January 29, 2007
Were You Offended?
Mike Fancher's weekly column in yesterday's Seattle Times covered the outrage of some locals over a front page story discussing less-than-warmly dressed baristas at a smattering of local coffee stands. Judging from Fancher's column, a not insignificant chunk of the Times' readership was perturbed by the coverage (or lack thereof).
Personally, I don't get it. The online pictures that accompanied the print story are not gratuitous (the 1st picture was on the front page, the 2nd on the inside of the main section). One could see as much flesh, if not more, from photos of the recently successful UW women's volleyball team in modern uniforms or from fashion shots of the current parade of Hollywood award shows. You can even see more from the lingerie models that regularly grace the inside pages of the Times' main section.
It seems the outrage in this case is because of the more direct sexual connotation. Furthermore, it seems the nannyism we periodically rail about at this site has a constituency. I thought the article presented both sides of the story and the pictures themselves were not more sexual than any of a number of other images one can regularly find in various sections of the newspaper.
Posted by Eric Earling at January 29, 2007
08:18 AM | Email This
1. Mike doesn't get out very often does he. )-:
You can see worse than this at a 15 minute stint at the mall. I really don't see what all the commotion is about.
3. Don't like it, don't go.
Liberals aren't happy if they're not offended by something, or sticking their noses into peoples' lives and telling them what to do.
A few years ago the Times dared publish a photo of a mother and her children rollerblading without wearing helmets, prompting this response:
"Protective gear is
a necessity, not just a nice thing to do
Editor, The Times:
The Times photo of Rollerblading moms, a child and kids in strollers was a depressing sight.
The image was one of cheerfulness, fun and good health. Sadly, not one of them was wearing a helmet, wrist guards or knee or elbow pads.
The way to really have fun is to also be safe. Whether it's Rollerblades, bikes, skateboards, skis or scooters, helmets and other protective gear are a need to do, not a nice to do.
Think safety, moms! Your next time out will be even better."
Normally, I'd suspect our local evangitards of being offended by less skin than you'd see at on any random warm spring day at the mall, but I guess when it comes to women "degrading" themselves by using their bodies to sell a bit of coffee the libtards come out instead.
It's not so much what you do, as why you do it that gets the panties in a wad....
I wasn't offended. In fact, I rather enjoyed the photos.
I don't care for the image that sets for young girls, but that it is *gasp* a parent's job to re-enforce positive images for their children.
I can't believe that some of these girls were in high school and their parents are OK with them working in that environment (actually, I can believe that).
Bottom-line is that if you don't like it, don't go. If you don't want to dress like that at work, find one of the 700 other coffee stands to work at.
"a not insignificant chunk of the Times' readership was perturbed"
And who exactly reads the Times except liberals and the paper's critics? If the paper's liberal readership was equally offended by the lies and distortion the paper regularly prints, then that would be news. Unfortunately, though, the liberal readership accepts what the paper prints because they want it to be true. Can't let the facts or reality get in the way of a good old Bush-bashing. Bush lied, Americans responsible for hundreds of thousands of dead, no threat by terrorists to America, yada, yada, yada.
Hillary will save the planet, and Democrats have real ideas. Yeah, now that's funny!
8. I'm offended every time I see Hillary Clinton. (Especially when she pretends she's a straight, married woman.)
Offended ??... The whole flap is ridiculous:
Like people already mentioned:
Been to the malls lately, especially on a hot summer day ??..
How about the public beaches in Hawaii, where some young ladies seem to compete to see whose bikini can win the race for the the minimum number of square inches ??
How about all the college and pro-sports cheeleading teams ??.. I doubt that a demonstated proficiency in calculus and differential equations is one of the ''standards'' for making the team.
Give me a break:
As long as they meet the minimum legal standard for being ''dressed'', capitalism provides the obvious solution for everybody in this case:
If you don't like the attire of the person serving your coffee, GO TO ANOTHER COFFEE STAND.
