Monday, July 30, 2012

Re: Confessions of a Sometimes Booth Babe

Worth a read:

Confessions of a Sometimes Booth Babe

This all hearkens back to this post, although I am hardly the first person to question the function of and need for booth babes. Contrary to what one commenter in a follow-up post said, nobody (including myself) is accusing booth babes of being across the board ditzy bimbos - and I appreciate the article above a lot for its insight into why some booth babes do what they do.

Sure, it's a job. Sure, it may build confidence in front of a crowd. But I still feel that the problems it creates for women in the tech, entertainment and gaming industries - problems with being taken seriously as competent techies, gamers, professionals and workers (and don't pretend that's not true: it's not always true but often, it totally is) - outweighs the fact that a few women can use it as a way to make money as they pursue other goals, get an education, job-hunt, freelance or whatever else they do. I still think this problem is serious enough that it doesn't really matter that for most booth babes, "it's just a job" and not their life. It others women, it turns them into objects, and it's very unequal. When we see booth beefcakes alongside booth babes at those events, and there's no social power structure making it easier for a guy in such a position, I'll change my tune. When we have booth babes and booth beefcakes - because, hey, we all like to look - and there is fair and egalitarian representation of women in those industries as something other than ornaments, then I'll really change my tune.

Fix that, and then enjoy your booth babes (and I'll take a picture with the beefcake).

Until then, what this particular facet of the gaming and tech industries does to the perception of women by people in those industries is so detrimental - in Taiwan and elsewhere - that I just can't say it's OK.

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