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A Day In the Life of a "Booth Babe"

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the a-day-in-the-life dept.

Businesses 687

jfruh writes "Booth babes," promotional models paid to showcase products, are ubiquitous figures at tech trade shows. Ever wonder what they think of their jobs? Well, it may not surprise you to learn that standing up for eight hours in heels isn't much fun. Some enjoy the work, while others don't enjoy being the subject of stares. And one model adds that 'The industry is now moving towards making models show more skin.'"

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687 comments

If they don't like it (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241749)

Why not quit their job?

Re:If they don't like it (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241947)

Maybe, just maybe, they can't find another job? Or they dislike the other jobs they can get even more?

Quitting your job is not an option for everyone. Don't paint everyone with the brush that you've been painted with, some have less options.

Re:If they don't like it (5, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#40242019)

By definition, the vast majority of women can't get this job.
Should they feel sorry for those that can and do but don't want to?

Re:If they don't like it (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242049)

I would prefer it if the bodypaint is kept to the booth babes and not the majority of slashdotters.

Frist Psot (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241753)

Someday, I will have the courage to go through with this Slashdot rite of passage and post non-anonymously.

Re:Frist Psot (1, Funny)

siddesu (698447) | about 2 years ago | (#40241937)

I'm ready to help. If you are too timid, just tell me your name below, and I'll do it for you.

Hard to feel bad for them (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40241755)

These women have taken a job where their bodies will be used to manipulate the minds of lonely men by displaying their sexual atttributes, and then some of them have the gall to be upset that they're being regarded as sex objects? Wake me up when someone intelligent is interviewed. They oughta be happy that someone will pay them for something if standing around in heels is one of their finest talents.

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241781)

Yup. Essentially the product that they sell is their body. Guess what profession that reminds me of? Anyway, they then proceed to complain about not getting any respect. Cry me a river.

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242021)

Oh dear 'Nonnie. They've gone and modded you a troll. Guess some moderator was reminded of his mother's job.

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241881)

A woman should never be regarded as simply an object. Since these booths are trying to do that, they are unethical.

But the implication from your post that women who dress sexy deserve to be sexually harassed rubs me the wrong way. I hope this is not what you meant.

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (5, Insightful)

Umuri (897961) | about 2 years ago | (#40241903)

I'll bite the bullet and burn some karma for this one.
No, that wasn't what he meant, thanks for the ad hominem.

What he meant is that when a woman applies for, then gets a job, where almost her sole purpose is to be a sexual object and to dress sexually, in an effort to promote her body in some vague conjunction with a product, then she deserves to be treated as a sexual object.

In the same way someone who applies for, then gets a job, where her sole purpose is to defend the law, should be treated as an officer of the law.
Likewise a woman who applies for, then gets a job, where her sole purpose is "dispensing the word of god" in a safe and conservative setting, should be treated as a nun.

You pretend you can't curse when you're around nuns, you end everything with a sir around a cop, and you make comments about a woman or mans body when their jobs are only 1 piece of clothing away from being a stripper.

I'm sorry, the minute you voluntarily take a job that exploits your sexuality, you lose your right to complain when people treat you as a worker in that job. There is a line between "legitimate harassment" (i hate that that is even a valid phrase), and "illegal harassment", but lets not go pretending they're saints who deserve to never hear a foul word out of anyone mouths.

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242015)

You are missing the point. This is not about the booth babes. I don't care about the booth babes. It is about how companies view women.

Would you take your 15 year old daughter who happens to be interested in computers and science to one of these conventions? If you say no, is it because she would be exposed to an industry that shamelessly objectifies women? Could you imagine your daughter wanting to work in one of these companies?

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40242051)

You are missing the point. This is not about the booth babes.

I read the title. Then I read the summary. Then I even read the article. Then I concluded that you have done none of these things.

I don't care about the booth babes.

Yes, we know. You just want to make yourself feel smarter.

It is about how companies view women.

No, it is about how everyone views women who sell (or rent) their bodies as objects.

Would you take your 15 year old daughter who happens to be interested in computers and science to one of these conventions?

I wouldn't have children.

If you say no, is it because she would be exposed to an industry that shamelessly objectifies women?

