So. Something made me upset today. I was driving to Barnes and Noble and I see this girl on the corner walking to her car. I am not a particularly observant person, but this young woman caught my eye, and the eyes of every single person who drove past. Her hair was bleached to a white blond, her legs spray tanned to a dark brown. Her shorts were nonexistent and her shirt was easily 4 sizes too small. By all of societies standards this young woman is what we would call “hot”. Her shirt was a “hooters” shirt, leading me to the assumption that she probably worked there as a waitress. And this upset me. The morbidly obese men breaking their necks as they sped past, the looks that the women in the car next to me gave her made me upset. This young woman would be branded by society as a slut or whore by society by the way she dressed and where she worked.
Places like “Hooters” are upsetting to me as a woman because they reduce women to their lowest common denominator: skanky clothes, stupid games, serving old men and horny college students mediocre food and booze. These waitresses serve the express purpose of exciting men they make themselves sexual objects rather than people. Watching her walk by I suddenly had a large amount of respect for the tacky ties at Tahoe Joes. I mean seriously? What allure does this resterraunt have besides its waitresses?
In the deep recesses of the “Hooters Handbook” there lies 4 statements that the female workers at Hooters must affirm. Among them I found this gem:
The Hooters concept is based on female sex appeal and the work environment is one in which joking and entertaining conversations are commonplace.
Lovely…I’m so glad that we have places like this; places where the entire structure is based upon female sex appeal. It’s degrading. Some people may argue that these young women are “embracing their sexual power as women.”
Well I’m calling bullshit. The entire concept of the restaurant is based around making women into sex objects. Now, some people may see no problem in this and that’s fucking terrible. People are free to do what they please, yes, and some women probably enjoy their jobs as being disposable, minimum wage pin-ups. However, some women like me find it offensive. Some people find the concept degrading and stupid. A woman’s body is not only something to be admired, but respected and it’s irritating as shit to watch young women just throw it out the door. Decades of work by feminists to make women MORE than just a sexual object is thrown out the door in mere seconds by Hooters, by Girls Gone Wild, by Playboy.
These institutions and companies set women back decades. They argue that these are new, highly sexualized times, and that they are encouraging women to embrace their bodies. No. You aren’t. You’re encouraging women to look like pornstars, to please you, to receive little to no sexual satisfaction. You’re encouraging women to become nothing but a body. Playboy says their shoots are “classy”, because a woman posing for a magazine geared towards male satisfaction is classy. A woman putting silicone in her breasts, collagen in her lips, and dousing her hair in hydrogen peroxide until it’s stiff is classy? A woman bearing her body for the world because “Heff suggested it”? That’s what passes for class nowadays? Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O must be rolling in their graves.
Young women now look up to models like Miranda Kerr, Playboy bunnies like Holly Madison, and reality TV show stars like JWoww and Snookie. Women of my generation have forgotten the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt and Betty Friedan, little to none even know who Simone de Beauvior is, and that’s sad. It’s sad that young women look to those who shove us back into the kitchen instead of those who battled and still are fighting to give us the rights and recognition we deserve. Women have forgotten how we got to where we are. We have forgotten how long it took us to earn the right to vote, to equal pay, the right to divorce, and the right to own our bodies.
Now, I’m not saying that sex is bad or that men are the devil. I am not advocating no distinctions between genders, I am simply asking women to LOOK at themselves and ask themselves what they’re doing with their bodies; for their pleasure or for the pleasure of others? Some, I’m afraid, will see no difference between the two.