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"The Bunny has become what the Zeigfield girl was to another generation: synonymous with the most glamorous women in the world. The Playboy Club Bunny Manual (1968)
posted by mippy (47 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
To an extent, this reminded me of this article. I find it weird at best that adults buy their little girls Playboy bedsheets and stationery (to the kids, it's just a cute rabbit symbol) but in a way, it was a kind of refined cheesecake glamour... compared with the lapdancing clubs round the corner from my office where women walk the crowd holding a pint glass for patrons to deposit a pound into. I'd be interested to know from people who work in 'glamour' or stripping whether a restrictive environment is a better or worse place to work - are poledancers, for example, discouraged from dating the patrons now?
posted by mippy at 4:46 AM on May 4, 2011


(Shoulda had this as a previously - thanks, related posts!¬)
posted by mippy at 4:46 AM on May 4, 2011


Have cake, while also eating that very same cake
posted by DU at 5:07 AM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


The counterpart to this is Gloria Steinem's investigative article, in which she actually worked undercover as a Playboy Bunny. Of course she discovered that the bunnies made far less money than the club claimed, were forced to submit to VD and an gynecological exam after being hired, made to wear corset-like bunny costumes two sizes two small (if a bunny sneezed, her outfit would burst open), and had to work for hours in three-inch heels (Steinem said her feet permanently grew a size as a result). Oh, and were subjected to a great deal of sexual harassment and expected to take it with a smile.

Steinem wasn't a feminist at that point, but I'm pretty sure her experiences as a bunny gave her a pretty substantial push towards the feminist movement.

I really, really do not get why any woman would want to sport Playboy bunny symbol, let alone buy Playboy merchandise for her young daughter.
posted by orange swan at 5:11 AM on May 4, 2011 [17 favorites]


Should have read "forced to submit to testing for VD", rather than as though the young women were forced to submit to VD infection.
posted by orange swan at 5:13 AM on May 4, 2011


Oh, and were subjected to a great deal of sexual harassment and expected to take it with a smile.

Wasn't this in fact the whole point of the "clubs"? Regular waitresses/hostesses don't wear swimsuits and bunny ears at work.
posted by DU at 5:22 AM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Those are not swimsuits. I have bra-sized swimwear which certainly doesn't have the boning and construction those costumes had. They look awfully painful.

orangeswan - I thought of that when I saw this in our local commuter paper.
posted by mippy at 5:30 AM on May 4, 2011


There are many similarities to the Hooters Employees Handbook, which is viewable here.
posted by Daddy-O at 5:39 AM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I will never forget the night that my brother-in-law (a big wig in the Miami hotel management circle) took this kid from a small mid-western town to the Miami Playboy Club (1968, I was 20 years old)...what a night!
posted by tomswift at 6:05 AM on May 4, 2011


It's such a shame to see them treated like this. When are ridiculously hot women finally going to catch a break?
posted by ShutterBun at 6:19 AM on May 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


Wasn't [sexual harrassment] in fact the whole point of the "clubs"?

In 1960, when the first club opened, sexual harrassment didn't even exist as a concept.

I don't have my J.G. Ballard issue of RE/Search available to consult. But as I recall, one of its interviews had him observing that the clubs deliberately construct this sterile fantasy where the women seem to be sexually available to the male customers while actually being completely untouchable. [I believe the Steinem article, which confirms that the costumes could physically damage one's ribcage, discusses the approved method of hand-swatting.]

In exchange for this, the bunnies received pay and travel opportunities beyond almost anything else availble to women at the time.
posted by Trurl at 6:43 AM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Daddy-O: One must note that the Hooters outfit worn in the photo the Smoking Gun included in their article violates numerous Hooter's rules: shirt cannot be faded, no midriff, shirt must fit properly, bra must be worn...Um, not that I looked at it for very long or anything.
posted by AzraelBrown at 6:44 AM on May 4, 2011


I am just depressed thinking about the possibility of getting written up for having an "unkempt tail."
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:49 AM on May 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Aside from the fact that it's targeted at women, it's sounds similar to the rules for Disney face characters.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:00 AM on May 4, 2011


One of my high school English teachers put herself through college as a Playboy Bunny after her parents cut her off because they didn't believe in higher education for girls, and refused to speak with her after she enrolled in college. (She was in her late 50s or early 60s, at the time I had her as a teacher, so the idea of her as a sex symbol was hugely amusing to us as teenagers.)

