Dance traces origins to … a cartoon?

Sadie Hawkins to reverse roles at M.A., just as in Dogpatch 

Most of us know that the Sadie Hawkins dance is fast approaching — Nov. 3 — but what a lot of people don’t know is how the Sadies Hawkins traditions of the women asking the men was started.

This idea of a reversal of the stereotypical gender roles came in 1937 when the cartoonist Al Capp wrote a cartoon in his popular strip Li’l Abner about a day when the unmarried women of Dogpatch, the fictional town where the cartoon was based, got the chance to chase the bachelors of their town and marry the ones they caught.

Sadie Hawkins herself was the “homeliest gal” in Dogpatch, and so this day was her favorite. This cartoon character, and her story, was so well-liked that eventually this fictional event in Dogpatch was replicated around the U.S. and Canada in the form of a quirky dance where the girls asked the boys.

Traditionally the Sadie Hawkins dance, or TWA (The Woman Asks), WPA (Women Pay All), TWIRP (The Woman Is Required to Pay), or Vice-Versa Dance, was held on Nov. 9, the day the event occurred in Li’l Abner. But now this dance happens around North America anywhere between November and February.

Sadie Hawkins is an age-old tradition, but it’s also a night to let loose and have fun with crazy costumes, games and great friends.

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About Jorie Schwab

Jorie Schwab is a senior and the editor and founder of the online Creative Arts Magazine. This is her fourth year writing for The Talon. Jorie is also a staff writer and section editor for online news source The Prospect, and enjoys working on fiction novels and short stories in her time off from journalism. She is also a high school athlete and avid reader. Her favorite book of all time is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas.

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