Below is a response by two of our Hooters Girls that was sent to and will be printed in the Hellgate Lance. While I think parts of this letter are a little over kill I still feel it proves some damn good points such as the fact that Hooters Girls are damn intelligent women.
Dear Editor, Lance Staff, Hellgate students, and faculty;
We’re writing in response to the loosely defined “news” article in the Lance volume XVIII issue XIV, regarding the Hooters Corporation. As an alumnus of Hellgate High School, and a print journalism major at the University of Montana, we would like to tell you how incredibly disappointed we are that you would print such fiction and pass it off as fact. We would not be nearly as personally offended if it had printed in the editorial section, but that you as a staff believe that this is news, is not only shocking, but also quite ignorant.
“Hooters girls, a.k.a. hookers, make prostitution legal…” Interesting starting sentence. Let’s whip out the trusty Mirriam-Webster Dictionary and look up the word hooker, shall we?
hook•er Pronunciation: \ˈhu̇-kər\ Function: noun Date: 1567 1: one that hooks
Assuming you weren’t calling the Hooters Girls "one that hooks" or a "drink", let’s say you were calling all thirty-six of us prostitutes.
1pros•ti•tute Pronunciation:\ˈpräs-tə-ˌtüt, -ˌtyüt\ Function: transitive verb Date: 1530: to offer indiscriminately for sexual intercourse especially for money.
That’s strange, nowhere in our employee handbook does it say we need to “offer indiscriminately for sexual intercourse especially for money.” Silly, we thought we taught children how to hula-hoop, do the bunny-hop, celebrate birthdays, and serve you food. Yes, the outfits are skimpy, but comparable to many of today’s cheerleading uniforms and most of the shorts available at Abercrombie & Fitch or any other store high school students shop at in the Southgate Mall. Pick up the prom issue of Seventeen magazine and you’ll see many of the prom dresses high school kids wear show as much or more cleavage than the Hooters uniform.
Pertaining to the swimsuit competition, Miss America contestants walk in swimsuits also, and we don’t see them being called hookers. You are being hypocritical if you do not criticize the whole pageant circuit that has a swimsuit portion of the competition. Now let’s talk about the t-shirts with sexual references. All of the t-shirts with sexual innuendos are made and marketed for adults. If you would like something sexual for a child there are outfits for 6 month-olds at Spencer’s that say “Hung like my Daddy.” Where’s their criticism? If you don’t want one of those, you can check out Hollister and get one of those “shower together” shirts if that’s more your style. As we’ve said, Hooter’s is based on sexuality, NOT having sex with guests. If you come in for that, you will be greatly disappointed. We don’t even know where you got the information about there being a wet t-shirt contest in the Missoula Hooters. If there is, we’re not going.
Since the entire article is simply over three hundred words of complete garbage, allow us to set you straight. Ms. Tarbert, admitting that you’ve only been to Hooters once deeply severs your credibility. At the University of Montana Journalism School, they teach us to make sure to know everything about the topic, inside and out. Maybe if you’d spent more time researching and less time passing judgment, you’d come in and see that we do birthdays for toddlers and dance the YMCA with women your grandmother’s age. Also a side note, using “Everyone knows” is not a credible source, even if it’s in an opinion piece. I would not use that if you want to get into a professional collegiate journalism program. That’s like saying “They always say.” Who is they?
As for Mr.Rouse, the fact that you were assigned to write this article, and admit that you have never stepped foot into the restaurant you were assigned to write about, is laughable. It states to every reader that you are not a serious journalist. Because if you cared about your work, you would have taken the time to learn about the topic. You writing about your experience at Hooters is like one of us writing about our time with the Anlo-Ewe people in the southeastern corner in Republic of Ghana. Just like you’ve never been to Hooters and never spent time with Hooters Girls, we have never been to Ghana and spent time with this tribe. Although we’re sure they’re lovely.
The mission statement for the entire Hooters Corporation is as follows; “We are committed to providing an environment of employee growth and development so that we can provide every guest a unique, entertaining dining experience in a fun and casual atmosphere delivered by attractive, vivacious Hooters Girls while making positive contributions to the communities in which we live.” Does this sound like “a lap-dance club where a stripper belongs?” Assuming you’re talking about strip clubs, we have never heard of a strip joint raising money for Special Olympics, breast cancer research, or doing voluntary roadside clean-up. They leave that to their local Hooters Girls.
There is one thing we will say was right in the article, the focus isn’t entirely the food but it is the Hooters Girls. That’s the reason for the whole creation of the restaurant…congratulations you got something right! We’re not even going to start an argument about comparing Hooters to porn because it’s just as bad or worse than calling it prostitution. If the porn you’re looking at consists of girls in shorts and shirts, we’d have to say that’s not very good porn.
We would also like to mention, that the presence of the Hooters Corporation is hardly news. Considering the first Hooters opened in 1983, years before any of the students attending Hellgate were born. A little behind on the times, don’t you think? The article was also incorrectly classified as a news piece, when it clearly belonged on an opinion page.
On a more personal note, as a direct result of this article, the only Hooters Girl that attends Hellgate was called a hooker several times the day this issue was distributed. Not only are you promoting poor research, and embarrassing journalism as an art and potential profession, you are also promoting sexual harassment. I suppose the Missoula County Public School system’s zero tolerance for bullying policy is void when the entire student body can participate.
We will ask you now, please, do your research before turning in your work kids. It makes Seitz look bad when you do not. He is a great educator, and holds his journalistic staff close to his heart.
We would also like to cordially invite the entire student body, especially Dani Tarbert and Kevin Rouse to come out and visit our place of business. We would love to prove to you how wrong your assumptions are about us.
M. L. - Hellgate Class of 2007, Lance staff 2006-2007
K. O’L. - Print journalism major, U of M
Both PROUD Hooters girls