She generally found it very empowering work, because she was paid very, very well -- well enough to put herself through college and become a teacher, while paying her living expenses with no family help -- and the environment was pretty safe and protective of the bunnies, unlike similar work at the time. But she did talk about the incongruity of being a feminist and working as a sex symbol.

She said she minded the ears more than the corset because the tight headband gave her a roaring headache.

She had like a dozen other jobs to pay for college, but none of them paid as well as being a Bunny, and many of them were less safe or more demeaning, she told us. Like one summer she hula-hooped non-stop in a bathingsuit while serving ice cream from a cart on the beachfront. She hated that one. She said she felt more demeaned in many retail and secretarial jobs than as a Bunny, since male customers and bosses routinely hit on female employees and they were less-protected from it in a "regular" workplace than at the Playboy Club, where Bunnies could not date customers and bouncers enforced the rules.

Unfortunately she died last year or I'd see if she'd comment herself.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:02 AM on May 4, 2011 [22 favorites]


"The Bunny has become what the Zeigfield girl was to another generation: synonymous with the most glamorous women in the world."

I suppose this might have been true in 1968. Now, they just look sleazy.
posted by londonmark at 7:06 AM on May 4, 2011


I suppose this might have been true in 1968. Now, they just look sleazy.

The old point-of-view waltz. What looks trendy one decade looks silly later - it all depends on where you are in the cycle and what you're looking at. There was a point where leisure suits were trendy, after all. Now? Not so much.

Style is ephemeral. The styles of yesteryear are laughable - and in 30 years people will look back at now and go "WTF were they THINKING?"

And Playboy? It was always about the style, the image - the sizzle instead of the steak.

So it goes, around and around - the point-of-view waltz is always shifting.
posted by JB71 at 7:23 AM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Waking up from a night of vodka and endlessly surfing this FPP, this is a nice way to handle my hangover while still fueling my lust for past treasures.

The artwork is awesome. I was not even close to being aware of 1968, let alone alive, but I imagine these rules, and this job, might be quite reasonable back then.

Apart from the offense of having an unkempt tail (which I do find quite amusing) I'm also kind of interested at the rules regarding smoking. It's okay to smoke, just don't be seen holding the cigarette in your hand. Can anyone explain that rule? Did dangling a cigarette off your fingers at that time imply prostitution?
posted by chemoboy at 7:28 AM on May 4, 2011


Trurl: “In exchange for this, the bunnies received pay and travel opportunities beyond almost anything else availble to women at the time.”

Except, er, they didn't. There is no sense in which this was a reasonable exchange, even for the time.
posted by koeselitz at 7:36 AM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Except, er, they didn't.

I mentioned that Steinem article earlier. [Memorably dramatized by Kirstie Alley in A Bunny's Tale.]

Maybe cost-of-living in a particular club's city is a factor. But the report of Eyebrows McGee's high school English teacher as being "paid very, very well" corresponds with most of the Bunny testimony I've encountered.

Now, they just look sleazy.

In any event, it's hard to imagine a recent Academy Award winner for Best Actress donning the tail and ears today.
posted by Trurl at 7:45 AM on May 4, 2011


The following job exists: Hooters girl. Do you want it or not? If you're hot enough and willing to follow the rules in Daddy-o's link, then this job might be for you.

You must sign this thing at the end of the handbook saying you know full well what you're getting yourself into. Again, are you willing to do this?

