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

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Responding to some criticisms… Part Two

Some people think that by focusing on the ‘safeguarding children from harm’ issues, we are being disingenuous about out true reasons for opposing Hooters: namely that we don’t like the inherent sexism of it.

I disagree that we’re being disingenuous, and feel that to suggest we are implies that we are being insincere and hypocritical in our approach. This is neither fair nor correct.

True, people who object to Hooters largely do so because it is a retrosexist company that normalises the objectification of women as only and always sex objects for the pleasure of men.

True, the current campaign is highlighting that Hooters in Bristol is breaching one of its four licencing conditions – namely the one stressing the importance of safeguarding children from harm. However, we didn’t choose which licence condition Hooters decided to breach – they did. It so happens to be the safeguarding children from harm condition, and we object to it. Just as we would if Pizza Express, Nando’s or any other restaurant chain exposed children to the same levels of sexual objectification and ‘grooming’ as Hooters appears to be doing.

NB: The current campaign is also objecting to Hooters on the grounds that a large number of residents have made complaints to both Hooters and the police about the noise and disturbance levels that have dramatically risen since Hooters opened. However, this part of the petition has attracted less public attention for obvious reasons.

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