Friday, October 05, 2012

Article on booth babes from

Go read it here.

Firstly, I will say that I cannot understand how people defend booth babes.  The whole idea is sexist.  It's just wrong.

Secondly, the article (specifically about booth babes at the Eurogamer expo) puts it much better than I (emphasis mine):
"What does the concept of the Booth Babe say about women? It says that women's place at any tech-related event can only be as an attractive decoration to sweeten the event for the men. It says that women aren't truly welcome in that world, because the moment you objectify something it isn't part of anything. It's just there. It's just something else to be consumed. Fundamentally, it depicts a woman as a product.
What does the concept of the Booth Babe say about men? It says that we objectify women to such an extent that we will think nothing of attractive women just "being there" while we watch.  It says that we are exactly what a corporate entity believes us to be. It makes us a predictable, easily defined and easily manipulated stick-man on a company whiteboard. It cheapens us. It cheapens all of us. It cheapens the event, and everyone at it, male or female."

Well said.  The article also compares booth babes with the Page 3 Girl in the UK's Sun newspaper, and refers to the no more page 3 campaign (which I urge all of you to sign. please).

And then Rauper, the Managing Director of Eurogamer network responded. I shall quote the most relevant part (emphasis is again mine):

"At this year’s show three companies showed up with booth babes. Two in particular we thought were dressed inappropriately. As a short term measure we told them to move into the 18+ zone, and we asked some of them to put on leggings as well.

Although it was only a small number of booth babes, our regret is that we didn’t go further on the first day and just say “this isn’t right” and ask them to change their clothes - or not attend. Instead, with the huge pressures of putting on such a large show and everything that comes with it, we let it go. And that’s what has prompted this debate – and we’re sorry it happened.

For future shows we will be issuing formal guidelines: Booth babes are Not OK."

Wow.  That is an honest, heartfelt apology.  It's also the first comment on the piece.  Well done Eurogamer.

Apologies like that almost never happen.  I am impressed.

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