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 …

  1. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

    Not worth going then

    At all too many trade shows, the booth babes are the only things worth looking at. The collection of "me too" items, items that are well past their sell by date, horribly overpriced items and items that are not ready for production use makes many trade shows a boring waste of time.

    1. fearnothing

      Re: Not worth going then

      "At all too many trade shows, the booth babes are the only things worth looking at."

      Thank you for demonstrating for us the primary reason this decision was the right one.

      1. dan1980

        Re: Not worth going then

        Without wanting to come down on one side or the other of this argument - I don't go to trade shows so this doesn't mean much to me - I am not sure picking on the language really makes the point.

        Have you really never said something like: "the only thing worth seeing at the circus is the trapeze artists"? Or that: "the only thing worth going to the event for is the keynote speaker"?

        English has lots of words and often several words for the same thing, but there is no real word for "things and people" together. If there is, I'm happy to be corrected.

        As I read it, the poster was trying to imply that all the actual things there are not worth looking at so only the 'booth babes' are.

        If he said: "The booth babes are the only people worth looking at" that would imply that the other people are not worth looking at - which is not what he means - but would fail to convey the point that the THINGS there are not worth looking at - which is what he means.

        When it comes to things like this, people jump on common phrases and idioms as supposed proof of some overt or underlying sexism. That's just not helpful - there is enough real sexism against and objectification of women in this world without manufacturing it out of a phrase that is common English and otherwise unobjectionable.

        Of course, I would suggest that if none of the actual products or exhibits are of interest that one just not go.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not worth going then...to an A-Sexual event.

          "Of course, I would suggest that if none of the actual products or exhibits are of interest that one just not go."

          However, when you do have an interest in the exhibits, and the exhibits turn out to be crap, then the booth babes are still something to be remembered. Well, I guess not anymore, so everything might turn out to be crap.

          The I.T. industry is turning cold, bland, and colorless like a convention for insurance agents. I'm not trying to be a complete asshole, but it seems like the people with money in I.T. aren't nerds, they're dorks (yeh, I used name calling rudely). The whole thing is turning into genericide.

          I'm a straight male, but what I love about South Beach and other areas is that sexuality is so distorted and/or exotic that there is no way you're going to see someone force the tranny's out because it can be construed as disrespectful. And politico types can't hide behind "Well, the industry is Tranny's there, so..." because they are people who are enjoying themselves, and people are people, no matter the industry.

          A fucking dress code for a computer convention...pfft. Great, should the employees bring their tailor along? Or should I next? Wait, the whole industry seems tailored already, nevermind.

          1. dan1980

            Re: Not worth going then...to an A-Sexual event.

            Look, there is nothing wrong with having a perve. You are allowed to do it. Sure, the person you are looking at might not like it and might think you are a sleaze and avoid you, but that's the way it is.

            Having a perve at the people around you, however, is different to employing people to stand around for the express purpose of being perved on, which is what the practice of hiring 'booth babes' amounts to. You (as the exhibitor) are using 'sex' to try and sell your product. Which, again, is allowed, generally, but it has it's place and RSA is simply saying that a conference about embedded system security, intrusion detection systems and mitigating the mobile malware threats that come with BYOD policies might not be the place.

          2. Mark 85 Silver badge

            @ MYBACKDOOR Re: Not worth going then...to an A-Sexual event.

            The I.T. industry is turning cold, bland, and colorless like a convention for insurance agents.

            The wildest convention I ever saw (and I've seen a few over the years) was for funeral directors. I got stuck in Chicago for a weekend and the hotel had a convention of funeral directors. Not at all dull. It was jumping more than a frat house on a Friday night. And we shouldn't insult insurance agents as I've heard their conventions come in second after the funeral guys. I think IT is falling down below accountants as far as these kinds of events.

          3. Denarius Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: Not worth going then...to an A-Sexual event.

            @MyBackDoor. So right. IT is getting duller every year. Never go to the shows either, but ElReg had a few pleasing snaps to give an eyeful. Now the unforeseen consequences. I mean, those out of work hungry models, they will get even more ghastly skinny. Odd how the age of Victorian prudery is back but not from the conservative types this time.