I'm left with just ONE question:
Just how far is the socialist nanny-state gonna go in WA ??
My first reaction was "must be a REAL slow news day for this to be front page material".
Which is a good thing when you think about it.
11. It does bring a new meaning to your morning coffee being an "eye opener", doesn't it?
Ken @ 9
Paynter has a column advocating that grocery stores quit selling cig's. And within her column she points out that the same stores should be allowed to sale hard liquer.
Nanny State at it's best. I think I will look for real estate in Idaho.
13. Few things shock me anymore...young women serving up coffee in a titillating manner...something for the press to sell their papers...but "GAY" barbershops where all of the Stylists ware nothing but a "marble pouch" and the Transsexuals are in push-up Teddy's...no news there!!!
14. First, it is OK for people to have a negative reaction to what they consider lude, public behavior. Isn't it? Second, no one that I can see is mentioning any law or regulation to warrant fears of nanny-state intrusion into free enterprise. And third, the best apology for these "sexpresso" stands seems to be that since the mall tramps are doing it, that makes is OK. Just who is setting your agenda, gentle SPCOM readers?
While not exactly to my taste, I fail to see where the controversy is in this.
The left constantly amazes me with its prudishness and lack of liberal ideals. What ever happened to its 70's mantra of "do your own thing"? I guess that only counts when the "thing" is politically correct from their selective leftist perspective.
Make no mistake - there is nothing liberal about the left's agenda. There is no choice - its their way only. All other views and ideas are to be suppressed, either directly or more subtly (ask Ted Turner about subtle).
Huckleberry says, "First, it is OK for people to have a negative reaction to what they consider lude, public behavior. Isn't it?"
No, it's only OK for liberals.
It's considered the height of political incorrectness to complain about we we might consider lude, public behavior at, say, the gay pride parade.
17. Bill. It is OK for everyone to have a voice on what they consider moral and immoral behavior. And the more the people at SP.COM promote immoral behavior, the more important it is for people with morals to speak up. It isn't really about liberals or trampy girls at shopping malls, now is it?
I'd like to see some comments from some our usual female commenters as well, but I suspect they will be like most of us males. It's free country. No laws are being broken. If some guys want to pay for a cup of coffee and a little bit of flirting and some skin, whatever, it's not a big deal.
The left will freak out about this being denigrating to woman, and so will the extreme right, but as usual, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
More power to these businesses that have found a good way to differentiate their products. I like value add too. I never go to Starbucks because to me, it's insane to pay $2 for something that is maybe worth .50 cents. You get all this hype about how they are oh so careful about roasting the beans, etc. Totally marketing. There's very little consistency to a cup of coffee anywhere I have been. Sometimes it's great, others, not so great. And when it's dressed up with a lot of sugar and milk, etc. it's hard to even tell.
At least at these scantily clad coffee places, there's something more than just a typical cup of coffee.
Jeff B says:
At least at these scantily clad coffee places, there's something more than just a typical cup of coffee.
Yeah, I heard they were giving away free peanuts.
I am a woman, and it does distress me sorta that these girls will show the "skin". But the Mall scene is full of skin. I raised my daughter with the advice of "leave some for the imagination, it goes alot farther.
BUT, wait till you see the pregnant ones, whose large abdomen filled with baby is bared for all to see. Of course she is still a size 3 in all places but the tummy, but just can't seem shake the "short shirts & rolled down hip huggers" habit, and buy maternity clothes.
21. I think the bigger issue with the MSM or whatever they are called, it is the fact the the mission of the newspaper is not clear. The one thing that the MSM could do better, if it chose to, is investigative reporting. The collection of bloggers can through collective effort produce facts, but it is not organized. I am more offended by the steady stream of secular progressive propoganda and opinion pieces masquerading as fact. The picture was a poor use of print space simply because there are issues of greater import that need a full and really fair discussion. This is just one more reason why I refuse to give the local printers a dime. If they could give a balanced set of facts and let people make up their own minds that would be one thing. They won't do that because many moonbats would begin to slowly peel away from the secular progressive bandwagon.
