Enough with the booth babes, please

Continuing in the spirit of my last blog post, in which I tackled issues probably just a little bit too heavy for this kind of column, I’m making a push to engender more intelligent consumerism on the part of gamers and, indeed, entertainment consumers in general. Specifically the male ones.

A couple years ago, another site I write for gave me the opportunity to cover the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Funnily enough, I normally live in the bay area but was staying in San Diego for school and had to be flown out. Being able to cover an event for a publication was actually pretty exciting for me. The time I spent in San Francisco radically changed my formerly poor opinion of the city, too, and I now visit regularly. (Folks in the bay area, by the way, owe it to themselves to check out the Hypnodrome, which is currently putting on the most unspeakably insane play I’ve ever seen.) While I was covering GDC, however, I had the privilege—or rather, the misfortune—of experiencing a convention stalwart in person. I witnessed the booth babe in her native habitat.

For the uninitiated (all four of them), booth babes are, generally speaking, beautiful, scantily-clad women whose sole purpose is to draw attention to the individual booths at most trade shows. They may engage you in conversation about whatever product is being shilled at their booth, but for all intents and purposes, they exist to look pretty and pull the mostly male convention-goers from the crowd.

Those of you who’ve always wanted to be at a convention and mingle with the booth babes will just have to take my word for it: these are the most depressing creatures I’ve ever seen—and I’ve been in my share of crappy pet stores. Meth-addled hookers cause me less psychological distress than these ladies. There’s something authentically unsavory about this practice, and while I’m not going to sit here in my ivory tower and preach about how bad I feel for these girls—I hope they’re making good money, at least—I will say I’m pretty disgusted with the institution that produces them.

Consider a commercial for Axe products, something rife with beautiful women who are so incredibly turned on by a man using an Axe product that, well… frankly, if you haven’t raced out and bought it by now, you’re an idiot doomed to a horrible, sexless existence. Now consider what this commercial is actually talking about. It suggests women are sex objects, nothing more, whose panties get in a tizzy whenever someone wearing a body spray is wandering around. It suggests you like watching beautiful, nubile women in this tizzy. And it suggests you, the male viewer in the target demographic, are stupid enough to buy this crap. How much of the commercial has anything to do with the quality of the product? And how much of it has to do with just flaunting female flesh in front of you under the assumption that you’ll be dumb enough to both marginalize the more numerous half of the species and buy something because it’ll make you look cool with girls? Noodle it out for yourself, because we’re circling back to my initial point.

How much do you think the booth babe really has to do with the products on display? At least Axe is somehow tied to the scent of the male body, which women do key off of sometimes, just as males will key off of how a woman smells. The booth babe often has nothing whatsoever to do with the product at hand; her job is to look pretty and make whoever’s around interested in whatever’s available. The really hilarious thing is that if you’re a regular male reader of The Tech Report, odds are good that just getting a look at the hardware or games floating around would’ve been enough. This stuff is like porn to me, at least. On Friday mornings I thumb through the Fry’s ad like a sex addict through a Hustler Barely Legal magazine.

What’s really depressing is the way the electronics and gaming industries go hand-in-hand in revealing themselves to be profoundly misogynistic through this kind of practice. Those of you who’ve been paying attention may have noted the hit E3 took when it banned booth babes from the show floor in 2006, though admittedly, some awful restructuring decisions would come on the heels of that ban and nearly fatally wound the expo in 2007. Attendance in 2006 was actually down 14% from the previous year, even though all three next-generation gaming systems were on the floor. And sadly, in a bid to resurrect E3 this year, booth babes were reinstated.

Of course, if you want to get your fix of booth babes, there’s always Computex, among other trade shows.

I just honestly find the practice depressing and dehumanizing. I feel dumber for being part of the demographic—an owner of a functional penis—that these women are trotted out for. And you have to wonder if the female attendees and journalists, the rarefied female gamers and tech enthusiasts, don’t feel at least a little disenfranchised or objectified by crap like this. There’s no reason these fields have to be male-dominated, except that they’ve been a boys’ club for so long that most of the incumbents would sooner just shrug it off and forget about it.

That’s an easy thing to do, too. I’m sure someone in the comments will cry foul, saying I’m taking this too seriously or being oversensitive or just trolling for brownie points with the ladies. Yet as a writer and producer of content, it’s my job to produce something of intelligence and value, and booth babes actually do merit some discussion here since they’re a symptom of a greater issue (which I will cheerfully explore in future blogs). I don’t cry myself to sleep at night thinking of those poor girls in the tiny clothes being fawned over by the unwashed masses, but I definitely got uncomfortable around them at GDC 2007. (Side note: S3’s babes, much like the booth, were the epitome of depressing.)

Still, I feel obligated to ask: is stuff like this really doing anyone any favors?

Comments closed
    • pixeltek
    • 10 years ago

    Dustin, you would be so happy in ‘Taliban land’, Saudi Arabia, or in Iran, among the places where booth babes would be unthinkable and never tolerated, at least not in any way that might offend you. Me, I am so happy to suffer the exposure to those lovely ladies at Siggraph and other shows or at car shows, or even highlighted by the Tom’s Hardware crew at each of their show visits all around the world. When I go to any of the gyms, be they in Japan, the US, France, England, Spain, Italy, HK, Singapore, or Germany, I feel motivated by the ladies of all ages who seem to enjoy the gym as a place to not just build and tone their bodies, but also show them off in the most delightful ways. No one forces them to do that, and there are certainly a few who don’t. When in Amman, Jordan, I was told that there are now many gyms in town, and while I enjoy spending time in gyms, I had absolutely no desire to be in a place populated entirely by swarthy males ogling each others pecs and bi’s. It’s the nature of the beast, and neither your grousing about it, nor the decade long attacks by feminists manage to stop males from being cheerfully exploited by lovely women placed strategically around show and exhibition floors. None of them ever changed minds on a particular product, but all of them raise the spirits and friendly atmosphere wherever they show up. I recall chatting with one of the ladies at some Siggraph show: Her sweater read “Nice Rack”. She and her fellow babes happily accepted to pose with or for visitors, something that surely was not in their contract. I chatted at one of the LA Auto shows with one of the women and she said that she and her friends are excited about each new show, not just for the money involved, but because of the new products they got to learn about and briefly represent, as well as the many interesting people she would meet.
    If I had my choice to live in a culture that has booth babes or one that does not, there is not even a split second’s hesitation in my mind where my preferences lie.

    • TardOnPC
    • 10 years ago

    BOO! I am sorry, but…this is one article I just have to comment on. Hey, I have respect for women but this is just too much. Remember back in High School the dumb chicks that got by on their looks? They were always nice and cheerful but dumb as hell. Well these chicks have to do something after HS. SOOO…since they can’t function in the real world they do odd jobs like these. I say let them be. For shame on us for exploiting them, for shame. *Sarcasm* They deserve it! >:)

      • albundy
      • 10 years ago

      yo, hahahahaha! you made my day! LMAO! There not really trophy -[

        • A_Pickle
        • 10 years ago

        g[

    • Common Sensei
    • 10 years ago

    We live in a society that makes decisions, especially employment decision, on the basis of all sorts of seemingly irrelevant criteria. Men with deeper voices tend to earn more than those with higher-pitched voices, the tall statistically-speaking earn more than the short.

