Hooters comes to Sheffield

// 2 March 2008

Yes, you read that right, the outdated and downright embarrassingly sexist US bar and restaurant staffed by sexyTM women is opening in Sheffield on the 22nd March. Female employees have to acknowledge and affirm the following:

1. My job duties require I wear the designated Hooters Girl uniform.

2. My job duties require that I interact with and entertain the customers.

3. The Hooters concept is based on female sex appeal and the work environment is one in which joking and sexual innuendo based on female sex appeal is commonplace.

I do not find my job duties, uniform requirements, or work environment to be offensive, intimidating, hostile, or unwelcome.

In other words, if you work here, verbal sexual harrassment – at the very least – is going to be part of your job description, no matter how much Hooters claim that they ‘forbid harrassment of any kind’. If I want a definition of harrassment, the creators of a chain of restaurants whose USP is ‘entertainment based on female sex appeal’ will be the last people I go to.

I’m sure it will also surprise no one to learn that, while the sex appeal can only be provided by women, men can take on managerial roles. No prizes for guessing who polices the appearance of the ‘girls’…

Needless to say, many of us here aren’t exactly creaming ourselves at the prospect, although the lovely Will from Nottingham clearly is:

Hooters is amazing. I live in Nottingham when not at Uni and Hooters in the UK is in no way degrading to women… so what the fuck… If you don’t want to be ‘degraded’, don’t work there. Simple as.*

Ah yes, a man telling women what is and isn’t degrading, what we should or shouldn’t do, and making himself out to be a neandertholic dickhead in the process, that’s just the way to shut us up. And, seriously, openly admitting that you think staring at women with big breasts is ‘amazing’? How is that anything but embarrassing? Way to represent your sex.

A NO to Hooters in Sheffield Facebook group has been set up, which I’ve been wallposting away on, and I thought I’d share the last exchange I had:

LILLY: From reading the contract, it doesn’t state anywhere that groping or sexual ‘harrassment’ is allowed. It says ‘sexual innuendo based on female sex appeal’.

That is something entirely different. As i recall, the hooters i visited in America had a sign on the door saying something along the lines of ‘touching the waitress inappropriately will result in your removal from the premises’.

Being a ‘well endowed’ female myself, i have had hundreds of comments about my chest whilst working as a waitress/barmaid, and i take it all in good humour, and usually have a bit of banter back. I’ve also had a customer grope me and recieve a slap across the face. Ok, YOU might not be comfortable with someone making comments about your chest, but i am, and undoubtedly the women who will chose to work there will too. If i had the body to match my rack, i’d probably work somewhere like that.

LAURA: Lilly, Sexual innuendo based on women’s sex appeal can very often be sexual harrassment; no physical elements need be involved for harrassment to take place. I get sexually harrassed at least once a week on the streets near my flat because dickhead men think they have the right to comment on my breasts, my body or just the fact that I am a woman walking alone at night. It makes me feel intimidated and afraid, and it is harrassment. These kind of comments could well be standard practice at Hooters.

Hooters may well claim to forbid harrassment, but by portraying women as sex objects for men they feed into a culture which views the verbal sexual harrassment of women as ‘just a bit of fun’, which values women on their sex appeal and body type rather than as individuals and which breeds a sense of entitlement to women’s bodies in many men. That’s why I object to it.

You may be comfortable with men commenting on your chest, but this isn’t just about being OK with sexual comments. The problem is that men in this society believe they have the right to comment on women’s bodies and many of us spend a fuckload of time worrying about our bodies as a result. Women are worth so much more than what men think of our tits and arse. Establishments like Hooters would have us believe otherwise.

Letters will be written to local press and Sheffield Council, but we are wary about direct protest because we don’t want to upset or intimidate the female employees. If anyone has any creative ideas for non-intimidating actions we could take on the opening day, please do comment away!

You can sign the petition against Hooters here.

EDIT: Will messaged me to point out that Hooters is actually a really great place to watch football and rugby. Considering the total lack of other bars which televise sports, he is of course correct in his suggestion that female cleavage is not the reason men such as himself frequent this establishment. I really should listen to the menz before I open my pretty mouth again, shouldn’t I?

