Hooters debate on Five Live Tonight

// 11 April 2008

I’ll be discussing the opening of Hooters in Sheffield and nationwide on BBC Radio Five Live tonight at 11pm: listen here.

It’s a phone-in debate, so feel free to get involved! Call 0500 909 693 [free from BT landlines; charges for mobiles and other networks will vary]. Text 85058 [network rates].

Comments From You

Danielle // Posted 12 April 2008 at 1:54 am

Damn it! I was listening to Radio 5 earlier and I switched it off at about 10pm. I hope it went well for you, I’ll listen to it tomorrow.

Burrow // Posted 12 April 2008 at 2:06 am


I’d call in if I could. I’m sure you’ll kick some arse. ;)

Tom // Posted 12 April 2008 at 4:12 am

Wow.. that host sucked

Laura // Posted 12 April 2008 at 9:52 am

FYI: I won’t be publishing any more comments refering to Hooters’ female employees in a derogatory way like this:

“funny, why don’t you attack the women who work there for being slappers, why attack the establishment, dont assume the females are always innocent! jesus, the women who work there deserve all the attention they get! They chose to work there! they know what hooters is! These women probably work part time in soft porn anyway, why take pity on them! thye love their jobs! And what use is joining an anti-hooter group on facebook, people on facebook are a bunch of dossers! they join a group and never return to it! thats why the forums in the facebook groups are always empty!”

(From “More on Hooters”)

My response to this, any any other commenters of a similar bent:

I don’t attack the women there for being slappers because I’m not a misogynist, and I would never call anyone a slapper – it’s a word used to demean and shame women. NO ONE “deserves” to be sexually harrassed.

Yes, some women will choose to work there, but that choice is made in a society where women are valued for their sex appeal, so some will inevitably take a job that validates that. Some women may have no problems working there or dealing with the customers. But some women choosing to work there doesn’t mean that the Hooters’ view of women is OK. As long as women are primarily valued and viewed as sex objects for male pleasure/entertainment, all women suffer, because that status allows us to be discriminated against and “justifies” male sexual harassment of women, the myths about rape (she asked for it because she had her breasts out, she wanted it really etc etc), paying us less or barring our access to certain jobs. We will not be seen or treated as equals with equal rights as long as the culture of which Hooters is a part insists that our greatest asset is our breasts, and that these exist for men to look at and make money out of.

Other women have to take any job going, and they shouldn’t have to put up with the Hooters uniform and sexual harassment in order to make a living. Callers on the show last night who claimed that no one has to do a job they don’t like are naive. You think people CHOOSE to empty bins or clean toilets day in, day out for years on end? People have to make ends meet, and they should not have to put up with the Hooters environment in order to do so. I don’t think the women who choose to work there should have to, either.

As for facebook – the group has enabled us to mobilise strong opposition to Hooters in Sheffield and is the reason I was on national radio discussing this subject last night.

Julie Harding // Posted 12 April 2008 at 10:39 am

Hi, I am a Bristol Evening Post reporter and want to find out where Hooters are planning to open here. I’ve checked out the Wings over England website but no details there. Does anyone have any more info?

Thanks, Julie

rosie // Posted 12 April 2008 at 10:45 am

Funny how that one caller brought up the chippendales, claiming that you were sexist and inconsistent for not wanting to ban them as well, (where had you ever said that you think the chippendales are ok??! He didn’t even listen to you when you pointed out that you never condoned them)! because when i was discussing this issue with my dad he pretty much said exactly the same thing. Makes me think that maybe the whole point of these ‘ladies nights’ entertainments is to silence these very debates. Give the ladies a bit of what the lads enjoy all the time, and they’ll be fine! If we ALL treat each other appalingly, that’s equality! Quit your whining, ladies! Patriarchy? What patriarchy??