    Here they are are selecting women based on sex appeal. Why? Because it seems to bring men in and cause them to linger. It may or may not effect their ultimately decision to buy directly, but the time spent in a booth may, even if the primary reason for hanging out there was the eye candy and some fantasy.

    Did you ever hear of Hooters? or strip clubs? or cocktail waitresses in casinos? It’s the same trick in a different venue. There the women don’t even pretend to have extensive knowledge of a technical product, the the menus for food and drinks, and their is to get you to spend as much as possible.

    I would suspect that Jessica Alba has never been in a single move BUT FOR the expectation that if she i in it, men will watch. (They certainly not casting her on her acting ability)

    The truth is that many men, for biological reasons are entertained by looking at attractive women. That entertainment exists whether the woman is hawking the latest video game, slinging drinks or walking down the street on hot day minding her own business. Companies make use of the easy entertainment to draw men in. If you are going to get riled up about it here, you should beware learning any more about what “cheerleaders” do at sporting events.

    It it dehumanizing to the women? Yes and no. I am sure there are some sad sacks with mental problems who are pushed into thinking of women as organic sex-bots because they were exposed to a booth babe and misunderstood. I have to imagine that most men are able to separate the real person from the fantasy image. You’ll get your occasional John Hinckley’s who can’t separate the fantasy and reality, but the rest of us do a pretty good job.

    It is certainly not a job for everyone, but do think it pays well, and the work is, in the grand scheme of things, pretty easy. The only catch is that you have to be comfortable showing skin and talking to men you would otherwise brush off. I would imagine (living in Manhattan, where they only city blocks that do not have a bar, are those that have two or more) that most female bartenders have things worse. They also show skin (usually by choice, though the “choice” is dictated by the fact that men tip scantily clad bartendresses *way* better), but they rely on tips, the crowd is largely drunk and the bouncer is often away at the door, not over by the bar.

    In that case are female bartenders who wear more revealing outfits demeaning to themselves? I know several of them, and the consensus is that it’s the men to tip them based solely upon their clothing who are being played. In a way, if you think about it, men are the victims of their alcohol and hormone addled brains.

    • shaq_mobile
    • 10 years ago

    somebody has been reading “O” magazine lately…

    a little objectification here and there keeps things in balance, we need to counteract all the Oprah

    also think about this, without sexism there would have been no womens suffrage. so it does do good things for men and women.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 10 years ago

      Without sexism there wouldn’t have been a suffrage i[

    • cynan
    • 10 years ago

    Most people here are simply missing the point.

    The role of Booth Babe objectifies women. There is no way around this. Women are displayed as bling to attract attention to other merchandise. Whether the women do this voluntarily or even enjoy it does not make it any less an objectification of a human being. In fact, it is not the Booth Babe who is the potential “victim” in this circumstance, as Sklavos correctly pointed out – as for them, if they do this of their own free will, the attention may be empowering – but the people for whom the Booth Babes were hired to attract.

    The relevant debate is whether or not objectification of people is ever acceptable, and, if so, when and in what form?

    As some have alluded to here already, athletes are equally objectified. Not for their “sexiness”, but for their ability to run fast, etc. The thing is, when you get right down to it, any type of idolatry is objectification. Why do we idolize and thereby objectify? Because we want these traits for ourselves. Weather it is to be able to bring the ball to the hoop and have the fame and wealth of Lebron James, or to be able to gratify carnal appetites by engaging in sexual fantasies with someone as physically attractive as some of these Booth Babes.

    So when is this objectification “wrong”? It depends on our values. Our society reveres hard work, dedication and exceptional degrees of natural ability and even exceptional good fortune. It is rarely contested when we idolize or objectify athletes, actors or even business people, etc, who have used these traits to earn fame and wealth. Again, would anyone have much of a moral issue if AMD hired Lebron James to stand and sign autographs at one of their booths?

    Ergo, objectification is only wrong if what is being objectified is considered base and depraved.

    So the million dollar question: Are what the Booth Babes convey to the attendee considered base and depraved?

    In my opinion there is no straightforward answer. If Booth Babes simply provide opportunities for people to appreciate aesthetically pleasing specimens of the human form, then perhaps not. However, if they evoke feelings and appetites that are considered depraved, then perhaps. I think the reason why this is such a difficult debate is that one individual may pass an attractive Booth Babe, acknowledge her beauty and sexual desirability and have a slight feeling of awe and thankfulness that nature can create such beauty. A second, however, might suddenly begin to feel sexual urges and feelings of lust that catch them off guard and make them have urges to react in ways that either the individual or society deems to be depraved.

    Moreover, our society is continually struggling with whether the enticement of lust is an acceptable tool to use to achieve other ends. If you believe in the sanctity of monogamous romantic relationships, then lust after multiple women, as in the case of the second example described in the proceeding paragraph, is generally considered depraved. If you believe that more liberal “no strings” sexual relationships are perfectly virtuous, than perhaps a lustful response is just fine.

    Make no mistake, the issue of whether Booth Babes are acceptable has everything to do with what society and you as an individual believe is acceptable to objectify. To reiterate, the potential victims are the people for which the Booth Babes are hired to entice and not the Booth Babes themselves. To exemplify this, take drug addiction. No one that I know of reveres drug addiction, a state where other aspects in an addicts life becomes increasingly compromised in the service of the next fix. Here it is clear that the victim is the addict and absurd to say that it is the drug dealer.

    From the perspective of the unfortunate few who live with the ordeal of experiencing sex as an addiction, it is possible to condemn any practice that may evoke unhealthy lustful urges, and thereby condemn the Booth Babe. Yet if there are many more others that, have a healthy, balanced perspective on sex, who merely regard Booth Babes as an opportunity to behold nature’s beauty, perhaps they are harmless.

    So, do we ban all public forms of sexuality to ease the plight of the unfortunate “degenerates” out there? Maybe we should if they make up a substantial proportion of our society – but then this is suggestive of a more important underlying flaw with the human condition – otherwise what’s so wrong with the Booth Babe? After all, we don’t ban alcohol in spite of the prevalence of alcoholics. We tried that once. Should we again?

    /[

      • scpulp
      • 10 years ago

      I think you miss my point a little bit.

      You need to look at the reason why these women are being paraded out in these booths. It has nothing to do with an altruistic appreciation of the female form and everything to do with a jaded understanding that T&A is a cheap and easy way to attract male attention. The tactic itself is base, rooted in the lowest common denominator.

      Athletes, actors, and so on have often at least done something to merit the attention and idolatry they receive, because they are good at what they DO. A booth babe does not DO anything. The attention is at its basest.

      And then you take context into account. If it were a Playboy magazine or the AVN awards, who gives a crap? These venues are specifically about beauty and sexuality, and appealing to that baser desire is their honest and stated purpose.

      What the hell does an attractive woman have to do with technology?

        • Meadows
        • 10 years ago

        You might want to pad the article with some addendum, because apparently nobody gets your point.

        • cynan
        • 10 years ago

        Well, what the hell does an attractive women have to do with anything, for that matter?

