Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Pig in Silk

Yesterday, I wrote about the television show Undercover Boss. Today, I want to talk about one of the companies they featured. In the second episode, they followed Coby Brooks as he went undercover in his company, Hooters. In many ways, Hooters appears to be like any other restaurant company, but one of the things they brought out in the show is that many people have the perception that Hooters is degrading to women. Coby Brooks and the television show seemed to make the argument that it isn’t degrading to women. He seems like a very likable guy and I can appreciate that he wouldn’t have a problem with his daughters becoming Hooters girls, but as I watched the episode, I couldn’t shake the thought that no matter how you say it, the fact is that Hooters does create an environment that is degrading to women. The episode included showing a manager who selects the girls who get to leave early by having them participate in degrading games. While Coby Brooks appears to see this as inappropriate, the thing that I wondered was, what did you expect? I very much doubt that he is the only Hooters manager who has that attitude. The environment is the real problem.


The simple truth is that though you may try to provide a safe environment while dressing the girls up in sexually alluring clothing, creating an environment that caters to sex crazed drunk men is like playing with fire. Do it enough and you will get burned.

Tying this back into writing, the same is true of the scenes we put in our novels. Some people have the attitude that as long as we are showing people that it is wrong to do something, it is okay to include the details of sexually explicit scenes. But the thing is that pornography is pornography. Though you may tell people that they ought not to have sex outside of marriage or you only show sex scenes involving married couples, a scene that is written in such a way that it is sexually arousing can be pornographic in nature, no matter what relationship your characters have to each other. We can dress it in silk, but a pig is still a pig.