6 & 9 & 21--right on point!
what offends me the most is the Times' perpetual unbalance to the left, with few/no articles on everyday heroes who pay bills, stay married and raise decent families--police & military especially included. i know--my choice to not read it.
Times is too full of losers and 'poor me' people who constantly make bad choices. too p.c. to lay blame on anybody/anything. the days of the tough, moxie journalist/investigation are long gone. now, fluff & smiles for criminals & politicians alike. (except conservative ideas)
left double standard--ever catch a cover of Comsopolitan lately? and the Times is still fawning over a silly (soon to be bum-)art park? in a nutshell--out of touch.
23. C'mon Jimmie, do you really think anyone would buy a newspaper to read about boring people like you and me paying their bills?
24. I certainly wouldn't mind a little "eye candy" at the local coffee shop. It would make that first cup of coffee more fun!
Sporadic female poster here..
NO - I was not offended at all by the photos. I was more offended by the whole prissy, prudish tone of the article. I was shocked to see Best Friends espresso in Kenmore mentioned in the article. I walk by that stand M-F 2X a day. I noticed the girls were in tank tops and shorts..summer wear IMHO. No big deal. I was really disappointed by the comments of the owners of nearby Chateau Chadeu (?????) - the ones that stated the Best Friends baristas were going to bring down civilization as we know it, and that Kenmore is a "family place"? That must be why there are so many slack-jawed teenagers in that neighborhood, which is the biggest breeding ground for the next generation of burger flippers I've seen in King County!
Also...in the interest of balance, we need espresso stands with Beefcake Baristas for us women. A muscular, cut dude making my coffee sans shirt?
As a male, I was offended by this article!!! How can you do a piece about sexy baristas and only include one picture? What an outrage! To truly understand the full scope of this trend the Times should have done a two page lay out or a special section.
28. Having been very involved as a H.S. and college volleyball ref many years ago, I can assure you that today's VB uniform bottoms are far, far more modest than those of 10-15 years ago.
Joe @ 27,
Absolutely! there shold have been a 20-page prictorial, cluminating in total frontal you-know-what!!
ALP, your second post above illustrates the difficulty (is that too-alarmist a word?) associated with this topic. Your solution to what you do not even recognize as a problem is, more of it. "I get mine." As a slack jaw, even I recognize that this is a minor issue that is unlikely to bring down our civilization. But in general, we Americans are a loose and increasingly immoral people... wouldn't you agree? (Except for the high school volley ball players, of course.)
So if we agree this is not such a big deal, what is your point? What are you promoting? What is your agenda, if that is not too loaded a term?
31. I think ALP's comments at her second post were meant to be humorous.
32. Thanks Bill. I sometimes take myself and others too seriously.
Women have money and drink coffee too. If skin will bring in the $$$ from men, why not women? That's what I would be thinking if I owned a stand. (FYI - I think "agenda" is a bit loaded - your instincts were correct). I have had friends in the past that have done the espresso cart thing - tough to make a living and very slim margins. I don't blame any small business for trying to find a way (legal!) to increase business.
Since you asked: Are Americans loose and immoral? No, I do not think so. I am not religious, and tend to balk at the word "moral" (implying system with roots in revealed religion) as opposed to "ethical". Materialistic and shallow? Yes, I do think we are that.
Huckleberry, you appear too literate for my definition of a slack jaw, IMHO.
The market has spoken. If what these baristas are doing was a problem, I'd imagine that sales of coffee would go down and that particular stand. I'm sure some people elect to not shop there. More power to 'em.
That being said, there is something really strange about a city that condones naked bike riders (now that's disgusting!), public breast feeding, gangsta slut culture or full term abortion and then goes apoplectic at a barista-in-a-box wearing shorts and a boustia.
