Monday, July 12, 2004

Hoo, Hoo, Hooters!

That's supposed to be owl sounds. I have never yet visited the Hooters restaurants, as I'm not that interested in standardized food and human female mammary glands, but I have heard that many people are.
So many, that the female waitstaff at Hooters has to wear uniforms which emphasize their chests and stuff.

But one shouldn't take this idea to its logical conclusion, of course. It's all supposed to be about just pretending to ogle at breasts or women who are scantily dressed. You are not supposed to really ogle. Well, one Hooter's manager didn't get this subtle distinction. He went a step further and videotaped applicants for the Hooter-role while they were changing from their usual clothes to the required uniform:

A former Hooters restaurant manager accused of secretly videotaping female applicants as they changed into waitress uniforms pleaded no contest Monday to felony charges.
Juan Martin Aponte, 32, has been held on $500,000 bail since his arrest in May.
He pleaded no contest to five felony counts, including two counts of using a minor for a sex act and three counts of eavesdropping, and will be sentenced to five years in state prison, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said. A sentencing hearing was set for Aug. 24.
The taping allegedly occurred between November and February in a trailer outside a restaurant being renovated as a new Hooters - a chain best known for its scantily clad waitresses.

They found about 180 digital recordings of such clothes changes in Aponte's possession...

Of course the women didn't give their consent to this videotaping, while I assume that by accepting the job at Hooters you give your consent to public ogling? So that's what makes the restaurant's use of the women's bodies acceptable and Aponte's use of the same or similar bodies a felony.

The Hooters probably pay more than other restaurants, given that you both serve food and also work as eyecandy, I would think, or do they? And then there's the fact that these videotapings provided no extra revenues for the restaurant chain itself. So there are differences between the two cases, that of Hooters and that of Aponte, but there are also similarities. Both, for example, are interested in the generic female body, not the body of some specific individual or her skills with it. What seems to make the Hooters case perfectly legal and fine is that specific individuals are giving their permission for the display of the generic female body...