Comments From You

Lynne // Posted 2 March 2008 at 7:56 pm

Uuurrgh this makes me want to vom.

Yunus Yakoub Islam // Posted 3 March 2008 at 7:01 am

Personally, I’d be embarrassed to be around men who behave like Hooters’ clientelle. Talking to women like that isn’t funny, sexy or cool. It’s pathetic, witless and cliched. From an evolutionary perspective, neanderthal is a compliment – I would place such dross alongside the chemical soup extant prior to the emergence of life on Earth.

Laura // Posted 3 March 2008 at 9:37 am

Um, “women like that”? The problem here isn’t the women – women need to make money, and some will work here to do so, I’m not making any negative judgements towards them – the problem is the men who feel entitled to women’s bodies. But, yes, chemical soup indeed.

Lynne Miles // Posted 3 March 2008 at 9:48 am

I think possibly when Yunus was saying “talking to women like that” she might have been meaning “talking to women in that manner” rather than “talking to ‘women like that'”?

Jenny Longden // Posted 3 March 2008 at 10:08 am

Hi Laura – I am covering this story for JUS News in Sheffield (Sheffield uni). I was wondering if I could speak to you today for a radio piece. Please e-mail me on jop07jcl@sheffield.ac.uk. Thanks, Jenny.

Annika // Posted 3 March 2008 at 11:59 am

I can’t believe that some idiot somewhere actually authorised this.

I used to work in a bookies, and work a loosley fitted blouse/shirt that was supplied by the comapny. I can’t tell you the amount of times men made suggestive comments, leered at them or just even talk to them and not my face. Despite the fact it was a loose top. I even had someone put his hands over the counter and ask me to “lean forward so I can squeeze them”.

Shocking, I know. My point being, that in a bookies, alot of men think that you are there for them. Despite that it is a gambling business. Hooters is only known for one thing really, and that makes is even worse for the women who will work there. Places like this basically condone sexual harrassment, and by asking the female workers to sign the employment conditions, is surely a way for Hooters to avoid getting sued. It plays down sexual harrassment, so should somebody experience it, well, she had no right in thinking it is anything else but fun.

I don’t live in Sheffield, or anywhere near there. I actually live in Birmingham, the lapdancing capital as it is also known. I hope that the Sheffield Hooters is unsuccessful, hopefully that will discourage them from having anymore here.

Laura // Posted 3 March 2008 at 1:47 pm

Yes, I just realised that – sorry Yunus!

Annika // Posted 3 March 2008 at 1:50 pm

* I meant wore, not work!! And by “them” I meant well I’m sure you all know!

My grammar is amazingly crap in my comment, I must apologise!

Katie // Posted 3 March 2008 at 3:56 pm

Annika – there used to be a Hooters in Birmingham a long time ago (it is now the Wetherspoons in Paradise Forum) and I am hoping that the fact that a Hooters franchise has previously failed in the city will make the company think twice about putting one in our locality. Unfortunately the number of lapdancing clubs per section of the male population has increased dramatically since that time so they might think that they have a better chance.

But then when some newspaper did a competition for something stupid like ‘sexy people of Britain’ or something equally inane, they couldn’t find a woman to represent Birmingham that was up to their ‘standards’ so they picked someone from Staffordshire I think, so perhaps we just don’t have the ‘talent’ for Hooters waitresses.

Of course I am horrified that Hooters has made it’s way to this country at all, or even that it still exists. It’s another one of those “sexism doesn’t exist any more – apparently” situations. I always envision Hooters customers to be the traditional once-jock ‘meat heads’ of Americana – fictitious characters really, but still something that we can’t ignore!

Yunus Yakoub Islam // Posted 3 March 2008 at 5:11 pm

No probs, Linda. I just assumed Hooters’ double entendre culture had momentarily seeped onto this blog. :-)

Al // Posted 4 March 2008 at 12:19 am

Hello ladies…

I have been a Hooters Girl for over 6 years in the Nottingham branch. I appreciate both sides of each of your arguments. However, much of the opinions of yourselves are based upon speculation and reputation. I would be interested in knowing if any of you with negative opinions have actually been to a Hooters, either in the UK or worldwide? It surprises me that one would express such a strong negative opinion on a subject they have never directly experienced. The concept of Hooters has always been, and will always be one of strong debate and controversy. However, I can assure you, those against are indeed within the minority and are, on ALL cases I have experienced, views of people (both men and women) that have never been to a Hooters Restaurant.