          4. Levente Szileszky

            Re: Not worth going then...to an A-Sexual event.

            "The I.T. industry is turning cold, bland, and colorless like a convention for insurance agents."

            Depends what do you mean by IT industry... everything at SIGGRAPH was very interesting to me (but yes, I also went to the after parties in bars, of course.)

            "I'm a straight male, but what I love about South Beach and other areas is that sexuality is so distorted and/or exotic that there is no way you're going to see someone force the tranny's out because it can be construed as disrespectful.

            (...)

            A fucking dress code for a computer convention...pfft. Great, should the employees bring their tailor along?"

            Err, hate to break it to you but you are in the wrong profession or at least visiting the wrong events - you sound like a perfect fit to be in the audience of an adult entertainment expo or that annual porn Oscar show in Vegas (not sure what's the name)...

        3. Florida1920 Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Not worth going then @dan1980

          You forgot something --------------------------------------------------------------------->

          1. dan1980

            Re: Not worth going then @dan1980

            @Florida1920

            Quite right.

        4. fearnothing

          Re: Not worth going then

          I'm well aware that the use of the word 'things' was largely a figure of speech. However it was a particularly unfortunate figure of speech given the objectification inherent in the statement as a whole, hence my choice to highlight it.

          1. dan1980

            Re: Not worth going then

            @fearnothing

            Fair enough.

            Perhaps a less accusatory way to have expressed that sentiment, then, would be to say that you understand that the poster did not really mean to infer that booth babes were 'things', however, the problem is that some people really do view women as objects and trussing them up in latex and trotting them out for inspection does not does not help matters.

            Men have sex with women*. It is okay to look at a woman and think about sex. One could argue that this would be a normal evolutionary response because men and women having sex is rather central to the whole shebang. This is the reason that 'sex sells' - we are programmed to think about sex and programmed to want it.

            In some ways, using 'booth babes' actually demeans men as much as women. I am bound to get downvoted by all the knee-jerkers but to use scantily clad women to sell a product to men is to say that you are trying to control men by leading them around by their genitals. You are treating men as that base evolutionary product.

            I am not saying men are necessarily being objectified, but they are being demeaned by this; both sexes are. It's normal and natural to feel attraction but this should be a private thing between people - not used by some marketing bod to try and increase sales by 2%.

            It is these people - the ones hiring the 'booth babes' - who are objectifying women: they are using them as a prop; treating them as little more than a glossy photo - a real life advertisement. They are being used as props. I would argue that the males attending the events objectify the women FAR less than the people who hire them.

            But I have digressed. Rather a lot.

            * - For convenience, I am focusing on the situation here, where an overwhelmingly (heterosexual) male audience is attending an event where there are female 'booth babes'.

            1. L05ER

              Re: Not worth going then

              "They are being used as props. I would argue that the males attending the events objectify the women FAR less than the people who hire them."

              this is exactly what i thought when the wording of the OP was attacked, they literally are things in this instance. moving cardboard essentially.

            2. fearnothing

              Re: Not worth going then

              "In some ways, using 'booth babes' actually demeans men as much as women."

              Absolutely! As you noted it's not that men are objectified so much as that we are stereotyped as immature, grunting savages completely at the mercy of primal urges. Yes it's okay for a man to look at a woman and think of sex. And the people staring at them are less at fault than the people hiring them. But I'm not going to keep my mouth shut when someone implies it's okay to ogle and forget the negative effects.

              As far as tact goes, a large part of the problem is that the culture of stereotyping men and demeaning women is built into our language habits. It's subtle, it's habitual, and kids learn it long before they see anything like porn or booth babes. If I get labelled a feminazi for trying to get people to be aware of this, then bring it on. Language shapes our thoughts and in many ways defines the thoughts we are capable of having. For that reason I'm not sorry for having addressed it in a way that looked like linguistic pedantry.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not worth going then

          Totally see your point.

          However, I consider it important and incumbent on *everyone* to think about what they write and how it could be misconstrued.

