Booth Babe Bother

Booth Babe Bother

Bright Star Mosaic by Bonnie McBrideI had my first panic attack in the fall of 1977. I had just eagerly opened my booth package from the Consumer Electronics Show. It was my first CES, as well as my first time exhibiting. I ripped open the package, and in addition to the forms was a substantial little booklet – with head shots of girls my age! WTF? What could this be?

As I read the booklet and it dawned on me that you order booth babes from a catalog, panic rose with the thought – how are they going to know I’m real and not a booth babe? The babes were all just nice looking girls and could have been my friends. There’s no difference!

Breathing into a paperbag worked that time, but it just doesn’t stop.

This morning I viewed pictures of a party at Infocomm Asia 2001 where scantily clad young girls used their faces to roll a ping pong ball up one leg and down the other for the lucky guys chosen. Photos look like simulated blowjobs, and if you try to tell me it’s just an innocent game, you’ve never had a blowjob.

Then this: “Autonomic and Stereo Exchange are planning a special, invitation-only event during CE Week in New York next week meant to introduce customers to high resolution audio “in the nude.”” Album covers painted on nearly nude women. Nice. None of the pictures show nearly nude men, although if it’s really about art the male chest might make a better canvas.

Here’s the link if you must. From the one comment posted:

“Really? You think “Iconic album art body-painted onto models” is OK? I suppose that whomever dreamed this up is unaware that females also have ears and the ability to listen to and enjoy music.”

Their reply? “A female coordinated this event and we absolutely respect females. This event is about artistic expression and the enjoyment of digitally mastered high resolution audio files supported through the Mirage Audio System.

We appreciate your feedback.

If you respected women you would have given her title and perhaps had her explain her vision. Or is this just a female employee to you and the “vision” comes from your Marketing VP? If she is just a female to you, and not an important part of your company, then you are being patronizing and arrogant.

If one sex is fully clothed and the other scantily clad, something hinky is going on, and it has no place in business. People are questioning, why aren’t there more women in these fields? Because it’s uncomfortable and it really gets old. Because many have preferred objectifying women instead of working towards full partnership.

And before you assert the bromide “Sex sells!”, realize you are quoting words from long ago, when people didn’t even pretend to include women.



2 Responsesto “Booth Babe Bother”

  1. Ivan Berger says:

    Years ago, I made the rounds at CES with an editor who had once been a booth babe. “They treated me like a piece of furniture, never acknowledging that I had a brain,” she said. “But now that I have a press badge from a major magazine, they roll out the red carpet.”

    Women’s attainments make other women’s attainments easier to see. For years, whenever I called an engineering department, a female voice meant I had the secretary on the line. So the first couple of times I spoke with female engineers, I had to readjust my mindset. Now, I assume that any woman I speak to in a place like that is an engineer, because she almost certainly is.

  2. Penny Sitler says:

    Colleen, well said. I too have been shocked by some of the old-boy comments that have appeared in the recent LinkedIn discussions on this topics. It makes me appreciate the individuals who have commented, shared, and posted their own blogs, calling for professionalism in our industry.

    Thank you.

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