinster) her wealthy father called together all the unmarried men in their town, and declared it “Sadie Hawkins Day”. On this day, there was a footrace in the town with Sadie in hot pursuit of the unmarried men who came to race. The grand prize? Marriage to Sadie! I don’t know about you, but a marriage to the homeliest woman in town would not get me to throw on my running shoes. Regardless, this concept was hardly flattering to poor Sadie.
After the strip hit the papers, throngs of women, specifically on college campuses, felt “empowered” enough to chase down men. Literally grabbing at their waist bands as the men clamored to get away. Call me old fashioned, but this does not thrill me or strike me as any type of feminist movement, nor do I think it is empowering to women. But none the less, society has taken the story of Sadie Hawkins and replayed it as a gender role reversal giving “the power” to the girl to take the initiative in a love relationship. So, as I sit here writing this article I begin to think about the modern world and how women believe that by asking out a man they are taking control and being empowered.
So, my question to you – who really has the power? Is it the chick asking for the date, or the dude who is obliging or rejecting her? If a woman is going to take on the role of the man, women need to think like men to understand this concept. Men are hunters. It’s biological. And I don’t care what you say, they like chasing women. It’s what they do. It’s like their job. The thrill of the chase keeps them going. I know, all you women empowerment people are getting pissed, but let me finish. This isn’t just about girls asking guys out.
Societal norms and gender roles have been established. They are there for a reason. When we start playing around with gender roles, we end up with women who do everything from working a 9-5, while still maintaining the home, and still caring for and managing the children and their activities. But men you see, they work a 9-5. Wait. That’s it? Ok they may put some dishes in the dishwasher, but ultimately they are biologically unequipped to pay attention to all the things that need to be done to take care of a household and children. Now, I am in no way saying that women should not work and men don’t care about their kids. Women should work if that is what is fulfilling to them. But please, do not have any expectation that men could ever really appreciate what we do as women. I know they say it and that’s nice and all, and makes us feel all validated, blah, blah, blah. This is where the stuff falls apart in relationships. Whose job is it anyway anymore? WE, as women, have expectations of what men should do based on our new roles as creatures that are beyond being barefoot and pregnant. We do it all. But men didn’t ask for a new role, did they. We did. They still haven’t gotten the memo. And for most, their work is only in the office. Have we as women really moved forward in our quest for equality and power or have we just overburdened ourselves?
So back to my question about “power” and all that empowerment stuff. YOU have the power to do whatever you want. The issue, I believe, lies with these expectations we have. If a girl asks a guy out, she has an expectation that she will be in control. An expectation that the guy will see her as being “in control.” Not so. In fact, it’s doing just the reverse. To the ladies who think it’s okay to ask men out: thanks for making it so easy once again for the guy. No hunting, no chasing, no guessing. NO WORK! And in all likelihood he’s thinking either (a) she’s hot, maybe she’ll sleep with me, or (b) she’s aggressive, maybe she’ll sleep with me, or (c) she’s not that hot, but maybe she’ll sleep with me. Really, he’s probably just not thinking.
Women! Must we take everything away from men for the sake of “empowerment” and this so called “feminist movement”? Please. Let them have the thrill the chase. Let them woo us. Let them hear a “no” or a resounding “yes” from us when they have to work up that nerve to ask us out. Now that sounds like being in control to me. I know. Some women don’t want to sit around waiting for Mr. Right, so they take matters into their own hands and initiate a relationship. Stop! Stop believing that Sadie Hawkins is our role model as empowering for women, just like Popeye’s spinach isn’t really going to make men strong.