On that basis you shouldn't let her do basically anything.

Could you imagine your daughter wanting to work in one of these companies?

If I had a daughter working as a booth babe then I would be a big fuckup as a parent. If she went to work for a company that hired booth babes not as a booth babe, that would be OK. I'd rather this hypothetical daughter work for a video game company that fills their booth with sluts — even EA — than Chevron, or Monsanto, or McDonald's (even as an execurive.)

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242157)

Computer and High-Tech fields lack women because the culture is viewed as being misogynistic. Contrast this with the legal field in which women and men are represented in equal numbers. The difference is that anyone who works in the legal profession is trained to understand why sexual harassment is wrong for both moral and legal reasons. You don't see women being objectified in legal conventions. The same is true for the medical profession. Medical device manufacturers don't need booth babes at their conventions. In the tech industry most companies are dominated by 20 or 30-something males, and the morality of sexual harassment never crosses their minds. Women aren't stupid and most aren't going to waste years of their lives becoming educated and proficient in their field only to be resented, objectified, and sexually harassed. It should also be noted that countries that lack strong protection against sexual harassment feature booth babes and other types of promotional models more often.

From this we can conclude that booth babes are a result of fields dominated by young men, fields that don't actively try to protect women workers, and places where objectifying women is less of a taboo. Booth babes are just the tiny speck of cancer that has reached the surface for everyone to see.

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (1, Offtopic)

foobsr (693224) | about 2 years ago | (#40242201)

The difference is that anyone who works in the legal profession is trained to understand why sexual harassment is wrong ...

'According to Nielsen Media Research, Boston Legal drew the richest viewing audience on television, based on the concentration of high-income viewers in its young adult audience (Adult 18–49 index w/$100k+ annual income).' (Wikipedia)

Assuming that a good share of the audience had a 'legal background', yout statement is disputable at least.

CC.

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (3, Informative)

Stiletto (12066) | about 2 years ago | (#40242103)

Take CES for instance. I wouldn't take my 15 year old daughter to CES because it is a TRADE EVENT, mostly for corporate buyers and press. No 15 year old is going to be interested in that.

And if they are interested? Who cares? Why not "expose them" to a tech trade show? Because they might learn that sometimes companies pay attractive women to simply stand in their booths wearing skimpy outfits, because it will drive foot traffic and potentially lead to business? Some companies at trade shows put up strobe lights or serve free alcohol for the same reason. Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill.

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (5, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#40242025)

lets not go pretending they're saints who deserve to never hear a foul word out of anyone mouths.

Do they deserve to be subjected to those foul words?

What he meant is that when a woman applies for, then gets a job...

Have you ever taken a crap job because you needed the cash (especially when you were younger)? You might not have, but many others have, and I wouldn't be surprised if many of the attendees at these trade shows have, too. If you ever talk to someone about crap jobs they had in the past, is your response something along the lines of: "you took the job, its your fault you deserved to be treated like crap"?

If the answer to that is "no", then you're guilty of double standards.

If you've ever shown sympathy to any slashdotters who put up with awful working conditions as is common in many areas of our industry then you are again guilty of double standards.

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242199)

I have taken menial jobs as a student. One I was hired into a pizza place, my god the customers treated me like a slave, I was expected to take their order, bring them food so they didn't have to stand up and get it themselves... jeebus, how dare they treat me like that when I was paid to serve them.

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242037)

Did you really think you'd lose karma with your comment? Slashdot is basically a refuge for the geek version of the Angry White Male. Anything to do with anti-sexism or anti-racism is going to get short shrift here.

Now that ^^ Is a GENUINELY karma burning comment, and I'm posting anon because I modded some comments

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241911)

Oh FFS, if a company pays you to dress in skimpy clothes and stand around in high heels where hundreds of lonely men can't not see you, don't give me the "just because I dress sexy doesn't mean I'm a sex object" routine. Yes, you are. You took the money, now do the job.

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241929)

Can you define precisely what it is to "regard someone as an object"?

I want a checklist that I can use to determine whether absolutely anything is "regarding a person as an object" or not.

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242171)

If they have an identifier, state and functions then they're an object ;).

