Hooters just opened in South Park, the first national chain restaurant in that defiantly unchained pocket neighborhood.
(Update 10/11/09: I got there today. It’s really in Boulevard Park, a tiny commercial strip separated from the South Park neighborhood by a lonely highway overpass. A McDonald’s already exists along this strip.)
I don’t particularly care for Hooters.
I really don’t care for essays that attack Hooters from the standpoint of simplistic gender-ideology, such as Lindy West’s piece in the Stranger.
On the other hand, I love the comment thread following West’s piece.
The commenters hit upon some important points West had elided past:
- Is Hooters’ food really any good? (Some say yes; others insist on the superiority of locally-owned hot wing emporia such as Wing Dome.)
- Is the “Hooters Girl” image demeaning to all women? (Some say yes; some say no; I say there’s no such thing as “all women.”)
- Is it wrong to use sex to sell stuff? (If so, many commenters note, the Stranger would be at least as guilty.)
- Are West and the Stranger contradicting their “sex positive” stance? (I say no, they’re simply overriding it with a stance that’s even more vital to “alt” culture—the stance of sneering at anything to do with “the wrong kind of white people”.)
West, most of the commenters, and I agree on one point—the Hooters Girl look (apparently inspired by the sorority-slut uniforms in the 1979 sexploitation film H.O.T.S.) is, to all of us, decidedly unsexy.
And the whole Hooters aesthetic/experience conjures association with/nostalgia for fraternity-sorority bonding, but is profoundly anti-intellectual and anti-education. The apparent ideal Hooters customer is an adult who went to college but didn’t learn anything.