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Confessions of a Feminist

Working in a Bar

By Kennedy KovalickPublished 5 years ago 6 min read

After rolling out of bed, I pick out my outfit for the day, I work at 5. Shorts or jeans? Low cut shirt or just a regular tee shirt?

These are the questions I ask myself every day before choosing an outfit for work. I work in a bar that is frequented by sleazy men trying to get a glimpse at our all-female staff.

Working in a bar catered towards men is a job that can be difficult with the views that I have. It is a hard decision to go to work every day knowing that you are going to get all sorts of "compliments" and looks throughout the night. The later it becomes in the night, the more obscene the comments become.

I end up biting my tongue more often than not. Regulars often decide that because they frequent the bar more, they are allowed to express more of their thoughts on women, as well as other opinions that may not be taken well by the women working.

Sometimes it can be hard to put making money in front of my views and have to smile and flirt with men I am not even remotely interested in, just to make sure I get a decent tip. Working in a restaurant can be hard as is, but having to succumb to flirting with drunk men can be a whole other challenge. I most certainly applaud women who work at Hooters and Wing Houses everywhere.

This most certainly contrasts with my feminist viewpoint of being able to work for my own money and not take anything from men, yet, I can take advantage of my youth and make almost $200 a night working in this bar. I often have to put my views aside in order to make money. I spend many nights giggling at terrible anti-feminist jokes just in order to make some extra cash.

Many hardcore feminists would disagree with my job and what I am doing, but I see it as sort of using the patriarchy to my advantage. I can sometimes make an extra hundred bucks because men think I am "cute." It is not nearly as demeaning as say, stripping or dancing, but demeaning nonetheless. I realized that if I wanted to make more money than the average server, it was definitely possible. Wearing shorts versus jeans often instantly increases your gratuity percentage at the end of the night. And the same goes for wearing a low cut shirt versus a sports jersey or tee shirt.

It is very unfortunate to have to do this, but it is a way for me to make more cash than I would serving at a different restaurant. It is also a conscious choice that I make every day, even though I know I am going to get hit on at least once that night. Sometimes I am able to put on a smile and laugh it off, but often I am unimpressed with men.

I also do have the option of wearing jeans and tee shirts, in which I am often not messed with too much, which some girls choose to wear every shift. There are, of course, girls who are much more comfortable with taking money from these men and wear tank tops and shorts every day.

Of course, going into this job, I did not realize it would be such a male-dominated patronage. I knew it was a bar, but considering that we live in a neighborhood mostly filled with elderly, I figured they rarely had any late night visitors. Oh, how I was wrong.

My favorite of our regulars is a man in his fifties named John. He is a good looking older gentleman who spends most of his nights closing down the bar with us at 2 AM after being unsuccessful in trying to pick up 40-year-old single moms (also a popular type of patron). He comes across as a very nice guy, he is funny, not terrible to look at, and definitely has money.

The more I get to know John, the more I don't like him. I have only worked at this bar for a couple months now, and the regulars are finally beginning to remember my name and form a relationship with me. Now that John has learned my name, he feels that he can say whatever is on his mind to my face. This has resulted in him telling me how attractive I am, as well as yelling derogatory comments as I ate dinner one night. To say the least, I am done putting up with him face to face. I avoid him as much as possible.

Another recent mishap he caused was about a month ago when an older woman became too drunk to walk out of the bar. She was a slightly heavier woman, but by no means was she fat or incredibly obese. She immediately fell after attempting to get out of the bar stool and had to be helped up by her husband.

This is when John begins to take notice from across the bar and points her out to all the women he is currently hitting on. I, on the side of the bar with the woman trying to help as much as I can, suddenly hear John's laughter from across the restaurant. He proceeds to point and laugh at this poor woman as her husband attempts to walk her out of the restaurant. My jaw drops. I knew he was slightly scummy, but this has taken it to a whole other level.

I give him a dirty look and he kind of calms down. I knew he was more than tipsy at the time, but that does not excuse his behavior. Back at the entrance of the bar, the woman is still being escorted out by her husband about fifteen minutes later. John, yet again, takes notice and yells out, "Just roll her to your car!"

My head snaps back to John and it took everything in me to not smack him across the face.

"That's not funny," was my instant reply.

He was obviously very amused and replied with, "What are you talking about? Fat people are hilarious!!"

I repeated my words to him giving him the dirtiest look I could muster. The bar was beginning to empty out at this point and there was not a doubt in my mind that her husband heard John's crude comment.

This is the first bar job I have ever had. The restaurant I worked at before was much more of a family restaurant, and it has really opened up my eyes to the world we live in. I will have plenty more stories to come, and if anything, working there has only made me become more of a feminist and want to work harder for equality for women.


About the Creator

Kennedy Kovalick


Just trying to, like, realize things.

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