Today I went to the gym after dropping off my son at school. I had a good workout, nothing special. My wife texted me while I was working out to see if I could pick her up a smoothie afterwards.
I told her I would. The Smoothie King is only a few miles away.
While I was driving there, I passed by the mall. I passed by An Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Longhorn and Carrabas. When I was at a stoplight, I found myself right next to a Hooters.
I am not a fan of Hooters. It was never because of their objectification of women, but more about their food. It is not very good. That is my opinion, but obviously people like the food. Women dress in orange shorts and pantyhose and short shirts. They have every right to do it just like I have every right to eat or not to eat there.
While I stopped, I looked at the Hooters. They have said that they welcome all people. You do not have to be a certain age to eat there; they try hard to be a family restaurant. They have said that they empower women. Thousands of women have worked at Hooters. Many have become success stories. One was the CEO of Cinnabon.
When I looked I saw two signs plastered on their building. Two signs that I have probably seen in the past, but ignored. One was of breasts with the word "bumps" underneath. The other said "Caution Blondes Thinking."
I thought about it for a second. See, I do not eat at Hooters, yet these are signs that are on their building. I have to drive by these signs every time I get my wife a smoothie. Sadly, I have never given any thought to these signs. Most people have not. If they did, someone would have written to their corporate about it.
These are corporate signs. It is not like a manager just put them up.
Then I got sad.
I got sad because the signs are misogynistic. No one ever says "Blonde Guys Are Dumb." No, it means women with blonde hair are stupid. Sure, they can twist it into "No, it just means that blonde waitress are really thinking and you should be careful because they might recite Walt Whitman..."
I do not think that is what it meant.
More than that, the sign implies blonde girls are dumb. Going further, it implies blonde women are easy.
The other sign objectifies breasts, which is understandable coming from a restaurant named "Hooters." It is sad though since society continuously battles breastfeeding laws. So many women battle breast cancer.
Both of these signs were visible from the street. Both of them are disrespectful towards women -- and honestly, men too. Both of these truly do not align with what Hooters claims they are about. How is this family-oriented? How do they respect women?
After reading numerous stories from #YesAllWomen I realized that I do not have to worry about things that most women do. I also realized that I could make a difference. All guys are not misogynists yet it is ridiculous to ignore the world around us as well. I have a daughter and a wife. I want to make it a better place for them.
I never noticed the signs before. Signs that I have to see because I drive by there every time I want to get my wife a smoothie.
So here is my plea to Hooters...
Can you please take off every misogynist sign from the outside of your building and put them inside? The ones I have to see when I drive by?
I would rather teach my daughter that she is smart regardless of her hair color, and that her breasts are not road bumps.