        And are Booth Babes an integral part of the event? Absolutely not. Anyone in their right mind who decides to attend a technology trade show based on Booth Babe turn out should probably be asking themselves some serious questions.

        I completely agree that the entire Booth Babe concept is nothing more than a cheap tactic for attention. But what isn’t when it comes to marketing and advertising?

        What is not so clear is why appreciation of an attractive individual for their attractiveness alone must be relegated to the status of a base or depraved behavior.

        Your comment about actors, etc stands. That is exactly what I was getting at in my previous post – we as a society generally consider it acceptable to objectify traits which do not have traces of depravity because it is safer to be sure that they are revering something “good”.

        But don’t for a minute think that our society only finds it acceptable to appreciate things that require hard work, dedication and tenacity. We simply objectify anyone who exhibits a trait that is desirable and that we might want more of in ourselves. For example, we objectify those with IQs over 150.. Did these rare “geniuses” earn this trait? The uncertainty arises when the trait has a possibility of becoming perverted because we feel insecure about where to draw the line between what is harmless appreciation and what is appealing to our more base nature.

        Of course Booth Babes aren’t about appreciating female beauty or sexuality in itself (by the way, what is altruistic about appreciating something?), but it is the unanimous appreciation of female beauty/sexuality that makes this cheap tactic effective.

        My main point was that it only becomes a base and depraved practice if attendees at these events respond to Booth Babes in a manner that society or the individual attendee deems to be base or depraved, an extreme example being sex addicts – those who so unfortunately cannot experience something to which they are sexually attracted without responding with feelings of uncontrolled lust, etc.

        I think it just might be possible, that if people have a healthy perspective on sexuality that the tactic of the Booth Babe may be no more remarkable than any other marketing tool that may be employed to attract attention.

        Personally, I find the idea of a women in a short, form-fitting dress holding a PC component and smiling in a sea of tech geeks rather ridiculous – but why must it automatically bring connotations of baseness and depravity? If in fact it does, it is only the fault of the vendor if they are relying on some base response in their perspective audience to somehow sell their products. I personally don’t think they’ve thought this far and have only surmised that it will get more people looking in the direction of their booths.

        This may be one situation where the depravity -if it exists at all – is truly in the heart of the beholder.

    • Jambe
    • 10 years ago

    Our culture has been strongly patriarchal for hundreds of years; if the “women as sex objects” facet of our culture is to decline it’ll take a while. Ancient tribes all seem to have a strong core of women surrounded by leeching, warring, sperm-and-infrequent-animal-carcass-contributing menfolk. Despite all our progress things remain largely the same. If this extra-vague analogy is at least somewhat accurate, it’s easy to think that there’s a sort of “chauvinism” wired into men and a tolerance thereof wired into women (an often-begrudging tolerance, to be sure). You can leap from there to the suggestion that booth babes are an indirect outgrowth of our early social-evolutionary heritage (testosterone and gender roles and all that). I’m no evolutionary biologist or anthropoligist, mind, so take that all with a grain of salt.

    I’ve taken photos ranging in “tameness” from advertising material to artful nude and non-intercourse erotic publications with models from untrained newbies to decades-experienced veterans. The vast majority are completely comfortable with their work — the men and women alike. There are plenty of youngins who get in over their heads, sure, but the veterans are very frank — they know exactly what they’re doing and why, and they enjoy it. Even if our man-dominated, religiousness-permeated society is inherently oppressive and unjustly restrictive, people at least have ample opportunity to rise above their surroundings.

    I tend to react negatively to any suggestion that sensuality, sexuality or nudity are inherently bad or shameful. I’ve been taught that none of those things are inherently distasteful and I work in an industry that often celebrates the intrinsic beauty of the human form. I get asked all the time by glib, self-assured, socially-conservative asshats, “So would you be okay around a fat, old naked dude, then?” I tend to answer quickly, “Yep, so long as he was hygienic. A thousand extra folds of skin will surely increase the sweat & stankiness, but that goes with being fat and old, eh? He’d just have to clean himself more often, or load up on deodorizers.” Nakedness really doesn’t bother me.

    Ask a booth babe sometime what she thinks of her job. If she doesn’t give you a rehearsed, intentionally-vague spiel about her “time with her employer” or a full-on admission that she’s only in the gig for some quick cash, you’ll likely find that she truly enjoys it. Apart from from the infrequent creepy gropish stalkerish stuff, mind — unfortunately that comes with the territory.

    All this said, I’m supportive of most feminist causes when they make sense. When they get so crazy that they think a man offering to hold a door open for a gal is offensive, though, something’s wrong. In that same token I’m a man, and when I see a sexy gal I fixate on her curvy bits —lips, chest, hips, bum and thighs— and I like it… in my pants. But I’m in my early twenties and I probably have enough testosterone for two guys my size, like all other males my age… and women realize that this is the case just as well as men do. In fact, I’d wager most women realize this fact about men long before said men are ever willing to admit it, and most of ’em seem to deal just fine with us regardless.

    You’re probably overreacting just a tad, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some validity to your observations. In any case, I’ll again assert that wide-scale change isn’t going to happen quickly, if indeed it happens at all. You can’t legislate women out of being able to flaunt their bodies around. Well, you can, but you’d be clearly in the wrong, I think.

      • scpulp
      • 10 years ago

      You, like 99% of my readers, have completely missed the point.

      I said over and over again that I’m not really talking about how we should feel sorry for the booth babes, etc. I don’t, necessarily. I think what they’re doing is depressing because it’s reductive and dehumanizing to them AND, more importantly, to the men they’re supposed to be attracting.

      Look, everyone’s got a price. For a few hundred I’d probably stand around a con in a bikini for a day. So the argument that others make “well if they felt bad, they wouldn’t do it” doesn’t hold water. It’s the men behind the curtain, the ones that think so little of YOU that you’ll be easily swayed by a pretty girl, that are the problem.

        • Jambe
        • 10 years ago

        I haven’t missed the point. I know what you’re saying — the use or appreciation of sexiness in advertising is inherently dehumanizing because of objectification (focusing on the body instead of the person). The problem is you’re conflating objectifying women with the natural attraction men have toward aesthetically pleasing women. The former is a culturally-impregnated subjective bias and the latter is a physiological norm.

        Exploiting man’s natural attraction to pretty women to gain a competitive advantage is only dehumanizing if you think this reaction (or acting upon it) is intrinsically dehumanizing. It isn’t. Now, there are undoubtedly men who so suffer from Testosterone Tunnel Vision that they treat all women as sexual objects, but I’d wager that most men aren’t so afflicted (it’d be pretty cynical to suggest that most men are misogynist cretins).

        Yes, booth babes flaunt their bodies, not their personalities. This “objectifies” them in the minds of the men who are at the cons for other reasons — tech stuff in this instance. That doesn’t mean any of the following, which you seem to imply:

        1. companies who hire promo babes do so maliciously or capriciously
        2. all patrons of cons are crippled by Testosterone Tunnel Vision
        3. the booth babes don’t know or appreciate what they’re doing

        • Cuhulin
        • 10 years ago

        “I think what they’re doing is depressing because it’s reductive and dehumanizing to them AND, more importantly, to the men they’re supposed to be attracting.”

        You know, I understand what you are saying, but I could not disagree more!

        Sexual attraction is one of the good things about human beings, and promoting that, whether it is by dressing properly, by being clean and presentable, by being fit, or otherwise is not “reductive and dehumanizing” — to anyone!

        It only comes across that way if you want to say that sexual attraction is somehow less than human, and I submit that such a premise is itself dehumanizing.

    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 10 years ago

    I’m going to write you a prescription for a chill pill. Have you ever actually seen a meth addict?

    • Vrock
    • 10 years ago

    Jesus.

    Some days, I would like to transport all these ‘sensitive’ Americans to a 3rd World country for a few months, so they can see things that are *really* worth getting upset about.

    This blog entry (and many of the ensuing comments) read like something a privileged, uppity, liberal New Yorker would whine about while sipping a latte and wearing a beret. Ugh.

      • FubbHead
      • 10 years ago

      You seem upset. 🙂

        • WillBach
        • 10 years ago

        Yeah, someone should make him a latte. Decaf, we don’t want him all jittery. 😛

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      3rd world countries are not worth getting upset about, because they’re /[

        • A_Pickle
        • 10 years ago

        g[

      • scpulp
      • 10 years ago

      Actually, I’m from California, drink tea, and haven’t worn a beret in years. 🙂

      • blubje
      • 10 years ago

      Sure, but when placing your own money towards largely unnecessary / desire-based computer hardware, applying a bit of moral discretion towards the seller isn’t so bad imo.

      I share the author’s opinion that a more intelligent presentation of new computer technology would be nice.

    • WillBach
    • 10 years ago

    -[

    • Vrock
    • 10 years ago

    What a long-winded, silly tirade. I mean, really? Models have been around forever. I personally think booth babes are kind of corny, but I don’t get all angsty about it and wax philosophical about the sexual depravity, chauvinism, and intelligence of those who like to *shock* look at a pretty girl *shock* once in a while. Geez, and I thought I was a curmudgeon.

      • Swampangel
      • 10 years ago

      If it were a convention about wearable computing, booth babes might be totally appropriate. 😉

      Actually, modeling has its own problems, no matter how long it’s been around for. A while ago (months, or a year or two?) some places enacted rules/laws about fashion models’ weight out of concerns that the industry was encouraging dangerous eating habits and disorders. Comparing booth babes to a job where you’re pressured to starve yourself to death doesn’t make much of an argument for them.

    • fpsduck
    • 10 years ago

    That’s why DNF is dead.
    No one loves Babes anymore.

    • lamparalaptopiaguita
    • 10 years ago

    Someone post that pic of the knight in shining armor who saved 30 internet maidens and got awarded with zero sex

    LOL

    • imtheunknown176
    • 10 years ago

    I would much rather see intelligent, attractive nerd girls at a booth than just BOOBS. Similar to how some car shows are run now. Sure it’s still taking advantage of women but I don’t think it’s as degrading.

      • A_Pickle
      • 10 years ago

      I would like to know how it is “taking advantage of women.”

      These women are protected by legions of security at these conventions. They are performing a job that they voluntarily agreed to do prior to the convention start. As Convert put it quite succinctly… they responded to a job listing, just like the stripper in the strip club.

      They know what they’re getting into, and since they obviously went OUT OF THE WAY to get this job (or that strip club job), THEY obviously don’t possess moral convictions against the job. Which means that someone else, who MAY POSSESS moral convictions against the job, can put those moral convictions in their pipe and smoke them – they have no authority over the choice of another individual.

      What is the problem here?

        • Clint Torres
        • 10 years ago

        Here here!

        It’s like saying Lebron James is being exploited by the Man. The Man is making millions off the hard work and talent of this poor individual who gets just a fraction of what is made from ticket sales and TV deals. The fans are just gawking at him…oh the shame!

    • altcon
    • 10 years ago

    You are a bit too modern and open minded.
    Sadly human stupidity and the “big boys” reliance on it is the bread and butter of society. I couldn’t agree more and, I couldn’t care less for the cheap advertising gimick..gimme HARDWARE.
    Two thumbs for you, for trying to write something half intelligent to our mostly dumbass world.
    On a side note – how many of you entered thinking “Booth babe pics”?

    • drsauced
    • 10 years ago

    I was just doing some work in a library (kiosk machines dammit) and picked up a book on symbolism in art. Maybe that’s what’s missing–classy fruit bowls to raise up the ooh-la-la factor.

    That and the Inq posted their booth babes story:

    §[< http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1356927/singapore-girls-korean-phones<]§

    • grantmeaname
    • 10 years ago

    I really like this social commentary thing you have going! You write intelligently and think coherently, so it’s meaningful and entertaining to read.

    • Clint Torres
    • 10 years ago

    Methinks thou dost protest too much…

    C’mon, gimme a break. If you can’t handle being in the presence of hot chicks then just ignore them. Don’t try to ruin it for the rest of us guys who have no problem dealing with it. Sheesh!

      • designerfx
      • 10 years ago

      It’s great eye candy but truth be told it’s a pain in the ass to have booth babes because it totally distracts from the entire event. It’s like your girlfriend asking you to do something for her while giving you a really good blowjob. What are you going to say, no?

      Meanwhile, guess what booths get the most activity? The hot booth babes.

    • phez
    • 10 years ago

    Obviously these women are incapable of doing anything else, so what’s the harm? They get a job, we get boners, its win-win.

    • YeuEmMaiMai
    • 10 years ago

    Oh shut up already, they are eyecandy for the geeks……..get over yourself would you? I am willing to bet you would not be complaining if they had booth studs out there…..lol

      • scpulp
      • 10 years ago

      I guess my only disappointment here was that it took this long for someone to suggest I was gay.

      Now I owe my friend ten bucks.

        • bdwilcox
        • 10 years ago

        Personally, I didn’t necessarily think “gay” but more Mr. Metro-Sexual Touchy-Feely Who Feels Women’s Pain. (Think Mr. Sensitive from the movie Bedazzled.)

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 10 years ago

    As an 29 year old male with heterosexual orientation I can only say one thing :
    Booth babes FTW!

    • damtachoa
    • 10 years ago

    Hardware is an Art. Woman is a Beauty. Art without Beauty is a garbage.

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      Then I’m using garbage on a daily basis to great effect.

        • Richie_G
        • 10 years ago

        Indeed, I’m just glad that my garbage is fully functional.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 10 years ago

    The only “booth babe” that was awesome at GDC 2007 was the co-owner/developer at the Sins of a Solar Empire booth.

    That chick was RAD!

    • Jeffery
    • 10 years ago

    Although considering the prominence of Asian companies in this industry, I think the fact that the booth babes are more often than not young asian girls further degrades this “unsavory practice” as you put it. I think the racial gap makes the process of objectification all the more easy for any sex-starved anime junkie nerds wandering the E3 floors.

    • Tamale
    • 10 years ago

    I suggest that discussions about the morality of this should be broken up into two topics.. whether it’s wrong for the girls to want to work in this area, and whether it’s wrong for companies to want girls to work in this area.

    In my opinion, you can’t really fault a girl for making a choice to work like this.. it’s easy money I’m sure and they’re hardly getting treated poorly.

    The bigger problem, as some people have already pointed out, are the companies’ willingness to do whatever they can to get a few more sales.

    • Rompeii
    • 10 years ago

    Clearly the booths need some scantily clad men as well, to even out this imbalance.

      • flying hippo
      • 10 years ago

      Hello little lady, would you like to look at my…heat pipe?

    • barleyguy
    • 10 years ago

    It would make this blog post more persuasive (or not) if you would have asked some booth babes their opinion. Do they enjoy doing this? Do they feel offended or objectified? How do they feel about it? Because, to be blunt, you aren’t them.

    That said, I like beautiful women. And though there are plenty of sites on the internets to find beautiful women, that’s not /[

      • derFunkenstein
      • 10 years ago

      gotta catch ’em all! /pokemon stalker

      • Satyr
      • 10 years ago

      l[

        • Gerbil Jedidiah
        • 10 years ago

        I shall be quoting this

      • Swampangel
      • 10 years ago

      It’s not about whether or not booth babes enjoy being booth babes. The argument, my argument at least, is that supporting a culture of objectification is basically cruel. If we (as individuals and as a culture) objectify a person, we are /[

        • barleyguy
        • 10 years ago

        Nice theory.

        IMO, what makes us human is our freewill and consciousness. That gives us the ability to decide for ourselves what our path in life is, and what we enjoy.

        “It’s not about whether or not booth babes enjoy being booth babes.”

        So, are you going to tell them: “You are no longer allowed to do <thing you enjoy> because I decided it makes you less human.”? It is, in fact, up to them. If they were being forced, or coerced, or even pressured, to be booth babes, I might see your point. But as far as I can tell, they do this voluntarily. It might be even be a stepping stone in a modeling career. And if they are professional models, if they weren’t being oggled by a bunch of geeks at a tech show, they’d be getting oggled somewhere else. It’s what they chose as their profession, after all. Some women even go to modeling school, or beauty school, or both. It’s what they chose to learn.

        Is there a known case of a woman choosing not to enter our industry because of booth babes?

        I’m not presupposing the answers to these questions. What I’m saying is: before we try to “solve” this “problem”, we should ask the girls what they think. Asking them their opinion shows more respect, not less.

          • Swampangel
          • 10 years ago

          I’d buy your argument under either of two conditions:

          1. If “booth babe” was a volunteer position, not a paid one.

          The problem is that “voluntarily” doing a “thing you enjoy” takes on different shades of meaning when a paycheck is involved. I think it’s fair to say that most of us enjoy some parts of our job and dislike other parts, but we “voluntarily” do the things we don’t like so much because we want to keep our job. If booth babes weren’t getting paid, then I couldn’t complain, because the only ones who did show up would be the ones who really enjoyed the work and were seizing the opportunity to advance a modeling career. You couldn’t complain, because any girl who wants to be a booth babe still has the opportunity.

          2. If “booth dudes” were equally represented.

          Do guys have the same opportunities as girls do when it comes to promoting products? If a guy wants to throw on a toga and fondle some HP notebooks all day, is it fair of us to say he can’t? Guys don’t have the same opportunities girls do when it comes to getting paid to look pretty around electronics. If you really think that it would be unjust to women if we did away with booth babes, then it must be similarly unjust that guys are shut out of that role. We should be championing a change in the other direction to preserve gender equality, as other posters in this thread have suggested. 😉

          For one reason or another, there is a wild inequality in terms of what is possible and what is expected for men versus women in the IT industry. Getting booth babes’ opinions could help us sort out the best course of action (to stop objectifying women, or to objectify everyone equally, in my eyes) but there is a problem, not a “problem”.

          q[

            • barleyguy
            • 10 years ago

            Good points. It is true that some (most) people will do things for a paycheck that they wouldn’t be anxious to do for free. But you also can’t assume a certain motivation for any one person.

            I have no problem with booth dudes. If the companies are open to having them there, I’m all for it. The outfits would need to be different. :p I will admit that there is sexism in clothing styles. For example in medieval action films, men often wear full armor, and the women wear a leather halter top and a miniskirt, with their stomachs exposed. I’m not sure it would make sense to go into a sword battle wearing something like that. But it’s also true that what men find sexy on a woman is quite different than what women find sexy on men. Social norms for the most part, but possibly nature as well.

            It’s unfortunate that some female students would avoid engineering because of sexism. That hasn’t been my experience in the actual workplace. I work for a company with a female CEO, and have worked with excellent female engineers. But I know that the world is not as fair as it should be.

            Like I said in my other post, I’m not just assuming what the girls would say if you asked them their opinion. I just think it would be good to get their input in the discussion.

            I did ask Gina Trapani via Twitter (one of the women I respect in our industry), and she said this:

            @barleyguy to me, booth babes are wrong not for being sexist, but for being cheesy and completely unimaginative. I mean, come ON.

            (I liked that answer.)

            • Swampangel
            • 10 years ago

            q[

            • barleyguy
            • 10 years ago

            There is a clear distinction there between you making the decision, and the companies that are hiring them making the decision. It would be most fair to have hiring practices where people of both sexes are allowed to apply, and they choose the ones that are the most “talented”.

            If the companies hiring the booth babes made a decision to no longer hire booth babes, that’s their decision. If someone from the outside tries to stop it because they feel it’s wrong, I think they should get the approval or opinion of the person they are claiming to protect.

            • Swampangel
            • 10 years ago

            If I had the individual power to unilaterally forbid booth babes from being, then you’d be right, the distinction would be very clear.

            But if companies begin to target an audience including me, one that doesn’t appreciate booth babes for one reason or another, then practice of hiring said babes will naturally dry up and disappear, by the companies’ decision. That’s fair, right?

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      Your entire thought has been invalidated by the use of “could care less”.

        • barleyguy
        • 10 years ago

        Pet peeve, or grouchy English teacher?

        That is in fact exactly what I meant to say. “Couldn’t care less” is not accurate, because I could in fact, care less. Not by a lot, but I could.

          • Meadows
          • 10 years ago

          Pet peeve mostly, but I /[

    • nerdrage
    • 10 years ago

    The only problem I have with the presence of booth babes is that it further exacerbates the chronic lack of females working in this industry. I’m tired of working in a sausage-fest because issues like this perpetuate the dorky image of computer geeks and scare away potential females from technology careers.

    Booth babes are only there because EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT. Think about it — the first company to ever use booth babes got a bunch of attention from it. So all the others copycatted it, and now they are all just doing the same thing to be like everyone else. Nobody wants to be the only booth without babes.

    The exact same thing would happen if one booth starting giving out free beer. The next year (and for all future shows), ALL the booths would be giving out free beer, because no one would DARE have a booth without free beer.

    But blame marketing for the presence of booth babes, not human instinct. Getting outraged because males are hardwired to like looking at females just seems pointless because that’s NEVER going to change.

    • StuffMaster
    • 10 years ago

    Booth babes are a “symtom” of the male visual response. That was created by evolution and is quite old. Society’s use of sex to sell things has increased quite a bit in the last century, but that doesn’t make me dislike attractive women, or their presence at an event. They’re free to do something else.