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241935)

It's pretty clearly not what GP meant. I think s/he's saying not that they deserve it (and for the record, I don't think the "it" here is outright sexual harassment, just creepy stares and objectification) because they dress sexy, but because they accepted a job that they knew consisted of nothing but dressing sexy so that they could be objectified for the purpose of selling something.

Blaming the genuinely victimized is bad form, but if being the "victim" is your voluntarily-accepted, paid profession, that's a little different, wouldn't you say? And what is modeling if not being voluntarily objectified?

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241961)

A woman should never be regarded as simply an object. Since these booths are trying to do that, they are unethical.

But the implication from your post that women who dress sexy deserve to be sexually harassed rubs me the wrong way. I hope this is not what you meant.

A woman who says that men only think about sex is a woman who have nothing else to offer.

The booth babes who actually know anything about the product they are trying to promote and is willing to discuss the techological merits of said product is far less likely to be considered a sex object than one who has no other role in the context they are in.

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241987)

A woman should never be regarded as simply an object.

Then perhaps they shouldn't sell themselves as such.

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (2)

Dan541 (1032000) | about 2 years ago | (#40241991)

Correct, at least in this example.

They are being payed to be 'Models' what do they expect?

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (4, Insightful)

sco08y (615665) | about 2 years ago | (#40241999)

A woman should never be regarded as simply an object.

Make sure you don't ever study nutrition, wherein a woman will be regarded as little more than a digestive tract with appendages, or really any book on anatomy or physiology.

And forget about following women in sports, where they are all reduced to a set of statistics.

And don't ever try to hire a woman or do business with her, because she'll be reduced to a set of qualifications, risks, etc.

And don't read gender feminist theory where women are reduced to a political bloc.

Okay, maybe that last one really is dehumanizing.

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | about 2 years ago | (#40242055)

In other news: Strippers complaining because men stare at their nipples and bangkok Hookers are complaining that their customers just want to have sex with them all the time.

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242183)

How about sexual women, females, the presentation of a sexual body as is the case for many living beings larger than one cell. Who said anything about an object; what object.

 

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#40242191)

Since these booths are trying to do that, they are unethical.

These booths are not doing anything worse than your employer does to you. What do you think you are to your boss? Or to his boss' boss' boss? A number, a salary, a work quota, an item on a payroll, a part of a department, etc. No one gives a damn about you - the person. They give a damn about what you can bring to the business - production, sales, work, reports, whatever. Hiring models is the same thing. No one gives a damn about the girls. They are there to sell product because men like young pretty women, and it works. It's an idea that pays for itself. But really there's no malice towards the models - any more than there is towards you the employee. They have a function and they are expected to fulfill it.

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241915)

Geez, that one in the middle has an awfully large cold sore. Is that a Posimotion thing?

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241989)

So noone should be allowed to complain about a job "they took"? Good to know, next time 600 /. IT professionals whine about their jobs. Boss has no clue, management has no clue, everyone sucks, work hours suck, blahblahblah. You took it, shut the hell up then?

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40242099)

So noone should be allowed to complain about a job "they took"?

I know you're a troll but I'm up late because I had a headache so I'll take this question anyway. No one should be allowed to complain about the fundamentals of a job they took. If you take a job whose title is "Shoveler of Elephant Shit" and then you whine about how you don't like shoveling elephant shit, nobody will give a fuck. Now, if you complain that you've been given a spoon to shovel the shit with, that's a valid complaint; you're actually a spooner of elephant shit, and that's a whole different job. But if you've been hired to be ogled by horny dorks sans social skills, you don't get to complain about being ogled by them. If someone tries to slip you one on the conference floor, complain; that is not appropriate behavior. If you're paid to wear a bikini in front of nerds and someone stares at your tits on the conference floor, stick those fucking tits out — that's what you're being paid for.

If I were to somehow secure a job as a model, I wouldn't complain if people told me how much they admired the way I looked. That'd be my job function. This would also have to be some kind of parallel reality, but the point still stands. If you get a job as eye candy don't complain when you're perceived as nothing more than a sweet treat. That's how it works, whether you're a booth babe or a trophy wife.

Or put simply, by their actions shall you know them.

