When I think 8th graders -- 12 and 13-year-olds full of hormones and silliness -- I do not immediately think of Hooters restaurant -- the one known for owls with eyes that look like breasts and busty waitresses in skimpy attire. But one 8th grade class in Pennsylvania and their chaperones thought the two went together just fine.
Following a field trip to the aquarium in Baltimore, the adult, co-ed chaperones took chunks of the 100-person field trip to different restaurants, one of which was Hooters. Yes, Hooters.
Now, I love a scantily clad woman as much as the next person, but time and place my friends. And the afternoon with a group of hormonal tweens ain't it.
Surprisingly, no parents complained about the trip to Hooters, though had my son or daughter been on the field trip, they would have heard from at least one!
Maybe they thought it was OK or no big deal for the kids to see such things. The truth is, it probably does not hurt them in some fundamental way. But everything children do tells them something about the world at large and going to a restaurant like Hooters implies that it is OK -- funny, even -- to objectify women.
This is not a lesson I want my kids learning young. It is not that I expect them to be saints or to never engage in things like strip clubs or Hooters or their ilk. But I do expect that when it happens, it will be at a time when I can explain it to them. Thirteen is not that time.
The kids may not have even noticed and Hooters does bill itself as a family establishment, but I call BS on that. If they were a family establishment, they would hire professional looking waitresses. Adults can come and go, but my children will not be going at 13 and I certainly do not expect their school to take them without asking me.
Do you think this is appropriate?
Image via espensorvik/Flickr