Am I being way too insensitive here? At what point are these women doing this to themselves? Should I feel bad for the women who work at Hooters (and similar joints)? I'm not a woman, so I'll never understand what it means to only be seen as boobs and ass on legs. But seriously, there's a whole interview process, just like for any other job. You must be consciously deciding to be objectified. Is it really just "can't beat 'em, join 'em" mentality mentioned in the OP?

If you say that sometimes, this is the only job they can get, does that mean I should start patronizing these places more to support these women? If no one goes to Hooters, it will close down and then they won't have a job.

I'm just really confused by the discussions going on in this thread.
posted by King Bee at 8:10 AM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I sort of know, through work, a former Bunny, though I don't know her well enough to ask her about it - I found out through another colleague. I see things like Hooters (caveat: we don't have it here so it might be totally family friendly) as more sleazy than the bunnies - as others have said, and as the manual stresses, it's very look-don't-touch. Not empowering, exactly - it's women as decoration - but not as on-show as a lapdancer would be.
posted by mippy at 8:11 AM on May 4, 2011


Really, Hooters is not that sleazy. It's a restaurant that serves overpriced crappy beer and OK wings. All the waitresses are women who wear short-shorts and tight white t-shirts with sneakers. Also, they might sit down and talk to you sometimes.

Really, that's pretty much it.

Do the guys there gawk at some of the waitresses? Yes, but that happens in nearly every restaurant (indeed, anywhere there is a pretty girl, it happens). Are you allowed to touch the waitresses in a sexual way? Hell no. The rules there are the same as at any restaurant. If I slap a waitress on the rear, I'm getting thrown out of the establishment and not being allowed to come back.

Stripper/pole dancer/lap dancer thing is completely different than Hooters/Bikinis/Bunny Club. In most strip clubs you aren't allowed to touch as the receiver anyway. The woman does any/all of the touching. Indeed, touch her and you'll get thrown out and banned.
posted by King Bee at 8:19 AM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


These manuals are funny little documents. I know retail is a customer-facing environment, and as such one has to dress in a way that won#t alienate potential clientele, but things like this remind me of the uniform regulations we had at school.
posted by mippy at 8:40 AM on May 4, 2011


Stripper/pole dancer/lap dancer thing is completely different than Hooters/Bikinis/Bunny Club. In most strip clubs you aren't allowed to touch as the receiver anyway. The woman does any/all of the touching. Indeed, touch her and you'll get thrown out and banned.

It depends on state law.
posted by delmoi at 9:11 AM on May 4, 2011


King Bee: “Really, Hooters is not that sleazy... Do the guys there gawk at some of the waitresses? Yes, but that happens in nearly every restaurant (indeed, anywhere there is a pretty girl, it happens).”

Yeah. I mean, it's really not that sleazy, because it happens everywhere. I'm sure we can get some women to agree with us that once certain kinds of sexism become common enough, they stop being icky. Right, ladies?

o_O
posted by koeselitz at 9:34 AM on May 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


There's little in this handbook that I couldn't read in just about any employee manual.

As it happens, Playboy Club is about to return to London, I have a friend who has just earned her ears. And I mean earned - from what she tells me it sounds like the hardest and longest application process ever. You have to be smart, knowledgeable, poised, highly numerate, engaging, able to sing, dance, handle difficult customers with grace, and a dozen other skills.

These women aren't sex workers, they're hostesses. They're not buying into the glamour myth, they're selling it. Playboy Club is designed to be somewhere hip you go to be surrounded by beautiful, intelligent, and attentive women; it's not a massage parlour.

Is it a good job or a bad job? I imagine it can be both, just like any other. Most definitely it's a hard job. King Bee is right - Playboy sells the illusion of glamour just as Apple sells the illusion of cool, and Hooters - well beer, wings and eye-candy, like he said.
posted by SciencePunk at 9:39 AM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm sure we can get some women to agree with us that once certain kinds of sexism become common enough, they stop being icky.

