The Best of Systers Blog Booth Babes
The mere presence and topic of booth babes deserves a well crafted feminist rant. However, I don’t have to write one, because recently posted to Systers is a male slant on the booth babe discussion from Matt Heusser.
Attending conferences, where many typical computer scientist (read: socially inept people) are huddled together to learn about esoteric topics, can create a breeding ground for isolation. For example, being the only woman at your small start up may be annoying but being the only woman in a room full of strange men may be daunting.
Booth babes are women who are strategically work in conference booths – usually wearing provocative clothing and having little or no technical knowledge. There are times that the booth babes aren’t even actual employees for the company they represent, but are instead hired models to promote the company or product.
Booth babes are like salt in a wound. At a basic level the presence of booth babes highlights that there are so few women. The fact that they are rarely appropriately dressed, keenly demonstrates objectification to the few women who are at the conference. The whole thing is questionable and a clear call to “brogrammer” culture.
Yet, booth babes continue to exist. What can we do about it?
Here are three links that we use when contacting companies about their use of booth babes:
Are there others that we could use?