That is someone’s daughter: Looking at what should be seen…”Men’s bars”

Recently, I had lunch with my office assistant at a local “men’s bar” (a bar/restaurant that features waitresses in skimpy outfits).  Monthly, I take my office assistant to lunch to show my appreciation for her hard work.  She suggested the restaurant and I agreed.

The food was good and the outfits were, in fact, skimpy.

As we ate lunch, I became increasingly uncomfortable…not just because I was with a woman around women who were barely clothed  but more importantly because I was seeing things I shouldn’t be seeing.  It took me a while to fully understand what this was about.  These young women were, as a function of their waitress outfits, exposing/displaying parts of their bodies that, in my opinion, should be only exposed to/seen by a lover or husband…not the public in general.  The principle is this….with my lover/spouse, I will expose the most intimate parts of myself….my body, my past experiences, my goals, my fears, etc. after I feel safe with them…safe from being ridiculed, maliciously exposed, etc.  Herein is the difference between being “seen” and being “looked at”.  With my lover, I feel safe that she will see my intimate parts without judging or using me…hence, she will “see” me; I will be “seen”.  When the general public is the audience, they don’t know me like my lover.  They don’t know my past life, my struggles, my fears, etc.  They don’t care about or know me…so they only “look”.  In the bar, I saw parts of these young women’s bodies that, in my opinion, should not have been exposed to me or seen by me given I didn’t know these women.  The body and the spirit of the person is sacred and these outfits violated this principle.

Another awareness I had…these women were someone’s daughters.  My office assistant knew one of the waitresses.  She babysat for her when she was a child.  I could not look at these women without thinking about my own daughters…and the thought, “Would I want a man look at my daughter the way I was looking at these young women?”  No, of course not!

These awareness’s are not new. Opponents of pornography have been making these points for years.  Another point that could be made is that these girls are putting themselves in situations in which they are being “looked” at.  They could have taken a job somewhere else.  True.  But, do we as a community wish to allow such a situation to be made available to our daughters….if enough people objected, the restaurant could be shut down. And if you patron this restaurant, you support and encourage our daughters to be in positions to be “looked at” versus “seen”. But you can’t control the actions of adults, whether they be the public in general or your daughter, once she is of legal age. True.

My point is, however, you can control what you “see” or “look at”.  Do you have the self-control/restraint to not look according to your values. Honestly, it was hard to not look at the waitresses when I were there.  Nature, in part, makes men this way.  We are visually-oriented and sexually-oriented to look at women (with respect to the gay among us). But there in lies the rub…we are physiologically oriented to look…we could also be intrinsically oriented (by our values) to not look.

More later…