Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

So, Terra Sigillata recently posted this question:

How can Hooters support the fight against breast cancer, all without being perceived as capitalistic, misogynistic, or otherwise demeaning to women?

While a very interesting and noble question, my feelings can be summed up thusly:

I’m of the opinion there is no way to turn Hooters into a charity bastion. I completely expect them to turn breast cancer awareness into a “Save the Whales” level fiasco, prompting wealthy men to save the endangered Great Tit. I can envision the t-shirt campaign now: a tight white middrift with the word “Save Me” in a thought bubble eminating from the bosoms. Hellz no.

And besides, Hooters does not encourage healthy breasts nor healthy self-images of breasts. The surgically-altered bosoms that can provide shade to small woodland creatures are decidedly un-healthy (just read one horror story about an implant popping, or the back problems that ensue, infections, etc). Not to mention that the women who opt to actually have healthy (read: unaltered) breasts have to walk about feeling less-than.

If you could convince me that a post-mastectomy breast cancer survivor could get a job at Hooters (without invoking anti-discrimination suits), yeah, I’d jump on board.

Sometimes money isn’t just money. Sometimes the origins of the money DO matter. While on the one hand, many will think “Well if it help the cause of breast cancer, can it be bad?” I see charity donations as a piece of PR for corporations such as Hooters. Breast cancer awareness and research falls within the larger framework of breast health, positive attitudes about breasts, supporting women who have breast cancer, and advancing the cause of all women to live healthy cancer-free lives. This is in direct opposition to many facets of the corporation that is Hooters and is therefore incompatible with a major breast cancer campaign. No more than Pfizer, the creator of synthetic testosterone, would support Floyd Landis now, should Hooters try to “white-wash” their image as breast-conscious. Its just in really, really bad taste and cheapens the experiences of breast cancer survivors/workers (or those cyclists that dont’ dope).

Comments

  1. #1 Corkscrew
    August 7, 2006

    While on the one hand, many will think “Well if it help the cause of breast cancer, can it be bad?” I see charity donations as a piece of PR for corporations such as Hooters.

    And this differs from money received from every other corporation ever in what fashion? What about money from the government – do you think all those predominantly-male politicians really care about breast cancer or are they just trying to keep the special interest groups off their backs? What about guys who stick money in the collection box in the hope that girls will think they’re sensitive – are you going to start giving them a refund?

    If Hooters does this, it will absolutely turn into the sort of event that makes feminists cry. It will bring publicity and custom to a bunch of misogynistic wankers. It will also raise a lot of cash that could save lives. I can’t see how this could be construed as anything other than a fair trade.

    Breast cancer awareness does not “fall within the larger framework of positive attitudes about breasts”; it falls within the larger framework of averting the painful deaths of innocent people.

  2. #2 Bob Abu
    August 7, 2006

    Thanks for the mammaries.

  3. #3 Kagehi
    August 7, 2006

    On the other hand, I tend to agree with some psychologists, who state that the only bad thing about sexual things is not wanting them. Or, to add my correlary to it, “being so obsessed with ones own discomfort with some activity that is becomes an imperitive to force that view on people that don’t share the same discomfort.”

    More to the point. I read a description and say photos a while back from a bachelor party for a “nudist”. The *major* difference between it and the ones “normal” people have, as near as I can tell, is that once the show was over, which promoted the “idea” of sex, but not actual sex, the women doing the performance where treated like old friends, talked to like normal people and no one tried to solicit them. “Normal” people can’t get their minds around the idea that its possible to a) enjoy making a performance or b) watching one, but keeping “those things” seperate from the “person”. The same party held by “normal” people would have had the two strippers clothed immediately after, exiting the room and scrambling to get in a cab, because half the idiots at the party would have “assumed” that they where there to be offered more money to have sex with the people at the party.

    The problem with Hooters isn’t that women choose to go around topless, or with other places, that they strip, its the sick, twisted and irrational belief in our society that a) something is wrong with it and b) that its “ok” to equate the person with their job. Its the same BS that ignores the millions of couples that watch porn together, in favor of the few stupid people that have bad relationships, retreat into something they can “control” and then babble about how the “porn”, and not their own problems, caused their relationship to fail. Huh? Bullpucky!

    The single worst danger to beach goers in other countries, specifically ones with nude or topless beaches is…. American tourists, specifically males. Why not males from any other place? Why are @#$@# countries with legal prostitution, which the same clueless nonsense that claims hooters is objectifying blows out of the water, **not** the biggest problem on those beaches, especially when the beaches are in the same country? Something is seriously wrong here… And to me, its bloody obvious. We are so obsessed with what we thing other people “should” think, “do” think, “will” think, or “might” think about anything dealing with nudity or sex that we can’t look at a picture of a nursing baby without having every idiot argument and stupid idea from the religious right, to the feminists or the perverts run through our heads and make us wonder which ones right, and where we should be looking instead. We don’t know where to look “period”. Because everyone is telling us either that we should or that merely notiving someones sex, “in the worst case”, is some sort of major offense. We don’t just lack a rational sense of perspective, we have 40 million “different” contradictory perspectives, most of which claim to “defend” the people that invariably get treated like dirt, demonized and abused in the process of “defending” them.

    I think the entire US is in serious need of theropy, maybe even sex theropy, so they can learn to tell the #@$#$ difference between “art”, “performance”, or “choice”, and “exploitation” and “actual sex”. When you’ve gotten help, then come back and tell me why Hooters is horrible for trying to raise money for cancer research.

  4. #4 Brandon
    August 7, 2006

    Bob Abu is my hero.

    I think the delineation here is a bad one. Sure it might not be desirable for a double masectomy survivor to get a job as a Hooters girl (from the company’s point of view, or let’s be realistic, the clients’), but it’s not like the chicken wings cause cancer (ok, the make you obese which increases your chances of getting variousc ancers, btu still). The point is to save the endangered wild Tata so more young girls can aspire to become, er, waitresses. Hrm. Somehow this isn’t working. Still, I see nothing wrong with any legal entity donating money or employee time to help a worthy cause. Though, I guess a bunch of Hooters shirted silicone girls walking in the pink ribbon parade might be tasteless. Damn you self-argumentative nature!

  5. #5 Shelley Batts
    August 7, 2006

    Hmm, you guys have raised a LOT of great points, and given me a lot to think about.

    Its times like these, when i have thoughtful disagreeing commenters who make good points without being condescending, that I feel lucky to be a blogger.

    Thanks for always saying what you feel. :)

  6. #6 Abel Pharmboy
    August 7, 2006

    One other thing I forgot to add at my Terra Sig post is that one should generally be very wary of any corporation claiming to be raising money for breast cancer research and survivorship. Think Before You Pink looks carefully at “pink” marketing schemes to determine how much money actually makes it to orgs like the Komen Foundation, etc.

  7. #7 JaysonB
    August 8, 2006

    I was going to say something witty and insightful, but then the other assholes stole all my points. and I know they stole them, because they were in my head first. And I know they were in my head first because otherwise I wouldn’t have thought, “hey that’s my idea!” when I saw that they stole them.

    I’m making no sense today what so ever.