Yesterday I saw a sign at a “Gentleman’s Club” (always thought that was an odd choice of terms, but we’ll not go there) that indicated there were 50 women in their employ. Actually, it said they had “48 Hot Women – and 2 Ugly ones”
For a $20 cover charge, you could go in and determine whether or not their count was accurate. And do other gentlemanly things, I suppose.
If the goal was to make people think for a minute- in hopes that some of the men who think would have to stop driving to do so – it worked. I’m not the target audience for such marketing, but I did noodle on that as I drove on down the road. Past the recognition that “ha ha- you didn’t use the usual 50 beautiful women on the sign,” there really is something hurtful there.
These women are hired and remain working on the basis of their physical attributes. Or at the very least, the way they are able to manipulate others with the use thereof. Even if they come into the business with eyes wide open, women can only do that work for so long before their emotional health is wrapped up in their physicality and sexuality.
Each time someone teases or jokes about a physical flaw- whether or not it really exists- damage is done. Every time someone chooses that woman over this one, damage is done. Every time a man praises her for her body (and not her mind or heart), damage is done. The scar tissue may make her skin thicker, but even a hard heart can be shattered when it’s thrown to the ground often enough. All I could imagine was one of those fifty women looking at that sign and seeing herself not as one of the 48, but as one of the 2. Not because it was true, but because she didn’t have the confidence that her swagger while she’s “on” suggests.
I know it’s not the same as human trafficking. Nor are all of these places false fronts for prostitution. But these clubs and restaurant chains like Hooters are not so innocuous that we should ignore the needs of the women who are working there. They don’t need someone preaching at them. Nor do they need someone to tell them they are undermining efforts of women to gain equal footing in society. Just like every woman, they need someone to love them. Truly love them. And help them see that they are all beautiful… whether they are hot or not.