File under I Need Feminism Because…..Twin Peaks and Bosses

My husband is at a business dinner at Twin Peaks. And that's a bunch of bullshit.

My husband is at a business dinner at Twin Peaks. And that’s a bunch of bullshit.

I need feminism because…My husband is at dinner with his boss and his boss’s boss at a restaurant where the waitresses dress like this. The name and logo of this fine establishment are a play off women’s breasts. The company’s website  invites you to “come enjoy the views.” 

Should my husband have declined the invite? Well, do you decline dinner with the boss’s boss even if the restaurant of choice is exploitative and sexist? How do you walk away from the group? Could that decision impact your career? How big is the strength of your convictions?
I am quite sure my husband is aware when he gets home he is a dead man walking.**
Now imagine you are a new, young female hire of my husband’s employer and you are excited you were invited to dinner with the corner office. You are excited to talk about clients you want to bring in and show off your expertise on a particular product line. Maybe drop a mention of a conference you want to attend and how you could build business there. And then you arrive at dinner. At this place.
How big do you feel now? How are you sure the boss’s boss isn’t just staring at your tits and thinking about f*cking you while you talk about profit growth and project acquisitions? How likely are you to feel respected at work tomorrow? How do you maintain respect your bosses knowing they chose this place because it is as close as they could get to expensing a jaunt to the strip club? And you know they all have wives and children waiting for them at home.
Is my husband in trouble with me? Well I tell you what, my ten-year-old daughter just asked where her daddy is as this is our normal dinner time. So I’ll tell her.
And when he walks through the door I’ll watch her eat him alive. I’ve found it is far easier to justify sexism to your wife than it is to the fuming, disappointed face of your daughter. Somehow the rationale withers away when you have to spell it out for a person who still holds faith this isn’t how the world is supposed to work.
She’s watching me type this, looking over my shoulder. You should see the look on her face, the moment she saw the photo of the waitresses. She asked if the women in the photograph were strippers. She is hurt and confused.
And she is angry.”It makes me sad. I feel badly for the women, they should have undershirts on and not booty shorts. You mean they have to wear that to work? If I worked there as a waitress I would quit. If I worked at Daddy’s office, I wouldn’t feel valued or respected. Honestly? I think that is b.s.”

I asked my son what he would do if he were part of the dinner group. He replied, “When I got there I would not go in. It wouldn’t feel right.”

Should have husband have said no? Should they have picked a different restaurant? I’ll ask you again, how big is the strength of your convictions?

 **I felt the need to add this edit because I after reading many of the comments it seemed the point of this post was missed. This post is more about shaming the business practice and the sexism in the workplace than it was personally shaming my husband. He was in a hard spot, one I point out in the post, and really there was no winning for him. He didn’t really have any good choices here, but he did know ahead of time our family’s opinion of these places. That was clear by the strong reaction my daughter had. Intelligent, outspoken girls with strong opinions are not “weapons”.
Either way, while this specific situation involved my husband, how many fathers/husbands/brothers are party to a sexist workplace – whether their participation is voluntary or not? This situation could happen to any guy at work – the post was to ask people what the strength of their convictions was because at some point it will be put to the test, and to consider how frequently women have to deal with this in the workplace.**

Melissa headshot 1 fb sizeMelissa Atkins Wardy is a speaker, media consultant, and the author ofRedefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to Tween. She is the creator and owner of Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies, a company that has been offering empowering apparel and gifts to Full of Awesome kids since 2009

Find her at You can connect with her onFacebook (Pigtail Pals Ballcap Buddies) and Twitter (@PigtailPals) and Pinterest (Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies).