Pharyngula

Hooterology?

We seem to be talking about breasts a lot this week, don’t we? Abel Pharmboy raises a provocative ethical question: is it crass or is it reasonable for breast cancer researchers to ask Hooters to promote breast cancer awareness? I’m of the opinion that we ought to get every penny we can from them, but stop short of giving any hint that we actually endorse their business…although I’d wonder if even asking them for their assistance is granting them respectability, or if acknowledging the assistance of Hooters would turn a serious event into a joke.It’s probably best to post your answers to Terra Sigillata. I’d really be interested to see Twisty‘s opinion!

(Just a wild thought…I wonder how much money doctors could get for naming rights. Offer to change the name of the disease to Hooter’s™ cancer. I know, that’s even more tasteless than getting them to sponsor a meeting.)

Comments

  1. #1 Bronze Dog
    August 7, 2006

    I don’t know…

    Might work if we could convince the waitresses to “persuade” people to “donate” to the cause.

    My mind is absolutely filthy today.

  2. #2 NatureSelectedMe
    August 7, 2006

    I’m of the opinion that we ought to get every penny we can from them, but stop short of giving any hint that we actually endorse their business…
    So, what’s wrong with Hooters? It’s just a restaurant, not a gentlemen’s club after all. And if you took money from them; wouldn’t that be boob money? 🙂

  3. #3 PaulC
    August 7, 2006

    Shouldn’t Hooters be donating money to save endangered species of owls? That is what they claim their name refers to, right?

    Bleah… nobody should turn down their money to cure a disease if they offer it. If being “crass” can save one life it’s worth it. But I would hate to see them get any positive publicity.

  4. #4 somnilista, FCD
    August 7, 2006

    Shouldn’t Hooters be donating money to save endangered species of owls? That is what they claim their name refers to, right?

    Yes, they did actually claim that when their plans for a Twin Cities outlet was challenged.

  5. #5 lightning
    August 7, 2006

    “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.”

    — H. L. Mencken

  6. #6 Martin
    August 7, 2006

    What’s wrong with Hooters? I thought the whole “it’s politically incorrect to enjoy looking at pretty girls, you bad man” thing died with the 90’s and Andrea Dworkin.

    I saw whatever promotes any kind of cancer awareness is a good thing. Go Hooters!

  7. #7 ThePolynomial
    August 7, 2006

    They should give. Tit for tat.

  8. #8 PaulC
    August 7, 2006

    Gee, Martin, are they really “girls”? My understanding was that Hooters waitresses are over 18 and therefore women. While there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging the existence of attractive women, I do think that going to some place just to gawk is pretty crass. I also think Hooters is annoyingly smug about the whole thing.

    Did my attitude “die with the 90s”? As you can see, no; I am quite alive and more than happy to express my opinion. Am I some sort of male counterpart ot Andrea Dworkin? In fact no, but you’re entitled to form your own view on this. Hooters is a crass establishment for people who want to spend their entire adult life acting like frat boys. I don’t think it should be criminalized, but I have every right to find it distasteful.

  9. #9 JamesR
    August 7, 2006

    Cancer doesn’t discriminate why should the recipients of donations. If the death machine Haliburton gave 1 billion dollars would it be accepted? Damn right. I say Hooters is a perfect foil why not use it. Afterall do the “women” at Hooters object to good breast health? Aren’t they just like so many of us, working for a living? The only real question is why is this an issue? It reminds me o the fundies who say that their daughters are not going to be vaccinated against HPV until they are 18. Because they aren’t having sex.

  10. #10 CaptainMike
    August 7, 2006

    What’s wrong with Hooters is that the company has a very narrow definition of what constitutes pretty, which is one of the reasons I don’t go there.

    Speaking of the 1990s, remember how in that era we were repeatedly told that every man was a potential rapist? As someone who grew up then (b. 1974) I can say that had a serious effect on me. I think it turned a lot of young women away from feminism. One of wives insisted for years that she wasn’t a feminist simply because of that horrible little talking point. I eventually got her talked around though, mainly by shoving Heinlein novels at her.

  11. #11 NatureSelectedMe
    August 7, 2006

    As someone who grew up then (b. 1974) I can say that had a serious effect on me.

    Do tell. It made you a Liberal right? 🙂

    One of [my – ?] wives insisted for years that she wasn’t a feminist simply because of that horrible little talking point. I eventually got her talked around though, mainly by shoving Heinlein novels at her.

    Ugh! you wanted a feminist? So that was the serious effect on you. 🙂

  12. #12 Matt T.
    August 7, 2006

    So, what’s wrong with Hooters?

    The food sucks and it’s overpriced, to boot. Like eight bucks for a hamburger that’s badly cooked, low-grade meat. I got a buddy that used to manage a Hooters, and you’d have a duck if you knew how little thought actually went into the food’s quality, both pre- and post-preperation. Seriously, it’s as bad as you’d find in a McDonald’s.

    It’s just a restaurant, not a gentlemen’s club after all.

    No, but there’s weird parallels. They’ve both got that lovely combination of total objectification from the clientele towards the staff and complete loathing of said clientele by said staff. It’s a sad thing to watch in action.

  13. #13 ChrisTheRed
    August 7, 2006

    I think the waitresses ought to wear two little pink ribbons in…strategic places on their shirts. That might actually get folks (okay – mostly men) to take notice for a change.

  14. #14 NatureSelectedMe
    August 7, 2006

    Matt T, I think you’re projecting your feelings on to others.
    Just because you feel that way doesn’t mean they do. If a waitress felt ‘objectified’ why would she work there? Do you think they’re forced to work there? I think it makes you feel good to be able to use ‘objectification’ in a sentence about Hooters, it shows you care more than others.

  15. #15 Matt T.
    August 7, 2006

    NatureSelectedMe,
    I think you’re projecting your feelings on to me. Just because you think I think a certain doesn’t mean I do. Are men forced to go to Hooters to stare lustfully at pretty girls in tight britches (cause they sure ain’t going for the food). I think it makes you feel good to toss off lunk-headed pop psychology that really doesn’t mean anything, it shows you’re smarter than others.

  16. #16 NatureSelectedMe
    August 7, 2006

    Pop psychology? I was referring to Political correctness. I know lots of people that go the Hooters for the food. I too think it’s too expensive. forced to stare lustfully Again, you’re projecting. Hooters is just a restaurant trying to differentiate itself from the other restaurants. It fun for it’s clientele. It found something that works. You can tell it works because people go there even though it has over-priced McDonalds food. It even has an airline.

  17. #17 A Pang
    August 7, 2006

    I just keep thinking about that lawsuit against some Hooters knockoff when it came out that Hooters’ “product” was…hot waitresses, basically.

    Since then, got no respect for them. Breast cancer researchers can do better, I think.

  18. #18 Millimeter Wave
    August 7, 2006

    The food sucks and it’s overpriced, to boot. Like eight bucks for a hamburger that’s badly cooked, low-grade meat. I got a buddy that used to manage a Hooters, and you’d have a duck if you knew how little thought actually went into the food’s quality, both pre- and post-preperation.

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…..

    You’re kidding, right?

    [snort]

    Sorry, I’ll calm down now… 😉

    What I meant to say is no, I wouldn’t be shocked at all. To be honest, it had never even remotely occurred to me that they actually paid any attention whatsoever to the quality of the food they serve. I mean, like, do you think their business plan assumes that anybody actually goes there for the food?

    Getting the beer right may be important, but I suspect that’s exactly where the attention to catering as an issue ends very abruptly.

  19. #19 Numad
    August 7, 2006

    “Pop psychology? I was referring to Political correctness.”

    You were referring to Matt T’s supposed feelings, which you negatively characterized in every way you could think of, mostly by pulling cheap psychological insights out of… ahem, thin air.

    Calling it pop psychology was overestimating it.

  20. #20 Matt T.
    August 7, 2006

    Pop psychology? I was referring to Political correctness.

    Oh, silly me. I thought you were talking nonsense. Little did I know you were refering to such a serious, meaningful phenomenon as “political correctness”. To be sure, firing that particular gun is a sign of deep thought, indeed.

    I know lots of people that go the Hooters for the food.

    Me too. I also know a lot of people who think Denny’s is just delish. No accounting for taste, huh?

    forced to stare lustfully Again, you’re projecting.

    No, I’m making fun of the whole “but the girls aren’t forced to be objectified, so therefor, they’re not” argument. There’s generally no way to refute such a specious argument that will actually gain traction with them that’s making it*, so I chose not to try. Just having a little fun.

    Hooters is just a restaurant trying to differentiate itself from the other restaurants. It fun for it’s clientele. It found something that works. You can tell it works because people go there even though it has over-priced McDonalds food. It even has an airline.

    Well, bully for them. So does Batman. Certainly you’re not arguing that economic success equals moral goodness. You really don’t think that’s an argument that holds wait, do you? (See, I’m asking you, not telling you, what you think.)

    I’ll cut the goofiness, and be serious. I, personally, could give less than two shits if adult women, capable of making their own choices, want to work at a place that requires them to not only to achieve and maintain a perception of beauty solely designed to appeal to certain purient interests in the male population. It’s the choice of the individual woman whether or not she wants to work there, sorta what the whole feminism thing is about, ya know.
    Furthermore, I have no problem whatsoever with men who chose to spend outrageous amounts of money on badly cooked food, watered-down drinks and crappy service predominately because women with big gozongas will pretend to be nice to them for tips. Hey, it takes all kinds to make a world.

    As for the topic of this post, hell yes, breast cancer researchers should take Hooter money. Apart from the obvious (and obviously crass) observation that without, well, healthy hooters, Hooters would not have that neat-o plane, among other things, it might do some good with the clientele, maybe enhance their awareness of the problem some. Stranger things have happened.

    * For the record, though, it goes something like this, as I understand it. For all intents and purposes, the objectify-ee really has no say in whether or not the objectify-er sees him/her as an object. Whether it’s a Hooter’s girl or just some woman walking down the street, if someone sees her solely as a sex object (i.e., that’s all women are good for), then that’s objectifying.

  21. #21 Aquarius
    August 7, 2006

    NatureSelectedMe,
    “If a waitress felt ‘objectified’ why would she work there?”
    Let me think…
    Possibly, she doesn’t have the best education and thus has very limited employment opportunities. Furthermore, if the fobs she is qualified for are limited in the area she lives, she might not have much choice.
    There are also a multitude of other factors inherent in our culture. Did you ever wonder why it is socially acceptable, let alone a succesful business plan, to have men come in and gawk at hot women?
    If you can actually bear to come off your sanctimonious arse for a moment to look at some of these issues, you might to start with Echidne of the Snakes, who has some wonderfully informative blog posts and links. If not, please shut up.