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 10 years ago

      Ah, so that’s “symtom” means.

    • vanishingvision1985
    • 10 years ago

    Seriously, l2ignore.

    • McFlyDMC12
    • 10 years ago

    Yep, do away with the booth babes! The hardware alone is more than enough porn for me to handle. 🙂

    • burntham77
    • 10 years ago

    I like seeing attractive women and I like checking out the newest hardware and software at these shows. It’s a win-win!

    I like the hardware more because there is actually a fair chance that I will bring the hardware home sooner or later. If I brought a booth babe home, that might be cause for a discussion.

    • kvndoom
    • 10 years ago

    Society, specifically American society since that’s all I’ve seen and suffered first hand, is weird when it comes to sex. For some reason a LOT of people try to hide it and suppress it and try to make the world believe it doesn’t exist. Flesh is teh devil! Lust is teh satan! I hate to break it to people, but that’s what put us on this world and it’s not going away anytime soon. And to all parents out there, I hate to break the news to you, but in our species, we go into heat big time in our teenage years. I don’t care how much you try to isolate and suppress it, you can’t change nature.

    Women can’t go topless in public but men can. Tits is tits, regardless of how they are shaped. I guess some nipples are more equal than others. :-\ When you go to the movies you can see boobs in “PG-13”, bush in “R”, and it’s all cool. But damn, when Watchmen was released there was a sudden rush of “OMFG teh PENIS!!!” There’s a lack of consistency somewhere…

    • rythex
    • 10 years ago

    I love this article.. I laughed.

    • yogibbear
    • 10 years ago

    Image and perception are everything. Psychologists > you.

    • etymxris
    • 10 years ago

    Hot women selling male oriented products just isn’t going to go anywhere. You can call it “objectification” but that’s a silly term. /[

    • derFunkenstein
    • 10 years ago

    The problem with this blog post is I can’t tell if you’re being serious. Sounds like you’re trying to get yourself worked up here.

    • AGerbilWithAFootInTheGrav
    • 10 years ago

    the only question is where is the boundary, legal and $ wise…

    if it was legally permissible and worth the sales, they would pay women to suck all the willing visitors off, and that would be that, if it would sell more… a competitive advantage… if Intel would not do it and AMD did, and AMD sales jumped 20% after the event, you could bet that Intel would follow the next season…

    we do not go that far, legally it’s a no-no… however scantly clad ladies holding the products are just fine, and if that’s what the mass wants that is what the mass will get… and there is nothing to be done about it… it’s the modern world, it sells, it may be degrading but that is how it is…

    lowest common denominator is what it is all about with current social/political/economic setup, and that is actually good… (if you don’t like it there is always an option of moving to Saudi Arabia :o) ) if there ever is a time where majority of men will not be turned on after seeing a naked wrist, the trends might change… but until than, enjoy it or ignore it… it’s just the way it sells.

    • thermistor
    • 10 years ago

    #19, #29, et. al. In terms of *manufactured* outrage, nobody does it better than FNC’s own Bill O’Reilly…there was some sort of inconsequential brouhaha at the Playboy Mansion a couple years ago, that BO was “reporting” on, and behind him was constantly looping a bunch of racy footage of the Playboy Mansion’s version of booth babes. FNC does this shtick all the time, reporting on something “concerning” all the while blasting you with T&A.

    Look at their freaking morning show with their very own booth babe stuck right in the middle – she’s always wearing an above-the-knee skirt, she has to sit sideways and keep a hand clamped on it so the camera won’t see undergarments (it’s a Dancing with the Stars thing maybe, just maybe, catch wardrobe malfunction at any moment), and usually a skimpy top, while the dudes are in suits.

    Their anchorettes are booth babe 10+ stock, with former anchorette knockout Laurie Dhue as their poster child. The FNC 65+ geezer demographic doesn’t even care what they are saying as long as they look good saying it. That’s the reason the “hard” news (pun intended, things like earthquakes) gets done by the bimbos and ugly old men like Brit Hume and Fred Barnes do the real talking – the “analysis”.

    The men who hire the booth babes and run FNC know *exactly* what they are doing – it is your job as a responsible male to use your cerebral capacity to see what’s really being sold.

    Booth babes are just packaging, the women who do it know what thye’re getting into – pity them not… But, look at the real product. Techreport does a good job at that.

    FNC – seems like it works out for them in snagging the old dirty old man demographic.

    Sorry so long, but y’all don’t know how much fun I had writing this post.

    • Fighterpilot
    • 10 years ago

    My younger sister was a pretty successful model and I occassionally took her and the other girls hired for some event to the gig.(I know…it was tough work 🙂
    They did the city motor show a few times over the years and never felt the least bit exploited.
    They were happy to have a very nicely paid gig for a day or so and would die laughing at someone crusading to “save them”.
    Lots of pretty girls /[

    • emi25
    • 10 years ago

    nice legs… ups laptops 😉

    • stmok
    • 10 years ago

    To me at least, booth babes are selling their bodies…Visually.

    It kind of goes against what feminists have been chanting about all these years (the non-fundamentalist ones promoting equality and choice). They say “Don’t treat us like sex objects!”, but then you see booth babes? Wtf? How do you expect men to respond?

    Models, booth babes, etc are just there to create a fantasy picture. And that’s all it will be, a fantasy. They don’t help if a product sucks to begin with. That’s the first thing I look at: The product and what it can offer to meet my needs. If it doesn’t, I move on. No hesitation. Hot girl or not.

    • luglogger
    • 10 years ago

    This is not just with shows. Even for product launches like cell phones and stuff the companies pull out some supermodel or less. Earlier I did not see the point. But it just sunk in to me a few days back why they use models. Actually these products are to be launched by the CEO of the company or such. Most of them are old geezers with near ugly to ugly faces. So these women are there to wrap a beautiful picture in the news papers.

    • floodo1
    • 10 years ago

    It’s representative of the levels that the modern business will sink to in order to make more profit.
    In other words its indicative of overwhelming emphasis placed on profit, above all else. Combined with the pyschology of marketing (a less than 100 yrs old field) and you end up with this sort of display which is crass and blatant.

    Ultimately though, until we move from making blog posts to making ACTION, this sort of thing will go on and get worse. The power lies in the people, who for the past 30 yrs seem too lazy to use it. Just look at Iran….compare this to the 2000 elections. We have become complacent and this is our future.

    Srsly, I love the honeys as much or more than the next guy, but I also feel demeaned when I see these women and the way that the masses of men act. It’s the whole strip club mentality of not-quite-the-real-thing….”oh please oh please let me get a picture with a babe”…….it’s wrong on so many levels.

    That said, if she’s willing to whore herself out, then I’m willing to let her 🙂 But I’m also going to thoroughly avoid (if possible) those morally bankrupt enough to fund such whorery.

    • logan666
    • 10 years ago

    This is sad. It seems to me that people who go to these events and complain about the girls are really showing their lack of self confidence. Having these gorgeous women around remind some of us geeks that they would never give us the time of day because of our nerdy ways so they want them not to be there. Personally, I think any average straight guy who complains about having hot babes around him while checking out the latest high tech toys has serious image issues.