          Because there people out there that don't grok the difference you mentioned, and just take it as socially acceptable perpetuation of sexist / misogynistic standpoints. We all have a responsibility to make this not OK any more.

          1. Mad Mike

            Re: Not worth going then

            @AC

            "However, I consider it important and incumbent on *everyone* to think about what they write and how it could be misconstrued."

            I sort of agree, but you hit another problem with the english language. Any particular statement or sentence can be read so many different ways, it is almost impossible to say anything substantial without potentially offending someone. Yes, some things are very clearly and obviously offensive, again not because of the words, but the context of the whole piece etc. However, I've seen many people take offence at things that are actually quite neutral and certainly not meant in that way.

            People highly sensitised one way or the other are the first to jump to the wrong conclusion, as they have a pre-conceived bias to do so. I used to work with a woman who if you held a door open for her would take great offence that you were doing it because she was a woman. Problem was, I'd hold a door open for anyone if they were following behind me. It's not about man/woman, it's about being polite in general. But, as she was a rampant feminist, she automatically assumed everyone was treating her differently as she was a woman. This made her a nightmare. She would take deep offence at the most minor of things.

            A bloke moaning in the office on a Monday morning about having to wait around in shops whilst his wife spent hours trying on dresses would get a verbal tirade on being sexist etc.etc. She effectively had few friends and nobody would talk to her. She, of course, took this as sexism from IT men who hated her doing an IT job. It wasn't. It was her attitude and actions made it impossible to talk to her in any sensible way and she was just a nightmare co-worker, not for being a woman, but for instantly assuming everyone was trying to insult or undermine her.

            If we're all to live in harmony, we need to get rid of these extreme ends of the spectrum and get more to the middle ground. In their own way, the liberals purporting to support all these anti-ism stances, are actually as bigoted as the people who they're trying to stop. Liberal is absolutely the worst word to describe them as they are anything but.

        6. This post has been deleted by its author

        7. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

          Chattels

          Now give me 100 upvotes because that is what this post really needs

      2. Yag
        Trollface

        Re: Not worth going then

        Everything is things.

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Not worth going then

          "Everything is things."

          Except when they are Objects. Where do Containers fit into this?

          1. CadentOrange

            Re: Not worth going then

            And primitives. Not everyone is using a new fangled language that treats everything as an object.

            1. Jaybus

              Re: Not worth going then

              "And primitives. Not everyone is using a new fangled language that treats everything as an object."

              And there you have it. A prime example of why booth babes should not be banned. We nerds generally already know about the tech even before arriving, and will soon enough have one of our very own. But these shows provide the only chance that we will ever have of getting anywhere near girls such as depicted in the photo.

          2. Simon Westerby 1

            Re: Not worth going then

            Obviously a Container is a Thing for another Thing (or an Object) - they are univerally compatible ...

          3. PatientOne
            Devil

            Re: Not worth going then

            Containers would be the building.

            Actually, I'd say that we are objects. Each object has a series of properties and identity to distinguish it from other objects. It just happens that one such property is 'person'. Or perhaps 'human' but I'm not always sure about that...

          4. Red Sceptic

            Re: Not worth going then

            Terry Pratchett — 'Things that try to look like things often do look more like things than things.'

            (Wyrd Sisters)

          5. fearnothing

            Re: Not worth going then

            Don't forget stuff.

        2. Jaybus

          Re: Not worth going then

          But are things everything?

      3. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Not worth going then

        @ fearnothing

        "At all too many trade shows, the booth babes are the only things worth looking at."

        Thank you for demonstrating for us the primary reason this decision was the right one.

        I want to weigh in on this because I am sick of assholes and feminazis (not the people who believe in equality which is something different) who have no real contribution but like to twist the English language to create offence. 'Thing' is a reference to 'something' which has been explained to you in previous posts, but the alternative is nothing reference to 'null, nada, zip'.

        So as you may try to make offence of someones perfectly acceptable choice of words, I would point out that your comment is actually the offensive one to suggest he cannot use normal English language and that a woman, especially one dressed up to attract attention, is nothing.

