OPINION: Is prom worth all the “prama”?

Hannah Berk, Staff Writer

Students hear about prom from the beginning of their tweens. They fantasize about having the perfect date and judge hundreds of prom outfits that they see in the magazines and on their older siblings. And now at the fabulous ages of 14 to 18 they get to experience it for themselves. At prom, the dancing, food and great outfits always make it a night to remember. But this year the drama leading up to it made me question whether prom was really worth it.

The main thing that bothers me about prom is the sexist mentality that surrounds it. With some exceptions, the guy is expected to ask the girl to prom. After being asked, many girls feel inclined to say yes because they feel too much pressure or too sympathetic to say no. Thus, they are stuck going to prom with someone who they would rather not go with. Out of 12 female Urban students interviewed in an informal poll, eight said that they did not feel comfortable saying no to a guy that asked them, regardless of whether they did not want to go with him.

The weeks preceding prom are centered around nerve-wracking proposals and somewhat exciting, albeit distressing “prama.” But what if you are one of those girls who can’t say no to someone who asks you? Don’t you get a say in who you to go to prom with? Then there is also the preferable option of going to prom alone. It seems like a good idea to me: There is no stress about having to be with your date during prom or of having to pay for them. But when all your friends have dates, the option of going alone becomes less attractive.

Both guys and girls face hard times in the weeks before prom, and for me it is those times when social norms surrounding sexes appear the most.

I had a fantastic time with my date at prom, and when I said yes it was because I wanted go with him. Unfortunately, not everyone felt the same about their situations. The day of prom is a time to have fun, get dressed up and absorb “YOLO” (you only live life once) to the fullest. But the days before are filled with girls who wait till the last minutes, hoping to be asked. They are filled with guys who can’t muster up the courage to ask their date of choice and instead don’t go to prom at all.

For me, during the month of May I felt like a sitting duck, waiting and not knowing if I was going to be asked. I felt obligated to wait to be asked, which put a stressful toll on the month leading up to prom.

I am not saying that my experience of prom is the same for everyone. For you ladies who got up the guts to ask your dates to prom, I have the utmost respect. Because the truth is that we do have the power to say no to a guy, and to ask them to prom ourselves.