With my grade's school day countdown approaching the twenties, obligatory end-of-high-school events are becoming very real, very quickly. Prom season feels like it has been coming for a lifetime and for some girls, it actually has. For those girls, it's an exciting time. Dresses! Hair! Lipstick! Other things I've never been concerned with! In my opinion, however, the whole event has cast a dusky, dis-empowering and somewhat misogynist cloud over the final chapters of senior year.
For those of you who are unaware (adults) of modern day prom etiquette -- it's extravagant. A promposal is a self-explanatory invitation to prom. But they are usually and increasingly grand, romantic and often public gestures wherein boys ask girls to be their dates. They typically involve the spelling of "P-R-O-M?" in creative ways, bouquets, iPhones recording the whole thing -- you get the picture.
To put the phenomenon in perspective, there have been almost as many "promposals" from my peers in the past week as there have been days. And they have all, of course, been by boys. The tension among girls "waiting" to be asked is tangible. The murmuring circles of girls wondering by who or when or how the next promposal will take place are incredibly deflating for morale and feminism in general. My lady peers seem to be waiting for boys to ask them as herds of cattle wait for their turns at slaughter houses.
It's outrageous, annoying and frankly, old-fashioned!
I do recognize that the pressure for boys to ask girls to prom must be difficult. But, the uncertainty of being or not being asked is a primal denial of my girl friends' integrity. I find this to be especially true at my school, where girls are, quite literally, front-runners of almost all of our important extra-curricular happenings. We head the student council, plan school dances, and bring home championship basketball, cross-country and soccer titles! Yet, so many girls sit idly waiting for their friends, crushes and boyfriends to "surprise" them with flowers and gifts so they can be paraded like trophies around high school's most esteemed beauty pageant.
Upon sharing the innovative phenomenon I like to call, Lady Promposals to some friends, I've noticed that girls seem to be worried about asking a boy "in case they have someone else in mind." They are afraid of seeming "too forward" or even "desperate." When boys prompose, however, they're praised with Facebook likes, props and high-fives for boldly showing sensitive sides or being creative.
What the what??!
If you are a teenage-girl person who has already independently realized this senseless double standard and have lady-promposed: Congratulations on knowing how valid that decision was!
Girls who are nervous about possible incoming promposals: Rid yourselves of such unnecessary and undeserved anxiety! For the sake of proving our superiorly creative minds, self-respect and womanhood -- grab the manly-looking flowers of your choice and get on it! You are more than capable of asking whomever you want to be perpetuated in your inevitably embarrassing prom pictures. Chances are, you'll also be relieving your chosen "promposee" of some worry himself!
This prom season, I challenge my lovely lady classmates and fellow female seniors across the land to stop waiting around for some dude to give you something you want. Go get it like the independent and powerful woman you are!
This being said, I have the pleasure of asking a fantastic human and dear friend (on this public and international platform), Matthew Hussey:
Will you go to prom with me?
Photo credit: Celeste Yim
UPDATE: He said yes!
— Matt Hussey (@MattHussey2) April 2, 2014