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John Lindsey
12th November 2003, 20:43
Sushi in the raw: Restaurant's displays get women's group steamed

By J. Patrick Coolican
Seattle Times staff reporter


Saturday night at Bonzai in Pioneer Square, a nearly naked woman is laid out on a table. A chef slices sushi behind her, to be arrayed on her torso, bare except for a sheath of plastic wrap and some decorative flower petals.

Chopsticks at the ready, patrons line up.

Hours earlier, across town on the campus of the University of Washington, eight activists, mostly Asian-American women, express outrage at what they call the prostitution of sushi and the exploitation of women. They plot their strategy.

Welcome to a clash of values — Seattle style.

While the promoter and the sushi model say this melding of prandial and sexual is performance art, Bonzai's patrons — men and women of various ethnicities — say it merely adds to the restaurant's sensual vibe.

Opponents say treating women like a serving platter reinforces attitudes that make domestic and sexual violence so prevalent.

Read the rest of the story here:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/PrintStory.pl?document_id=2001788074&zsection_id=2001780260&slug=sushi11m&date=20031111

Cady Goldfield
12th November 2003, 21:44
Ooooold story. The human female serving platter approach has been going on for quite a few years. I'm surprised it's still in the news.

Cody
12th November 2003, 21:52
"Seattle needs to relax."
I second that.

Neil Yamamoto
12th November 2003, 22:19
Well, you have to understand something about Seattle…

It’s filled with pine cone sucking, tree hugging (arborus wraparoundus- as Keith Larman once put it) eco-loving, narcissistic, self righteous, mis-informed, politically correct minded, self interest groups who are so out of touch with reality, that they think the world revolves around their pansy assed emotional needs and self esteem issues and are catered to by the “must embrace diversity” mindset of the Seattle Times and Seattle Post Intelligencer.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. ;)

As for the club that’s doing it, if you are enough of a dumb a** to go to the place and pay 30% more for just OK sushi then you would pay for great sushi at a good but not trendy restaurant, well, go for it and enjoy! :)

Scott Irey
12th November 2003, 22:56
Cutting through the crap and tearing the heart of the matter out for all to see as it feebly beats before their eyes(insert drum roll) It's....NEEEEEEEEIL YAMAMOTO ladies and gentlemen!!

Thanks for the chuckle Neil...first rounds on me :beer:

Chuck Clark
12th November 2003, 23:12
Hi Scott and Neil,

I agree, too much silliness!

Thanks for the laugh.

Cady Goldfield
13th November 2003, 01:20
Originally posted by Neil Yamamoto
Well, you have to understand something about Seattle…

It’s filled with pine cone sucking, tree hugging (arborus wraparoundus- as Keith Larman once put it) eco-loving, narcissistic, self righteous, mis-informed, politically correct minded, self interest groups who are so out of touch with reality, that they think the world revolves around their pansy assed emotional needs and self esteem issues and are catered to by the “must embrace diversity” mindset of the Seattle Times and Seattle Post Intelligencer.

Yeah, I found that out when I was there in September. Thank heavens there are NORMAL people like Neil living near Seattle, not to mention that guy who sells toad-stickers. Whatsisname... Scott? ;)

I'm almost tempted to stop by the Nekkid Human Sushi Tray restaurant when I'm in the 'hood for a seminar next weekend. It would almost be worth the price to order California maki and ask to have one served on each nipple...

Come to think of it, Hooters is cheaper. They got one in Seattle?

StanLee
13th November 2003, 08:15
Ooo! I want my sushi to be served like that to me all the time now!

On the side, there are countless fictional stories involving humans as "sushi trays" that are too dodgy to even talk about on this forum...

larsen_huw
13th November 2003, 08:56
Originally posted by StanLee
Ooo! I want my sushi to be served like that to me all the time now!

On the side, there are countless fictional stories involving humans as "sushi trays" that are too dodgy to even talk about on this forum...

Stan ...

If stories of your eating exploits are to be beleived, then there'd be a serious risk of you getting carried away and eating the poor woman as well! :D

KhawMengLee
13th November 2003, 11:35
Originally posted by StanLee
Ooo! I want my sushi to be served like that to me all the time now!

You can Stan! We have that every saturday at Wakaba! hahaha!!

StanLee
13th November 2003, 13:39
Meng, sushi battered on the forehead with a shinai?

Huw, I don't do human flesh but those fictional stories I mentioned... you come close to the mark...:)

Joseph Svinth
14th November 2003, 08:21
There is a Hooters in Lynnwood, and another in South Tacoma.

Next time you're in Seattle, try White Center instead. It ought to be more to your liking. If not, then there is always Hoquiam.

poryu
14th November 2003, 09:11
HI

If a naked woman laid in front of me covered in sushi I know which prawn I would eat first

:toast:

StanLee
14th November 2003, 13:07
Originally posted by poryu
HI

If a naked woman laid in front of me covered in sushi I know which prawn I would eat first

:toast:

The big king prawn tempura first? Good choice!:D

David T Anderson
14th November 2003, 15:31
Originally posted by Neil Yamamoto
Well, you have to understand something about Seattle…

It’s filled with pine cone sucking, tree hugging (arborus wraparoundus- as Keith Larman once put it) eco-loving, narcissistic, self righteous, mis-informed, politically correct minded, self interest groups who are so out of touch with reality, that they think the world revolves around their pansy assed emotional needs and self esteem issues and are catered to by the “must embrace diversity” mindset of the Seattle Times and Seattle Post Intelligencer.



Yikes...tell us what you really think now, Neil...:p

Personally, I think it's just all that designer coffee getting people wired up.

Joseph Svinth
15th November 2003, 03:16
True or falsies?