    • clone
    • 10 years ago

    instead of thinking of your own opinion and denying access to certain types of employment perhaps you should take into account the individual your wishing to interfere with.

    it never ceases to amaze how unfocused humanity’s moral high ground really is……. if it focused on say prostitution to the exclusion of all else perhaps it could minimise it…. if it focused on strip clubs to the exclusion of all else perhaps it could minimise it…… or let’s go darker pornography rings, flesh peddling, drug abuse……. or as some choose to they can sit back and complain about the girl earning a little coin by holding a laptop for them to see and ask questions about.

    • LaChupacabra
    • 10 years ago

    Agreed, I really don’t like this type of marketing. I was in my local bar a few weeks ago and a group of hot girls came up with trays of shots full of rum. I was with a group of my buddies and some of them liked the attention and some of them didn’t. The worst thing about the situation was their supervisor (or manager or whatever) was there, taking notes about how they were interacting with us. It made the situation even more akward because I couldn’t help thinking these girls jobs were on the line so I was oblidged to talk and flirt with them.

    Kind of in the same vein, I hate when people like dentists try to make small talk. If something comes up then yea, we can talk. But I want my dentists to be excellent at dentistry, not someone I want to go have a beer with.

    • Forge
    • 10 years ago

    Here it is in the most concise form:

    Companies hire booth babes because BOOTH BABES WORK.

    You and I may not care for them, but we live in a society which panders to the lowest common denominator.

    • Krogoth
    • 10 years ago

    Geez, people are making planets out of a trivial issue.

    I do not see the big deal behind “booth babes”. They are nothing more than simple eye candy for some individuals. Their overall effectiveness is dubious at best. It may work some individuals, but others can easily see pass the “BS” and want the real deal.

    OP seems to imply that this tactic is only used on males. He is dead wrong. I have seen countless ads in magazines that are target towards female crowd that use “pretty boys to sell off products. Again, their effectiveness is dubious at best.

    • boing
    • 10 years ago

    Superb blog-entry. Spot on.

    • Convert
    • 10 years ago

    Meh. Seriously?

    This isn’t slave labor here, they responded to the job listing. I don’t feel sorry for people who willingly do this kind of thing. It was their choice.

    To me I get to see hot women and nerdy products, there isn’t much more one could want. Spending the money on an engineer to be handy to answer every little question you might have would be better. Let’s get real though, when that is available there is always a line and the people in front of you ask silly questions and he/she is short with their answers.

    • scpulp
    • 10 years ago

    A female friend and I have been watching the comments go up on my blog, and I gotta be honest…man, is this depressing. Men are pigs, that’s a given and I have my moments on a fairly regular basis.

    But man, those of you with these dreadful attitudes about women…I feel sorry for your girlfriends/wives, who either have to deal with this kind of sexism on a regular basis, and/or have to suffer with your Madonna/whore complex. Of course, if you’re single and have trouble with the fairer sex, I think we’ve all got some good clues as to why.

    Shamelessly objectifying women is the low-hanging fruit in interacting with the opposite sex, and bears the least benefit.

    • WillBach
    • 10 years ago

    I think these companies just do it because it’s tradition. I think the only time the image of a scantily clad girl has sold me on anything computer related was actually a case badge promoting water-cooling and overclocking. I came *[

    • Konstantine
    • 10 years ago

    This is a response to ludi……..

    l[

    • blitzy
    • 10 years ago

    you have valid points regarding objectifying women, but the fact remains that males instincts can be easily exploited by these tactics… which is why these shows will continue to use booth babes, because they work at getting attention

    it would probably annoy me more if I was female, but since I’m not I’ll just enjoy the candy.

    • shaq_mobile
    • 10 years ago

    ill take the err laptop in the middle…

    • sluggo
    • 10 years ago

    I was impressed by the first IFA show I attended in Berlin, as it seemed that booth babes were almost frowned upon. I don’t think I saw more than two or three over two days. There were women at the booths, but they were, by and large, dressed at least as formally as the the attendees, and usually more so.

    I asked my German host about this and he just chuckled and said “We have nude beaches”, which I think gets tot he heart of it – the more sexually repressed a culture is, the more excitement it’s males get from giggly girls in star trek / cheerleader outfits.

    • edh
    • 10 years ago

    Booth babes? I see right through them. I’m interested in the hardware. I figure the more booth babes, the less real the product. If a company needs to distract me to attract me to sell me, it doesn’t have much worth my time.

      • Lans
      • 10 years ago

      I never got the points of ads except annoyance of interrupting the show I was watching since I never bought anything based on an ad or remembered what the ad was about. Maybe I am too pessimistic / realistic / sorely lacking in imagination but I just see right through and say that is definitely not me and it’ll definitely not have that kind of amazing affect etc etc.

      Which is the same for booth babes. If I want to look at scantily-clad women… there are plenty of other and better avenues. Though the sad truth all this stuff gets many people to buy more…

      Personally I would much rather see these tech companies put effort to show off their products. What makes them deserve my attention?

    • potatochobit
    • 10 years ago

    most geeky males in their mid40s who go to these events like booth babes

    • human_error
    • 10 years ago

    I have a solution to the booth babe problem – instead of having them at the shows the companies can just send me all their booth babes 😛

    In all seriousness though the girls themselves know what they are doing – they are earning decent money for just standing around and getting attention (it’s a long day for them, but it’s not an all day every day kind of job). I can see why it is a cheap tactic and it does cheapen the women to the level of product decoration, but no one is forcing them to do this – if they didn’t like it they wouldn’t have become a booth babe.

    As for the women at the shows who aren’t booth babes they’ll probably either ignore it as something that “is” in the industry or they will get annoyed and will start avoiding trade shows with booth babes in the future unless their career forces them to go.

    My experience with booth babes is that i usually avoid talking to them, not because i can’t but because they have nothing good to say – i can probably discern more about the tech products at their booth by looking at the products for a few seconds than what they could explain to me, if i want actual proper information i’ll approach the guy behind the counter who’s staring at his own booth babes.

    The reason they use booth babes is because sex sells and unless mankind evolves past that then nothing will change – women will be happy to be paid money to be attractive to men to help sell a product.

    After all, are you more likely to approach the booth filled with balding, slightly overwight 30-something men or the booth surrounded by gorgeous 20-something scantily clad women?

      • Prion
      • 10 years ago

      This is probably pretty much spot on.

      I’ve a friend from Taiwan who, was at one point, extremely proud of having been a beer girl. That is, dressed up in what amounts to a swimsuit and heels and doing a couple days of promotional work for the national beer industry. These days, one womens’ studies class at an American university later, she gets embarassed seeing the promotional picture of herself and says she could never do work that treats women as objects.

      From my point of view, she went from not thinking about it to thinking too much about it. If they don’t care, why should you? Let them earn their spending money and stimulate the local economy. If they do care, they won’t do it 🙂

      • awakeningcry
      • 10 years ago

      “The reason they use booth babes is because sex sells and unless mankind evolves past that then nothing will change”

      that’s a really scary thought. The day mankind does evolve past that, is the day mankind ceases to exist. This is what the whole world is built on!

