Since the campaign launched at the start of September, the Evening Post have published 22 articles and letters relating to Hooters.
I wonder why?
The Evening Post asked BFN and Bristol Fawcett for a statement, which we provided. When we sent them the statement we requested the following:
- we'd be very happy for you to quote the entire statement
- If you are going to cut the statement, please quote only from paras 1 and 3 as Para 2 must only be quoted in the context of Paras 1 and 3.
We hope that this will be acceptable to you and to the EP, please let us know if for any reason it would be a problem.'
We did not receive any reply saying that this would be a problem. However, surprise surprise, the Evening Post decided to do the exact opposite of what we requested, quoting from para 3 without the context of the rest of the information.
'Bristol Feminist Network and Bristol Fawcett Society issued a joint statement criticising the chain and the council for giving Hooters licensing approval.
It said: "The presence of a Hooters in Bristol is a negative step for the city, and it damages the reputation of the Harbourside and the city as a whole.
"It peddles a thoroughly out-of-date concept of relationships between men and women.
"A brand that promotes ogling at women as an activity alongside paying to be served food or drink actively blurs the boundaries between private relationships and the public standing of women."
What is their agenda? Why are they so determined to paint feminists in a bad light, feminists who have held the council (the EP's bete noir) to account when over and over again the EP have failed to do so. Feminists who are working to make this city a better and safer place for women and men. Mike Norton, editor of the EP tells us he loves this city. Yet he refuses to show that one of the reasons this city is so great is because of its diversity and its communities.
The EP see women as a minority group, with women's issues as minority issues. I don't know whether it is because they are still angry with us over the embarrassment we caused them over Dita Von Teese, but their insistence on 'having a go' at women and men who want to make Bristol a better place is selfish, juvenile and, to coin his own phrase, 'bad for Bristol.'
For your reference, here's the rest of the statement:
JOINT STATEMENT BY BRISTOL FEMINIST NETWORK AND BRISTOL FAWCETT
1. Bristol Fawcett and Bristol Feminist Network are disappointed that a license to operate a 'Hooters' restaurant was granted to Gallus Management by a subcommittee of Bristol City Council. The lack of transparency in the license application resulted in a wholly undemocratic process in awarding the license. Furthermore, we do not believe that the reason given by the Chair of the Licensing Committee, that Hooters offers "something different" to Bristol, was sufficient justification for granting a license in a Police and Council designated Cumulative Impact Zone. Quite aside from further concerns, we are clear that a new 'Hooters' restaurant on the Harbourside will categorically have negative impact upon the four Licensing Objectives as set out in the Licensing Act, and will quite obviously contribute to Cumulative Impact.
2. The presence of a 'Hooters' in Bristol is a negative step for the city, and it damages the reputation of the harbourside and the city as a whole. It peddles a thoroughly out-of-date concept of relationships between men and women. A brand that promotes ogling at women as an activity alongside paying to be served food or drink actively blurs the boundaries between private relationships and the public standing of women. This blurring of boundaries is bad news for women and men alike.
3. We are also very disappointed that Marks and Spencer has chosen to align itself with the Hooters brand. M&S has a clear ethical policy (known as 'Plan A') and has signed up to the Mumsnet 'Let Girls Be Girls' campaign. We do not believe that their ethical stance is compatible with their decision to do business with an exploitative restaurant chain.