It is very difficult to explain The Hooters Concept on paper, particularly to people who have never experienced the ‘Hooters Experience’. So I advise you to at least visit a Hooters to make your own conclusions, if this is a subject you feel so strongly about to spend time commenting on numerous times. By visiting, I am confident you will at least soften your negativity towards the brand. The quote which you have chosen to surround your debate around is one element of what a Hooters Girl MAY have to deal with. It is important, as you point out, to cover all potential situations before you involve yourself in something, whether that be insurance, medication, contracts, a job…

To say working at a Hooters, part of your job description is going to mean subjecting yourself to verbal or sexual harassment is outrageous. I am a company director, x-Hooters Girl, degree holder and have a wealth of experience within different industries. There was a point when I was coming into lots of different types of people from week to week as I switched roles. I can ASSURE you, comments about women made by men, and comments about men made by women, have been and will always be made in each of these sectors. If I walk through town in a trouser suit, tie and fitted shirt, I get more attention, comments, whistles etc from people (men) passing me in the street / working etc than I do at Hooters. My point is, any feature that the opposite sex (or same sex) finds attractive, will always be commented on regardless of uniform or job role.

The Hooters Girl is trained to be empowered. Typically, she is a strong confident character with a fun, lively and approachable personality (above anything else) – not ‘big breasts’ or blonde hair or any other stereotype. Hooters Girls are trained to deal with, ‘neandertholic dick heads’ as one of you so elegantly put it. A Hooters Girl is confident within her role. She knows how to deal with different types of guests which she is well trained to read. From the minute a guest walks through the door, they are greeted by a confident character who make sure their guest is lead through the ‘Hooters Experience’ if they are not familiar with it, so they know degrading comments are not acceptable, just as touching or any of the other issues you mention do not take place. In my years of ‘Hootering’, I have never come across a situation that I have allowed to let get to a point where I have required a managements’ assistance in diffusing a situation that is related to inappropriate comments or behaviour aimed to myself or another member of staff. It is, believe it or not, uncommon. People that ‘try their luck’ at the early stages to see whether what they refer to as their ‘humour’ is tolerated, are quickly made examples of, and they are often then made fun of and viewed as an embarrassment by the group they are with. For me, one of the perks of the job was intimidating men that thought they had the right to even remotely make comments that I felt were out of line. Can I possibly have standards when I work in orange shorts I hear you cry!! Orange shorts and a tank top that cover me up more than a ballerina’s, ice skater’s, sun bather, gym instructor… the list goes on. A Hooters Girl is not a waitress. She has a ‘role’. She is a Hooters Girl; an entertainer. More skilled in fact than the usual more ‘accepted’ entertainer that wears similar or in most cases smaller outfits, because she has the skills to deliver a wider range of services that include those of a skilled waitress.

There is nothing anyone can do about idiotic men or women who feel the need to express degrading comments towards other people. We can attempt to educate them and prevent them commenting about us face to face, which is what Hooters Girls do, but there will never be a method of preventing people of discussing the female body / or male body away from us or without us knowing; they will do this regardless of you wearing a bikini or a shell suit! I appreciate and acknowledge that I wont convert those of you who are dead against the concept even though you may or may not have visited a unit, but to conclude, Hooters is an American Hospitality restaurant consisting of young, confident empowered Hooters Girls (not waitresses) who deliver a high level of service, food and entertainment in a fun, lively and vibrant atmosphere unlike any other concept; it is unique and evidently not accepted and will never be accepted by all.

Regards to all

Laura // Posted 4 March 2008 at 2:01 am

Hi Al,

For me any business that is based on the presentation of women as sexual objects for male enjoyment reinforces the power structures of male dominated society. It is no coincidence that the vast majority of establishments based on sex appeal are aimed at men and use women to provide that appeal. In other words, the women exist for male gratification, they exist to serve men. This is a model that has existed for centuries and is the root cause of women’s oppression. I therefore cannot support any establishment that is based on and reinforces this model.

