Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Whores, Hot Pants, and Hooter's

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?"

24 comments:

omar said...

"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."

Yup, pretty much.

I've gone to Hooter's twice in my life, and it's always uncomfortable for me. The main problem I have is that I don't like to get "caught looking." So I look the girls in the eyes. When doing so takes such concentration, it seems to come off as more of an uncomfortable stare. Then I feel like I'm being even creepier than the guys who blatantly stare at boobs.

girlspit said...

Hehehe, Omar. I assure you, as a chick, the uncomfortable stare is more respectful than the ogling. At least they know you're trying.

Not that you shouldn't ogle, I mean, that's what the outfits are for, right? Hooter's is definitely all about staring at chicks.

Mad said...

Unfortunately for me, I have trouble eating and ogling at the same time. Not good at multitasking, I guess.

Excellent essay, GS.

girlspit said...

That's ok, Mad. I'm sure the Hooter's girls understand.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Coming from this ultra-conservative background that I'm from, I don't even dare dress like that. Or my sis, or my cus'ns, or my sis-in-laws.

In this neck of the woods a gal is 'judged' by the way she dresses.

I'm not comfortable dressing to show too much anyway, must be cultural. Must be fear of the fish-bowl judges.

Omar, that's very sweet of you, trying not to ogle.

Thanks for posting again, G.S.

Jon said...

I’ve never been to a Hooter’s and up until a little less than a year ago, I had never been to a strip club either. I didn’t even want to go to the strip club, but we were in Vegas for a friends bachelor party, so I didn’t have that much of a choice. It was an interesting experience though, watching the way people interact in there, but in the end, it’s not for me. I need good conversation. I think that’s why I like blogging so much. I feel like I get to have good conversations with people without the hassle of having to worry about crap like “physical appearance” and “how bad I smell,” or questions like, “Hey, what’s wrong with your left eye?” and the ever popular, “Can’t you have surgery to have that removed or something?” Nope, just a meeting of the minds through text. It works for me.

cadiz12 said...

i wouldn't last one day working at a joint like that without trying to knock out a few teeth. i don't know how they can turn a blind eye to that stuff.

omar, they probably appreciate the eye contact more than you know.

girlspit said...

I agree Jon. That's a major reason I like chatting online. It's human contact without the hassles of physical appearance. You can just talk, you don't have to worry if there's spinach in your teeth.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Except I do like the human contact bit. People ain't that bad once you get to know them
y'know :-)

I talk to people everywhere. I even ask, 'Why are you staring at my teeth? do I have spinach stuck in them?'

Guess that comes from having worked in t.v. for quite a few years.

Jon said...

I get plenty of human contact, but most of it lacks the intelligent conversations I crave. (I know it sounds odd to hear me asking for intelligent conversation, but when you’re as ignorant as I am, you just don’t know any better.) Plus, I don’t have any experience in TV, unless you count that one time when our TV broke and we took it all apart so that there was nothing left but a shell and I was forced to crawl inside and act out everyone’s favorites scenes from Punky Brewster until we were able to get a new one (hardest three years of my life). I don’t really count that though. I mean yeah, I list it on my résumé, but that doesn’t make it true. My point is, I don’t care if there’s spinach in my teeth either, and unless I tell you about it, you’ll think I have excellent oral hygiene.

cadiz12 said...

yes, i do have to agree that chatting with people without having to worry about appearances is awesome (much of the reason i was so addicted to the phone all those years ago), but nothing beats trying to come up with something funny and then being able to actually see the smile spread across the other person's face.

and if there is genuine care between you, then the appearances don't really matter anyhow.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Jon, can you be Oprah? [pitiful plea]. Our tv's still broken. I promise I won't say a word about the spinach.

Cadiz, I agree...nothing beats making a person laugh, and being able to see that smile.

Jon said...

It’s been awhile since I played a ridiculously rich black woman with a fluctuating weight problem… but I’ll give it a shot. I think I’ll do one of those all-star cast celebrity episodes… the costume changes will be tricky, but I love a challenge. Just send me a plane ticket and directions to where ever it is you live.