  22. #22 miko
    August 7, 2006

    “Getting the beer right may be important..”

    Hooter’s is American, right? My guess is that they are not getting the beer right, except to the extent their clientele’s taste in beer is on par with their taste in food.

    I think the funniest thing is that the Hooters outfit is someone’s idea of attractive. It’s so weird and 80s (hmmm…the era when the majority of their sexually stunted patrons got stuck in puberty?)… like they’ve never gotten past some fantasy of sneaking into the girls volleyball team locker room. Perhaps never having had a satisfying sexual encounter they are forever trapped with their earliest imaginings.

    But by all means, Hooters Lovers, be proud that you’ve “gotten over” the PC 90s and are comfortable being an adult with the sexuality and imagination of a 13 year old. I’m also guessing you like shitty beer and have a sad midlevel coroporate job that fills you with self-loathing, which can only be soothed by an environment where a food service industry worker in orange polyester shorts 3 sizes to small pretends to like you. And sells you nachos, your favorite food.

  23. #23 Chakolate
    August 7, 2006

    Oh, for Pete’s sake. Professor Myers, you have been in Smalltown too long. What’s wrong with Hooters? If they were a movie they’d barely get a PG rating.

    The women who work at Hooters chose to work at Hooters. They are well paid and are *not* exploited. (No, I don’t work there, just have friends who do.) There’s nothing wrong with Hooters, just as there’s nothing wrong with men (or women, for that matter) liking women’s breasts.

    I never had the, er, endowment to work at a place like Hooters, but I certainly would have worked there if I could. The tips there are ten times as good as the tips in a ‘family’ restaurant.

    So if Hooters wants to support BC research, Bravo! for them. Let them get any publicity they want.

  24. #24 Ron Sullivan
    August 8, 2006

    Geez, and here I thought it was a dairy franchise.

    Guys are so desperate to see tits that they’ll actually pay for and eat crappy food? That’s sad. Really, fellas, if you have what it takes (and it’s just not that rare… or have I just been lucky?), you can even get to touch some. With your naughty bits, even!

    Ah well.
    I say Take their money and keep laughing at them.

  25. #25 Millimeter Wave
    August 8, 2006

    Hooter’s is American, right? My guess is that they are not getting the beer right, except to the extent their clientele’s taste in beer is on par with their taste in food.

    Well, naturally, “getting the beer right” is heavily context sensitive; meaning yes, it’s typically midwestern beer which is definitely not to typical European taste. But then, much of America does actually boast some excellent local beer these days (speaking as a Brit). I would say that American taste in beer has become much more demanding in the past decade or so, and the supply has very much adjusted to meet it.

    But by all means, Hooters Lovers, be proud that you’ve “gotten over” the PC 90s and are comfortable being an adult with the sexuality and imagination of a 13 year old. I’m also guessing you like shitty beer and have a sad midlevel coroporate job that fills you with self-loathing, which can only be soothed by an environment where a food service industry worker in orange polyester shorts 3 sizes to small pretends to like you. And sells you nachos, your favorite food.

    Yeeeoooowwww. Did you read that back after you typed it? Hooters isn’t exactly my thing, but hey, chill, my friend, it’s really not that big of a deal.

  26. #26 Mike
    August 8, 2006

    “Offer to change the name of the disease to Hooter’s™ cancer”

    You mean that’s not what it’s called now? Maybe that’s why those ladies with the ribbons were so hostile.

  27. #27 jbark
    August 8, 2006

    Gotta agree with Chakolate here.

    When I was at the University of Arizona, the everyday undergrad female attire left less to the imagination than a Hooters outfit.

    It’s definately crass, but comparing the plight of the women who work there to strippers is reaching a bit.

    And you could argue that they’re simply more up front about what they’re doing than “regular” restaraunts are. How often have you been served by a truly unnattractive person at an upscale restaurant? And did you *really* think he/she was flirting with you? Or were they perhaps just after a bigger tip?

    It’s all part of the game in the waiter/waitressing business.

  28. #28 miko
    August 8, 2006

    “Yeeeoooowwww. Did you read that back after you typed it? Hooters isn’t exactly my thing, but hey, chill, my friend, it’s really not that big of a deal.”

    I don’t think the losers who go go there are a big deal, and they don’t make me angry, I just call’em like I see’em and have a deep misanthropic streak. Honestly, I think it’s a gentle, well-worn slope from being a high-fiving 30-something ogler at Hooters every Friday to being a fat sunburned 50-something alcoholic purchasing a Balinese teenager in Kuta (because she understands you, unlike those bitch Hooters waitresses who it turns out didn’t really love you). I could’ve also gone on about how great a forum it is for engaging in homoerotic ass grabbing and sports watching while feeling assured of your het-stud status by being served by nubile females (Still workin’ on those hot wings, hon?), but held back.

  29. #29 truth machine
    August 8, 2006

    Annie Sprinkle, former prostitute and porn star turned sex educational performance artist (denounced as “pornography” on the floor of the Senate by Jesse Helms), has done breast cancer awareness benefits at strip clubs, offering “breastprints” for large donations. It made sense when she did it, and I think it would make sense at Hooters if, um, handled properly.

