Bristol Feminist Network on closure of Hooters Bristol

// 8 February 2012

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This is the Bristol Feminist Network’s statement on the closure of the Bristol branch of Hooters.

A victory for equality as Hooters closes its doors

'Feminist fist' logoSince its licence application in 2010, Bristol Feminist Network and Bristol Fawcett have campaigned against the opening of self-styled ‘breastaurant’ Hooters. Just over a year later, we are happy to report that it has closed its doors for good.

We believe that Hooters contributed to the normalisation of the sexual objectification of women on our high street. We have repeatedly argued and demonstrated that the impact of this objectification culture is very real and far-reaching. Research from the American Psychological Association on the treatment of women as objects shows that:

  • Pressure on women and girls to look and behave in certain ways negatively affects their self-esteem and their mental health.
  • Gender inequality is reinforced, and hopes for a level playing field are dashed, when women are valued for their supposed sex appeal at the expense of their other attributes and qualities.
  • After being exposed to images that sexually objectify women, men are significantly more accepting of sexual harassment, interpersonal violence, rape myths, and sex role stereotypes.

From its sexist and degrading imagery and language to its uniforms, signage and bikini contests, Hooters normalised a culture that values women as only and always sex objects. We argued that an establishment that seeks to make profit from sexism in this way had no place in a forward thinking and equal opportunity minded city like Bristol.

We are pleased to see that Bristol agreed with us. The fact that Hooters has now closed shows that its presence was not welcome in our city. Potential patrons of the restaurant voted with their feet.

We are of course sorry that its closure has resulted in women and men losing their jobs. However we hope that the premises are quickly filled, and new job opportunities created, by a company that doesn’t seek to treat women as sex objects. We look forward to celebrating the opening of a new harbourside restaurant soon, one that fits our vision for an equal and forward thinking Bristol.

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‘Feminist fist’ symbol based on public domain image Womanpower_logo from Wikimedia Commons

Comments From You

Laurel // Posted 8 February 2012 at 12:59 pm

yeah, it is a shame for the workers really. i have to stand by them and their organising as an anarchist really, BUT… FUCK, do i hate that company and what it stands for, so… no tears shed here! it was just out of place in Bristol. there are already adult bars (too many) with the same male-female relations, sadly, and having it normalised and child-friendly kinda sucks. imagine how the same people would react to a sexually and sexuality inclusive club with people of all genders and all body types performing for everybody in the way that they feel like it for free. bet theyd think it was perverse!

Shadow // Posted 8 February 2012 at 2:58 pm

There is work and then there is work which specifically degrades women employees and Hooters is one such company which ensures its female employees have to undertake their ‘duties’ in accordance with portraying themselves as men’s disposable sexual service stations.

That is not work that is male sexual exploitation of women and as such should not even be termed ‘work.’ Women like men have fundamental rights and I did not see Hooters employing male staff to work as half naked disposable sexualised commodities. Women are not and never were men’s disposable sexualised commodities.

One wonders why legislation was passed concerning male sexual/physical/verbal harassment of women within the workplace given Hooters made it mandatory for female staff to have to sign a waiver before they were employed. This waiver absolved Hooters of any accountability as regards female staff having to endure male sexual/physical/verbal harassment whilst undertaking their duties.

I’m very pleased Hooters has closed because this is one victory against the prostitution industry and pseuodo male claims they are entitled to view women and girls as men’s disposable sexual service stations.

percey_perfect // Posted 17 July 2012 at 1:53 pm

Why is nothing being done about the one in Nottingham??

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