You say that women experience (often unwanted) sexual attention in all areas of society, and this is right. However, although it is often unofficially condoned, on the street, say, in places like Hooters it is officially condoned as entertainment, as acceptable. I don’t think it is, and the fact that women can make money out of working at Hooters doesn’t change that.

You say that Hooters empowers women. How? From your comments it seems that the women that work there are already confident, so that cannot be atributed to Hooters. (As an aside – why should women have to build up a confident persona in order to deal with men’s advances? I want to live in a world where men don’t feel they have the right to comment on my body). I believe that working in an environment that reinforces women’s status as sex objects, or at least as subjects who exist to please men, is ultimately disempowering. This ethos allows women to be discriminated against in all areas of society – when she is paid less or sexually harrassed in the work place, for example, or when she is blamed for being raped. She is viewed as inferior to man and as a provider of sexual gratification by men who believe they have a natural right to power and dominance.

This isn’t the fault of the women who work at Hooters – they didn’t create this system and it is a system that they can make money out of by, as we hear so often these days ‘exploiting their assets’. But this system ultimately exploits them.

So, thanks for your comments, but there’s no chance you’ll be catching me in Nottingham Hooters any time soon!

m Andrea // Posted 4 March 2008 at 11:08 pm

Excuse me? They think comments on their body is acceptable, and you’re worried about making them feel uncomfortable??? Please, go ask them how old they expect to be when they can no longer ride on their looks. For “Al”:

“Sexism happens everywhere, so it’s okay if we encourage sexism here”.

“Sexism is liberating! Yay!”

“I’m used to sexism, it’s all I know and all I can ever aspire to!”

“Oh, they really don’t mean exactly what they do say”.

“You’re just jealous!” — of the fact that no one cares about me at all, only that at this stage of my life I’m pretty to look at.

Seph // Posted 5 March 2008 at 4:10 am

I have to admit I don’t have much knowledge of this area of “entertainment” but is there a version where females can go and be waited on and flirted with by attractive males, like the Hostabu (Host Clubs) in Japan?

Also, I fail to see how the ’empowerment/not sexual objects’ claims made by people can stand up to the fact the place itself is baisically named “boobs!”, it’s only a half step away from a flashing pink neon sign saying “Girls, Girls, Girls!”

Sophia Deboick // Posted 8 March 2008 at 10:09 am


Hooters have put in a licensing application to open premises in Southend-on-Sea, Essex. I have already had considerable success in gathering support from the local councillors in opposing this, but I feel that this is a national issue. The owners of the UK franchise, Wings Over England, plan to open a further 40 restaurants in the UK over the next four years. I really feel we need to stop this before it starts – write to your MP and ask them to raise awareness of this with the government too.

This is an insidious form of adult entertainment which seeks to avoid the controls put on recognised adult venues. The featuring of ‘bikini competitions’ at the only existing branch in Nottingham makes these places very little different to strip clubs in my opinion – yet the application for the Southend branch only applied for a licence to sell alcohol in a restaurant environment. No ‘interested parties’ I have contacted were aware of what this business was actually going to be like. Hooters are going to try and get in through the back door in this way in towns all over Britain. Let’s put the kybosh on it now. Cheers, Sophia

PS Katie – I’d be interested to hear about the impact of the Birmingham branch on the local area while it was there and if anyone has had experience of the Nottingham branch, I’d like to hear about that too. We can stop future branches getting licences by proving that the opening of branches elsewhere had negative effects in the eyes of the 2003 Licensing Act.

Sophia Deboick // Posted 9 March 2008 at 11:03 am

PS When signing the Sheffield petition, please also consider signing the petition against the Southend branch at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/notohooterssouthend/


Sophia // Posted 15 March 2008 at 8:40 am

Hello again,

Please see my letter to the local paper and article about the petition about the Southend Branch. I must point out that I was misquoted – I think it will be obvious from the letter that my views are little more subtle than has been made out. Does seem to have raised awareness of the issue in Southend though.