  30. #30 Ginger Yellow
    August 8, 2006

    Presumably the people who need greater awareness of breast cancer are the women who should be checking for lumps and/or getting scanned. Presumably these women aren’t going to be regular customers of Hooters.

  31. #31 Rob H.
    August 8, 2006

    Yeesh, it’s just a restaurant. Some of us do go there for the wings (which ARE good), beer (Bud Light is pretty much like a Coke) and TV. I’m friends with a few now former waitresses and they did not hate their job and there appeared to be no more rude and obnoxious frat boy types as any other bar-restaurant job. As for the outfit, it’s so 80’s looking that it’s moved from “sexy” to kind of goofy trademark of the place, like wearing flare on a vest.

  32. #32 PaulC
    August 8, 2006

    jbark:

    When I was at the University of Arizona, the everyday undergrad female attire left less to the imagination than a Hooters outfit.

    It’s not the skin; it’s the attitude. I don’t think anyone here is objecting to Hooters because they think women belong in burkas. I also don’t think anyone here is even proposing “doing something” about Hooters. It’s just a sad statement that anyone would go out of their way to see this oddly packaged misconception of female beauty–and eat bad food too. Hooters fills me with loathing, but anyone who wants to work there or go there as a customer is certainly more than welcome.

    Oh (and I said it already) if Hooters were to offer lots of money to cure breast cancer (or anything else) then it’s a no brainer to take it.

  33. #33 Lya Kahlo
    August 8, 2006

    I say take that sexist restaurant with the crap food for every penny their willing to pony up. Take the money and use it for good.

    ~~~

    “remember how in that era we were repeatedly told that every man was a potential rapist?”

    Do you honestly believe that all rapist are evil brown men hiding in alleys or is it that you just don’t understand the reasoning behind such a statement?

  34. #34 PaulC
    August 8, 2006

    I was thinking of responding to CaptainMike, but his comment about Heinlein was so off the wall that I thought the whole comment might be sarcastic.

    Anyway, FWIW I do not remember the 90s as an “era” in which I was repeatedly told that I was a potential rapist. I think I heard some discussion of this premise mostly by the same people (exclusively male) who still are whining about “the 90s” now.

    The 90s were about the best time of my life in fact. We had a nice break from Reagan and the college kids who wanted to be investment bankers, it looked like the deficit was coming under control, the US seemed to be making a robust transition to a high tech service economy, and geeks were very briefly cool. 2000 was mostly good too. Since then it’s just been a long series of fear, atrocity, and BS.

    Oh, and Hooters was doing tons of business in the 90s, though not thanks to me. Those lines of feminist protesters blocking the entrance were… well, they didn’t exist, so I honestly don’t know what the “anti-PC” whiners think was so onerous.

  35. #35 les
    August 8, 2006

    Huh. This is the first thread I can recall here that sounds like a discussion at the fundies’ table. Hooters’ money is somehow tainted? Take the money but deny them credit? What? I doubt their employee’s are any higher on the “oh god I’m oppressed” scale than McDonalds, and significantly lower than outfits doing piecework for the fashion industry. Shall we join Texas in bemoaning the state of high school cheerleaders? Picket Applebee’s because their food is mediocre? About the worst thing you can say is their business plan is slightly crass. Hell, this is America, remember?

  36. #36 Geoff
    August 8, 2006

    No such thing as legally obtained ‘tainted money’ I think-the cause is what matters. As Churchill said, “If Satan himself could put ten divisions into the field against Hitler, I would at least find a way to mention him favourably in the House of Commons”. Does the Cancer foundation turn down money from fund-raising bingos?

  37. #37 Twisty Faster
    August 8, 2006

    As I mentioned at Terra Sigillata, the best way for Hooters to serve womankind would be to drop off the face of the earth.

  38. #38 Lya Kahlo
    August 8, 2006

    “Huh. This is the first thread I can recall here that sounds like a discussion at the fundies’ table.”

    Yep. Whatever you don’t personally agree with must be “fundy” in nature.

    “Hooters’ money is somehow tainted?”

    Somehow?

    “About the worst thing you can say is their business plan is slightly crass.”

    Slightly?

    If I ran a charity I would not take money from such a business. As Ginger Yellow pointed out already: “Presumably the people who need greater awareness of breast cancer are the women who should be checking for lumps and/or getting scanned. Presumably these women aren’t going to be regular customers of Hooters.” It’s clear that Hoosters is simply trying to shake off it’s unsavory reputation by putting some money into a cause that affects women positively, instead of what it’s business actually does. In my area of the country there was a business man who owned a chain of strip clubs who would host an easter egg hunt for children at his mansion. Many parents complained, and he couldn’t understand why. This sitch with Hooters sounds much the same to me.

    That said, this is America and people are free to be as crass and unsavory as they like. And they are free to patronize the business that they like. The charity shouldn’t take their money, but if they do (did) they should receive credit. But not promotion.

    But Twisty Faster got it exactly right.

  39. #39 bone and liquid fishegg
    August 8, 2006

    “Do you honestly believe that all rapist are evil brown men hiding in alleys or is it that you just don’t understand the reasoning behind such a statement?”

    Probably a bit of both. Or a lot of both.

    I guess people dont get that whole ‘rape culture’ thing.

  40. #40 Chris
    August 8, 2006

    “remember how in that era we were repeatedly told that every man was a potential rapist?”

    Well, in fact, no. But I’m surprised that someone would try to *defend* such a blatant defamation.

