Is selgaes sexist? The answer is a little bit.

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Is selgaes sexist? The answer is a little bit.

The tradition of girls’ choice dances began in the late 1930s and became popular in the 1950s in high schools and middle schools throughout the U.S. and Canada. The purpose was to encourage women to invite men that they wanted to spend time with rather than waiting idly to be asked. For decades this tradition was praised for empowering women to take control of their own fate in a romantic sense, but nowadays girls’ choice dances reaffirm the harmful gender roles they are meant to combat.

Continuing  a tradition where girls are meant to ask guys for a specific event manifests a culture that dictates only during the time of “Selgaes” or “Sadie’s” or whatever you call it can women take that power. In a time where women and men are more equal, continuing this tradition is patronizing by essentially telling girls that they need permission from greater society to ask someone to a dance.

This creates a stigma around girls asking guys to other dances like homecoming or prom and reserves that right for boys. Besides the fact that girls’ choice dances alienate LGBT people by excluding girls that want to ask girls, boys who want to ask boys and people who don’t confirm to the gender binary at all. They alienate progress and the normalization of women asking men out in general.

I understand that this event gives women confidence and makes them feel comfortable asking guys out, but we shouldn’t limit that confidence to specialized events that hold them back form confronting men romantically or otherwise in other environments. I’m not saying we should cancel Selgaes and up-end all similar events, but we should work to make it more inclusive and make it clear that the end all be all of solving misogyny in the romantic sector isn’t simply who asks who, but asserting that both partners are equals in every regardregardless of gender.

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