        You may dislike men looking at women, or women choosing a profession where they attract attention, but then I suggest you are the wrong species but I have no idea which one fills your desire, probably something asexual. And without the possibility of language.

      4. Levente Szileszky

        Re: Not worth going then

        Huh? English isn't your native language, right?

        But neither is mine - yet I know perfectly find that he IS CORRECT when using "things" because he is referring the THINGS SHOWCASED there (vs people etc.) when she says the booth babes are the only reason to visit the show...

        ...or it is your native and you're just being ignorant/trolling when you try to spin something out of context (and miserably failing)?

        Obvious troll is odious.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: Levente Szileszky

          Keep digging.

          C.

    2. Anonymous Coward
    3. Amorous Cowherder

      Re: Not worth going then

      Ideas and situations change, mostly for the better. We don't use terms like paki, nig-nog, wog or coon any more because they're nasty, racist and only serve to demean others based on skin colour and cause friction. Would you describe your female co-workers as babes and bitches? Not unless you want slap and handed a cardboard box by HR.

      The world is changing Duncan my old son and having respect for everyone, whether they have a penis of a vagina, shows we are growing up and becoming better people. I suggest you leave your 1950's attitude to women at the door.

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: Not worth going then

        @Amorous Cowherder.

        "Ideas and situations change, mostly for the better. We don't use terms like paki, nig-nog, wog or coon any more because they're nasty, racist and only serve to demean others based on skin colour and cause friction."

        Oh dear, not this old nonsense. Words are not racist, sexist or any other 'ist' you care of think of. They are completely neutral. It is the way they are used, context, body language etc. around their use that confers the 'ism' or not.

        There was a very well known comedy on British TV in the 70s called Love Thy Neighbour. Nobody today would ever make it because of the language used. The black chap would refer to the white chap as 'chalky' (is this a racist word?) and the white chap would use all sorts of stereotypical words to describe the black chap..........nignog etc.etc. The funny thing about it was, they were actually best mates in the programme. Quite a lot of people didn't get it and the liberals at the time threw their toys out the pram as they simply went by the language and not all the other nuances around the language, which conveyed the real intent. The two guys would go down the put together and socialise together. The actors even spoke of this afterwards and explained everything.

        So, words are not racist etc. at all. It is the way they are used. That is both the beauty and danger of the english language. You can use a sexist word like 'babe' to a woman if all the other signs are right (glint in the eye etc.), but get them wrong and you'll get a slap. The context can even change based on whether you know the person or not, or how well you know them. The only people who really believe words are racist, sexist etc. inherently, are those that simply don't properly understand human interaction and all its nuances and subtleties.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not worth going then

          Um, in Melbourne (Australia), young Italian people often refer to each other as "wogs" with absolutely no racist intent.

          In Perth, the other side of Australia, the older generation get really offended by the word.

          So... it's definitely not a set in stone thing of "this word is offensive!".

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not worth going then

      Isn't there an old phrase in sales circles:

      "Tits sell bits"

      ?

    5. Swarthy Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Not worth going then @dan1980

      At all too many trade shows, the booth babes are the only nouns worth looking at.
      That should help.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    About friggin' time.

    Booth babes are frankly embarrassing.

    I can't think of a bigger turn off at conferences than scantily clad meat draped around technology.

    Call me a prude if you like, but technology should be able to sell itself.

    1. dan1980

      Re: About friggin' time.

      @skeleband

      Yes, they are. But they are also insulting. I kind of get them at car shows because - so far as I know (I'm not much of a 'car person') - they are usually reserved for the super cars and high-powered sports cars with fences around them. You wouldn't see them, for instance, draped over the latest Subaru Forrester with mum and dad trying out the seats.

      In that way, they are part of the 'you wish', going-for-a-perv-at-something-I-can't-have fantasy, rather than the 'let's see if we should wait until the new model Focus comes out'.

      At a tech conference - it's all the latter market: we're there to see the new technology because we are interested in it capabilities and whether it is suitable for us. Mostly, at least.