    Do you honestly believe that all rapist are evil brown men hiding in alleys or is it that you just don’t understand the reasoning behind such a statement?

    The fact that you can’t tell *which* men are potential rapists because all the important differences are inside their heads where you can’t see them does not make it OK to describe *all* men as potential rapists.

    This is the same kind of thinking that allows the government to describe people as “suspected terrorists” and incarcerate or torture them without trying to, y’know, find out if they’re really terrorists or not. Because who cares about those kinds of details?

    As for Hooters… some people here seem to have drunk the religious kool-aid on the Inherent Evil of human sexuality. Grow up. Most humans like sex, and activities related to sex. Sometimes that includes admiring physical characteristics that we consider sexy. This is normal human behavior and there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s kind of sad if their customers can’t get any closer to actual sex than looking at a waitress, but everyone involved is there of their own free will (or if you have an exposé of slave labor at Hooters, please drop the trivia and come forward with the evidence).

    Hooters’s money is as good as anyone else’s and they should tell the prudes to shove off.

  41. #41 PaulC
    August 8, 2006

    Chris:

    Most humans like sex, and activities related to sex.

    Hold on a second. Has anyone here objected to Hooters on the basis that it is “related to sex”? It would be pretty curious to find PZ doing so, and few if any commenters objected for that reason.

    Hooters is not the marketing of sex, which really doesn’t bother me that much. We’ll always have porn and prostitution, and Larry Flynt is welcome to donate to cancer cures too as far as I’m concerned. But Hooters is the marketing of a sort of jock/fratboy mentality that I do find disgusting. Sure, Hooters has the right to make money in this fashion. Likewise, I can exercise my constitutional right to express this disgust free of charge. Ain’t America grand?

    The comment I liked best was that it seemed geared to guys with lingering fantasies of breaking into the girl’s volleyball lockerroom. I mean, yeah, that seems as good an explanation as any for the uniform. Others have pointed out that you can see more skin on a college campus. Damn right. So why go to Hooters and have these women paraded in front of you in this weirdly stylized fashion? For that matter, why not just go to a strip club? At least you’ll get your money’s worth.

    Hooters isn’t about sex as much as a sort of smug attitude that it’s somehow a notch above a strip club in respectability (note their–or their lawyers’–winking insistence that “hooter” refers to the owl). It’s the moral equivalent of little pink stars over the genitals. If you’re going to commodify women’s bodies, then at least show women’s bodies.

    The Hooters menu (as I assumed already and now know) is also not to my taste. Usually I prefer spicy, typically Asian cuisine. If I were to go to a reasonably good Thai restaurant around here, for instance, I would get great food, excellent, professional service and a modest bill. If the server also happened to be attractive, young, and female, that would enhance the experience; I have nothing against pretty waitresses. But I can’t see paying for overpriced, bad food just to see women paraded in some yahoo’s idea of a sexy outfit. It’s not because I’m against sex; it’s because I’m against poor taste.

  42. #42 truth machine
    August 9, 2006

    “remember how in that era we were repeatedly told that every man was a potential rapist?”

    Do you honestly believe that all rapist are evil brown men hiding in alleys or is it that you just don’t understand the reasoning behind such a statement?

    I think it’s that the statement is false — or no more true than “every woman is a potential rapist”.

    At one time, my SO was a radical feminist lawyer who was a personal friend of Andrea Dworkin. AFAIK, my SO didn’t believe that all men are potential rapists, nor did any of her radical feminist friends other than perhaps Dworkin. And it’s not even clear about Dworkin; although it is widely believed that Dworkin held that all sexual intercourse is rape, that’s not what she wrote. Her position was that the cultural portrayal of intercourse as the only “real” sex and associating it with violence and coercion (which was more true when she was writing it than now) essentially equated intercourse with rape, but that “both intercourse and sexual pleasure can and will survive equality”.

  43. #43 truth machine
    August 9, 2006

    it’s because I’m against poor taste

    And here I thought you were against the jock/fratboy mentality that you find so disgusting.

    I think that an honest assessment of people’s objections would have to recognize a thread of American puritanism, something that also feeds that fratboy mentality. They are flip sides of neurotic attitudes towards sex and sexuality.

  44. #44 Lya Kahlo
    August 9, 2006

    “I guess people dont get that whole ‘rape culture’ thing.”

    Given the subsequent boo-hoo-hooing from supposed “non-prudes” I have to agree with you.

    ~~~~

    “It’s kind of sad if their customers can’t get any closer to actual sex than looking at a waitress, but everyone involved is there of their own free will (or if you have an exposé of slave labor at Hooters, please drop the trivia and come forward with the evidence).”

    So let me get this straight. It’s oh-so-okay for the business to exist and there’s nothing wrong with it, but you still had to take a little time out to distance yourself from those that do patronize the business. Hmm. Interesting.

    ~~~~

    “I think it’s that the statement is false — or no more true than “every woman is a potential rapist”.”

    Way to avoid answering the question.

    ~~~~

    “Hooters isn’t about sex as much as a sort of smug attitude that it’s somehow a notch above a strip club in respectability (note their–or their lawyers’–winking insistence that “hooter” refers to the owl). It’s the moral equivalent of little pink stars over the genitals. If you’re going to commodify women’s bodies, then at least show women’s bodies.”

