The UK does not want 'Hooters'. It is a retrograde step for a country dedicated to gender equality

Saturday, 11 September 2010

The Evening Post Hooters love affair

So, today yet another article appeared in the evening post about hooters.

i have lost count of the number that have appeared but needless to say it must be around 10 in the last two or three weeks.

I'd love to know how much money hooters are promising the post for a full page ad. are they paying them by the number of times they mention the word hooters, the number of articles or the number of hooters in the headlines? ha ha!

Needless to say, the evening post have certainly changed their tune from two years ago, when they didn't seem all that keen on welcoming the self styled 'breastaurant' to bristol.

I am not big headed enough to think that it might have something to do with the paper's dislike of feminists...?

Needless to say, the reporting has been fairly inaccurate and erratic to say the least. the article today barely makes sense, and seems to ramble on about how in the 60s there were lots of strip clubs in clifton, and now there aren't. Fascinating.

The post has covertly suggested that it was feminists who were trying to set the council's agenda, resulting in a host of comments about feminists imposing their views on the city. Of course, this is untrue. We didn't make a formal objection to the council (we didn't have time) and so the only people who imposed their views on anyone are the police (who's objection the council disregarded) and the councillors themselves, led by Guy Poultney. This was reported in the article the day after the decision was made to give hooters a licence, however perhaps the inclusion of a quote from me meant it came across that we were setting the agenda.

Other articles flat out criticised feminists for daring to have opinions and talk about them. Feminists who fought so the female journalist could have a career in the media, could vote for the Tory values the paper loves, who, you know, did a lot to make women's and men's lives better.

And then the comments. From the hilarious self styled Gene Hunt, who flung homophobic insults about like they were going out of fashion, to the endless suggestions that we are all fat, ugly and jealous (not that the two former points matter - but you know what i mean) to pictures being posted of what they imagine i look like, aspersion being cast on our private lives and even insults directed at my family.

You can't help but think the pro hooters crowd are strangely desperate and angry. they're shouting, criticising and frustrated name calling was all so surreal and immature, it made us feel stronger in our own argument.

Our petition had nearly 800 signatures when we presented it to the council. Clearly the anti feeling towards hooters is far stronger, and far greater than the Evening Post wishes to report, or the pro hooters crowd want to admit.

If the violent language is any signifier to the actions of the men who will soon be frequenting Hooters, i feel the police may well have been right to object to the license on the grounds of crime and disorder.


  1. Clearly the No to Hooters campaign is causing many males to become 'hysterical' because as we all know it is a male's innate right to view and treat women as dehumanised sexual service stations.

    The Evening Post obviously has a male supremacist agenda instead of objectively reporting news. Yes, dear readers once upon a time long ago the printed news was indeed just that 'printed news' not an outlet for the sex industry of which Hooters is playing a prominent role.

    Neither must we ignore the fact a large number of male commentators are beside themselves with fury and have systematically engaged in directing misogynistic insults at the women who (dared sic) to challenge male supremacy and pseudo male sex right to dehumanise women and girls.

    Are we living in the 21st century? Yes but obviously misogyny is not his tory (you see his tory means male history never women's herstory) but very much alive and well, because women must be silent and submissive. Only men are the ones apparently accorded the right of of 'free speech' and misogyny is not women-hating but merely a 'challenge to those feminists who supposedly have immense socio-economic power.'

    Well it is news to me that feminism is such a powerful political cause that in such a short time women have achieved female domination and control over men. Not that feminism has ever been interested in copying male supremacist system - rather we have always demanded abolition of male supremacist system and instead women to be accorded dignity, respect and ownership of their bodies.

    Not asking for much are we?

  2. I know this won't be posted (censoring negative comments hardly helps your cause) but I also know someone will read it, so I'll write it anyway.

    Feminists are seen as militant, fundamentalist and confrontational. This is a fact. I don't imagine you wish to be viewed this way and I'm sure you're not any of these things. I actually agree with most of the principles behind your cause.

    But the sad reality of it is that feminists aren't portrayed as fighting for equal rights. They're viewed as anti-male. Taking a stand against men. Most neutrals think that if feminists had their way the world would be run entirely by women, with men reduced to a sub-human form of slavery and subservience.

    Of course this isn't the case. But if you want to draw more positive attention to your cause then please, please drop the name.

    Feminist. It's a word that instantly triggers that "oh no, here we go again" feeling. They hate men. They're sexist. Their fundamental belief is that all men are only interested in having sex with women and then chucking them away like a used match.

    Just as this isn't true in the slightest, so the perception of feminists isn't true. Any intelligent person can see what you're trying to achieve. It's just the way you go about it, and the stigma you've attached to the word "feminist" that triggers the responses you've clearly had - so much so that you've now reduced yourselves to censoring your own blog to prevent negativity and any argument against your cause being seen.

    I don't expect a reply but please consider the points I've made.

  3. Philfill, apparently, your post was not censored, as you imagined it would be. As you clearly understand, it is a great pity that some people don’t get past words such as ‘feminist’ and that they seem to conjure up so many stereotyped and mistaken ideas about them. It may be difficult for these people to recognise the difference between their own thoughts about ‘feminists’ and the purpose of the actions of the real individuals who strive to achieve better values in our society.
    Words are important, but never so much as actions. What’s important about Feminists is that they are working to achieve the conditions where women and girls will have equal rights and participation in our society.
    That is why so many people object to the Hooters restaurant in Bristol. Both the name of the restaurant and the attitudes of those who run it or support it are worth taking action against. Don't you agree?

  4. just so readers understand our moderation policy.

    a lot of blogs have moderation policies. this isn't to silence debate, or avoid critics, but to a) prevent spam and b) prevent posts appearing that do not add to debate or are simply abusive.

    a lot of men and women involved in this campaign have been subjected to horrific insults over the past few weeks, including being told to commit suicide, been called names, had their family insulted etc etc. To prevent these comments appearing on this site, to make this site a safe space for users and readers, we have introduced a moderation policy.

    we also added that comments that do not add to debate, such as 'yeah, i love hooters,' or 'there are bigger issues in the world' would not be welcome. that's because they don't contribute anything to the discussion and show a lack of understanding of the issues at hand.

    so, even if you write something we 'disagree with' or that criticises our campaign, we will probably publish it, so long as it isn't clearly offensive or doesn't encourage an interesting and good debate.

  5. I'm also English, Philfill, and with that tag comes the rep for being colonialist land grabbing xenophobic arseholes, should I drop that label too, or instead try to think of Shakespeare, the Beatles, the Blitz spirit etc etc. ?
    The labels that have been put onto 'feminism' have been done so by woman-haters in order to negate the whole movement, same as the Daily Mail calling all left-wing people mentally ill. The fact the 'everybody' thinks that feminists hate men just shows how much the misogynists in power (not always male themselves) have won. I am proud to be a feminist, because I know that we don't all hate men, or want a female supremacy, just like not all English people hate foreigners and want to steal their land.
    If you believe that 'all feminists hate men' I suggest you read some modern feminist literature, such as Living Dolls or The New F Word, or enter into debate with some of the feminists online, such as on twitter, for example. I for one would be happy to talk to you about my feminism and how I see the world at the moment. @BookElfLeeds.

  6. @ philfill
    You're missing the point here. The reason the word 'feminist'has negative associations for people is because the system, which is anti-female at its very core, is challenged by it, and the engines and agencies of that system (eg BEP, BCC) must interpret it negatively. Whatever word we choose to describe ourselves would end up with the same negative connotations and we'd end up back where we started. We use the word feminist with pride. Its power to evoke and unite strengthens every time it is used negatively against us, and its use as an insult gradually undermines the systems which try to use it against women.
    We can't change the name of our cause every time someone says they don't like it. That is exactly what enemies of feminism wish for - for us to be so afraid of what people think that we will change ourselves to fit what they would prefer us to be – ie, thin, gorgeous, sexually available, submissive, vague, dumb, etc etc. - in other words 'feminist' has come to mean fat, ugly, frigid, aggressive etc not because we are those things, but because we're not the alternative. And that would happen whatever we called ourselves.


Please note these comments are moderated and may take a while to appear on the site. The moderation policy is on the front page of the blog.