The only reason this is frowned upon is because it is linked to a business. This area (what am I talking about, this country) hates business. The Democrats and MSM have beat the anti-business drum for so long the hate is now automatic.
Coming to a legislative session near you: Barista uniform standards.
And you think I'm joking.
"The market has spoken."
True that! Best Friends in Kenmore has been much busier since the article.
I think there is plenty of room in the coffee market for espresso stands such as: "Puritan Percolator" (baristas in black/white pilgrim outfit), "Abstinence Away" (baristas medically examined for proof of virginity), "Cover Up Coffee" (baristas with burkas) and "Central No-Perk" (baristas over 60).
37. Upon further reflection, that should be "Abstinence Always" - as "Abstinence Away" makes it sound like customers get a chance to deflower a barista with a full "frequent flyer" card!
Let us first think of what coffee is. An Addiction; No Different from alcohol minus the effects and time consumed
Every time you step foot into a bar you expect to see a young attractive fawn for a bartender. We need not speak of her atire for we know there is little of it. Is this immoral, unethical, or only expected.
As with any other private business if you do not like what they are selling you go somewhere else.
Let us vertically intergrate, the solitication of sin- The bar owner opens 5 coffee shops under the same name as the bar. Puts young seductively dressed women in their coffee shops, Hires those same women to work the bar, (Now she can be considered full time so we can give her benifits to make the libs happy).
Next we use the marketing (sex appeal) ability of these young women to drive business to our bar. The sin for the morning drives the sin at night.
The free enterprise system, what a great idea.
These women choose to work these stands for one reason, the extra attention is worth the extra income.
Thought- How long do we give it until the first sexual harrasment case is brought up against a customer from one of these stands?
G Jiggy @ 34, especially 3rd paragraph:
Yes, that is what this is all about. If the girls were self-actualizing, there would be no problem. But making money for their bosses and tips for themselves, well that definitely taints the whole affair.
ALP @ 36: Puritan Percolator... gotta love that!
ALP @ 33: Your distinction between ethics and morals intrigues me. You seem to be saying that it is OK to be ethical, as long as those ethics are not inspired by religious imperatives. Why bother with ethics at all if not as a duty to God? What are your motives for behaving ethically? And how do your ethics differ from those of a person who acknowledges the underlying morality behind their ethics?
To all, let us tip a cup o' joe to the shallow and material creatures we all aspire to become!
40. Why is it always the liberals who say we need to give women more freedom, then bitch loudest about it when they exercise it? That would seem to say; "women can have freedom only if it agrees with what liberal women's groups define as freedom". Well, what's the point of she sexual revolution, no-consequences to sex, the pill, abortion, the re-definition of a family... if not to let women be and "do with their bodies" what ever they want? If people are worried about what their kids see in the PI, they should cut out the entire editorial section. THAT would actually contribute more to their positive up-bringing than any picture of a girl in panties. SHEESH!
Not really interested in a long drawn out debate on ethics/morality...you can read this article for info on how I think:
In short, the last sentence sums it up for me best: "I would argue that nothing gives life more purpose than the realization that every moment of consciousness is a precious and fragile gift."
Each moment alive is valuable, and should be lived to the highest of ethical standards, which I take from both religious (Jesus knew a thing or two, as did Buddha) and secular traditions.
No offense, but I really leave people to their own choices in regards to this matter, hence I generally don't debate belief systems - but will answer limited questions when asked. Been there, done that dozens of time.
42. Hooters is everywhere in America...why is it such a shock that Hooter's type apparel is appearing in coffee stands across the Northwest?
ALP: Thanks for the reply. I understand your distaste for what is probably an endless whirlpool of discussion. But you offer the quote:
I would argue that nothing gives life more purpose than the realization that every moment of consciousness is a precious and fragile gift."
