Today in Decent Human Beings

Now that school’s out for the summer, I have the capacity to brain again and was going to celebrate with a nice long post, but then I found something too awesome to pass up:

Atomic Grill, a barbecue restaurant in West Virginia, recently got an UrbanSpoon review that owner Daniel McCawley felt went too far: it wanted his staff to “show more skin.”

“I’m willing to accept any kind of criticism on food or service, but not the way that we have too many clothes on,” he told ThinkProgress. Worse, the review (which has since been deleted) singled out one female server in particular and “got a little obsessive, a little creepy,” he said, to the point where coworkers walked her to her car when she left. “I’m a father and a husband, I’ve got five sisters,” he said. “So this sort of thing hit home especially hard for me.”

His response wasn’t to lash out at the reviewer, however. Instead, the restaurant is offering a potato skins special, selling them for $7 through Memorial Day, asking customers to “Come out and help Atomic show our skins! Potato skins, that is!” And the profits from the special will be donated to the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information Services. When asked about the decision to donate the money, McCawley said, “We’ve got to put our money where our mouth is.” He explained that the organization does a lot for women’s rights in West Virginia. “It seemed like a no-brainer there.”

I’m still not a huge fan of the idea that the only way men appear to be able to relate to women’s issues is by considering them as “wives, daughters, sisters” (that is, their positions relative to men rather than as fellow human beings). That being said, though, this made me super happy. Well done, Mr Restaurant Owner Dude.

4 thoughts on “Today in Decent Human Beings

  1. I suppose it’s a human weakness that is easier to emphasize with a member of a class other than your own if you have some kind of relationship with or specific knowledge of a member of that class. In the defense of the less imaginative among us, it really is easier to imagine walking a mile in someone’s shoes if you’ve gone for a walk with them or watched them walking or at least seen their shoes.
    You’d think this kind of thing would be a no brainer. After all, a lot of men had mothers who were women.
    P.S. I did like the way the restaurateur took it seriously, but also applied a bit of humor. It’s one thing to take precautions, but it’s another to let the bastards make us live in constant fear.

  2. Kudos to the owner. And the staff who walked her to her car.

  3. I’ve always interpreted that as a pre-emptive defense against charges of “girly-ness” – a different, if just as sad comment, or trying to make the males in the audience realize how they sound to others when they say shit like that.
    Which is also sad in its way.
    Oh well.

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