back to article Bye bye, booth babes. IT security catwalk RSA nixes sexy outfits

The organizers of this year's RSA security conference have made at least one thing clear to exhibitors: no booth babes. The industry shindig has sent out a new dress code banning scantily clad models, regardless of gender, from wandering the show floor. The rules dictate that exhibitors cannot wear shorts, tank tops and …

Re: About friggin' time.

"Both you and I know that the women are there to give the nerds a stiffy and to get the technology buyers aroused enough to make rash buying decisions. There's nothing distinctly stylish about booth babes"

The Mullahs would be in full agreement with you.

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I can see one possible downside. If you can't tell at a glance which women are booth babes, will that make salesdroids even more likely to assume that any female attendee is a booth babe and ignore them?

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"With the new rules in place, the practice will likely be all but eliminated, forcing exhibitors to rely on the good looks and charm of their own staff or PR agency."

Or, foolish thought, the merits of the item being displayed?

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If the merits were adequate, they wouldn't need to bother with a trade show.

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Never liked them but ...

I never liked them personally, being a shy nerd and all, but their banning is one more sign of the scary feminazification of our society that seems to be picking up every week.

And the only backlash: Beards ?!?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Never liked them but ...

What? You don't agree with group A of feminists telling group B of women what is socially acceptable to wear, and telling men that they should be attracted to a sack of potatoes with a lipstick covered physics textbook stapled onto it, or otherwise they're not appreciating real woman?

Don't let HR hear you.

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Obligatory Dilbert

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Thumb Up

Re: Obligatory Dilbert

Regular application of dental floss at the intended body parts by all exhibitors will do even more to attract me to a trade show than high-heeled ladies.

By the way, extravagant shoes are not banned by RSA security conference new dress code.

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Anonymous Coward

Because according to some busybody you can't dress sexy, be attractive, and at the same time do a good job.

If they judge people for what they wear and impose those criteria on others, what are they really?

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Meh

"If they judge people for what they wear...?"

Hence the use of the cringeworthy Business or Business Casual Wear.

As seen in used Car Salesrooms and The Dock in courts around the land.

Wheres the tech kudos in looking like that?

Dronewear.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "If they judge people for what they wear...?"

Business wear?

I can think of the women in various roles I've known in the many offices I've worked at, and many of them wear clothes that would violate this rule.. and its the HR/Admin/Sales women that violate it more....

These are all very successful & very talented women, they choose to dress this way, why should RSA have the right to tell them what to wear?

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As someone from the con / geek community

Welcome to our hell.

As you see more and more busy body wannabe tech feminists (as opposed to women with actual skills) enter the tech circles... you'll see more and more of this.

Now that tech is "cool" and is where all the jobs, money and prestige is, you have the usual gender studies parasites attracted to it.

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Re: As someone from the con / geek community

"Now that tech is "cool" and is where all the jobs, money and prestige is, you have the usual gender studies parasites attracted to it."

Now that you mention it... You never hear feminist raging about the almost total lack of women coal miners, do you?

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Yag

Re: As someone from the con / geek community

Probably because of the almost total lack of coal miners in the countries they usually parasite.

I know of a few woman working in construction however...

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Megaphone

Re: As someone from the con / geek community

Now that tech is "cool" and is where all the jobs, money and prestige is, you have the usual gender studies parasites attracted to it.

Many moons ago, when I started working in the City, it was fun. My first team night out ended up at some 'gentlemens club', arriving via a supremely overloaded dodgy cab from the curry house, with me in the boot. There was a smoking room at work and a Friday afternoon beer trolley. You were allowed to swear. It was even thought acceptable to compliment a lady on her new hair style or outfit (note the word compliment as opposed to lear at, or making sexual suggestive remarks)....

The parasites have killed all that, and it's now a miserable place to work, with everyone afraid to speak in case they tread on the latest PC eggshell du jour.

Sure, some things were out of order, such as having strippers turn up to the desk on someones birthday.... But we somehow went way beyond sensible and moderate change into this politically correct nightmare from which there is little hope of escape. The islington liberals have an awful lot to answer for.

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Boffin

Re: As someone from the con / geek community

As you see more and more busy body wannabe tech feminists (as opposed to women with actual skills) enter the tech circles... you'll see more and more of this.