Re:Hard to feel bad for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242121)

So noone should be allowed to complain about a job "they took"? Good to know, next time 600 /. IT professionals whine about their jobs. Boss has no clue, management has no clue, everyone sucks, work hours suck, blahblahblah. You took it, shut the hell up then?

They can complain about the examples you take up until the world freezes over for all I care. What one of the women in this article is complaining about is the equivalent of a programmer getting hired to program and then bitches that all s/he does is program. Oh and they have to wear presentable clothing that makes them uncomfortable, They can't treat clients like dicks when they show up either.

These women should complain about being treated poorly or being harassed. They should not complain about doing the job they were hired to do.

Be thankful (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241759)

Nobody pays us for standing around. Imagine having to do actual work.

Re:Be thankful (0)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#40242069)

Nobody pays us for standing around. Imagine having to do actual work.

I'd like ot see you stand around in high heels and a miniskirt all day talking to a bunch of neckbeards without getting pissed off and showing it.

Actually scratch that.

I. REALLY. DO. NOT. WANT. TO. SEE. YOU. IN. HIGH. HEELS. AND. A. MINISKIRT.

I think that would probably burn an image into my brain that I would never be able to remove.

I'd like to hear about it though. I would guess that you'd last about 30 minutes before you snapped.

As a plus point, you'd then get fired, wouldn't be paid, so you'd be free to go and do your "actual work". You know "actual work" for serious people who do serious things for serious businesses. I'd also bet that your "actual work" has about as much fundemantal worth.

No, I don't (5, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#40241761)

Ever wonder what they think of their jobs?

I couldn't care less. Why is this on Slashdot again?

Re:No, I don't (2)

moozey (2437812) | about 2 years ago | (#40241819)

Because.... GIRRRRRLLLS

Re:No, I don't (2)

chris.alex.thomas (1718644) | about 2 years ago | (#40241963)

hehe, his complete lack of understanding the whole point was "GIIIRRRRLLLSSSS" just goes to show that he's perfectly suited to being on slashdot.....and you are not :)

Re:No, I don't (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | about 2 years ago | (#40242209)

In my case, no. I couldn't care less about girls, but I am interested in people's candid opinions about their odd jobs. I'm also curious about whether the guesses I have about their line of work match up with reality since I like being able to predict people's behavior in general.

Guesses:
  * To most it's just a job. It's kind of annoying to be objectified, but it's easy work; they don't mind.
  * Some get sexually harassed and leave the business, or, if they need the money, stay and get bitter.
  * They're all very young and move on by their mid-20's, partly because their looks begin to fade and partly because they want more out of life.
  * Some like the attention, most find the job predominantly tedious and boring.
  * None are brilliant and most have no skills to speak of.
  * They all have big boobs and plastic smiles.

Correctness:
  * Interviewed models generally agreed. So, yes.
  * Article didn't say. One of the 25 year olds was broadly following this route, disliking increased objectification. Unclear.
  * Interviewed models were 22, 23, 25, and 25, with a 25 year old leaving for a real career. So, yes with the fading looks bit unverified but likely a contributing factor.
  * Mostly it was tiring, though also easy. So, these aren't the primary reactions.
  * One model hasn't completed college, might be a flight attendant--so yes in her case. Another is becoming a PM at a biotech company, so maybe no. Another is a dancer and studying to be a hair stylist, so yes again. Mixed bag, probably yes.
  * About the smiles, yes, from the picture. About the boobs, I'm not qualified to judge. Maybe someone else would like to chime in.

Re:No, I don't (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#40242035)

Why is this on Slashdot again?

Because they're a well-known feature of the tech industry and slashdot is a discussion site/news site/ blog-before-they-were-called-blogs about the tech industry.

Pass the popcorn (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#40241773)

These comments should be funny...

Re:Pass the popcorn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241905)

I for one say cheers to our Taiwanese booth babes. Taiwanese girls are among the best lays in Asia. Pretty, well-maintained, open-minded, and because of the mixing of races - you can find Aborignee, Dutch, Chinese and Japanese blood - there some really, really beautiful specimens. As in heart-stoppingly beautiful.