That wasn't my point. My point is that Hooters is the same as "Friday night out", essentially, except the women are actually wearing more clothing and getting paid for it. Hooters is less sleazy than any dance club I've been to.
posted by King Bee at 10:48 AM on May 4, 2011


This didn't surprise me so much for the specific rules* as for the general amateurish look of the thing; it looks like it was run off on an old-fashioned mimeograph, such as the kind that small-town high school newspapers used to be printed on, with about the same level of art.**

*in response to chemoboy's question, I don't think that it had anything to do with prostitution; this is very subjective, but I think that the general impression of someone who's holding a cigarette is that that's what they're doing at the moment, and you have to wait until they're finished with their cigarette before they'll help you, or at least they get to decide if they're going to interrupt their smoking to help you, whereas someone who takes one puff and then sets it down on an ashtray is obviously willing to interrupt their smoking to attend to you.

**Could it have been drawn by Hugh Hefner himself?
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:17 PM on May 4, 2011


You have to be smart, knowledgeable, poised, highly numerate, engaging, able to sing, dance, handle difficult customers with grace, and a dozen other skills.

American Geisha
posted by Miles Long at 1:15 PM on May 4, 2011


I don't think that it had anything to do with prostitution.

Your explanation seems to be a lot more practical than mine. This reminded me a bit of a book I found in the closet at my grandmother's house. I suppose it was considered naughty at the time, but my family took great delight in my 10 year old self reading to them jokes I didn't understand. Looking through the cartoons in this book, cigarettes are only placed in the hands of women who are prostitutes. In fact, it's where I must have come up with this assumption.

If you can get a hold of this book for cheap, it's well worth it for the laughably restrained handling of sex and unabashed bigotry sprinkled within.

Could it have been drawn by Hugh Hefner himself?

The art style doesn't seem the same. That is an interesting link nonetheless.
posted by chemoboy at 2:25 PM on May 4, 2011


My point is that Hooters is the same as "Friday night out", essentially, except the women are actually wearing more clothing and getting paid for it

I can think of another thing I like doing on a Friday night that I could be getting paid for...does this make me the same as a prostitute?

What you do for fun and what you do to pay the rent are different matters. And it sounds like you're going to all the wrong clubs...
posted by mippy at 3:25 PM on May 4, 2011


These women aren't sex workers, they're hostesses. They're not buying into the glamour myth, they're selling it. Playboy Club is designed to be somewhere hip you go to be surrounded by beautiful, intelligent, and attentive women; it's not a massage parlour.

Is it a good job or a bad job? I imagine it can be both, just like any other. Most definitely it's a hard job. King Bee is right - Playboy sells the illusion of glamour just as Apple sells the illusion of cool, and Hooters - well beer, wings and eye-candy, like he said.


How interesting that everyone who's all "what's the deal?" appears to be a dude. Perhaps I am wrong in that.

Why don't I just pull this sentence out:

Playboy Club is designed to be somewhere hip you go to be surrounded by beautiful, intelligent, and attentive women; it's not a massage parlour.

Who is the "you" in this sentence? Not me: I'm a girl. And in places like Playboy Clubs, and Hooters, and the many many similar clubs, I am either part of the decor, or I simply don't exist. I am not a potential customer; the most I can hope to be is a potential decoration/wank fantasy, a nicely-dressed servant there to fluff up the egos of the really important people: men.

Sure, no one's forcing me to go to those places, or work there. That doesn't mean I don't find their assumptions and desires they are structured to create and cater to upsetting.
posted by emjaybee at 6:05 PM on May 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


emjaybee, I admitted earlier that I didn't understand what was going on when people started talking about Hooters in all this mess. I find Hooters so benign on the scale of Things I Find Demeaning Toward Women, that I was a bit shocked to see that people thought differently.

I don't particularly like being told it's sexist for me to do a double-take when I see a pretty girl dressed in clothes that show off her form. If it is, I guess I apologize. I'm not going to stop doing it, because I quite literally can't.
posted by King Bee at 7:11 PM on May 4, 2011


I don't particularly like being told it's sexist for me to do a double-take when I see a pretty girl dressed in clothes that show off her form. If it is, I guess I apologize. I'm not going to stop doing it, because I quite literally can't.