It has even infested DEFCON. The one last year had Hacker Jeopardy get PG-ified as Vanna Vinyl didn't strip down on that edition, due to insistence of the feminazis. (Note: "feminazis" and "feminists" aren't the same thing. "Feminazis" are the radical zealot subgroup within the feminist movement, but not representative of feminism as a whole.)

I might get RSA banning booth babes, but DEFCON? That's just ruining the fun in an event that isn't meant to be business-oriented or PC at all. Reading this thread pretty much talks for itself.

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Anonymous Coward

Suppose it's a pretty shitty time to be an attractive model looking to make some quick change.

Lets face it, sure there are a few interesting speakers and maybe a half dozen interesting vendors at most of these junkets - but the main reason we go is the prospect of some mid afternoon boozing and a few days out of the office. I'm happy if I get to knock off at four to the closest pub with a fine collection of new pens and short a few business cards. The vendor literature has normally gone by the time I get to the pub.

As to the booth babes - never really been my thing I get embarrassed by people confident in their own attractiveness (am I supposed to look at them, the floor, over there, the product, oh god have I looked to long, am I being talked to, what is this, where am I, who am I what is this haddock in my hand!) and I've never been fond of larger breasts. However without them now it's just a very large amount of grey suits and cocks shuffling awkwardly past each other. I'd be down for an event with equal quota's of both men and women in skimpy tight shorts. That'd be funny to watch - all the grey suits not quite sure how to deal with the bulging packages.

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Suggestion...

Put the booth babes in gray suits. All the sales droids and PR types wear the booth babe clothes. Yeah.... mind bleach needed.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Suggestion...

It's not like it would be much of a difference, as Belle de Jour (the UK blogger) observed, For example, she said if in a hotel you want to know which are the businesswomen and which are the hookers, you only need to notice which ones which are respectably and tastefully dressed, they are in fact the hookers :)

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Christ on a fucking BIKE!

"...booth babes are the only things worth looking at..."

"...scary feminazification of our society..."

"...sack of potatoes with a lipstick covered physics textbook stapled onto it..."

"...tech feminists (as opposed to women with actual skills)..."

You cunch of bunts make me embarrassed to have tech qualifications and work in the tech industry [Note 1]. Fucking dinosaurs. Fuck off back to your squalid, pr0n watching, meat beating, woman-fearing little lives.

{Note 1] Actually, no. You make me embarrassed to be male. Fuck right off.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Christ on a fucking BIKE!

Here's one just for you: "cuck off"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Christ on a fucking BIKE!

"...booth babes are the only things worth looking at..."

Looking at attractive members of the opposite sex is perfectly normal. If you go around looking at the ground all day that's up to you but most humans, male and female, are programmed to seek out healthy looking partners to make babies with.

"...scary feminazification of our society..."

It's scary when various scam artists with nothing more than a bunch of social media accounts are given awards etc isn't it?

"...sack of potatoes with a lipstick covered physics textbook stapled onto it..."

See above. Whether you like it or not humans, male and female, seek out attractive partners.

"...tech feminists (as opposed to women with actual skills)..."

I'm not sure what rock you live under but there has been a rash of feminists without a clue invading recently. These are people that can't code HTML but claim they are "indie devs" or something. These people don't have any actual skills and that's what OT was pointing out not degrading all women because of his male white privilege.

>>{Note 1] Actually, no. You make me embarrassed to be male. Fuck right off.

Because you are male and I am male doesn't mean we are linked but some unwritten law that makes us responsible for each other. Your problem and the problem of many current generation feminists is exactly this: You are making it about gender opposed to equality.

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Re: Christ on a fucking BIKE!

@NotArghGeeCee

I'm in total agreement. The comments on here are precisely what's wrong with the IT industry. The people making them are an embarrassment to our industry and, as you say, to our gender.

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Trollface

Re: Christ on a fucking BIKE!

I bet you look great in a thong...

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Re: Christ on a fucking BIKE!

@ NotArghGeeCee

You could always get a sex change if it bothers you so much

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Christ on a fucking BIKE!

So you're implying that unless he shares your definition of what it is to be a man, he's not one and should voluntarily have gender re-assignment?

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Re: Christ on a fucking BIKE!

@AC

"So you're implying that unless he shares your definition of what it is to be a man, he's not one and should voluntarily have gender re-assignment?"

He claims to be 'embarrassed to be male' by his perception of male behaviour. I suggested an alternative in case the shame became unbearable. Should I have suggested counselling?

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Re: Christ on a fucking BIKE!