      At something like E3, I can, again, understand it more because E3 is about entertainment and, for many males - especially younger males - looking at attractive younger women in revealing outfits is entertaining.

      I don't necessarily approve of it and, again, I just don't go to these things so it doesn't really affect me much but I can understand it in those contexts, where people are throwing around words and catch-phrases like "thrills" and "excitement" and "ride of your life" and so on.

      I do not, however, understand in the slightest, why this is happening at a conference where people go to hear speakers discuss the best ways to implement "risk management frameworks" and "strategies to enable local law enforcement personnel to collaborate more closely with international police organizations".

      For the person, above, who jumped up and down about the use of the word "thing", my use of the word "it" in the preceding text refers to "the practice and institution of having 'booth babes' at conferences and trade shows"; I am not suggesting a 'booth babe' is an 'it'. So we can all calm down, okay?

      1. Denarius Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: About friggin' time.

        oh I dunno Dan. Most hardware and software these days is far duller than the old old stuff. I mean, the last 3 iterations of M$ apps and OS have provoked scorn or loathing. Yet Win95 was exciting for those who led sheltered lives. Now its all dull, linux included. Nothing like the first time I fired up a real multu-user, multitasking OS on my PC at home.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: About friggin' time.

        @dan1980

        "You wouldn't see them, for instance, draped over the latest Subaru Forrester"

        Funny you should say that. Last time I went to the motor show, there was a very bored looking babe draped over a Subaru Forester. She more or less coerced my wife into the car, locked the doors and spent an hour and a half talking incessantly to her about holidays and modelling and other girly things. I suspect she was starting to lose her sanity.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: About friggin' time.

          Here on the wrong side of the pond the Subaru Forester is the car of the "women in comfortable shoes" So perhaps having a booth babe who then locks your wife, rather than you, in is a deliberate part of their sexist marketing campaign,

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: About friggin' time.

      This is a conference where American software companies sell you security products that both you and they know have been backdoored by the government.

      The same government that wouldn't allow one of the inventors of RSA a visa to visit a previous conference because he had a suspiciously middle-eastern name.

      Booth babes are sadly the least embarrasing thing about it

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: About friggin' time.

      If they are anywhere near the beef from the photo - I agree with you.

      However, there is a fine line here. I was at a conference recently and Ericsson technical sales team was sprouting at least 3 long legged ladies with legs which would have passed the catwalk test (not something I can say about the fat beef in the pic). At least one of them showed up in a fairly short skirt on some of the days too.

      There is a distinction here: They were actual tech sales employees and they knew their stuff. They just happened to be pretty as well.

      So what's next? In the name of political correctness ban hiring Scandinavian and Eastern Europeans? Make everyone wear a full body burkha? Mandate that every techie is fat and ugly too? Make stuffing your face with Pizza and Dr Pepper a mandatory employment condition?

      Err... With all due respect I disagree with that. No f*** way...

      1. Tom_

        Re: About friggin' time.

        @Voland's right hand said "So what's next?"

        How about not referring to people as 'fat beef'?

        1. h4rm0ny
          FAIL

          @Voland's Right Hand

          I've read through most of the comments here and some I agree with and some I disagree with but whether they're pro or anti- the presence of "booth babes" I don't think any of them are as offensive or stupid as you calling someone in the picture "a fat beef". For one, whether people are in favour of their presence or not, pretty much everyone here regards the booth babes as people. Except you, apparently. They're hired to engage attention, be friendly and project some energy about their employer. That doesn't mean they're there for you to dehumanize or insult them.

          I think any further responses from you on this topic should be accompanied by a recent photo of you in a skin-tight outfit of your own so we can all see your perfection.

    4. MrXavia

      Re: About friggin' time.

      I agree with you that the tech should sell itself, but I don't agree with a ban... Why should we have to cover up the human body? why can't they have employees wearing nothing if they want? the human body is natural no need to be ashamed because of a bit of cleavage!

      I am not advocating booth babes, and unless they are in a costume for a game/movie/anime whatever product they are advertising, then I can't personally see the point in hiring models to stand around doing nothing in ugly clothes..