Danielle // Posted 12 April 2008 at 3:35 pm

Although I wouldn’t like to link lack of education to stupidity (I know lots of intelligent people who had a poor education), has anyone else noticed that a high proportion of people who make ignorant comments, like the one Laura just wrote about, seem to have severe grammatical issues and a strange fondness for exclaimation marks? That one wasn’t too bad, but it’s something I’ve noticed a lot online.

Maybe it’s just that their Daily-Mail-style “righteous indignation” somehow stops other parts of their brains from functioning. Like their grasp of logical argument, for example. Or maybe I just enjoy ridiculing them…

Laura // Posted 12 April 2008 at 4:18 pm

Hi Julie,

I’m afraid I don’t know where exactly they’re opening – all I can suggest is keeping an eye on licensing applications to the council.

Fanny Blood // Posted 13 April 2008 at 4:59 pm

laura, how can i get a link to your interview?

i can’t seem to find it?

Laura // Posted 13 April 2008 at 5:22 pm

Hi fanny blood :-) You can listen again on iPlayer:



I didn’t get to say everything I wanted to, but I think it went pretty well for my first time.

Laura // Posted 13 April 2008 at 5:27 pm

If that doesn’t work, just search for the Stephen Nolan show on BBC Radio 5 Live on iPlayer.

Danielle // Posted 13 April 2008 at 5:30 pm

I think it went very well considering the DJ was clearly against you. I laughed out loud when he brought up the old “feminists have no sense of humour” thing.

I wasn’t particularly suprised that all the callers were male, with the one exception of the woman who, suprise suprise, backed up their views. Of course I’d hate to suggest that they were biased in selecting their callers or anything…

Laura // Posted 13 April 2008 at 5:38 pm

Thanks, Danielle. I think the DJ was just doing his job, actually, and was pleased with how he interviewed the Hooters guy. But, yeah, same old accusations…

Aaron // Posted 16 April 2008 at 4:08 am

I think that the interview went fairly well even though all the argument for hooters were almost the same but i think these women are forced into this type of work, not physically but financally and economically as Laura said women need jobs and in a society where women worth is based on their bodies and their looks they get jobs in places such as hooters because they need money and males would probably pay more to eat in a place such as hooters rather than a simrlar standard of restaurent (i dont no because i dont go to places like this but im 90% sure that if you look at the prices.I did some research using the hooters OWN web page but i could only find the american menu and prices but i have included the approximate english price) and the prices are very high ie their side salad is $1.99 the equivilent of almost £4.00 over here, onion rings $4.99 the equivilent of almost £10! or how about a ham and cheese sandwhich (“All Sandwiches Served with Pickle, Lettuce & Tomato, and either Cole Slaw, Baked Beans or Potato salad”) for $5.99 the equlivilent of almost £12! or a “Hooters burgur” with cheese would be the equivilent of almost £14 Salad and i found the below quote from someone who has actually been there!


” She seems plainly horrified to have seen a “No fat chicks” sticker and child-size T-shirts for kids as young as three that read, “Life Begins at Hooters.” Kirsty Bowen is one of a handful of people coordinating campaigns against branches opening in their towns. Bowen claims that a proposed restaurant in Sheffield would affect the neighborhood and encourage sex-industry businesses to move in. And she has evidence:

An event company has a bachelor party package offering groups hotel rooms in Nottingham to see “the world-famous Hooters girls,” followed by VIP entry to a lap-dancing club.

Andrew // Posted 19 April 2008 at 10:16 pm


I think your maths/knowledge of exchange rates is a little out. With the dollar at nearly 2 to the pound, you need to half the American prices not double them. For the record, I ate in a Hooters in America with my wife and sons, the food was great, the atmosphere friendly, the service exceptional, there was no sexual harrassment, lewd comments or anything degrading said to any of the waitresses, all of whom seemed to really enjoy working there. From my fairly comprehensive knowledge of our legal system, sexual harrassment of a Hooters employee can result in eviction from the restaurant and prosecution. I look forward to one opeining in Sheffield.

Anna // Posted 20 April 2008 at 1:04 am

would it sound cynical if I asked exactly _why_ you chose to eat there?

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