Hooting: Public and Popular Discourse About Sex Discrimination

In this Article, Professor Schneyer focuses on the debate surrounding the Hooters restaurant chain. He argues that the debate surrounding Hooters inevitably addresses the nature and importance of gender and sexuality in culture and business. Professor Schneyer uses the lens of constitutive rhetoric to analyze several texts created by both sides during this debate. He concludes that varying participants in the debate use rhetoric for different purposes. Some, like commentator Laura Archer Pulfer, use rhetoric that encourages growth and critical analysis, while others, like Hooters itself, use rhetoric to encourage unquestioning belief Overall, Professor Schneyer observes that Hooters’s supporters use their rhetoric to proffer the view that the intellectual and political elites are at war with ‘common sense” and the ordinary American. In a debate this complex, however, rhetoric of this sort is not helpful in resolving the underlying issue of the propriety of sexual entertainment in a society that condemns sex discrimination. To address this issue, Professor Schneyer argues that we need a nuanced debate that encourages critical and independent analysis of the complexities involved, not a debate hemmed in by simplistic metaphors and thought-stifling rhetoric.