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Why 'female friendly' restaurants are making women unhappy

A few years ago, Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria opened a steakhouse for women, aptly named SHe. In a press release, Longoria said the restaurant would "create a feeling of empowerment" for women and challenge the notion that steakhouses are a place for men.

But when SHe opened its doors on New Year's Eve 2012, all that talk of empowerment boiled down to smaller, "she-sized" steak portions, mirrors on the dessert menus so women could reapply their lipstick, and "sexy" décor. And let's not forget SHe's main attraction: a catwalk where women in scanty clothing perform for the restaurant's female and male guests.

SHe isn't the only restaurant that has drawn criticism for invoking gender stereotypes under the guise of being "female friendly." The international steakhouse chain STK received backlash after posting a female-friendly promotional video that featured sexist images of stilettoed women feeding each other steak. A pink sports bar in New York's Union Square hit every feminist's nerve when owner Ken Sturm told DNAinfo, "We did a softer design [because] we wanted to make it very inviting for women so that they don't feel like they're sitting a men's kind of club."

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