I went to Hooter's for the first time on Saturday. I went with a bunch of women, that plus the fact that I was wearing my ultra-comfy Rockport sandals, I'm sure all the men thought we were lesbians.
Jump and I went with my aunt, my mother, and the granddaughter of my aunt's co-worker. It was the teenage girl's decision to go, actually. She's being raised by her father, who is a softball coach, this I think, is the main reason she's used to going.
I wasn't offended by the scantily-clad waitresses, but I was uncomfortable for them. Even if I had a Hooter's waitress physique, I don't think I would ever wear anything approaching their uniform of bright orange short-shorts and low-cut tank tops.
How weird it must be to have sweaty, drunk men wearing wing-sauce paw all over you for tips. The food is honestly nothing to write home about, so the big-screen TVs fixed on ESPN and the girls with their asses half-hanging out of their shorts must be the major appeal. Oh, and the beer.
Don't get me wrong, I don't care if my husband wants to go to a Hooter's. This does not bother me, but like the strip club, I'd rather not join him. I can drink beer and eat better wings at a bar where whoever happens to be serving me wears normal clothing.
Our waitress was a sweet girl and really good at her job. She got all the orders right, brought our food out with alacrity, and was very polite and helpful. I honestly got the impression that she was delighted to serve a tableful of women who would most likely not grab her ass.
When my mother apologized for creating a bit of a mess with her crab legs, I commented that she likely wasn't as messy as a table of guys eating wings. Our server answered in the affirmative. "This is nothing compared to all-you-can-eat wing night when a Tennessee game is on," she reassured my mother.
I saw a man come up to his waitress and give her a hug, "I'm leaving now, hold up the fort til next time," he told her, staring blatantly at her chest as he pulled away. She accepted the embrace grudgingly, as if she knew it was part of her job, as if boob stares = better tips. I know these girls must make a killing tip-wise, because they looked just as bored to be at their jobs as I am at mine.
It kind of put things in perspective for me. I may hate my job and have to talk to crazy and/or bloody people all the time, but at least I don't have to touch them. I may have to let them use my pen, but I don't have to be all, "Y'all come back now, y'hear?!"
I don't really blame these women for wanting to make the kind of cash I'm sure that they do, however, I wonder if the job turned out to be more than they bargained for. Knowing that men staring lasciviously at your body is part of your job description must be pretty hard to take. I'm sure some of the girls enjoy the attention, but most of them just looked weary to me.
As a woman, you know, going into almost any work situation that you will get some male attention, asked-for or not. Anywhere you go, you think about what you're wearing, whether it's too revealing, too tight, or unflattering. You know that men will be looking at you, judging you by what you wear, and deciding whether or not you're worth the effort for a possible sexual connection.
You also know that women will be looking at you, judging you by what you wear, and deciding whether or not you're a slut. This is what people do. As a woman, it's part of leaving the house. Many men give the females in their lives a lot of crap for taking so long to get ready, but they don't have to confront the same social stigmas that we do. Not on a permanent basis, anyway.
Men don't have to worry that their hemline is too short, their blouse too low, or their jeans too tight. A lot of women choose not to worry about this either, and a lot of women say they don't worry about it when they do. We are always viewed as sexual objects, appealing or not. I don't know if men have to deal with this on a daily basis, but it seems like they don't.
I'm not calling for a revolution here. I'm not saying all women should start wearing baggy, shapeless clothing to deter people from acknowledging their sexuality. I would merely like to point out that it's something women have to think about. We are forced to. I'm not saying it's wrong or evil. It's just the way things are.
I like to wear flattering clothing, I really do. I like to feel like I look nice, but I'm always thinking in the back of my head, "Is this too slutty?"