Fathers and Sons Bond At Hooters, Sexism Lives On
A father takes his son on your average road trip. They visit tourist attractions, look out at the beautiful scenery, catch some fish, and take photos with the ladies they visit at Hooters. Wait, what?
Andy Hinds from The Daily Beast reported this strange incident after it created a storm on a Facebook group he's part of that includes over 400 fathers. The Hooters-loving dad posted photos from his father-son road trip, including one of his son with five Hooters waitresses, to the group. The caption on the photo read "My son’s first Hooters trip! In heaven at 12! This dude owned it!"
Criticism of Hooters has been around for years, and by this point I think we can all agree that any place that serves its burgers with a side of breasts loudly labelled "hooters" is guilty of some pretty blatant objectification. Hinds pretty much sums it up:
Isn’t it essentially indoctrinating, or at least introducing, the boy to the culture where objectifying women is not only acceptable, but celebrated?
But, Hinds points out, a surprising number of dads were actually on board with the whole taking-your-son-to-Hooters thing. Some dads argued that their daughters swoon over boy bands, so isn't that the same thing? Doesn't objectification go both ways? Well, actually, no, not at all: men aren't victims of sexual harassment, discrimination, and rape at quite the same rate as women.
Other men argued that Hooters babes might actually be empowered by their jobs. "They're there of their own free will, collecting money off guys, hopefully using that money to improve themselves," wrote one dad. "Sounds like empowerment to me. I think we tend to sell women a little short in this regard sometimes.” But Hooters waitresses get paid minimum wage (like most chain restaurants) and the Hooters handbook requires employees to sign off on a clause “acknowledging and affirming” that “The Hooters concept is based on female sex appeal.”
Some people still need a serious lesson on sexual objectification and female empowerment. In the meantime, don't be one of those dads, and take your son to Olive Garden instead.