This practice started in Japan a couple years ago.

One of the major caterers for such events in the USA is the guy who catered the last Republican National convention. He plans his next major breakthrough in Saudi Arabia, where, because of local sensibilities, the model will be male.

Cady Goldfield
15th November 2003, 03:38
Male serving tray?
Wonder if they'll have a ring-toss game with squid slices? The potential is there.

Cody
15th November 2003, 03:45
the potential is there, but either the squid has to be pretty damn big, or.. well, other variable has to be small for it to be a fair game ;)

-Cody

Sochin
15th November 2003, 18:58
Cody,
you still work in a sushi place??

Are you going ot bring this decadent American idea north??

:)

Cody
15th November 2003, 19:30
Very naughty, Sochin!!

I am taking 6 classes this term, so I only fill in when they need someone urgent.

I will bring that sushi plate "tradition" up north once I've mastered the art of chopSTICK-Fighting ;) Gotta make sure we've got the unruly customers under control =)

with love,
-Cody

Ryu Sekkendo
20th November 2003, 20:57
Issues like these tend to be centered on what the motivation is behind the action or practice.

I am more on the side of the Asian-American women who are upset. There's big sexual stereotypes all over the U.S. about Asian women. To be honest, I'm working with many who are trying to do something about it.

Ryu

StanLee
21st November 2003, 08:13
Billy,

What are the sterotypes then? Not being from the US, I don't know.:)

Joseph Svinth
22nd November 2003, 03:20
http://www.msnbc.com/news/985032.asp?cp1=1

Cody
22nd November 2003, 04:44
Originally posted by Ryu Sekkendo
Issues like these tend to be centered on what the motivation is behind the action or practice.

I am more on the side of the Asian-American women who are upset. There's big sexual stereotypes all over the U.S. about Asian women. To be honest, I'm working with many who are trying to do something about it.

Ryu

The issue here is an Orientalist manipulating a stereotype to make money.

The feminist group in this case seems to be protesting for the wrong reasons: they are protesting the performance as "using women as object" and somehow concludes that it leads to violence against women. (and not the manifested orientalism that you mentioned)

And you have me curious: why do you think something needs to be done for the stereotyped asian women?

We do tend to define ourselves by pointing out how others are different. There will always be orientalism and there will always be occidentalism. In my experience, people around me will find out soon and easy enough that I am just another human being, there is nothing oh so exotic about it. I don't find the stereotyping particularly offensive.

What I do find offensive, is when people think Asian women can't fend for themselves, when people think asian women are oh so docile, their only hope of "gaining the right to be seen as human" is if institutions stomp in, make a big deal out of it, and make them even more protected - and passive.

It's one thing if this "feminist group" stand up and tell the world that "wait a minute, this isn't what Asian women are about, this restaurant is making profit by manipulating the stereotyping". As it is, they are just feeding the "female=passive" stereotyping.

-Cody

Neil Yamamoto
25th November 2003, 17:55
Now they have men covered in sushi, everybody happy? Cady has to check this out next time she's in town!

Here's the article from the Seattle Times

Seattle is now an equal-opportunity objectification city.

Not only can you eat sushi off naked women at the Bonzai restaurant every Saturday night — now you can eat it off naked men, too!

Happy? Are all things feeling equal? Can we stop fretting and fuming over what other people want to do with their own bodies and start wondering why Iraqi teenagers are killing our soldiers? Or how our kids are going to get a decent education when administrators who have never brushed chalk off their hands pull in six-figure salaries? My hat is off to Dan Savage and his band of rabble-rousers at The Stranger. (I know ... Life's funny, isn't it?)

In an effort to stick a pin in the balloon of righteous bluster over sushi served on willing female torsos, Savage recruited two men to strip to their boxers, get wrapped in plastic, and stretch out across two tables at Bonzai on Friday night. The men were then covered with Top Pot doughnuts for a crowd of about 100 happy-hour types, who sipped drinks and took way too long deciding between crullers or pink with sprinkles. It went so well that the bar manager asked the men to do Naked Sushi. Both agreed.

"What's not to like?" asked one of the men, Michael Bertrand, 24. "I got to be myself in my underwear, I got a lot of free drinks and I was having a good time with my friends." Savage chided the "clench-butts" who, by protesting Naked Sushi, made a political issue out of a publicity stunt.

I'm with him, but I also see where protesters are coming from. In these days of sweatshops, Gary Ridgway and Crystal Brame, there is ample evidence that women are victimized by men who seek control, cash and some kind of sick power. But there also is control and power in women doing exactly what they want, whether it's bellying up to the bar or bellying up on the bar. The rest of us have a choice, too, to either go down to Bonzai and eat sushi off people, or stay home and eat Piecora's pizza off plates.

The tricky part is determining whether this is a battle worth fighting — or if it is a battle at all.
If the woman is manacled to the bar against her will, then sign me up. Cut her loose first, then let me at the person who put her there. That doesn't seem to be the case here.
"If a girl wants to be a table for 20 minutes, then that's what she wants to do," Bertrand said. "And no one can argue with that." When he's not naked, Bertrand works in a U District shoe store and plays guitar in a band called Good Looks the Playboy, named for a character in a Mesopotamian folktale.

Sounds great, Michael. But what'd your mom say?
"She's very proud of me," Bertrand said. "My whole family is really free-spirited and doesn't really care about what other people think of us. "I didn't feel cheap or anything."

The only downside was having the duct tape ripped off his nipples when his shift as a shelf was over.
"They bought me a shot," he said. "That helped."

Cady Goldfield
25th November 2003, 18:00
Oh wow. We will never have that sort of avante-garde dining experience in Massachusetts. A local town shot down a new Hooter's franchise, fer pete sake.