On top of it, Taipei is a very liberal and convenient modern city with busy night life.

The only thing they should REALLY consider is moving Computex to October, summers are too hot and typhoon-prone, and there is nothing like fucking a pretty Taiwanese girl on the stairs of the Chiang-Kai Chek memorial at 3AM in the morning and taking a walk with her on the foot massage alleys in the park afterwards and looking at the funny faces she's making with your cum drying on her lips.

Re:Pass the popcorn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242167)

I'm of the female persuasion, and I decided to take a peek.

I wholly regret my decision, and now must bleach my mind and pretend I was never here.

A boycott is needed (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241779)

She said problems with sexism have been absent from her own work as a model. "I'm used to it," she said

Just because you are used to it doesn't mean that sexism is absent. There really needs to be a boycott of companies that use these tactics. The tech industry is probably the last major holdout in the understanding that women are not simply sex objects. Women refuse to work in the tech industry because of sexual harassment. Unfortunately, the field becomes dominated by men who don't understand it, which then perpetuates the alienation cycle.

Re:A boycott is needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241875)

A boycott of what? Companies which use booth babes? And deprive all these women of a job that requires almost no training? If they don't want the job, they can simply NOT TAKE IT.

Re:A boycott is needed (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241913)

I don't care about the booth babes. I care about women who aren't booth babes and who might want to work in the tech industry. That is why a boycott is needed. Get it?

Re:A boycott is needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241927)

Almost all major companies had booth babes at Computex. Again. Samsung could have been the exception though.. or maybe they were on a break when I walked by. It is hard to boycott, when pretty much every brand sold in my country uses booth babes.
Also there is a scale of gray here: it is a difference having good looking females, businesslike dressed, serving you grass jelly or pine apple cake when you walk by -- compared with having very light and tight dressed models grope each other in front of the company booth (like the BioStar girls).

Also, using women to sell happens more than tech fairs in Taiwan. There can be a teenage girl, dressed very light, in a grocery store trying to get you to buy a certain brand of beverage. Different worlds.

Re:A boycott is needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241931)

HUH? boycott models? i mean these women DO NOT work in IT they are just models working a modeling job that just happens to include holding motherboard instead of sun-screen or being in underwear like for example Victoria secret models, women really working in IT do not compare themselves to them, you will not see Intel or nVidia engineer that happens to be female in skimpy red skirt and high heels, anyway if you do decide to boycott products using models for promotion than you should boycott all products ever made/promoted on TV or billboards or ... well all of them use (mostly female) models

Re:A boycott is needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241943)

I sometimes get the feeling that many people confuse who is the hunter and who is the prey in these kind of games.

Re:A boycott is needed (1)

Stiletto (12066) | about 2 years ago | (#40242113)

Just because you are used to it doesn't mean that sexism is absent.

She didn't say that sexism is absent. She said that "problems with sexism" have been absent.

It seems that the only one who has a problem with companies hiring booth babes is you.

Stupid if they object to it. (2)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#40241789)

Look, these women are doing a job. They KNOW that it involves sexism. The clothes that they wear is more conducive to a model shoot, then to an office job. It is silly, that they grip about it. If they object, they should NOT do the job. Simple as that.

Re:Stupid if they object to it. (3, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#40242079)

Have any of your friends ever had to stick at a crap job because they needed the money? Are you this sympathetic? Are they still friends with you?

Re:Stupid if they object to it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242105)

Not if they 100% go in knowing what they'll get.

Re:Stupid if they object to it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242153)

Is he wrong? Or should janitors complain they have to clean everyone's trash, SWAT complain that their job involves violence and so on? Everyone is free to dislike their job, but it doesn't make sense to complain about the job involving doing, you know, your job.

Damn you, /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241791)

You promised me booth babes and only gave me 3.

Pics or it didn't happen!

Great line! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241795)

Most guys would've just used the "hey I'm writing an article about booth girls!" line as an opportunity to get her drunk. Geeks actually follow through and write the article.

"Her other part-time job as a dancer" (4, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | about 2 years ago | (#40241807)

"Her other part-time job as a dancer" ... dads, it's up to you to keep your daughters off the pole. 'Nuff said.