It's not the pretty girl; it's not the double-take; it's not the fact she has a form you like. Sexual attraction and sex are fine things.

It's that sexual attraction is something we have been taught, over and over, happens only in a particular situation--the situation where a woman's job (and not just when she's a Playboy bunny) is to be attractive at all times, to every man who sees her. Because if she's fat, if she doesn't smile at every dude who sees her on the street, if she doesn't appreciate comments on her cleavage or her butt while she's talking to a business associate, if she simply wants to be left alone while she reads a book at the coffeeshop instead of being hit on, she often experiences hostility, resentment, and threats. She's a frigid bitch, a dyke, a cunt.

It's the idea that men are truly turned on only when a woman is in a subordinate role, is performing for them and at their beck and call. Which is what these places are about; pretty girls have to be nice to you, because you're a customer. Whether they really want to be there, what they desire, who they really are--it's irrelevant, it's a boner-killer.

And yeah: that's disturbing.
posted by emjaybee at 7:25 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's an interesting vignette-public-service-announcement by Laurie[1] Anderson[2] on "the economic exploitation of women, and the treatment of women as animals" wrt the Playboy Bunnies: "[...]and I said, hmmm..." [SLYT]
posted by Tuesday After Lunch at 4:42 AM on May 5, 2011


@emjaybee: "Who is the "you" in this sentence? Not me: I'm a girl. And in places like Playboy Clubs, and Hooters, and the many many similar clubs, I am either part of the decor, or I simply don't exist. I am not a potential customer"

Women were customers at the clubs, especially wives of keyholders and female celebrities, and the wives were given quite the red carpet treatment by the Bunnies. This article talks about it a bit:
Then on Saturday night, of course, he’d bring in his wife from Connecticut or New Jersey or whatever to meet his Bunny. Then you’d give a handful of swizzle sticks to the wife to take home to the kids. Because you never, ever wanted to look like you were in competition with the wife. There was always a kind of collusion there: make a wife feel important. It was a flirtatious kind of thing: how we are treating the men in our life. You know, I’m his Bunny, you’re his wife You never wanted to get into competition with the wife, because it would affect your tip. That’s mercenary. But it was also an understanding that, on their evening out, you had to be sensitive to the fact that you’re standing there in a provocative costume and she’s all dressed up in a cocktail dress. She’s going home with the guy.
That said, I've never particularly understood the draw of places where a bunch of heterosexual men all go to bond by getting horny together by looking at women they can't touch. But every time I ask this question I get told I just ruined Hooters, so I have yet to get an answer beyond a sadface and a discourse on how my questionee can now never have Hooter's excellent wings again.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:56 AM on May 5, 2011


It's the idea that men are truly turned on only when a woman is in a subordinate role, is performing for them and at their beck and call.

Only? No. And I hardly think being catered to by attractive people is solely the province of smarmy men, or smarmy people in general. In the case of the Playboy Club, the fact that they are subservient or obsequious isn't the selling point. You can get that from any old restaurant.

Which is what these places are about; pretty girls have to be nice to you, because you're a customer. Whether they really want to be there, what they desire, who they really are--it's irrelevant, it's a boner-killer.

Believe it or not, most guys in those kinds of places (including strip clubs) would probably prefer that this was NOT the case; that the women were paying attention to them because they genuinely wanted to. And the cliche' about dancers "putting themselves through college" probably wouldn't have come about unless a lot of guys asked, out of genuine curiosity.

People might initially visit an establishment like that because they are guaranteed a smile and some feigned interest, but there's plenty of "I think she really liked me!" going on afterwards.

