Eats, Drinks, And Disparaging Women since 2005.
There’s a new restaurant in our home town.
We have a corridor of restaurants in our town. They are peppered in between rows of clothing stores and coffee shops. They are what you would think of as mainstream, family friendly retail: Meijer, Target, Panera, Starbucks, and Babys R Us. One of the restaurants recently went out of business which I thought was strange since it was a well-know chain. But they quickly replaced it with another restaurant. Twin Peaks.
It’s a new chain based out of Texas and it’s as “blue-blooded American” as it comes! Complete with draft beer, sports TV, and beautiful girls. It’s pretty much Hooters done Texas style…and, yes, everything is BIG. Their tagline is “eats, drinks, and scenic views”. But I don’t think they are referring to Haggerty Road.
I saw this new restaurant a few weeks ago and it is like a thorn in my flesh. I have thought about it and struggle to define why this restaurant bothers me so much more than some of the others like Hooters or Tilted Kilt. I suppose when I think of Hooters it reminds me of a bunch of frat boys. It doesn’t make it any less disparaging to women, but you say to yourself “they’ll grow out of it”. And when I think about the Tilted Kilt, well, I think of a bunch of old, drunk guys falling off of their stools. But then I think about Twin Peaks, and I imagine middle-aged, southern men slapping women on their backside, whooping and hollering as if to say “you ladies have nothing else to offer this world than to serve us and show us your cleavage”.
The truth is that Hooters, Tilted Kilt, and Twin Peaks are all the same. They are each cogs in the wheel of misogyny that plagues our culture. And part of me wants to brush it off and move on. Most of us will.
Someone asked me what was the difference between this or a topless bar; suggesting they are they same, but on varying scales of intensity. But I don’t think so. I think these restaurants are more harmful than nude bars like the Landing Strip. Men, and especially women, do not brag about visiting the Landing Strip on their lunch hour. And the reason they don’t is because their is still a sense of shame associated with it. Men who frequent nude bars do so in the dark of night and go to great lengths to hide it from their significant other.
Men, however, who frequent places like Twin Peaks, will take clients there for business meetings, they will purchase a “man card” (food points card), and probably even check-in on Facebook. They are proud to wave around their freedom to eat, drink, and ogle women’s breasts before returning home to their wife and children.
Places like Twin Peaks fall into what we would call “gray areas”. Some of you are reading this and thinking who cares? Men see more than that at the beach. Men see more than that on television. But these “gray areas” are the very reason that men are promoted over women in the work force. They are the reason women make $0.77 on the dollar compared to men for doing the same job. They are the reason women continue to be victims of domestic violence and date rape. It is these gray areas that disparage women and convince us that it’s really no big deal.
Yet, women make up 86% of the buying power in America. What if women used their collective voices to turn the tide? What if we stopped buying what they are trying to sell us both literally and figuratively? How do we do this? Perhaps we could make some simple changes in our buying habits.
Let’s stop buying the magazines that tell us “10 ways to satisfy him in bed” and start buying magazines that will challenge us to be better women.
Let’s make clothing choices that are flattering and comfortable, but say we respect the body God gave us.
Let’s think about where we shop. Do the advertisements suggest women are nothing more than objects to be used and abused? If so, let’s make better choices.
Some of us may need to start writing letters letting companies know we are humans who deserve better. Could you write one letter every six months to a specific company about a specific advertisement?
Let’s choose movies where women are applauded for their character and not their breast size. Go to those movies on Fridays when Hollywood takes their headcounts. If you must see a “chick flick”(movies notorious for presenting women who are incomplete without a man in their life), then see those on a Sunday matinee when Hollywood is not counting.
And for crying out loud, let’s NOT eat at Twin Peaks, Hooters, and Tilted Kilt (or subsidiaries)!
Ladies, we are asleep in a recliner and life is passing us by. We still have so far to go. Let’s take a stand. You were created in the image of God and you deserve better.