The High Cost of Free Drinks
Local nightspot Overeasy made news sites and blogs the world over with its recent ‘Fill My Cups’ marketing ploy. It offered free drinks to women based on their bra size – and it was rewarded with a full house.
Reactions to the gimmick were mixed, with some defending it as a bit of fun and others decrying it as demeaning women.
AWARE has sent this letter to the Straits Times Forum:
“We refer to the “Fills My Cups” event organized by Overeasy at One Fullerton (ST, 18/01/2010). Overeasy is run by Lo & Behold which also runs “Loof” and the “White Rabbit”.
The bar invited women to enjoy free alcohol based on the size of their breasts. The event was reportedly well-attended and women who had bigger breasts received more “free” drinks.
There is nothing free about letting a room of people gawk at your breasts. Even if a woman is willing to pay the personal price of loss of dignity, there is still a cost suffered by other women. The women who participated in the event have contributed to the objectification of women, to reducing a woman’s value to her breast size and have helped reinforce the belief amongst men that this is not only acceptable but welcome.
Staging this event in itself is extremely distasteful. Just because sexism is profitable does not make it right. For the organisers to say that this is just “good fun and not sexist or sleazy” (New Paper, 17/01/2010) is insincere. The indignity is suffered only by one gender.
It is unfortunate there are women willing to make this choice so lightheartedly. The individual woman may view her participation as an act of empowerment. Perhaps she feels she should use whatever assets she has to secure favours for herself. In our sex and youth obsessed culture it is not surprising some women would grow to be so cynical.
Yes, women have the right to choose, but individual choices are made in a social context. And in our current social context, women have a much harder time being esteemed as individuals above and beyond their value as sex objects.
This event perpetuates the notion of women as sex objects and makes it that much more difficult for each woman who wants to be valued for her character and contribution rather than how she stacks up to a distorted image of the ideal body.
The personal choice (for the participants) and the private choice (for the corporation) has had a detrimental social impact.
Choice works both ways. The organisers may have successfully packed their venue on the evening, but they may well have lost future business at Overeasy and their sister establishments.”
What do you think about the Fill My Cups marketing gimmick, and the stand taken by AWARE?
Share your thoughts.