Re:"Her other part-time job as a dancer" (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about 2 years ago | (#40241853)

What fairs do booths have the most poles?

Re:"Her other part-time job as a dancer" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241907)

What fairs do booths have the most poles?

At the pole fair?

Re:"Her other part-time job as a dancer" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241993)

The ones in Poland?

Re:"Her other part-time job as a dancer" (1)

6Yankee (597075) | about 2 years ago | (#40242087)

dads, it's up to you to keep your daughters off the pole.

Send them to me, I'm a brit :D

You gotta be kidding me... (1)

humanrev (2606607) | about 2 years ago | (#40241859)

while others don't enjoy being the subject of stares.

Anyone who works as a booth babe and doesn't like being stared at, probably should find another line of work. Kinda goes with the territory (particularly with the stuff they wear often).

Re:You gotta be kidding me... (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | about 2 years ago | (#40241917)

>Anyone who works as a booth babe and doesn't like being stared at, probably should find another line of work. Kinda goes with the territory (particularly with the stuff they wear often).

While the job is obviously perfect for those woman (and that's their right) who love being stared at and feel empowered by their ability to make men drool.

I don't do business with lowlife scum (2, Insightful)

ajv (4061) | about 2 years ago | (#40241879)

I usually avoid the booths in question, but if I have a specific need to find something out, I ignore the booth babe as they know nothing about the products or services.

I feel terrible for the women as they could easily be in our industry if they wanted, but instead all they do day in day out is be leered at by men who should know better. Why would they enter our industry if their only experience of it is to be objectified?

I don't do business with any firm that thinks so lowly of women in our industry. I make it absolutely clear to vendors that I do not buy from them if they have booth babes at conferences I attend. I will also strongly recommend against them to my clients. I am not the only one who does this.

It's 2012, not 1962. It's time to grow up.

Re:I don't do business with lowlife scum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241951)

Everyone has booth babes. That's the problem.

What disturbs me the most is the men who flock around them and photograph them to no end.

Re:I don't do business with lowlife scum (0)

ajv (4061) | about 2 years ago | (#40242009)

Not everyone. There weren't many at AusCERT this year after I made complaints to the organizers in previous years. I also made it really clear to the vendors too.

Re:I don't do business with lowlife scum (-1, Flamebait)

ajv (4061) | about 2 years ago | (#40241967)

Think about WHO is posting the post before modding down on an opinion you don't share. How many posts have I made? Look at my low user ID, I've been here for longer than some of you have been alive. I don't troll /. nor do I post deliberately inflammatory comments.

So if you are the moron that clicked Flamebait moderation on my post, I expect you to be a lonely virgin living in the basement with your mum. Now, that's flamebait. I wouldn't normally post that, but I am literally white hot angry with whomever did it because you, sir, are a misogynist and should be ashamed of yourself.

If you have a daughter, I expect you'll want her to be a geekgrrl. If you want that outcome, you will join me in boycotting booth babes. There's few enough women in IT today without ugly impediments such booth babes.

I am deadly earnest in how I've acted for the last decade or more. I have directed at least a million dollars in direct recommendations away from vendors that have used booth babes. I will continue to do this.

It is our industry's shame that it thinks that this is in any way acceptable.

Re:I don't do business with lowlife scum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242011)

I was one of the people who modded you up and I did it because I agreed with what you said, and not because of your userid. Misogyny is nothing new on slashdot, and I'm always disheartened when some random misogynist I'm arguing with seems to get +5 insightfuls just by spewing tired anti-woman chestnuts and calling it a logical argument.

It seems that your views on booth-babes have some link to having daughters (just sort of came to me as I read you 2nd comment)? I think that a lot of men here only become more enlightened in their attitudes towards women once they have some meaningful relationships with them (wife/daughters/sisters). This shows that for some reason we as a society think it's OK to raise boys and young men to have female-hostile attitudes, and that they need guidance and education to change their ways. How fucked up is that?

Re:I don't do business with lowlife scum (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#40242107)

While I agree on the stupidity of having booth babes, those women DID choose to do a job where the sole purpose is attracting men.
They were not forced into the job and they probably chose from a number of alternatives which were available to them based on their skillset and ambitions.

