Opinion: Good ‘wings’

Illustration Illustration

Illustration Illustration

By Cassie Cleary

“They have good wings.” It never fails. This seems to be the reasoning behind every woman I know who chooses to give her business to the infamously tacky restaurant known as Hooters. You would think a restaurant that caters to creepy men who enjoy objectifying women while they eat would mostly have male customers. However, according to Larry Krisher, a manager of Hooters in Champaign, customers are “pretty much half and half” – both male and female. Besides eating at Hooters, at least as many women as men are bound to appear around campus sporting “delightfully tacky, yet unrefined” Hooters T-shirts.

This means not only do women eat at Hooters, but they want people to know they eat there. Why? It’s not because they like to look at breasts, and it’s definitely not because they want the world to know Hooters has good wings. That’s as ridiculous as the Hooters Web site claiming, “Hooters does have an owl inside its logo and uses an owl theme sufficiently to allow debate to occur over the meaning’s intent.” I’m not even sure that sentence makes sense. In any case, Hooters isn’t fooling anyone, and they know it. There is no debate as to whether Hooters means owls or breasts. Women aren’t wearing tight Hooters tank tops as a testament to the coolness of owls.

I’m actually thinking of starting up my own restaurant. I’m going to call it Dicks, and hire only attractive male waiters wearing Speedos. Speedos and socks. I’m sure women will come flocking by the thousands. After all, the only thing better than looking at almost-naked women while you eat is looking at almost-naked men while you eat. As for men, I have no doubt they will just jump at the chance to eat some spicy wings at Dicks. I wonder why no one has thought of this before.

It seems to me that an establishment such as Hooters would be the last place a woman would choose to dine, just as I’m sure a man would rather starve than enter a restaurant called Dicks. Even if, for some reason I can’t comprehend, a woman doesn’t feel Hooters is degrading and objectifying females, and even if it doesn’t disturb her to be in an environment in which men are expressly welcome to ogle at the waitresses and undress them with their eyes, there still is the fact that a woman is a woman. It doesn’t interest a heterosexual female to stare at the chests of scantily clad women. As a result, it seems women would be the natural enemies of Hooters. Yet, somehow, the chain has managed to successfully market their food and apparel to women, in the same way that good ol’ Illinois alumnus Hugh Hefner has managed to sell millions of dollars worth of Playboy apparel to women.

Undoubtedly, the huge emphasis men place on the female body image contributes to this phenomenon. Women are so preoccupied striving to become the objects of sexual desire that men obsess over – such as Playboy Bunnies and Hooters Girls – that they are willing to brush aside their decency and self-respect in order to imitate them. Because men find Hooters Girls sexy, if you wear a Hooters T-shirt, they’ll find you sexy too.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

I don’t care how good the wings are, and I don’t care what men do or don’t find sexy. It’s not worth the price of compromising morals and reducing women to objects. As the Hooters people say, the restaurant’s success is just proof that the establishment is acceptable in today’s male-dominated society.

“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,” says their Web site.

I stand corrected. I apologize, Hooters. If I’m in the minority, of course I must be wrong. Heaven forbid I be politically correct.

Cassie Cleary is a sophomore in LAS. Her column runs Wednesdays. She can be reached at [email protected].