The relationship between the performer and the customer is a lot more sociable than you might think, and probably healthier (with regard to gender issues / objectification, etc.) than a one-way transaction, such as porn.
posted by ShutterBun at 5:06 AM on May 5, 2011


Who is the "you" in this sentence? Not me: I'm a girl. And in places like Playboy Clubs, and Hooters, and the many many similar clubs, I am either part of the decor, or I simply don't exist. I am not a potential customer; the most I can hope to be is a potential decoration/wank fantasy, a nicely-dressed servant there to fluff up the egos of the really important people: men.

Have you actually been to a Playboy Club? I've only been to one once -- my dear sweet and I were visiting a friend and his sweetie (now wife) in NYC back in the day, and they took us to the Playboy Club there. It was all right -- a little dark, but the food was pretty good, although nowhere near the top tier in dining. It seemed that we were all (two men, two women) treated the same, which was essentially the way one would expect to be treated at a decent restaurant. You seem to be projecting/addressing some theoretical political stance experience (I say theoretical because I can't imagine anyone returning to an establishment that treated them as badly as you describe.)

Afterwords, the women (our respective sweeties) critiqued the Bunnie's form and uniform, etc. My observation of the uniform was that while it looked a bit uncomfortable (and inappropriate outside their workplace or a costume party), it was more chaste and less suggestive that any cheerleader outfit I'd ever seen.
posted by Tuesday After Lunch at 5:27 AM on May 5, 2011


Well, my problem with Playboy clubs - and, yes, with Hooters - isn't just that they're demeaning to women. It's that they're also deeply demeaning to men. They suggest, like most patriarchal culture, that men on their own are simply not worthy of affection or attention unless they pay for it.

And, King Bee, it's almost laughable to me, in turn, that a person could find Hooters low on the scale of things that are demeaning to women. Not only is this objectively the case, but everybody knows it, even most people who harbor a lot of sexist notions about the world. Hooters is increasingly seen as tasteless and vile by most people, their stock is basically tanking, they've declared bankruptcy more than once I think. Why? Because everybody knows it's awful, so very few people are comfortable with it any more. Hell, it's actually named after a female body part, just to accentuate the fact that gawking is encouraged. Do you seriously find this inoffensive? Are you honestly comfortable with this kind of thing? Would you want your sister or daughter to have to work there?
posted by koeselitz at 9:26 AM on May 5, 2011


emjaybee: “It's the idea that men are truly turned on only when a woman is in a subordinate role, is performing for them and at their beck and call.”

ShutterBun: “Only? No. And I hardly think being catered to by attractive people is solely the province of smarmy men, or smarmy people in general. In the case of the Playboy Club, the fact that they are subservient or obsequious isn't the selling point. You can get that from any old restaurant.”

This is all weasel-words; none of these things change the essential problems here. The fact that women are capable of engaging in sexism doesn't make sexism okay. The fact that subservience might not be the only selling point doesn't mean the whole transaction is just. The fact that subservience is common in restaurants doesn't make it acceptable.

“Believe it or not, most guys in those kinds of places (including strip clubs) would probably prefer that this was NOT the case; that the women were paying attention to them because they genuinely wanted to... People might initially visit an establishment like that because they are guaranteed a smile and some feigned interest, but there's plenty of "I think she really liked me!" going on afterwards. The relationship between the performer and the customer is a lot more sociable than you might think, and probably healthier (with regard to gender issues / objectification, etc.) than a one-way transaction, such as porn.”

The largest unacknowledged problem with these kinds of clubs is actually that they're extraordinarily demeaning to men.

You're right, most men in these places want to believe that the women are into them. This is a fantasy they're allowed to enjoy privately, so long as they pay their money and keep their hands to themselves. This fantasy is clearly a lie, and deep down everybody involved in the transaction can see that it's a lie; the secret awareness of this lie is, however, unavoidable.

Every man sitting in a strip club is aware that these women would not take off their clothes for him, would not reveal themselves to him, if he weren't giving them money. He may tell himself over and over that they kinda like him, that they seem to be too into it to be faking it, but at the end of the night this depressing reality always sinks in: this was a monetary transaction, nothing more.