@NotArghGeeCee

Quite so. Bunch of snivelling babies, whining because someone took their toys off them...

Meh ....

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Coat

Let's get one thing clear...

My decisions as a technologist are not swayed by booth babes of either sex. That being said, they're not doing anything to stem the tide of free swag, are they?

Mine's the one with the pocket full of cheap shinies your PR drone gave to me.

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Being neither straight, nor gay, nor bi…

…nor male, nor female - nor - probably - human, I have absolutely no views on this subject whatsoever.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Being neither straight, nor gay, nor bi…

no views on this subject whatsoever.

Not even if it's a scantily-clad minor Royal? :)

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Californian attire

"appropriate in a professional environment" - this is a show in California, so presumably torn shorts, tie-dye shirt and sandals are OK then?

Reminds me of Scott McNealy's reply when asked if Sun had a dress code. He said "Yes. You must."

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Anonymous Coward

Give the feminism a rest

It's funny to see all the sweaty, unattractive nerds on this thread stumble over themselves to grab the torch for feminism. I assume this is behavior they developed to make themselves more attractive to women, although I don't recall ever seeing this strategy work.

Here's a tip, try to gather up the courage to talk to an actual woman and get her take on the situation. I know some women who do this kind of work and from their point of view, somebody's paying them a solid hourly rate to stand around, smile, and wear something tight. It's easy money. They don't spend one second feeling sorry for themselves because they're being objectified or demeaned or whatever.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Give the feminism a rest

They don't complain because the patriarchy has deprived them of opportunities to do intellectual and non-demeaning work at similar rates of pay and with the same level of respect as men. "Booth babes" are objectified and disposable women. Check your privilege.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Give the feminism a rest

>>They don't complain because the patriarchy has deprived them of opportunities to do intellectual and non-demeaning work at similar rates of pay and with the same level of respect as men.

Have you ever met or talked to any of these women? What makes you think they don't spend most of their time doing intellectual, non-demeaning work? Look at you, making sexist assumptions. The women I know who do this work are mostly college students who are studying intellectual things and just pick up these jobs once in a while on weekends to make some extra cash.

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Re: Give the feminism a rest

And what about all the women who start to have an interest in working in tech? After slogging their way through the barrage of comments from colleagues doubting their ability because of their genitalia, the interviewers who drop blatant hints about sexual favours, and the desperate lack of role models, they finally land their first visit to a tech conference, and the weight of evidence is telling them that their gender is best suited to advertising via cleavage?

Here's a tip, talk to a few women who have been in tech for a while and get their perspective before merrily raising your flag for the status quo.

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Gimp

Re: Give the feminism a rest

"Check your privilege."

Fuck off.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Give the feminism a rest

>>they finally land their first visit to a tech conference, and the weight of evidence is telling them that their gender is best suited to advertising via cleavage?

How simple-minded do you think women are?

If you go to the mall and see some shirtless dudes standing in front of Abercrombie and Fitch, do you get all down on your gender and think that all you're supposed to offer to the world is 6-pack abs?

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Paris Hilton

Re: Give the feminism a rest @fearnothing

After slogging their way through the barrage of comments from colleagues doubting their ability because of their genitalia

It doesn't happen. I've been working in tech for more than 20 years and this simply doesn't happen.

Sure, I've worked in places where there was occasional gender related banter, but it was given & received in jest, and in equal measure. Never have I worked with anyone that has made derrogatory comments about another coder because of gender. crap code, sure, but never because of gender.

the interviewers who drop blatant hints about sexual favours

Never seen or heard it happen, and most importantly, I've never done it. Sure, I've ... had enjoyable evenings (?) with female colleagues before I was married, but who the hell hasn't? One of the best programmers I ever worked with was a girl who would have left any interviewer making such remarks physically bleeding, but it never happened to her - despite being hot.

desperate lack of role models

If you think there are no women in IT worthy of being someones rolemodel, be they male or female, then that speaks volumes about you. I, however, strongly disagree.

finally land their first visit to a tech conference, and the weight of evidence is telling them that their gender is best suited to advertising via cleavage

Its telling them nothing about IT. It's telling them that sales techniques are the same wherever they go. There's a reason much of the advertising targetting women features young men in their kecks, and it is the same reason for the booth babes. Sex sells. It always has and it always will, and there is nothing intrinsically wrong with that. Ferrari won't be hiring Jo Brand to drape herself over their next release, and Channel won't be requesting my well slapped arse of a face to grace their next TV campaign either. That's life.