This strikes me as a copout. Whose consciousness? Whose gift? Push comes to shove, sometimes your self-interest conflicts with mine, and how do we resolve the conflict? Why should my interest be sacrificed to yours, and vice versa? There is probably nowhere for this conversation to go, but it is interesting to ponder that I have no more faith in the reliability of your godless ethics than you have in mine, and a society thus constructed is probably in trouble.
But to bring the discussion closer to the original topic, is there enough in common between your ethics and mine to support the assertion that social pressure should cause baristas to dress modestly, or, everyone must silently accept baristas dressing as sluttily as they please?
I think the differences in our ethical systems will always keep us from agreement.
44. Why is it always the liberals who say we need to give women more freedom, then bitch loudest about it when they exercise it?
Because the bottom line is, the left does not want freedom, they want control.
"I understand your distaste for what is probably an endless whirlpool of discussion."
Thank you for understanding. May I say you might be overthinking the issue a bit? We don't necessarily have to wander into ethics and morality/religion, as we already have laws on the books regulating "decency" in the public square. As long as espresso stands are in compliance with the law, there is no legal issue here - just each individual's personal moral/ethical issues (or "methical"!!!) for what kind of businesses they want to give their money to.
FYI - in the end, I am waaaay to cheap to frequent an espresso stand staffed by a hunk of man meat. I buy beans and grind them at work. Plus, the fact that I hardly drive doesn't help either!
No, I was not offended by the piece on baristas.
On the other hand I was highly offended by yesterday's (28-Jan) front page spread on the ant-war anti-Bush rally held Saturday in DC. I was highly offended by a front page picture of Hanoi Jane.
I was also highly offended by the LACK OF COVERAGE of a Pro Life rally the week before, even though tens of thousands peacefully rallied (without defacing the Capitol building). And I am highly offended that today's Seattle Times has NO MENTION of John Kerry's latest anti-USA rants given to our enemies. Why is it not news when a well known Senator attends an anti-American conference, and calls the United States an "international pariah" while hugging the enemy (Khatami)?
I was offended by Saturday's front page story about how 4 of our troops were murdered. The story was not about the horrific deeds of murderers, but rather it was a hatchet piece about how the Army did not give reporters all the factual details until 5 days later.
So, bring on more baristas!
Huckleberry @ 39:
The girls are there of their own volition and from what the article said, they seem to have no problem with it. It's not they are in servitude.
So if women start breast-feeding for money that's not OK then? There might be an angle in there somewhere for the folks at Deja Vu (et al.).
Seabecker @ 46
NICE POST !!!
Why are we even surprised by the flap?
We should all know, being bright folks, that the women in Seattle are supposed to only be allowed the freedoms that the feminasties decide from day to day they should have.
50. That being said, there is something really strange about a city that condones naked bike riders (now that's disgusting!), public breast feeding, gangsta slut culture or full term abortion and then goes apoplectic at a barista-in-a-box wearing shorts and a boustia.
I wouldn't include public breastfeeding in that category. While it may be true, that some breastfeeding women tend to have no regard for how much of their breast is showing, most mothers do so modestly. I find it very ironic that the same people who have no problem with scantily clad women (using their sex appeal to sell coffee), are outraged over a glimpse of a woman's breast while feeding her infant!
And just because a market demands or condones something, doesn't make it morally right, as it seems "G Jiggy" (#34 is suggesting). On the other hand, when the market complains about what's in their local newspaper, isn't that the market speaking out about what they find unacceptable? And as Huckleberry pointed out before, nobody's calling for any legislation about this.
Jiggy @ 39: I don't understand what you are saying? Would you give it another shot?
ALP @ 45: You are simply too charming for me to keep railing at you on what seems to be a fairly insignificant topic. Thanks for the dialog. Let's do it again when the stakes are higher?
52. Oops. I meant Jiggy @ 47
53. Ever read any outrage about the bare-assed freak show at the Fremont Solstice Parade? You haven't? Neither have I.
Jeff B @ 44 zeros in on perhaps the most important ''take-away'' point from this (surprisingly) long-lived thread:
''Because the bottom line is, the left does not want freedom, they want control.''
