California NOW (National Organization of Women) plans to file complaints today against local Hooters venues for violations of state and local laws covering sexual entertainment and minor children." For those of you not in the know, Hooters is a popular chain restaurant famous for employing waitresses who must wear tight t-shirts that show off their supple, perky, full breasts; hence the popular mammary gland sobriquet used as their brand name. California NOW will file complaints in San Francisco, Sacramento, Orange County, and San Bruno with police departments, District Attorneys, and the California Attorney General.
In part of a press release sent out today, they claim the following:
In the late 90's, Hooters, Inc. told the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that their main function is not providing food, rather their executives characterized Hooter's Restaurants as primarily a provider of, "vicarious sexual entertainment." They have used this designation as a way to avoid compliance with regulations against sexual discrimination in the workplace, yet Hooters also advertises themselves as a family restaurant, and fails to comply with regulations for providers of sexual entertainment.
On a typical evening, Hooters, Inc. serves children younger than 18 years of age and offers child menus, high chairs and booster seats. They also display and sell products of prurient nature, including t-shirts in child sizes with statements such as “Future Hooters Girl.” According to Hooter's own employment material, a “Hooters Girl” is employed as a sexual entertainer and as part of her employment can expect to be subjected to various sexual jokes by customers and such potential contacts as buttocks slaps. Hooters of America Inc. v Phillips, Case 173 F3d 933 (4/8/99)
While some might bemoan this as yet another example of liberal political correctness run amok -- which, sure -- they do have a valid point. We cannot imagine, say, a chain called Banana Hammocks opening up across the U.S., one that features men wearing crotch-hugging pants that show off their bulging penises. (Actually, we can imagine it. We digress.) Or, worse, if, the hypothetical Banana Hammocks, for example, started hawking kids' shirts that read, "Future Banana Swallower" or "I Like My Bananas Big." That would be wrong; hilarious, but wrong.