The constant White Knighting from certain segments of the population is as tiring for the rest of us as it is revealing of their own deep-seated prejudices and insecurities.

Paris, because its harmless fun.

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Re: Give the feminism a rest

@fearnothing

god how demeaning can you be to women.

Perhaps we should protect them from any possible harm/offence by keeping them at home, maybe in the kitchen.

Looking around the office now I see about 30% women on an IT floor including devs, project managers, architects and team leaders.

All of them are treated on their merits rather than their sex

Here's a tip, talk to a few women who have been in tech for a while and get their perspective before jumping on the men must be sexist bastards bandwagon

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Re: Give the feminism a rest @fearnothing

Upvoted for this gem "my well slapped arse of a face", completely agree, there are some very good people of both genders and for my money IT is less sexist than most industries.

I think the "booth babes" are a bit old fashioned but tbh I don't have a view one way or the other, I'm a little bemused that they'll welcome the idea of being out of work.

I don't tend to go to conferences that often, but a pretty lady is not going to change the evaluation of the vendor's product.

If anything it's likely to count against them, as I'll assume they are covering for a lack of features in the product.

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Re: Give the feminism a rest

The sweaty unattractive nerds are the ones attacking feminism, not defending it. They can't get laid and its all the fault of women who have the nerve to think they are people! Heavy sarcasm ----->Not like the REAL women in Grand Theft Auto.

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What everyone needs is...

...a babe who actually KNOWS the hardware that is being displayed, and can answer actual questions. Unfortunately these are few and far between. The other unfortunate problem is that the male of the species thinks that anyone with the extra X chromosome is a "booth babe" who has no clue and thus are skipped over.

Oh, well. On an up note, I've worked with a bunch of great "babes" who actually know things. Unfortunately already married.

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Anonymous Coward

Having spent a lot of time in gyms and dance studios, the women that do this kind of work know exactly what it's about, like the work and are proud of their bodies (which the usually put a lot of work into to look like that).

If this kind of clothing is so bad, why is socially acceptable and worn everywhere else? It's not for functionality or utility, it's for the appearance. Why do we tolerate art on walls or meals/beverages as way to attract people or make them happy, yet when it in the form of a person, it's suddenly taboo?

I envy the people that look like that, similar to the way a number of them have told me they envy my computer skills. Many of us could look the same if we put the same effort in at the gym and showed the same restraint in what we ate.

If people automatically think of sex every time they see an attractive member of the opposite gender, perhaps they have some deeper issues and should seek help. The only reason majority of these people are female is the gender imbalance in the industry - go to an event for a female dominated industry and take a look at who they hire!

We should be proud of the human body and it's ascetic appeal.

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Headmaster

homophone(ish) corner

We should be proud of the human body and it's ascetic appeal.

Given the admiration expressed for the exercise regime necessary to maintain a buff physique and the commentard traditions of word play I am genuinely uncertain whether you used the word that you intended or not.

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Joke

Re: homophone(ish) corner

In case you wonder, the regime required to achieve reasonable "buffness", is 5-7 hours a week to get into shape, 3-5 hours a week to maintain and a diet to match.

Doing something different every day, helps to even out the tone and adapt to working conditions.

You're welcome.

P.

PS If you ever wondered what that Wednesday afternoon was at school where you didn't to write anything....

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I don't subscribe to any of that Political Correctness bullshit. It isn't sexist, insulting, and at least on this edge of the pond, harassment (and only verbal) is just rare. And the eye candy is nice as well.

What IS the problem, is that when a vendor constructs their entire exhibition around dancing girls, mirrorballs and flashing disco lights - we tend to lose respect.

Us dumb smucks don't need to know what products they have now, how they've evolved from the past, and what plans they have for the furture - nope - the vendor doesn't give a flying fuck about all that - they only care about how many units you're going to buy after purving at the girls.

Not mentioning any names: Intel.

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Context, context....

I hope the organisers of the conference employ a little common sense in enforcing their rules. A woman can wear a short skirt or tight fitting top and not look like a whore. I've met men who wear shorts all year round (and no, they don't live in sun drenched climates) And what would they say about a true Scotsman wearing a kilt?

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Coat

Re: Context, context....

"what would they say about a true Scotsman wearing a kilt?"

I hope they would say that it is unsuitable attire for a data centre with underfloor ventilation!

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