Illustration for article titled The Battle Against Hooters: What About The Children?

Here is a new way to take legal action against Hooters, which has seen it in so many interesting ways: Complain to the police that it's adult entertainment that caters to children.

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That's what the NOW chapter in San Francisco just did, taking their complaints to the local police department. It may be the first time a feminist group has complained that an organization is too family-friendly — their evidence included the fact that Hooters offers child menus, high chairs and booster seats.

Also, apparently, a child-sized t-shirt that says "Hooters Girl in the Making." We were unable to locate this gem at Hootersgear.com, but we were able to find these artifacts:

Illustration for article titled The Battle Against Hooters: What About The Children?
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Illustration for article titled The Battle Against Hooters: What About The Children?

We also found this fascinating "about" statement on their website, which clearly stems from the legion lawsuits filed against the company over the years (for weight discrimination, for discrimination against an Asian American flight attendant on their airline, for discriminating against men by refusing to hire them).

Claims that Hooters exploits attractive women are as ridiculous as saying the NFL exploits men who are big and fast. Hooters Girls have the same right to use their natural female sex appeal to earn a living as do super models Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell. To Hooters, the women's rights movement is important because it guarantees women have the right to choose their own careers, be it a Supreme Court Justice or Hooters Girl....
According to ever-increasing sales figures, the Hooters concept must be acceptable to a large majority of American consumers. Hooters believes critics of the concept are a vocal minority of politically correct minded individuals. This group sometimes states the concept "constitutes a hostile work environment," but just the opposite is true.

The new NOW strategy is to sidestep the employee issue — with all its thorny questions about agency — and make it about the children. For their purposes, there is this portion of the FAQ:

Do I have to be a certain age to enter a Hooters restaurant?
No, Hooters restaurants are family friendly and kids are often the stars of the show.

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The NOW attorney has seized on that contradiction, pointing out that every time it has faced an equal employment lawsuit, the company has called itself an adult establishment that provides "vicarious sexual entertainment." (Loosely put, employers are allowed to discriminate in hiring if they can show it directly pertains to the requirements of the job, such as a men's clothing company advertising for male models.)

"Each and every time Hooters, Inc. claims that they are not a restaurant but that they are rather vicarious sexual entertainment," she told a local station. "So their workers are not food servers or waitresses. Their workers are sexual entertainers." And in San Francisco, adult venues can't serve to minors. Let's see if it works.

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Attorney Files Complaint Against Hooters For NOW [KTVU]
NOW Goes After Hooters For Catering To Kids [SFGate]

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DISCUSSION

What exactly can children see at Hooters that they can't see someplace else?

I mean, if they go to the beach in the summer they are apt to see men acting like idiots around women who are wearing even less than a Hooters woman does.

In some jurisdictions those men may even be drinking beer and eating food on the beach, just like at Hooters.

Isn't that the general point of Hooters, dudes being idiots around girls they know are out of their league?

I honestly find Hooters boring because if I want to see tits, I'd rather go to a strip club or brothel and actually see tits, but if there had been a Hooters near me when I was 16 or 17 I'm sure my friends and I would have gone there and eaten cheeseburgers and I don't think it would have harmed anybody.