A Booth Babe Rant From a Fickle (but clothed) Woman

I can’t even go on G+ anymore I’m just too cranky.

The ASUS tweet was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I’m dangerously close to becoming a bra burning, angry feminist but my more rational self really loves a great bra.

In case you missed it the good folks at ASUS tweeted this

I’m smart enough to know that this doesn’t represent everyone at ASUS, nor does it necessarily represent the corporate culture at ASUS this week, but if I was a woman looking for work in technology would I want to work at ASUS? No. Absolutely not. If I was standing at Best Buy thinking about buying a computer when this tweet came in would I want to buy ASUS? Hell no.

ASUS isn’t the problem. Yes, they have at least one jackass working there, but they aren’t the problem. We are all the problem. I stood at the Auto Show this year talking to a model with glittery tits about Fiat. I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt but she was there to be shimmery, not to talk MPG.

At CES this is how Bluetooth is sold by Supertooth. Obviously men are the only ones who buy bluetooths… straight men. Let me make that clear.

This is an issue I’m just beginning to discuss because it’s multilayered. The problem in technology and in automotive (though less so in automotive) is that it’s really tough for clothed women to walk into a room full of young men who are ogling undressed women and then to be spoken to respectfully. I wouldn’t expect a man to walk into a male revue and be taken seriously.

Also, from a totally pragmatic point of view women buy stuff but not from people they think might hate them. Setting up a situation where men have all the power and women have none of the clothes makes me think that someone working at these brands hate women. Someone in some sort of power position.

Women are sexy, women can be silly, but men can be both of those things too. If a tech firm hired a woman to dress in booth babe attire in the office they’d open themselves up to sexual harassment lawsuits. Why is the conference any different?

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Comments 15

  1. I so appreciate your hatred for gender stereotypes. Particularly, when stereotypes are characterized. The dumb male in movies/tv and the hoochie momma to sell products. We’re on the same wave length. 

  2. Yeah, this ranks pretty darn high on the ‘appalling scale.’ The G+ thread comparing the Friendster disintegration to a (potential) Pinterest exodus doesn’t make any sense. Both Myspace and Friendster were fled by men and women alike, and it had very little to do with their ‘gender-ed’ appraisals of the site.

    Even as a male sales/BD rep for my company, I am amazed by the kinds of sexualized ‘networking’ interactions that are condoned (if not encouraged) at conferences. There always seems to be a level of courting and flirtation that underlies exchanges between exhibitors and guests…unfortunately, for female ‘booth babes’, this courting and flirtation is made more palpable, more physical, more bawdy. 

    And that’s my rant. Great post. :)       

  3. What kills me after being in tech since 1975 and watching it evolve to what it is now, companies think that by having attractive women in their booth that they’ll sell more products. Are you selling tech or are you selling flesh? Seriously? GET A FUCKING CLUE!!! 

    and for the absolute moron who said “Men use blackberries”…for doorstops! iPhones are 5 times as reliable and by the price of RIM stock…BOOM!!! YOU LOSE! Apple WINS. You’re lucky that Cupertino hasn’t bought RIM and shut it down just for grins. It could still happen.

    Nice rant JESSICA.

  4. Attractive women in revealing outfits have been used to hawk products and spruce up showrooms since Eve talked Adam into biting into the apple. Electronics are marketed to Men predominantly and the ads, in my opinion, are starting to resemble ads for cars for that very reason. It’s unfortunate but it works and, if it works, software companies would be foolish to stop using an advertising gimmick that works. From a personal standpoint, I think it’s unfortunate that women feel that it demeans them personally and that advertising companies feel that sex is all that men think about. But, there it is and I can’t tell you how to change it.

  5. Some of us vagina-having people like shiny things with buttons as much as some of the penis-having people do, and we have money to spend. Do they not like the money that comes from the pockets of us vagina-having people?

  6. It’s all fun and games until someone says the word vagina in mixed company.  Those guys need bigger and better tech all the time so they can text better pictures of their equipment. To the booth babes. Who should probably turn around and sue for sexual harassment.

  7. I always thought it was the women who get paid to do nothing more than look pretty who had all the power and it was the ogling men drawn to their booths who were being taken advantage of and preyed upon.

    Show up, look sexy, laugh at the men flocking to your booth and then pull down a nice fat check for just three days work?  Get me that gig and you can even go ahead and tweet to the world about my nice looking rear, I’d be perfectly fine with that.

    If there’s any cause for outrage here, it’s that there’s no equal opportunity for me and my fellow men to earn the same kind of easy money as the booth babes do.

  8. I started working at a high-tech company two years ago. I had never worked in high-tech before, and “booth babes” were not something I was familiar with. I have to say, I was completely flabbergasted that this still goes on … I hear stories all the time when folks from our company come back from shows. I too feel dangerously close to becoming a bra-burning feminist these days, except that I can’t go anywhere without a bra. What’s a gal to do?

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