Geek Feminism Wiki

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Geek Feminism Wiki

Booth babes are people, usually women, employed to staff booths at trade shows and use their sexual attractiveness to entice people to buy the products being advertised. Frequently they are dressed in demeaning outfits and pose for pictures with attendees.

These can be a problem because:

  1. they ignore women of any sexual orientation who may be making buying decisions (see Invisibility)
  2. they can contribute to an uncomfortable sexualized environment for female attendees

Examples

Wow! The booth babes were incredible. These shows never cease to amaze me. Every other booth had models sporting ultra slinky spandex wear showing off their products trying to draw you in to their booths. It works!

Responses

Am I being sensitive? Yes. Of course. I have feelings and issues and all that good stuff. But, it's true that women (and MEN) are sensitive about their bodies. I think technical women are a special breed that can look beyond the booth babes and see the swag. But if we're trying to push the envelope on attracting smart vibrant talented women into computing, I think the booth babes only serve to alienate a sizeable portion of your population. People are sensitive. If you say "well screw them, they weren't made out for it" you're being a boys club that discourages diversity and evolution of the computing culture.

Events with booth babe bans

PAX and PAX East 2011+ prohibits outright booth babes but have loopholes. Cosplay is okay.