Strip clubs may be more immediate than porn, but the ineluctable message is the same: we men are not worthy of attention, of affection, of initiation into the mysteries of sex on our own. Women won't take off their clothes for us unless we pay them - and even then, we'd better damned well keep our hands off. Their bodies are so valuable that it costs money to see them; our bodies are so horrific that we'd better keep our clothes on or else we'll be kicked out of the club. Our substance as men inheres not in our bodies, but only in our money; and if we lack cash, well, that's it.
posted by koeselitz at 10:12 AM on May 5, 2011


koeselitz: I wouldn't care if one of my sisters worked there (I don't have a daughter). They're grown women who can make decisions for themselves, and it isn't my place to be all GRAR IT'S SEXIST DON'T WORK THERE. If they decide they want to parade around in short shorts and tight tops and pretend to be interested in the patrons' lives, they can do that.

I would care if someone forced them to work there, or if in working there, they felt uncomfortable all the time.

I would probably care if my sisters decided to become strippers, as I find that a lot more demeaning than serving overpriced beer and wings to dudes who are there to check out your assets.

Have you been in one of these establishments? Have you seen what it is like? Or, rather, is your objection merely on theoretical grounds as Tuesday After Lunch points out? I can count on one hand the number of times I've been to a Hooters or Hooters-like establishment, so I'm not some champion for these places. They might be going bankrupt because their food/beer isn't worth the cost, not because it's "objectively the case" that these establishments are sexist.

In the realm of things that are demeaning to women, Hooters ranks low. Catcalls from construction workers are higher on the list.
posted by King Bee at 12:57 PM on May 5, 2011


King Bee: “Have you been in one of these establishments? Have you seen what it is like?”

I have been to all of the places being discussed here – namely, strip clubs and Hooters – except the Playboy Club thing. But I don't think having been there really matters, and I don't buy the whole "you have to go to know" thing.

“In the realm of things that are demeaning to women, Hooters ranks low. Catcalls from construction workers are higher on the list.”

I agree with the second sentence here. I disagree with the first. But unfortunately it's a big world full of crappy things. All I know is, to a woman having to face this shit, it doesn't really help to say "well, it's not exactly as bad as rape."

Nor does any of this help the massive damage these places do to men.
posted by koeselitz at 2:44 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, you're basically insisting that these places aren't that bad without giving any argument for why beyond "have you been? Really, it's not so bad." That isn't very convincing.
posted by koeselitz at 2:46 PM on May 5, 2011


From my earlier comment: Really, Hooters is not that sleazy. It's a restaurant that serves overpriced crappy beer and OK wings. All the waitresses are women who wear short-shorts and tight white t-shirts with sneakers. Also, they might sit down and talk to you sometimes.

That's what the place is. That's it. Talking to the waitress in a sexually suggestive way is no more tolerated at Hooters than it is at the Olive Garden.

All I know is, to a woman having to face this shit, it doesn't really help to say "well, it's not exactly as bad as rape."

Oh, for fuck's sake.
posted by King Bee at 4:34 PM on May 5, 2011


Do you believe that sexism is encouraged by institutions in our society?
posted by koeselitz at 6:06 PM on May 5, 2011


What does that even mean? Do I think that institutions encourage sexism? Sexism is a societal thing, so yes, sexism has been encouraged by institutions in our society.

Do I think all institutions encourage sexism? No, of course not. No one does.

I, unlike you, do not think that simply because a company is making money off of using the sex appeal that women portray, we must infer that the company must be sexist, vile, and disgusting. I don't think that the Victoria's Secret catalogue is sexist just because there are pictures of gorgeous women wearing next to nothing hocking overpriced lingerie. I don't think that the insert in the Sunday paper for Target that shows women in their undergarments with a FIVE DOLLARS OFF PACKS OF TANGA PANTIES declaration is sexist. I don't think a business that has its waitresses wear more than most cheerleaders/models/20somethingsoutonFridaynight and tells them to chat with the customers to sell its crappy food is sexist.
posted by King Bee at 6:38 PM on May 5, 2011


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