The comments thread underneath this article is essential reading. I had no idea that things were so bad. http://www.echo-news.co.uk/display.var.2118876.0.0.php The misogyny and homophobia apparent here is so depressing (and some of the worst personal insults have been taken off already!) I hope this can at least be used as ammo for the campaign.

The application will be going to a hearing now, so we’ll see what happens….

Calum // Posted 18 March 2008 at 7:54 pm

Look, the job is simply a job and the woman know what they are getting into when they join.

anon // Posted 19 March 2008 at 4:57 pm

OMG! seriously there are so many horific things happening in the Uk today and all you people can find to get all wound up about is a bar wear girls wear hot pants and tight tops!!!! Seriously! Have any of you even ever visited a Hooters resturant? I would assume from the majority of the comments on here that the answer is no. Maybe you should do a little research before you start commenting! I used to work at Hooters Nottingham and had a throughly good time! Did I consider myself akin to a stripper! Urrrmmm No!!!! I can honestly say I never stood infront of a guy whilst working in hooters and gyrated my body in the way a stripper does, It would be very difficult to do so with a plate of wings and a pint in your hands without making a mess! i’m not entirely sure the person who made this comparision really thought it out!

Moreover the uniforms cover up more than most girls wear on a night out!The only flesh on show is from the cleavage upwards, wander round any town or cty and you will see girls in tiny skirts and plunging neck lines, out of choice!!! gasp!! Can it be true that girls enjoy flaunting their figures.. no surely not!

As for men touching me that never happened when I worked at Hooters (the men know they can’t get away with it). However, I don’t think I can recall a night out with my girlfriends where at least one of us has not had some drunken guy trying to paw at us!

As for sexual harrassment! Give me a break! A good looking girl can walk down the street wearing a boiler suit and will get compliments from men. This isn’t sexual harrassment, this is a fact of life! A boss who brushes himself past you everytime he walks past your desk is sexual harrassment.

The simple fact is that men like to look at attractive women, attractive women actually quiet like the admiration of men. If men looked as good in tight clothing and women were as fickle we’d have a male version already! Women do not feel threatened by Hooters, we used to have loads of hen do’s coming in for food and drinks!

I really think you should all visit Hooters Notts and see how relaxed, friendly and enjoyable the atmosphere is, then maybe you can all relax!

anon // Posted 20 March 2008 at 11:20 pm

I just want to apologise for my bad spelling and terrible grammar in my last comment! I’m not illiterate! next time I’ll check before I submit! I just couldn’t wait to have my say.

Fanny Blood // Posted 30 March 2008 at 5:23 pm

“As for sexual harrassment! Give me a break! A good looking girl can walk down the street wearing a boiler suit and will get compliments from men. This isn’t sexual harrassment, this is a fact of life!”

Oh puuuurleeeease, Anon! This is the whole point of why this is wrong!!! Read above!!!

Cat // Posted 31 March 2008 at 9:30 am

I’m an American. I just came across this very interesting discussion. One thing I would like to express is it is a fact that a person does not need to experience something to know it is wrong and what sort of effects it will have. For example, you do not need to smoke cigarettes to know the effects it will have on your body. You know because of you are intelligent and informed. In the same way that smoking can lead to disease, places like Hooters lead to a diseased idea of what women and men should be.

I applaud all of you who wish to fight these establishments coming to your cities.

Here is my personal experience with Hooters. A few years ago I got to know a man I worked with who I thought was attractive. He seemed rather shy. After months of talking to him, he finally took me out. A few days later he called and we spent a long time talking on the phone. We each had our TVs on while we were on the phone. He commented that the Hooter Girls were on TV. I thought that was rather rude, to pay attention to other girls while he was talking to me. But, what upset me most, since I already knew about Hooters and have feminist ideals as well as good morals, was hearing the name of this place mentioned. Without talking about the girls, I expressed my distaste for a place that would choose a name such as that. I said that it was like calling women names and making objects out of them. He didn’t seem to think it was a big deal. Not only that, he proceeded to give me a filthy list of names for breasts that the restaurant could also be called. He also stated that if men had a similar restaurant there were names that could be used and he rattled off some more filthy words. When I asked him how he could talk to me that way to me, he said that he saw nothing wrong with it and he saw nothing wrong with Hooters. He then said that he wished he could own a Hooters and have a bunch of women working for him wearing short shorts and tight t-shirts. He repeated the word tight and added wet.