      But if a company wants to waste money giving a model a job, why not?

      think about the person out of a job because of a few prudish idiots.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: About friggin' time.

      Referring to women as "meat" is I think quite offensive and disgusting. Just because they are there purely to give sex appeal to a product, doesn't mean you should demean the women who do that by suggesting that they are nothing but meat.

      Its one thing to object to using sex to sell something, quite another to be so demeaning about women when you do so. Using their sex appeal does not say that that is all they are good for, it is usually the people objecting to it that imply there is nothing more to these women, it is the people objecting who objectify them the most. Looking at a woman and finding her attractive does not limit her to just being an attractive object, but people attacking them by saying they are nothing but sexual objects does reinforce the idea that attractive women are just sexual objects.

      If you don't want them there because scantily clad women make you feel awkward and uncomfortable and don't think it is appropriate for the venue. Just say that, that is reasonable case to make. But using the objectification argument, just adds to the problem you claim to be against.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: About friggin' time.

        > Referring to women as "meat" is I think quite offensive and disgusting. Just because they are there purely to give sex appeal to a product, doesn't mean you should demean the women who do that by suggesting that they are nothing but meat.

        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.

        And I make a distinction here. I'm not talking about attractive sales personnel. I'm talking about *very* short skirts, swimsuits and the like. It's objectification plain and simple.

        I'm in to all that like the next man, but conferences and technology shows are not the right place for this sort of thing.

        1. wayward4now

          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.

    6. wayward4now

      Re: About friggin' time.

      "I can't think of a bigger turn off at conferences than scantily clad meat draped around technology."

      Are you serious?? I have a computer at home. I don't have a booth-babe at home. Nuff said.

      And, do you really perceive those ladies as "scantily clad meat"? Isn't that objectifying? They are persons, like you and me, who happen to be physically endowed with very good looks and who are paid to draw attention to the sponsor who hires them to do so. It does happen to work as intended, since that is just human nature.

  3. Christoph Silver badge

    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?

  4. Captain DaFt

    "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?

    1. SoaG

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

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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 ?!?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  6. Chris Miller
    1. harmjschoonhoven
      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.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    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?

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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?

  8. Snow Wombat

    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.

    1. Captain DaFt

      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?

      1. 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...

    2. LucreLout Silver badge
      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.

    3. Daniel B.
      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.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  10. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Suggestion...

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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 :)

  11. NotArghGeeCee

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Christ on a fucking BIKE!

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

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. localzuk

      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.

    5. hplasm Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Christ on a fucking BIKE!

      I bet you look great in a thong...

    6. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Christ on a fucking BIKE!

      @ NotArghGeeCee

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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?

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          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?

    7. TrishaD

      Re: Christ on a fucking BIKE!

      @NotArghGeeCee

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

      Meh ....

  12. War President
    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.

  13. Sarah Balfour

    Being neither straight, nor gay, nor bi…

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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? :)

  14. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    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."

  15. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Gimp

        Re: Give the feminism a rest

        "Check your privilege."

        Fuck off.

    2. fearnothing

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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?

      2. LucreLout Silver badge
        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.

        1. sed gawk

          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.

      3. NinjasFTW

        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

    3. Dana W

      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.

  16. Herby Silver badge

    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.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. 's water music Silver badge
      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.

      1. phil dude
        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....

  18. John Tserkezis

    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.

  19. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    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?

    1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
      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!

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Context, context....

      " I've met men who wear shorts all year round (and no, they don't live in sun drenched climates)"

      I live on the sun drenched coast of errr. South Wales, and the last time I didn't wear shorts was to a funeral 5 years ago.

      Mind you, this is a place where in winter, you see queues outside ice-cream shops rather than coffee shops (Joes Icecream FTW! )

      You always get some comments in winter, whilst someone wearing an above-knee skirt doesn't.

      As for when it's cold (especially windy) , I can be colder on my chest, wearing t-shirt and jumper than my legs.

    3. Fink-Nottle

      Re: Context, context....

      > And what would they say about a true Scotsman wearing a kilt?

      "Sir, you can't sleep in this doorway. I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to move."

