By Amy Sondova Recently my friends and I were having an online discussion about HOOTERS. Online conversations are funny because often in a chat room even the closest of friends can be misunderstood. Often, there are several conversations on the same subject going on at the same time, and perhaps a few side conversations on a completely unrelated topic. I wonder how we communicate at all. But it all seems to work out in the end and our friendships are no worse for the wear. In fact, because we all live in various parts of the country, talking online is the easiest way we can all talk together–even if we’re all having different conversations.
The recent HOOTERS conversation revolved around controversy surrounding the new restaurant opening in Troy, MI. Apparently the townsfolk are not too pleased about having such a classy establishment in their town. Part of the discussion focused on whether or not the people had a right to say what types of businesses they should have in their town. Was it discrimination not to allow HOOTERS to set up camp? Wouldn’t the free market decide the success of HOOTERS? If people showed up and the latest HOOTERS was successful, wouldn’t that prove that the people of Troy and its surrounding areas really did want a HOOTERS after all? Why should the most vocal decide what is best for everyone else? This discussion has interesting merits on both sides, but really isn’t the point of this post.
After having a particularly trying night, as soon as I heard the word HOOTERS, I was off and typing. HOOTERS is a disgusting establishment that objectifies women I typed. Why would any respectable man even want to be served chicken wings by a big chested, skimpy clad woman? Of course, a lot of men, even respectable ones, would want to be served their meals just like that. Sure, HOOTERS can exist and men and women alike can go there for its “good food” or “big boobs” or whatever. My point is this–why would a Christian man want to go to a place like this?
In my mind, I was referencing other conversations I’ve had with male friends in church and male friends in youth ministry who think eating at HOOTERS is perfectly fine. The wings are good they argue and well, yeah, the women are dressed a little provocatively but restaurants have a dress code. WHAT?!??! Do they really think I’m buying THAT?!?!
First of all, I’m sure there are many other fine restaurants that serve good food. HOOTERS isn’t the only place in town. Second, short shorts and a shirt that looks as though it is painted on is not the normal restaurant dress code. Plus, the place is, in fact, called HOOTERS. Do they really think they’re fooling anyone with that little owl on the logo? Other potential names for HOOTERS could have been KNOCKERS, CLUNKERS, BIG BREASTS, or BOOBS. I guess HOOTERS just sounded best. Look, I know men tend to be obsessed with women’s breasts, but really they are two lumps of celluloid that can be used to nurture a child. They’re beautiful life-giving devices, not your personal play things. Then again, feel free to explore the beauty that is woman in the context of marriage, not gape at it when you’re sitting in your local HOOTERS. But you’re just there for the “good food”, right? Apparently, HOOTERS also serves up some good eye candy.
This brings me to my main point–Christian men should be above this. We all struggle with different areas in our lives. From what I hear about the world of men, a pretty woman turns a guy on. The less clothes a good-looking chick is wearing, the more aroused a man gets. Knowing this about themselves, why would godly men choose to put themselves in a place where temptation runs rampant? Doesn’t the Bible teach us to flee from temptation? In every sermon I’ve ever heard about King David’s affair with Bathsheba it’s been said that David first desired her in his mind. When he saw her bathing, he should have looked away. However, he indulged his fantasy and ended up murdering her husband and losing a child.
Plus, men shouldn’t be looking at women like that. I Timothy 5 : 2 says, “Treat older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” Just because it’s natural for a man to look at a beautiful woman lustfully does NOT mean it’s right. Is going to HOOTERS and indulging in a little looking and “harmless” flirtation really treating a younger woman as a sister and with absolute purity? Would you want your little sister serving guys food in skimpy clothes?
We women have a hard time when it comes to how we look. We primp and pluck and blob on make-up. We spend hours staring in the mirror critiquing our appearances. As much as we are told that God is interested in our hearts; the men around us are still interested in our bodies. Those of us who aren’t beauty queens may not interest any men at all, even if we have a good heart. Many Christian women who are blessed with great beauty are uncomfortable when treated as just a pretty object. We want to be treasured, loved, and appreciated for who we are. Those of us who struggle to feel lovely feel worse when HOOTERS girls are elevated. The bottom line is this–many of your sisters in Christ are hurt by how you view women because we don’t like how we look or because we wonder if you look at us the same way as you look at those HOOTERS girls.
Women aren’t completely innocent. We look at men and long for intimacy. Just as I encourage men to talk about and view women respectfully, I try and will continue to work on viewing men as brothers in Christ. Let it be said that it is OK for men to find a woman attractive and comment on it. However, remember to also compliment the qualities of the women around you, not just looks but personality and heart. Help us to become the women God wants us to be and teach us how godly men should be treated.
And, hey, if we go out for some good food…let’s go some place other than HOOTERS.