I felt very degraded, disgusted, and devalued. I had standed up for my beliefs, expressed my strong feelings against what I saw as humilating of women just as far as the name of the place goes, and gotten slammed for it. Put in my place. Reminded what the “duty” of women was. I didn’t have to visit a Hooters restaurant. I talked to a man who must have and he showed me in no uncertain terms what it is all about.

That is my Hooters experience. It didn’t empower me. No one in their right mind can think that creating this type of thinking in men and allowing it to breed is empowering women.

matthew clough // Posted 2 April 2008 at 3:11 pm

how very narrow minded of you to be commenting on this i bet u have never even visted one of hooters many venues! the out fits arnt that reveiling and the people who go there arent seedy drunks fancying a quick grope!! iv seen familys in there with young sons and daughters and have no problen with the waitress’s dress code. and i find ur rule of we decide whats feminist rather sexist implying only women no what sexixt is like saying only a black man can say whats racist dont you think?

Lynne Miles // Posted 2 April 2008 at 3:45 pm

Okay, Matthew, here’s a challenge: we’ve approved you. You decide whether you’re sexist…

Cat // Posted 3 April 2008 at 7:34 am

Mathew, you believe that one must have an experience with something to be able to comment on it. How, then, can you comment on the reactions of women to Hooters? You have been there as a man, not as a woman. You cannot begin to understand, first hand, how a woman feels. If you would like to, then open yourself up to what women are saying.

It’s interesting that you asked can only a black men, rather than a black man or woman, decide what is racist in your effort to prove that you should be able to judge what is sexist.

I think it’s cool that this forum is run in a way to conform to the ideals for which it stands.

Regarding families at Hooters. Some parents will take their children to places that are not good for them. Witness parents with young children in bloody, violent, R rated movies. And some parents teach their children sexism (and racism) either blantly or unknowingly simply by taking them to places such as Hooters or by the way they speak about women (and men).

The guy I mentioned in my post above turned out to be quite the seedy drunk himself, ready for a quick (or not so quick) grope. I eventually overlooked the ridiculous things he said and we entered into a lengthy relationship. Everyone has their good and bad points. But I can sincerely say, after knowing this person for a long time, that he is sexist and most of the stuff he was into was sexist.

I am able to judge Hooters without going there because of the one person I knew that did go there.

On top of that, anyone (probably even those children you have seen there)knows fully well that the word “hooters” is a sexist slang word for women’s breasts. That alone should tell anyone with half a brain that the company has a sexist mentally.

Juliet // Posted 3 April 2008 at 9:09 am

Doesn’t Hooters also have an airline in the US? Or are/were they planning to? Or was I just having a nightmare?

Lynne Miles // Posted 3 April 2008 at 9:20 am

Sadly you were not dreaming. Happily they went out of business in 2006 (see here for more).

gareth // Posted 11 April 2008 at 12:31 pm

Today’s article in the Guardian G2 bought the advent of British Hooters to my attention. I’ve previously observed the Hooters concept with happy disdain, never imagining that something so moronic could operate in England with any kind of legal impunity.

I’m sure I could have an excellent time at Hooter’s, but if the experience is so thrilling, why can it not stand alone without women dressed as they are?

“the uniforms cover up more than most girls wear on a night out” – So many of the comments defending Hooter’s seem to be admitting that the race towards a lowest common denominator is something so unstoppable that we should all submit and be happy.

It’s about time women worked towards a reordering of society on rhizomatic impulses rather than a “top down” compliance with outdated norms.

I’m looking at this page…http://www.wingsoverengland.com/exec_bios2.htm….and all I can see are stunningly attractive, well educated, empowered young women.