Let's not have the illusion that any individual has the exact same abilities, wants and needs as all other humans.

If you have a daughter and if your daughter is the type of girl who prefers to be a booth babes over having a normal job, the LAST thing you'll want to do is boycot booth babes. The alternatives for a girl with such ambitions are limited and mostly worse. Boycotting booth babes would be fighting the symptoms instead of the cause.

Besides, I don't know if completely ignoring women is much better than staring.

Re:I don't do business with lowlife scum (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242123)

Look at my low user ID

It is very small.
Just like your penis.
Please stop waving it around.

All of business is advertising with sexy babes (1)

coder111 (912060) | about 2 years ago | (#40242195)

Hmm, Car industry- car babes in trade shows. Yogurts- babes eating it in TV ads. Clothing/Fashion- babes wearing it. Alcohol & soft drinks- babes in ads. Furniture- babes using it in ads. Why should electronics be any different?

Sex sells. Every industry that can use sex for marketing will do so. Both men & women will be used for their sex appeal. If you think it's immoral- well corporations cannot have morals and do not have morals- they are not people.

--Coder

Re:I don't do business with lowlife scum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241977)

I don't do business with any firm that thinks so lowly of women in our industry.

If you give it more thought, I think you'll find that they think lowly of men in our industry.

Re:I don't do business with lowlife scum (0)

ajv (4061) | about 2 years ago | (#40242001)

And that's exactly my point. Why would women who might model to get through university consider a career in IT once they experience the leering and perving?

Re:I don't do business with lowlife scum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242101)

If they expect not to get leered at in booth babe attire and can't tell the difference between being treated like a bimbo when they are dressed to attract and being treated like a business or technology professional when they bring knowledge and education to the table, then they probably wouldn't last anyway.

Re:I don't do business with lowlife scum (2)

Stiletto (12066) | about 2 years ago | (#40242131)

I'd love to hear that conversation.

Boss, Company X's product would save our company $3M a year in costs, but I told them to fuck off because THEY HAD BOOTH BABES at a TRADE SHOW!! Surely we don't need those cost savings.

Re:I don't do business with lowlife scum (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#40242151)

I don't do business with any firm that thinks so lowly of women in our industry.

Is there some kind of list of offenders?

The trouble is that a lot of companies act like dicks in a lot of ways. It's hard to find companies to do ethical business with in general. Out of interest, who do you buy laptops from?

I'm not convinced. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241887)

I don't believe the girls comment that there is a shift for the models to show more skin.

To substantiate this claim, I think we need to see more photos of booth girls.

Every career has drawbacks (4, Insightful)

Andtalath (1074376) | about 2 years ago | (#40241897)

This career is dead-end, 100% shallow (they don't even have to know what the fuck it is they are holding) and based on their looks.
It's also an obviously annoying work-place.

However, your reviews are based on your abilitiy to smile and how you look, meaning it only requires you to do exactly ONE thing.

And they complain?

Work in mcdonalds or any other no-skill job and see how funny it is.

Fucking whiners.

"just no respect" (2)

DontScotty (978874) | about 2 years ago | (#40241901)

Really?

Did you engineer the product?

No? Ummm.... so you're wanting respect simply for standing up at a booth meeting people?

Re:"just no respect" (4, Insightful)

zblack_eagle (971870) | about 2 years ago | (#40241955)

There's respect for achieving great things, and then there's respect for being a fellow member of our species. I'm guessing it's the latter that they want.

Re:"just no respect" (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40242005)

There's respect for achieving great things, and then there's respect for being a fellow member of our species. I'm guessing it's the latter that they want.

What they want is to not be treated like a sex object, after accepting a job as a sex object.

Most of them are happy for the work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241919)

My friend works as a promotional model and is working at E3. Its easy money and its her job. She more often ends up promoting alcohol products and trade shows pay better. Also the pay is much higher in the US than Taiwan. Its not like they just come and pick women working regular jobs off the street and stick them in these trade shows. Most of them do this type of work for a living.

sexism (5, Insightful)

arikol (728226) | about 2 years ago | (#40241923)

I'm sorry.These women take jobs that are sexist (their job is to arouse the customer and link sexiness and sensuality to some plastic product that isn't really sexy at all) by some sexist companies and then get ogled by the people who are supposed to ogle them.