55. Oh please! Is this the best they can do to sell overpriced coffee drinks. It appears the successful business model for these places is to hire cute baristas. I recall the road side hot dog stands in South Florida (Ft Lauderdale area) used to be staffed by very scantily clad woman. Saying they wore bikini's would have been a vast overstatement. They were eventually outlawed because of all the traffic accidents caused by people looking at them and not the road. Come on Seattle get a life.
56. Huckleberry @ 51 - 52:
Forget my 47 post, I don't know what I was saying either. LOL.
57. Here's what I think the bottom line is: appearance envy. Homely libs, you know, the ones at all the demonstrations, couldn't attract customers should they dress like that. It's just another whining of the "it's not fair" crowd.
58. The only reason for the article to be on the front page is if the issue DOES beg legislation. That would be worthy of news, but that's not what they intended.
The objecting readers perceived, quite rightly, that the story and its photos were there to sell the daily rag with sex. Clearly, what is now, especially to the social liberals here at SoundPolitics, MILD sex.
There is a good message in the aparently significant number of Times readers who objected. It means that they are not lost to the conservative cause.
Because the gradual erosion of public standards of sexual exposure are a creation of the Left. I've been here the whole time. Pushing back at hemlines, then bikini lines, then "tolerating" public nuidity (in a sort of quasi-humorous festival atmosphere) disestablishing sexual morality as being "real," It all came from the same crowd that gave us re-labeled Marxism as Public policy. Why is that? Because all morality is connected. It is the same personal "liberty" to violate one's own sexual conscience that is in operation when they violate their economic conscience to steal the product of other's labor through the mechanism of government.
The figleaf of free enterprise is getting smaller and smaller on the Left, just as the degree to which objections to public displays of lust are harder and harder to tolerate. "Power to the People!" they said, dancing nude at Woodstock to the sounds of neoMarxist propaganda.
The positive sign is that the "hothouse plant" liberal voter has not lost all sense of proportion. He isn't gay, he isn't sexually promiscuous, he doesn't indulge in pronography, he doesn't take drugs. He's almost a Republican and just hasn't had a Conservative Party appeal to him in this State as Reagan did to the Nation.
We can blow on the remaining sparks of morality in the American soul and kindle the fires of freedom.... and justice.
huckleberry at @51
Thank you for your kinds words and your civility! Folks like you that can have a reasonable discussion with someone with a different POV are few and far between these days...sadly.
60. ALP @ 59: It is perfectly understandable, if not reasonable, that Americans find it hard to have a civil political debate. We are a divided nation, and divided along a fault line that is very emotional... religion. It helps to keep a sense of humor, which you obviously display. But humor will not always curb the conflict, and I fear we inch ever closer to real combat between the American left and right.
Correction to #60:
Let me be clear, America is not divided between religions, it is divided into those who believe religion is a good thing and those who believe religion is a bad thing. The religious against the irreligious. The Jacobins live.
i was terribly offended.
in Seattle City Council style, my proposed legislative bill reinstates the "4 foot rule" like strip joints--you pay & get your coffee/latte with a big retractible pole or tray.
I go to Taiwan every year. The photos and story in todays Tri-City Herald reminded me of the Betelnut girls
Betelnut, I've heard, has some kind of intoxicant affect.
I think there is some sort of sexual goings on--which one of the posts also suggests--and that may well be where this is headed.
sorry, jumping on this thread so late, but I'm not checking in daily.
My 2 cents. As a liberal, female. Not only was I not offended, by the story, I applaud the gals who are making the cash off the guys who so willingly hand it over. suckas. But really, teal? Looks like something you'd pick up at a Castle superstore. ick. Nice cleavage though.
So there, enough with the liberal bashing. Let's mark prudishness also as a quality that can cross party lines. And not all of THEM liberals speak for all of US. thank you and good night.