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

Friday, 15 October 2010

The Trouble with Hooters

The trouble with Hooters

Degrades men.
Objectifies women.
Sexualises babies.*

We are living in a society that increasingly treats women as only and always sex objects. Passive, to be looked at, and consumed, by a (male) audience. The result of this increasing view of women as disposable sex objects (disposable in that once they stop being ‘sexy’ the are rendered useless and invisible) is:

·       A rise in violence in teen and adult relationships (NSPCC, Bristol University)
·       A rise in low self esteem and mental health issues in young women (APA)

Hooters is part of a spectrum that sees women as objects designed to serve and entertain a predominantly male audience. They proudly claim that the Hooters concept is based on female sex appeal, however the sexuality they are referring to is a narrow and confined definition decided by Hooters’ bosses. It has nothing to do with celebrating women and female sexuality, and everything to do with commercialisation that degrades men and objectifies women. 

Hooters encourages the view of women as sex objects, rather than as whole citizens of the world. This feeds in to a fantasy of the world before feminism. Where women are always and only sexually available. Where they laugh at the jokes that degrade them, and accept sexual harassment. Where women are subservient to men, where women wave goodbye to their rights and independence.

This refusal to see women as human, this insistence to see women as only and always objects, leads to violence, sexual confusion, mental disorder and low self-esteem. The Hooters concept is part of a culture that degrades men and damages women. This is our objection to their brand. This is our objection to a culture that degrades men and women. We are asking for it to end. We have had enough. 



  1. Wrong Hooters does not degrade women because it is not men who are the ones offered to men as dehumanised sexualised commodities. Men are human women are not according to Hooters marketing strategy.

    Re: the two stralines

    A rise in violence in teen and adult relationships (NSPCC, Bristol University)

    A rise in low self esteem and mental health issues in young women (APA)

    If we believe gender neutral language is effective then the second strapline should not have the words 'young women' but instead the term teenagers.

    Male supremacy does excellent work in hiding male accountability and when we repeat gender neutral language which is actually male-centric language because women are always foregrounded and not given the right of anonymity, then we are enforcing male supremacist ideology.

    First strapline should read rise in male violence against women and girls within heterosexual relationships. Wasn't difficult was it? Oh but I forget men have 'feelings' and hence we must ensure male perpetrators' sex must never be mentioned or name the sex of this individuals committing said violence against women.

    I wish women were also equally accorded anonymity but then that would mean the end of male domination and male control over all women.

  2. i disagree.
    hooters does degrade men. it suggests that they are neanderthals with a narrow, commercialised sexuality. it says that men can only fancy women who fit a certain look and manner. it says that men love nothing more than t eat fatty food and ogle women. it reduces men into sexist stereotypes just as it reduces women.

    it isn't about using gender neutral language or trying to deny the effects of this on VAWG but about recognising that hooters treats men with very little respect, just as it treats women with no respect. to coin a well heard phrase, the patriarchy hurts men too and this idea that men have to conform to a certain kind of behaviour, that men have to be macho and sexist, is damaging men and women.

  3. Why are some people so blind to the damage caused by attitudes such as the "Hooters concept"? Why do there seem to be such prevalent denials that it is sexual objectification (or that there is anything wrong with that)?

    I think sometimes it really is ignorance - a genuine lack of understanding of the consequences of the huge tide of idealised, sexualised representations of women, above any other human quality.

    However, we've all seen how opinions such as those in the OP are often met with abusive and disproportionately aggressive responses by those who defend Hooters.

    Sadly, I think in these cases the motivation goes beyond ignorance. I think there is a sometimes a wilful dismissal that there can be anything wrong with "harmless" Hooters, because that would mean there is something wrong with them for liking it.

    I think this leads to a hostile defensiveness. They have to knock down any points of view which suggest that women may not want to dress sexy for them, attend to them, serve them and welcome a bit of banter and flirting with them.

    They have to belittle any actions or objections which may threaten their right to patronise venues where women are forced to wear revealing clothing and have signed away their rights.

    To be able to keep believing that "harmless" Hooters is OK, they have to believe that any differing opinions or experiences come from sad, old, ugly, anti-sex lesbian killjoys. Or even that those who object to Hooters type attitudes are repressing sexuality and demonising women.

    I think it's just too difficult for them to admit out loud (and to themselves) that actually they like the sexist status quo which gives them power over women and they don't like hearing from the people who are going to take that away from them.

  4. well said katy! i agree with you.


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