Holly Combe // Posted 11 April 2008 at 2:06 pm

Just to clarify: As Sophia mentioned earlier on in this thread, Wings over England are the owners of the UK franchise for Hooters.

Carol // Posted 12 April 2008 at 8:40 am

Anyone who doesn’t think Hooters is degrading to women ought to check out the numerous videos on youtube. That says it ALL.

What a SAD SPECIES we are.

Row // Posted 13 April 2008 at 10:00 pm

Sex and alcohol what a wonderful combination. City centres are already vile friday and saturday nights without adding Hooters. Money once again speaking louder than morals.

A bar based on sex trying to be respectful. This is worse than if they did just say hey come look at some tits and buy a drink. Sexism becomes normal and then it becomes ok then it becomes right.

Of course women working there can justify it, just like beaten wives can defend their husbands. Objects with a wage but still just an object. A sign on the door doesn’t stop the overall message getting through, women can be brought, women are slaves, women are just sex.

The arguement that men make comments about women all the time does not help the hooter cause, it simply proves we do not need anything else to encourage sexist views. And because women work at these places

it doesn’t mean that these places aren’t disrespectful to women.

I dread to think how this will affect crimes against women. Get blokes drunk, horny and filled with a sense of their own sexual superiority then set them on the world. And then to top it all add sport which is known to increase violence against women.

Hooters is wrong it will always be wrong, but it will come and it will likely stay. It will make money and the world will become a slightly worse place.

Fanny Blood // Posted 17 April 2008 at 7:28 am

So, Hooters has been given the green light to open in Southend on Sea. Half of me is absolutely pissed off and the other half thinks “bring it on”. A good place for activism!!!

Sophia Deboick, can you contact me on my site please? I would love to get together with you as I live right near you.


JJ // Posted 20 April 2008 at 6:56 pm

Please will somebody tell me why everyone is sooooo het up about the prospect of a Hooters in Sheffield???

My first thought genuinely was ‘How can I get a job there?’

It is not degrading to women at all and should not be compared to Lap Dancing clubs such as Spearmint Rhinos. If you do think it is degrading – Don’t go! That’s fair enough. But please let myself and all the other confident women make the most of the tips to be earnt from all the willing gawpers! I have worked in several sectors and will let you all know – Sex Appeal sells!

If the Hooters Girls have it, don’t be jealous!

Someone give me a recruitment website, please!

Laura // Posted 20 April 2008 at 9:03 pm

Hi JJ,

No one’s disputing that sex appeal sells, or that some women – like yourself – will want to work at Hooters. The problem is that Hooters is part of a wider culture that values women primarily as sex objects. Hooters, like lads’ mags, Spearmint Rhino, Girls of the Playboy Mansion etc etc portrays the sexual objectification of women for male pleasure as harmless fun, totally normal, something that both women and men should buy into. This has a negative impact on all women. According to the Hooters mentality, I should welcome aggressive sexual comments on the street when I walk home at night, I should feel flattered when the builders on the site by my house wolf whistle me every morning, I shouldn’t complain when my boss propositions me – because their behaviour is normal, and fun, and that’s what women are there for.

Why do you think female politicians are constantly judged on their appearance and sex appeal, making it harder for them to do their jobs? Why are women lining up in their thousands to get expensive and potentially dangerous plastic surgery? Why do men think they have a right to access prostitutes, so fuelling global trafficking in women and girls and forcing vulnerable women to “choose” to sell sex in order to make ends meet, or feed their drug habit?

No, of course this isn’t al directly because of Hooters. But Hooters buys into and profits massively off the image of women as sex objects for men, and this is an image and a belief that underlies all the problems and abuses outlined above.

That’s why. (And to preempt the inevitable – we’re campaigning against Hooters rather than Spearmiont Rhino or anything else because it hasn’t yet been established in the UK – we actually have a chance of winning this battle. Plus it allows us to get these kind of ideas into the public sphere).

Finally – accusations of a lack of confidence or jealousy among those who don’t support Hooters once again show how the mainstream focus is on women’s appearance and our sex appeal. Many of us feel much more confident, liberated and, yes, empowered by refusing to buy into this – I really couldn’t give a shit what Hooters customers think of me!

