Roosevelt High School's Student Newspaper

Spinsters: The Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons

EmBe’s annual Spinsters dance is a fantastic opportunity for students from high schools in and surrounding Sioux Falls to get together for a night of dancing, music, and memories.

Spinsters encourages community between our schools and generates acceptance among students. Any other day of the year, our schools are competing against each other. Who has the better athletic teams, test scores, music department. All of this rivalry disappears on the dance floor. Spinsters creates connections between students who might’ve never met otherwise. Spinsters is also an important part of Sioux Falls high school tradition. The dance is commonly known as “Sadie Hawkins” by other schools. Spinsters is unique to our city due to both the name and the inclusiveness of all nearby schools. It has taken place for over 80 years; each year a group of 24 junior and senior girls from the three public schools in Sioux Falls get together for months to plan the dance. This committee is a way for the girls to meet new people, improve college transcripts, and tap into their creative sides. In addition, all proceeds from Spinsters tickets go towards the EmBe Youth Programs. Spinsters is famous for the reversal of gender-roles; girls ask guys to Spinsters rather than the other way around. This empowerment is a nice feature for guy-girl relationships as well as LGBTQ+ relationships. Students who attend the dance will have a wholesome excuse to get out of the house and enjoy the high school experience. Going out to prepare for the dance with friends is always a good time, and going to the dance itself will be even better. Students who attend leave with lifelong memories and stronger friendships.





While the dance “Spinsters” may sound like a start to helping females break the societal norm of waiting to be asked to dances, the ugly truth about Spinsters has yet to be revealed. Spinsters is more commonly known as “Sadie Hawkins” which isn’t an actual person, but a cartoon character in Al Capp’s comic strip made in November 15, 1937. The story is about a woman, by the name of Sadie Hawkins, who lives in the village of Dogpatch. She was born into nobility because her father was the wealthiest and most powerful man in the village. Right off the bat, irony plays a toll because the male being considered more powerful already shows the traditional story of men being superior to women, thus showing the gender inequality. Moving forward, his daughter had yet to marry a man because she was “ugly”. Her father decided to take things in his own hands because he didn’t want an “old maid” for a daughter. He had all the eligible bachelors come into town and announced that day as “Sadie Hawkins Day” where she was able to chase after a man she wanted and once she chose, he was legally bound to marry her. The creator of the comic strip, Al Capp, was a womanizer, misogynist, and an accused rapist. How can a woman feel empowered when a dance was derived from a creator who was known to degrade women and a father character who used his wealth and power to have men at her door? Traditions can be a great thing but if the custom began from a heinous comic, what are we teaching the future generations to come? By keeping this dance, we are encouraging the continuous craze of the popular comic that dehumanizes women. By ridding the dance, we will be moving forward from the history of the comic and acknowledging the ongoing fight for women equality.







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