Freedom is a vast and complicated subject. The whole issue of who has the right to do what is fodder for lifetimes of conversations and debates. All too often we resort to a quick catch phrase of, “It’s his business he can do what he wants,” or, “she owns the store so it’s her choice,” and of course the old standby, “It’s a free country.”
So…if a woman applies to work at Hooters(tm), she knows when she applies for the job that there will be premiums placed on her breasts and body as pre-requisites for the job. She goes in… eyes open… knowing that the HR department is not that interested in her problem solving skills or management aspirations. She is being hired for her body. If she can wear heels, balance her tray, and get the orders correct,(which I’m certain most of the women can do) …that’s a bonus.
But this is NOT a conversation about whether having restaurants based on and named after a euphemism for woman’s breasts is ok or not. It IS a conversation about choice and freedom.
Recently, a casino in Atlanta changed hands and the new owners decided to change the uniforms for their cocktail waitresses. According to a recent article by Teresa Masterson, The Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City decided that in order to attract a younger clientele they would have to change the outfits required to be worn by the female staff. The new owners of the hotel, provided the skimpy new uniforms and required all of the existing cocktail waitresses to try them on.
The result was the firing of 16 middle-aged, long-time employees because they didn’t fit into the size 2 or size 4 options being offered by the management.
The women reported that the process was humiliating and they had really wanted to continue working at their jobs. The official statement given by the hotel management as reported by Ms Masterson was, “All cocktail servers were given individual consideration and the selection process was conducted in a fair and objective manner.”
There is nothing fair or objective about providing only size 2 and 4 uniforms as options to maintain ones’ job. The fact that we still use cocktail waitresses in skimpy outfits to seduce men to drink more than their fill is a bit disappointing. It is after all 2011 and this is an OLD Feminist Issue….
but the fact that a woman who is a size 6 is now facing the reality that she is too fat to keep her job…that just infuriates me.
Discrimination of any kind infuriates me but as a woman living in a culture where the pressure to be thin is producing more and more girls and women with disordered eating patterns, this situation is particularly egregious. What do you think?