    Bingo. These pedantic accusations of “PRUDE!!!!” simply because someone doesn’t apreciate Hooter’s goofy business plan is just a way to avoid the actual point. If you’re going to market female flesh as the main reason to come to your place, and there’s nothing wrong with that, then why pretend to be “better” than a stripclub or give that transparent *wink wink* it’s all about owls?

    It says to me that they know something is wrong with it and are using the Joe Francis-style excuses to justify it.

  45. #45 Keith Douglas
    August 9, 2006

    For some reason when I saw the “potential rapist” discussion here I was reminded of one of Doug Hofstadter’s dialogues where Tortoise asks Achilles to kill him (right then and there) to demonstrate that there are objective patterns to behaviour. (A similar point is made by Spock in “Court Martial”, if any one remembers old timey Star Trek episodes.) I think the most sensible interpretation of the PR line has to be that the same is true of women: people have, as a propensity, an ability to do horrific violence. (I’ve been told that sometimes rape in lesbian relationships and female rapes of males, for example, is even further underreported because of the “it doesn’t happen” attitudes promoted by some extremists and what I would call “political lesbians”.)

  46. #46 Lya Kahlo
    August 9, 2006

    “I think the most sensible interpretation of the PR line has to be that the same is true of women: people have, as a propensity, an ability to do horrific violence.”

    Exactly. The line “every man is a potential rapist” is simply meant to stress to women that a rapist is far more likely to be part of their social circle – be it lovers, friends, relations, etc – than a scary man in an alley. Clearly the men here don’t like to think about that, but that doesn’t change the truth. Granted, women do this too – what are the statistics? If women rape as often as men necessitating that men should be aware of the danger they face then let’s amend that statement to include both. (yes, that is slightly sarcastic as I think bringing it up in the first place is simply a conveinent way to change the subject without dealing with the actual point).

    Under the neccessary circumstances ALL people are capable of doing anything. Ask my mild-mannered uncle who still can’t talk about what happened while he was a solider.

    To me that statement is simply a warning to be careful, not an indictment against the entire gender.

  47. #47 David Harmon
    August 9, 2006

    So let’s see, we’ve got people knocking Hooters because:

    1) They have an “unsavory reputation”.
    2) They objectify women and encourage “frat-boy” attitudes.
    3) Their food is crappy.
    4) Their whole business concept is tacky.
    5) They oughta quit teasing and take it all off.

    Bluntly, #1 is classic prudery. #2 is liberal prudery.
    #3 and #4 are blatant displacements of hostility, as demonstrated by their irrelevance to the topic. (Would you refuse money from McDonald’s? Hard Rock Cafe? the World Wrestling Federation?) And #5 represents a classic adolescent presumption, that any woman who flaunts her attractiveness “oughta” be sexually available.

    True acceptance of diversity takes more than refraining from physical attacks on whoever you dislike. It means accepting them as genuine members of your society, even if you don’t like them, their behavior, or their morality. And yes, that includes the Hooters staff *and* customers.

  48. #48 PaulC
    August 9, 2006

    me:

    it’s because I’m against poor taste

    truth machine:

    And here I thought you were against the jock/fratboy mentality that you find so disgusting.

    The two are mutually exclusive? Are jocks and fratboys paragons of good taste? But, OK, you got me. The reason I don’t like Hooters is not exclusively because of its wretched taste, and it was dishonest of me to end on this note as if that summed it up. Chuck E. Cheese is probably about the same level viewed on ambience and culinary merit, but if my kids were to demand to go there, I might consider it. Anyway, I think I was pretty detailed it what I don’t like about Hooters and won’t repeat it here.

    I think that an honest assessment of people’s objections would have to recognize a thread of American puritanism, something that also feeds that fratboy mentality.

    I would “recognize a thread of American puritanism” in what I find disgusting about Hooters except that it’s not there. I have gone to enough beaches where young women are dressed in bikinis that are a lot more revealing than the Hooters uniform. Contrary to my reaction to Hooters, it always cheers me up to think of young people enjoying themselves in the sun (when I’m not thinking about skin cancer). I’ve been at a lake park in Europe where toplessness was acceptable, and I did not experience “puritanical” revulsion. I also have nothing against restaurants having attractive waitresses or even preferring to hire attractive young women. But there is just something about how Hooters does it that appalls me.

    That’s not to say I don’t have a puritanical streak. I probably do. I just fail to see what puritanism has to do with why I cannot stand Hooters. It’s really a terrible place that speaks to everything wrong about American attitudes towards sex. And just to be clear, that is not the only reason I dislike it: the food is bad and overpriced, the ambience is annoying, and I dislike being around grownup jocks and fratboys. None of these things are mutually exclusive. I could probably come up with some others if I had to.

  49. #49 Lya Kahlo
    August 9, 2006

    So let’s see, we’ve got someone deliberately misrepresenting the opinions of others that he doesn’t agree with:

    “1. Bluntly, #1 is classic prudery.”

    #1. Is your opinion and is therefore no more of less valid than anyone else’s. And, imo, this is also dishonest. There’s nothing prude about labeling a business that peddals flesh but can’t admit it as “unsavory”.

    ” #2 is liberal prudery.”

    #2 is goofy partisan baiting.

    “#3 and #4 are blatant displacements of hostility, as demonstrated by their irrelevance to the topic.”

    Both are pitiful excuses for avoiding the point. The food being crappy isn’t part of why people are arguing against taking their money. They are statements as to other reasons people don’t like the place. And see my #1 for a response to your #4.

