By David Futrelle
Have you heard the bad news about Hooters? The infamous “breastaurant” chain, a place where America’s creepiest dads and granddads could live out their fantasies of gawking at their waitresses’ boobs without the owners of said boobs being able to complain about it, has been, well, sagging a bit lately.
Some are blaming the chain’s troubles on millennials’ alleged lack of interest in boobs, at least compared with their breast-obsessed elders. And maybe they have a point. What’s a business based on boobs supposed to do in an ass-obsessed world like ours? Why should millennials pay to eat overpriced wings while staring at boobs when they could be home eating ass for free?
One enterprising young game developer has some ideas. In a series of tweets (starting here), Eric Adam Hovis explained how he would “fix” Hooters to make it more appealing to geeky millennial dudes like him.
Waitresses aren’t there to be looked at! They’re there to be TALKED at!
DEBATE NIGHT! Come on down to Hooters and DEBATE our GEISHAS! Did we mention the FREE WINGS?
Just remember to tip your waitress, at least if she lets you win the “debate.”
What’s better than FREE WINGS? FREE EMOTIONAL LABOR from women with huge bazongas!
But of course. Because millennial men are clearly entitled to all this attention from “smart and pretty women” for practically nothing.
Yes, because what human interaction could possibly be more “meaningful” than a”debate” between some dude and a woman who knows that if she challenges him in any significant way he’ll stiff her on the tip? Especially when she has to endure hour after hour of such “debates,” on topics not of her choosing, every single shift, while delivering up plate after plate of wings and jalapeno poppers with a giant smile plastered on her face?
Well, Mr. Hovis got his free debate all right. His tweets inspired a wave of comments and jokes on Twitter and elsewhere. Let’s just say that his ideas weren’t quite as well received as he was perhaps expecting, particularly by women.
Hovis, who actually sees himself as something of a feminist (or, as he puts it half jokingly in his Twitter bio, as a “Berniecrat progressive leftist sjw libtard feminazi betacuck”), has spent much of the last several days “clarifying” and rethinking his suggestions in a series of followup tweets and in a blog post he’s already revised and rewritten several times.
He insists he didn’t mean to suggest that “waitresses/bartenders should … have to be people’s therapists” — I’m not quite sure how this denial squares with his bit about “‘problem listener’ hostesses” who would basically be serving as therapists. He also declares that everyone at his new, improved Hooters “should be paid a living wage” — despite his demand that the restaurants also be ‘”SUPER CHEAP.” Oh, and he also thinks “Hooters should be more body-inclusive” even though his reference to “smart and pretty” waitresses in his original tweets made clear that he thinks looks should play a big part in the company’s hiring decisions.
But Hovis’ original tweets are much more, well, revealing than his somewhat less-that-altogether-convincing “clarifications.” And that’s because his original tweets reflect something about our society’s insidious tendency to dump emotional labor onto women, and to demand that women do this labor largely for free.
Many if not most of us could benefit from having someone listen to our problems. But this responsibility shouldn’t be foisted off on hostesses working for a casual dining chain famous for its skimpy outfits. Nor should it be foisted on wives or girlfriends. People should be able to get the therapy they need from actual therapists, well-trained professionals paid for their expertise. And, like Hovis’ imaginary improved Hooters, this service should be “SUPER CHEAP” if not free, with costs subsidized by a beefed-up health insurance system based on Single-Payer or Medicare for All (as should the rest of our medical expenses).
And if after all this you still want some hot wigs, well, there are better places to get them from than Hooters.