Laura // Posted 20 April 2008 at 9:20 pm

Also, do your really want to have to bring service with a smile to guys like this:

“The only people that object to the opening of a Hooters bar in Sheffield are feminists, gays and birds with no tits.

If I want to ogle women who choose to demean themselves by choice where is the problem? Nothing beats a thick as fuck blonde haired wench with a good old rack. At the end of the day cash is king and no matter how much you object it will always supervene.”

(From the No to Hooters facebook group).


Tom // Posted 20 April 2008 at 11:36 pm

Errr, there is a bar in Glasgow, a sports bar as i recall, where the bar maids were miniskirts and then later in the night dance atop of the bar. This place was aimed at students and is apparently fun, young and exciting, etc. My girlfriend brought me there (her being scottish and all) and was surprised that I didn’t appreciate the pretty girls legs being where i wanted my pint to be.

Isn’t this, more so than an American import, the kind of thing you brits should be tackling. I mean, if you stopped stuff like this, then the blow-in’s would realise that there is no place for that kind of trash.

In Ireland, they tried to open a stringfellows – well, they did open a stringfellows – right beside my favourite cinema. Every time I went to the cinema there thoug, there was a group of people, men and women, even youngsters, picketing the place, shaming any lech who wanted to venture inwards, and ultimately resulting in the venue being closed after about 5 months http://www.rte.ie/news/2006/0714/stringfellows.html?rss .

Every day i went to the cinema there, rain, wind, hail, etc, the gang of protesters was there.

It was great to see!

Elle // Posted 24 April 2008 at 11:20 am

Hi Laura,

This is a great article and everything but I really do have to disagree with you that the women who work in these places are not at fault and should shoulder no blame for their part in these industries flourishing. You can’t put all the blame on men, women have a part to play in this after all, and it is one of those age old problems that women can often be the worst enemy of their own sex. Some women like being looked upon as sexual objects who are there to please men, without thinking, or caring, for a minute how damaging it is for their sex as a whole. To encourage the notion that women are not in any way at fault because they have to make money is bizarre, we’re not living in the 3rd world where a women and her children will starve to death if she doesn’t sell her body in some way, there are plenty of other jobs out there. This sort of behaviour is, sadly, to be expected from men but for women to damage their own sex in such a way is far worse to my mind. Women can just be as much an enemy of feminist ideals as men can be. In fact, these women are often the first ones to say that other women are just jealous etc if they object to women being degraded in this way and if women are going to encourage this sort of behaviour then how do we expect men to take it seriously? So it’s okay for women to encourage these establishments but if men do they are wrong? This seems a pretty mixed up view to me! I’d say that they are actually worse, you expect it from men, but for women to help keep us in the dark ages is unforgiveable.

Cat // Posted 25 April 2008 at 8:32 am


You have compared working at a strip club and giving lap dances unfavorably to working at Hooters, saying it is not the same. But by your own words, you have told us that both of these jobs are aimed at pleasing a man sexally. You say that you would like to get a job at Hooters and “please let myself and all other confident women make the most of the tips earnt by willing gawpers.” What makes you different, then, than a woman who performs lap dances? She wants to make the most of tips earnt by willing gawpers too. And if your line of reasoning is to be followed, wouldn’t you be less confident than the women who give lap dances if you are not willing to sign up for that work or if you think it is a bad thing? To paraphrase you, if the women doing the lap dancing have it, don’t be jealous! Perhaps you are looking down your nose at those women because you don’t have the confidence to do what they do. It is all the same. You can be part of the problem and get as many tips as you and your “confidence” will get you, or you can be part of the solution. Yes, women with your kind of attitude do damage their own sex. And perhaps damage their own self respect along the way.

Tia // Posted 2 July 2008 at 4:26 pm

Hi all

I didn’t think there were women out there that felt like I do. I argue constantly with my partner over the fact he views women as objects put there purely for his sexual gratification. To be honest it puts me off being near him as I feel I am a substandard substitute as he can’t get the women he sits and spends hours ogling. This applies to Nuts, Zoo and all the like of lads mags that would have, 10 years ago, been soft porn.

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