    “And #5 represents a classic adolescent presumption, that any woman who flaunts her attractiveness “oughta” be sexually available.”

    Flat out wrong. Either that is a blatant misrepresentation or you’re reading into it what it clearly not there. NO ONE said that “any woman who flaunts her attractiveness “oughta” be sexually available.” Try reading that again.

    I’ll reiterate the point: “These pedantic accusations of “PRUDE!!!!” simply because someone doesn’t apreciate Hooter’s goofy business plan is just a way to avoid the actual point. If you’re going to market female flesh as the main reason to come to your place, and there’s nothing wrong with that, then why pretend to be “better” than a stripclub or give that transparent *wink wink* it’s all about owls?”

    Which is to say that if you’re business is peddaling flesh, and you don’t think there’s anything wrong with that then why hide it?

    “True acceptance of diversity takes more than refraining from physical attacks on whoever you dislike. It means accepting them as genuine members of your society, even if you don’t like them, their behavior, or their morality. And yes, that includes the Hooters staff *and* customers.”

    Irrelevent. As anyone advocating they be put out of business? Did I or did I not post that people are free to do as they like – including the charity in question? Who physically attacked or supported attacking anything?

    Once again, since we can’t seem to grasp the concept: “Presumably the people who need greater awareness of breast cancer are the women who should be checking for lumps and/or getting scanned. Presumably these women aren’t going to be regular customers of Hooters.”

  50. #50 PaulC
    August 9, 2006

    I have to admit I’m just puzzled by all the strenuous defenses of Hooters. I don’t if it’s pure contrarianism or something else. Do you pro-Hooters people actually like the place and go there? Have you been in earshot of one? I remember when one opened at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore years back to some little murmurs of controversy, mostly in the liberal City Paper. Just a small amount of indirect exposure to the place convinced me I wouldn’t be caught dead there.

    I don’t know how saying I don’t like jocks and fratboys makes me a “prude.” I hate sports bars too and there’s nothing very sexual there. It probably makes me a bigot. All right, I’m a bigot. But what is “prudish” about saying that grownup fratboys make me want to puke?

    Finally, few commenters have advocated turning down their money. If money from Hooters led to a faster cure and saved even one life, I cannot see how I could argue in good conscience for turning it down. It’s a no brainer, as are most things associated with this establishment.

  51. #51 Lya Kahlo
    August 9, 2006

    “I don’t know how saying I don’t like jocks and fratboys makes me a “prude.”

    It doesn’t. However, yelling “prude” is simply an attempt to squash the debate and falsely label anyone with any issues with that crappy restaurant as somehow against sexuality, women, free enterprise etc etc.

  52. #52 PaulC
    August 9, 2006

    Lya, I agree completely. But now I’m actually curious if any of these Hooters defenders actually go to Hooters and like it. I’d think more highly of their comments if it’s at least something they’re into, and they’re not just wasting my time. Any takers? Somebody just say something like: “Yes, I go to Hooters, I enjoy it, and I would go there again.”

    At least there would be some honest self-interest involved instead of this weird obstinacy to concede the possibility that when I say I don’t like Hooters, that means I really don’t like it. Just to clarify: it’s not that I secretly want to go to Hooters but feel too guilty to do so, or have to pretend I don’t like it to keep up my liberal credentials. It’s really not my thing. There are far, far better restaurants out there, not to mention better opportunities for ogling women when I’m so inclined. Obviously lots of guys like to go to Hooters or they would not be in business, but I’m not one of them, and I don’t really get it.

  53. #53 Rob H.
    August 9, 2006

    “Presumably the people who need greater awareness of breast cancer are the women who should be checking for lumps and/or getting scanned. Presumably these women aren’t going to be regular customers of Hooters.”

    Contrary to some people’s opinions on this thread, there are women who frequent Hooters regularly and many of the men who do also have girlfriends.

    As for Hooter’s crassness and fratboy atmosphere, it’s pretty indefensible as it’s their motto: “delightfully tacky, yet unrefined.”

    “But what is “prudish” about saying that grownup fratboys make me want to puke?”

    Nothing prudish about that, but you there are worse things to get so worked up over.

  54. #54 Lya Kahlo
    August 9, 2006

    I’ve noticed throughout the thread that those quick to support Hooters are also quick to separate themselves from those that do go there. I .e. “This is normal human behavior and there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s kind of sad if their customers can’t get any closer to actual sex than looking at a waitress . . .” While on the other hand, those that do go there took a much more calm approach to the debate (see Rob H’s comments above).

    Seems to me that the “prude” label fits better on those that defend it, but consider themselves to superior to actually go there.

  55. #55 Lya Kahlo
    August 9, 2006

    “Nothing prudish about that, but you there are worse things to get so worked up over. ”

    What gives you the impression that anyone is getting “so worked up” over this?

  56. #56 PaulC
    August 9, 2006

    Rob H.

    Contrary to some people’s opinions on this thread, there are women who frequent Hooters regularly and many of the men who do also have girlfriends.

    Are these women friends of friends? Is it just sort of a vague anecdote you’ve heard. If you have a female acquaintance who goes to Hooters frequently, then state it that way and I’ll take your word for it. In fact, the assertion is probably true. Some women probably have friends who work there, or live somewhere where Hooters is the big happening nightspot without a lot of alternatives. So you’re probably correct, but it’s still just an unbacked assertion.