No. Sympathy. At. All.

While I don't agree with the whole concept of booth babes (I would prefer having real people from the companies instead of models. Not scantily clad, just real people who know the product) it is very hard to sympathise with those who choose to take part in it. They knew what the job was about when they took it. If I take a job that entails wearing a Borat style Mankini then I know I will be the subject of stares (not for the same reasons as these women, but still, my crotch will garner some stares) and then it's my own stupidity to blame if I'm unhappy about being stared at...

But, again. Stupid companies. Stop using booth babes. It makes the industry look adolescent in nature, and is disrespectful to all women, and even more disrespectful to women in tech.
THIS kind of attitude is why many of us geeks can't get a date.. change it!

Re:sexism (5, Insightful)

neyla (2455118) | about 2 years ago | (#40241995)

How about sympathy for those of us who are female and work in the industry, then arrive at a trade-show only to see women used purely as decoration over-and-over-and-over again ?

It's insulting, and sends the message that this is a thing for guys, that we don't really *belong* here (other than as decoration)

Re:sexism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242091)

Come and live in a civilised country. This shit is much less common in the UK.

Re:sexism (4, Interesting)

arikol (728226) | about 2 years ago | (#40242165)

As it is here in Sweden. The last woman I saw in a booth at a computer convention was there because she's the CEO of a gaming company.

But it still happens, and is common everywhere except a few countries in Europe. Not cool.

Re:sexism (5, Insightful)

arikol (728226) | about 2 years ago | (#40242143)

As I said (lower in my first comment), the COMPANIES should stop this because it is disrespectful to women, and in particular it's disrespectful to women in tech (those are the women who might want to go to tech trade shows, right?)

I have no sympathy for women who choose to get paid for being decorations. That's who the article is about.
The article SHOULD really focus on: "WTF is going on? It's 2012 and big tech companies still act like a horny teen boy. WTF?"

The Money Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40241939)

"She hoped that visitors would respect her profession. "This is a job for us, we just wear less," said Xue, who was in a blue mini-skirt and top. "We are doing real work.""

Yeah, sure. If you have to justify it to a reporter, probably not.

Ignorance is not bliss (1, Insightful)

phayes (202222) | about 2 years ago | (#40241941)

"The industry is now moving towards making models show more skin"

There is no better way to convince people that you were born yesterday than to be ignorant of history.

As someone who has seen a few generations of these girls go by, I can say that the BB's of around 15 years ago were less dressed than they are now

Stop calling them "booth babes" (0)

Alien Being (18488) | about 2 years ago | (#40242003)

The proper term is twart, as in "Get a load of the tits on that twart in the Asus booth."

Re:Stop calling them "booth babes" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40242115)

You should be fucking ashamed of yourself. As should every misogynistic little shit who will be modding this down.

non article (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | about 2 years ago | (#40242071)

Ever wonder what they think of their jobs?

No. If I have mused it in passing, it has immediately slipped through my mind, as the answers are obvious.

Well, it may not surprise you to learn that standing up for eight hours in heels isn't much fun. Some enjoy the work, while others don't enjoy being the subject of stares.

You're right, it didn't surprise me, as it's fucking obvious that's what they'd think about it.

Nothing says quality...... (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | about 2 years ago | (#40242141)

like bare breasts and tight clothing. That's the standard I use to buy my motherboards and CPUs! Just imagine how many iPads they would have sold if they had two lesbians making out in the ad! Anyone swayed by this kind of marketing deserves the product they get!!! Don't blame the companies marketing to your demographic blame yourself for having such low standards.

Sexism? How about Discrimination? (4, Insightful)

tommeke100 (755660) | about 2 years ago | (#40242149)

Please tell me where a 40 yr old male or 50 yr old female can apply for the job as booth babe?

It's just karma coming back (1, Interesting)

dgr73 (1055610) | about 2 years ago | (#40242175)

What goes around in high-school, comes around in later life. Homecoming queen is a boothbabe for the class geek and the captain of the football team is pumping his gas.
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