This topic seems to come up regularly and is one that is sure to incite controversy.
Today is my friend’s son’s 13th birthday. She asked him and his besst friend where they wanted to go to lunch, and her son got embarassed and his friend blurted out, “He wants to go to Hooters!”
Well, she talked him into Cheesecake Factory instead, but it made me ponder this question. What should we do about the issue of the ever-increasing number of restaurants that encourage women to flaunt their bodies in exchange for tips? My friend’s son is only 13 and this type of restaurant is already a mecca and a destination to him. My old boss would take both her little girls (ages 8 and 1) there regularly, to the point that her 8-year-old would request to go there after her softball games, because, “The girls all run around and yell and you don’t have to use any manners. Also their fried pickles are good.”
My parents were at the other extreme of things. My mom wouldn’t even allow us to eat in a restaurant that served alcohol, much less where girls were running around in skimpy, double-entendred outfits. (Of course, when she discovered how good Olive Garden’s Steak Gorgonzola Alfredo was, she changed her tune).
When we went to the law firm party, one of the other clerks started talking very animatedly about this place that is apparently like “Mexican Hooters.” While the guys started discussing it, the boss turned to me and said, “We won’t take your husband to a place like that if you don’t approve.” Well, then, because I didn’t want to sound like a stick in the mud or make Ducks look “whipped,” I responded with something polite and in the affirmative that I didn’t make decisisons for him and that he could go. They haven’t gone, but I was surprised at myself for not standing up more for my convictions instead of buckling under and trying to be the “cool wife” in front of the office. I wonder if I would have responded the same way if they had been talking about taking my husband to a strip club instead, or if there’s a line where I would have been bold enough to stand up for my principles and opinions.
My opinion on it is this – I don’t like any of those types of restaurants. I think they devalue women and I think they make it okay for men to look at women as objects, servants to showcase their bodies, bring them food and pour them beer and let them act like pigs, all the while smiling, laughing and maintaining a cheerful attitude (something we wives can’t always compare with at home when work and domestic duties pile on the stress). There’s also a radio commercial for some wing restaurant, and I don’t even think it’s somwhere that serves wings and sex 😉 , that basically shows how miserable you could be at home with your wife nagging you, or how much fun you could be having around the corner attacking a mound of wings and receiving cheerful service from the local tavern wench.
However, there are many worse places my husband could go or where his coworkers could pressure him to visit, in all honesty, so a place where wings are served by girls in tight tank tops and pantyhose is not that bad in the scheme of things. My inclination is to say, “Don’t go,” but I wouldn’t be completely crushed if he did. You can see a lot more skin on a commercial, in a movie or at the beach, or even just logging on to your computer. The temptation’s always there for people who want to act on it. I will say, though, that I would never take my children there. I don’t want my daughters to think that’s the type of career they should aspire to, because men will make fools of themselves over them, and I don’t want my sons to think women are just objects for their gratification, instead of capable people who should be valued for both mind and body.
What are your thoughts?