    Obviously, men who go there are about as likely as anyone else to have girlfriends or wives. I don’t know who made any claim otherwise.

    None of this means that I have to state that I like or support Hooters. I don’t like Hooters. I would be happy to see them go out of business. I doubt I’d go to the effort to try to stop them from moving into any particular location, but I would feel free to express my annoyance at every reasonable opportunity.

  57. #57 PaulC
    August 9, 2006

    Sorry, I missed the fact that Rob H. did state that he goes there and likes the wings. I’ll retract my comments about his assertion being unbacked. It just sounded like so many of the other generalities being tossed around.

  58. #58 Rob H.
    August 9, 2006

    “What gives you the impression that anyone is getting “so worked up” over this?”

    PaulC admits to being filled with loathing and that “fratboys” make him puke. As I said in my first comment, to me it’s just another restaurant, so his hatred of the place perplexes me about as much as my enjoyment probably perplexes him.

    “If you have a female acquaintance who goes to Hooters frequently, then state it that way and I’ll take your word for it”

    I have female friends who go to Hooters. In fact, my mother created a tradition in my family where goes there orders a ton of wings for takeout every Superbowl.

  59. #59 Rob H.
    August 9, 2006

    Correction: My mother created a tradition in my family where she goes there and orders a ton of wings for takeout every Superbowl.

    Darn that lack of editing.

  60. #60 PaulC
    August 9, 2006

    Rob H.: I’m not super-worked-up about my loathing for Hooters. I didn’t even know where the nearest one is to me now until I looked it up (San Francisco). My first exposure to the chain was a critical article in the Baltimore City Paper when they took over a big spot at the Inner Harbor (early 90s). I’ve seen enough of it to confirm my view that it’s not my kind of place. YMMV and clearly it does.

    I do get worked up at suggestions that my dislike for Hooters is somehow a dislike of sex or a form of prudishness. It just seems really warped to me that anyone would jump to this conclusion when there are a whole lot of reasons for somebody like me not to want to go to Hooters.

  61. #61 Lya Kahlo
    August 9, 2006

    “I do get worked up at suggestions that my dislike for Hooters is somehow a dislike of sex or a form of prudishness. It just seems really warped to me that anyone would jump to this conclusion when there are a whole lot of reasons for somebody like me not to want to go to Hooters.”

    Prezactly.

  62. #62 evolvealready
    August 9, 2006

    This is probably tagging onto an almost dead thread, but…

    I’ve been to Hooters a number of times. Less than ten, more than five I’d say. The wings are OK. I was always able to find a beer that I liked. Sam Adams. Guinness.

    I haven’t been in over a year or so and have no real desire to go again. Tackiness and bad taste? Yep. Loathing for it? I don’t understand how anyone could care enough about it to loathe it. That could be a reason some may have suggested Paul C had a prudish streak. Nevertheless, he says he doesn’t. Fine.

    Should Hooters be a sponsor for some organization fighting cancer? Well, Reebok is a sponsor of the Avon Walk. I believe they had some issues with sweatshops in the past. Maybe they still do? Anyway, how pure should our sponsors be?

  63. #63 Lya Kahlo
    August 10, 2006

    “I don’t understand how anyone could care enough about it to loathe it.”

    I believe the only time the word “loathe” was used was when someone was describing their feelings toward frat boys and their infantile mentality, not the restaurant.

  64. #64 evolvealready
    August 10, 2006

    Paul C. from above: “Hooters fills me with loathing,”

  65. #65 evolvealready
    August 10, 2006

    More from Paul C.:

    But there is just something about how Hooters does it that appalls me.

    That’s not to say I don’t have a puritanical streak. I probably do. I just fail to see what puritanism has to do with why I cannot stand Hooters.

    It’s really a terrible place that speaks to everything wrong about American attitudes towards sex.

    Again, personally, I can’t see how someone comes to care so much about Hooters as to have this attitude. Seems excessive. But, again, that’s just me.

    Anyway, what are your thoughts on Reebok and the Avon Walk? On sponsors being free of taint? Curious.

  66. #66 PaulC
    August 10, 2006

    evolvealready: Loathing comes easy to me. Try it sometimes; it’s fun. Is my attitude “excessive”? Sure, why not? But I don’t see what it has to do with prudishness.

    Anyhow, the original statement of prudishness wasn’t about me. It was a general dismissal that everybody with some kind of gripe against Hooters must think sex is icky. It’s tantamount to suggesting that everyone who doesn’t like Long John Silvers “restaurant” is against seafood. It’s really difficult for me to watch people repeat things that are so obviously wrong without making some attempt at a reply. It’s also clear that my statements fall on deaf ears, but I guess I get a little so-called “closure” out of having made the attempt.

    It seems like Lya at least sees what I’m getting at, though I probably disagree with her on the severity of the problem with Hooters. Basically I agree that it’s just a restaurant, though one unlikely to get my business (I’m not even dogmatic on this; I just don’t foresee the circumstances). For about the fifth time, if they want to give anyone some money that might do some good, then that person or organization should take the money and do something good with it.

  67. #67 Lya Kahlo
    August 11, 2006

    To be clear, I don’t consider Hooters a “severe” problem. It tacty, and promotes a sick frat boy mentality, but as businesses that peddle flesh go, it’s fairly innocuous.

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