I have a hard time saying no when someone is obviously in pain.

girlspit said...

Ok, you guys do have a point there. It's nice to laugh with people and actually hear their voices, see their faces.

However, I think chatting online removes any physical barriers. You wind up talking to people you otherwise would avoid because they smell bad or look crazy.

Ok, maybe those are bad examples. But you get my drift. You make contact with people you couldn't meet in real life. You often get to talk about things outside of your hectic life, which is a great thing stress-wise, education-wise, many other things-wise.

Guyana-Gyal said...

I live on a mosquito coast Jon, in a rainforest country near Brazil. Can you do Indian Jones? Tarzan?

That's true G.S...we do get to meet others online, folks we would never ever meet otherwise.

The thing that worries me about communicating with folks on the net is that I, with foot in mouth, will offend someone far away...and I can't see that I need to pull said foot from mouth before I do offend.

Jon said...

I’ve always wanted to travel to South America.

I’m kind of the opposite of you though. I keep my foot no less than 3 centimeters from my mouth at all times. I’m always looking for an opportunity to just jam it right in there.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Well Jon, if you can do Indian Jones or Tarzan, swing on over anytime.

We're a pretty friendly bunch over here. We have lots of Americans here, Peace Corp. folks, medical people, all sorts, and yeah, we like you guys.

You mean to tell me you RELISH the taste of your foot? A friend told me the only time he opens his mouth is to change foot. Gee.

P.S. I keep reading your blog and laughing I dunno why...

Jon said...

No, I absolutely loath the taste of my foot, I’m just a creature of habit. I started putting my foot in my mouth when I was a baby and the rest is history.

Not sure why you find my blog so funny. I’m pretty serious with the content and my no-nonsense journalistic approach. I like to think I provide an unbiased approach to the issues that concern everyone today. I also think I’m the premier source of pop culture information for generations X, Y and the upcoming Z. I’m going to completely ignore generation P though, they are almost all dead and they weren’t very interesting to begin with.

cadiz12 said...

you guys are right. even though i'm pretty much an open book to anybody i meet, it's nice to have people get to know you without the subconscious judgements you get based on appearances.

but the foot-in-mouth thing is a good point. i'm scared of that myself.

besides, what are the odds of bumping into someone from the mosquito coast at a bar in the midwest?

Guyana-Gyal said...

Cadiz, I dunno the odds of bumping into someone from the mosquito coast at a bar in the midwest, but...so many Americans pass this way, you never know...and Guyanese are everywhere. We're like hmmm...mushroom? Fungus? Spores? Pollen?

Can someone please tell me why I laugh when I read Jon's serious, no-nonsense journalistic, unbiased approach to issues that concern everyone today?

Jon said...

I’m guessing it’s probably because you are uncomfortable with the topic, or more specifically, the harsh truth behind it. So you just laugh politely. It’s a natural reaction. Like with my “What would you do?” post. That really hit home for a lot of people, consequently, the shocking truth of it all forced many to let out an uncomfortable laugh.

cadiz12 said...

i think it's because it's what you're thinking inside but were a little too shy to say aloud. or it was something you'd never even imagined and just fathoming it elicits a snicker.

guyana. definitely sounds like somewhere i need to see. but the mosquito thing is kind of frightening.

gspit, where are you hiding?

Guyana-Gyal said...

Oh, I doooo so have a tendency to exaggerate, Cadiz. The mozzies are not that bad.

And we do have THE most beautiful rainforest thing going, Iwokrama, run by some Brits. where people can go and stay. Even Prince Charles loved it. I don't remember the website but you can check it out...just google Iwokrama.

Yes, where IS G.S.?

MEP said...

I know what you mean about the job becoming more than the girls may have bargained for. I would be willing to bet that they thought they would enjoy the attention and be able to just brush off a few comments for the great tips . . . only to discover thta it would become extremely irritating.