    • kvndoom
    • 10 years ago

    It’s just how men are wired. And since gawking and lusting after attractive females can’t be helped, companies use that weakness to make a buck.

    I literally can’t help but to undress women with my eyeballs. I don’t even realize I’m doing it a lot of the time, it’s just instinct. I freaking hate em, I swear I do, but I love their anatomy.

    • Pax-UX
    • 10 years ago

    No article with a title like that desires to be taken seriously! Booo…….bs! XD

    • Konstantine
    • 10 years ago

    Dustin Sklavos, you obviously don’t know much about women.Most women, if not all of them, love and enjoy attention.And putting those USELSS babes there, is absolutely…….normal.

      • ludi
      • 10 years ago

      Attention, yes. Being objectified isn’t attention, it’s being objectified. Most women, if they are past that teen/early twenties hormone rush and are talked with honestly, tend to express a desire to retain their dignity and will only settle for objectification if they are literally /[

      • Laykun
      • 10 years ago

      I think what you don’t understand is it also belittles men as well as women. The very existence of both babes, as low and shallow as it is, is only equalled by the low and shallow behaviour of the men that attend the show and go to booths because of booth babes. This is a belittlement of men as it also enforces the stereo-type that men are nothing more than walking wangs and that our only interest is sex, and further more, that our small Neanderthal brains can be easily manipulated with the promise of a bit of skin. The one enduring quality that I like to think that separates us from the animal kingdom is the ability to control our own emotions and thoughts and not let our primal instincts get the better of us. Pop culture appears to be proving me wrong.

    • Igor_Kavinski
    • 10 years ago

    I can understand your predicament. I believe you are the sort of male who spends a lot of time thinking deeply about the things around you. I am the same way. The majority doesn’t give a damn about these issues because as per my own observation, lots of people have artificially handicapped their brains by limiting their thought processes to their immediate needs. They essentially waste all their mental energy on chasing various goals that they have determined to be important to their life’s success. As a result, very few of us are left who think philosophically enough to understand the ramifications of the trends in the ever-evolving behavior demonstrated by the masses. Sex and nudity are being portrayed by the mainstream media as something to be proud and unabashed of. After all, that’s how nature made us. So why shy away from it? And yet, there’s a voice in our head that keeps telling us that something just isn’t right. Most people succeed in silencing this voice by pretending that they don’t hear it. But deep thinkers are compelled by this very voice to seek out the source of discomfort arising from the issues concerning sex and nudity. Most intelligent human beings would consider sex to be a debasing instinct that comes in the way of letting humanity solve its problems. And yet in our collective infinite wisdom, we have allowed greed and capitalism to exploit this human weakness to turn the male portion of the masses into mindless zombies who will eagerly gulp down anything advertised with seductive overtones. We are essentially on a path towards evolving into better animals instead of better human beings. The drawbacks of such a form of evolution? Family values will die eventually and relations will become meaningless. All that will remain will be meatbags having sex anywhere they want with anyone they desire. Humans will end up devolving their brains in return for a world of pleasure and comfort. If such a future sounds promising to most of you, by all means do your part in accelerating humanity towards such a pathetic fate.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 10 years ago

    Few of us will ever know what it’s like to actually be there, so I’m looking at this from another perspective.

    Where I’m really lost on this stuff is when websites will do entire pieces that are nothing but pictures and videos showing off the booth babes.

    Imagine looking at the newspaper after the presidential election, and on the front page is, “Babes of The Election Night.” That’s pretty much what it seems like to me.

    This is the internets. I think we all know where to get pictures of attractive ladies. If I’m going to a site about computers or electronics or whatever the subject may be, I am going to that site for that specific reason. If I want an attractive ladies site, I certainly have the option of going to one.

    So who is really to blame? The industry that confusingly uses booth babes to hawk potentially very technical products, or the websites that make it /[

    • ludi
    • 10 years ago

    While agreeing with the jist of your post — too many scantily clad women about, and like any average male, I do stop wondering about all aspects of those women other than the fleshy ones — Madison Avenue is decades ahead of you in determining that sex sells, even when it has nothing to do with the product at hand. Something about all those hot, sweaty endorphins clouding the better judgment, and unlike alcohol, this particular shutdown of the reasoning centers can be communicated visually (especially if the target demographic is male).

    It’s like having a raygun that can mug a target’s wallet at 17,000 yards.

    In other words, best of luck with your crusade.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 10 years ago

    Wow, Dustin! You just got added to my list of “people I could hang out with.” So much good writing. Each paragraph is better than the next!

    q[

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 10 years ago

    Heh! That was some post, I guess it was bound to be said one day.

    Me, I don’t mind. The way I see it is, if I can’t buy the product, I want to at least remember something… I’ll probably remember the tech stuff more as I already have a wife at home.

    Ever hear of the expression, “eye candy”? It is everywhere! If not with woman in every other product out there. I would rather see the “eye candy” at an Expo than on a machine that might show it every second. The term quickly turns to “dead-weight” or “bloat-ware”.

    But, like Scorpiuscat said, you see it all the time and we don’t. So, I can see where you are coming from! Hang in there.

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 10 years ago

    I’ll take the middle one for $500. Thanks.

      • Kurkotain
      • 10 years ago

      i was thinking “either the middle one or the leftmost one…” back on topic i really agree with the idea. these guys are just overdoing it

        • BoBzeBuilder
        • 10 years ago

        I was talking about the notebook you pervert. >:(

      • ludi
      • 10 years ago

      Seen that Seinfeld where George ends up shackled to the bed and robbed?

    • PRIME1
    • 10 years ago

    l[

    • Hance
    • 10 years ago

    Booth babes do exactly nothing for me. Have some hot chick stand around and hopefully be able to rattle of the specs of the product at most. If you were to ask them an in depth question all you would get from most is a confused look. I will take somebody that knows everything about the product over a booth babe any day.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 10 years ago

    There’s no reason I can’t have something nice to look at while wandering around a tech show like that. Sure beats the crush of hygiene-free geeks. That’s not to say that there shouldn’t be a % of Booth Dudes too, since it IS the 21st Century here.
    But don’t think that these women are somehow being exploited without their knowledge.

      • Thanato
      • 10 years ago

      I totally agree, nothing wrong with em.

    • herothezero
    • 10 years ago

    Here’s a fundamental truth of human existence:

    The only thing women hate more than being a sexual object is NOT being a sexual object.

    Methinks Dustin protest too much.

      • Lans
      • 10 years ago

      Huh… and the only thing men hate more than not being in control is being in control and showing how impotent he is (pun intended).

    • Scorpiuscat
    • 10 years ago

    As a member of the male species and a lover of the female species, I got to say that I am all for hot chicks showing me high powered computer hardware.

    Something about it just “feels” right to me.

    But all kidding aside, I understand your point and there are cases where I would not approve of scantily clad babes prancing around.

    There is a time and place for everything.

    In this case, I dont mind it at all, but I dont get to attend these events so I dont see it as much as you do.

    • Meadows
    • 10 years ago

    g{

    • SecretMaster
    • 10 years ago

    I have but one comment to this entire blog post.

    Booooooooooooooooooo(bs)!

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