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gene Hunt called...

    ...He wants his sexism back.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gene Hunt called...

      I don't go to shows like this, but I wonder if the main reason among feminists for being against a profession that uses their looks, such as booth-babes, is jealousy (a very simple, yet so difficult emotion).

      A female's main reason for dressing up is usually to "compete" with other females, not to attract men..

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2002391/Sorry-chaps-women-dress-impress-other.html

      ...then they blame men for it.

      I wonder when females will stop judging a man by his status, money (and looks)..which is the female equalient of appreciating a female that has a pleasing appearance.

      In other words, it is just as sexist (if one applies, so does the other).

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Wouldn't wear it in the CEO's office?"

    depends what kind of CEO you have.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Wouldn't wear it in the CEO's office?"

      That reminds me of the CEO founder of a successful US IT company. His only dress code was "no suits". Apparently he had once worked for IBM and formed an aversion to that degree of conformity. Anyone turning up with a pitch soon learned that the standard business suit was not suitable attire.

      For a meeting with him I ditched my company's official suit dress code - and shocked colleagues by reverting to my techie jeans and T-shirt. He listened and against the predicted odds I received his approval.

      I don't care how people dress - as long as they don't stink and they know their trade.

      My gut feeling is that anyone in the security trade who is willing to be put in a sartorial straitjacket is unlikely to be a lateral thinker.

    2. Dave 15 Silver badge

      Re: "Wouldn't wear it in the CEO's office?"

      In my dreams my secretary doesn't wear that much :)

  22. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    Tits

    You can remove the tits from conventions but not the retrogessive attitude of may of the posters here who seem to think that the packaging is far more than the contents -- even bigger tits.

  23. berserko1

    You know they're still going to be there... right?

    It says conference floor however companys will post their "babes" outside the conference center on the street with prizes etc. This same thing sort of happens at VMworld every year there is a few people from VMware that do hourly "ho strolls" to weed out the obvious porn star booth babes. The other shenanigan that vendors will pull is put a sign (or toss out a tweet) announcing their obvious porn star booth babe up saying come to our off site shindig tonight mix and mingle with your peers and half a dozen porn stars. This new "rule" really changes nothing. Usually the vendors that stoop to the porn star booth babes have nothing worth looking at in the first place. Their credibility is nearly shot by the porn star booth babe. It's never influenced any of my purchasing decisions. Call me crazy I go for the technology... and the free beer...

    1. LucreLout Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: You know they're still going to be there... right? @berserko1

      weed out the obvious porn star booth babes.... announcing their obvious porn star booth babe.....mingle with your peers and half a dozen porn stars......vendors that stoop to the porn star booth babes have nothing .....credibility is nearly shot by the porn star booth babe....

      I'm definately more at the cave man end of the spectrum than the sensitive metro-sexual side. I'm so far to the cave man end that I pride myself on that.

      But can we, you, please stop equating all booth babes with porn stars? Yes, I'm not naieve enough to think that some of them aren't stars of their own movies, but I think it's massively derrogatory to what I expect is a majority of the women who are simply good looking models whose virtue is not for sale.

      1. berserko1

        Re: You know they're still going to be there... right? @berserko1

        Obviously you missed VMworld last year when VMjoint had Tori Black and several other port star booth babe's out at nightly events. A very good portion of the babe's are either models or adult actresses. I don't have an issue with either profession but certainly they're not going to get me to stop by and seen you third rate wares you're peddling.

  24. Teiwaz Silver badge

    What happened to the 'more women in I.T.' argument?

    Seriously though, I have every confidence that women can be as capable as men in tech work, it's not all sitting staring at a vdu for hours at time, trying to get a machine to do something clever, which from my experience is more of a male inclined past time, and how most guys I know got started in I.T. and how most would prefer to remain. The women I studied with have mostly all gravitated to team leads and management, which is unsurprising as they all had slightly better interpersonal skills than the guys.

    I guess it's the conference organisers decision and they are free to make it as dull and corporately PC as they please.

  25. TonyJ Silver badge

    Haven't read all of the comments but...

    Did anyone consider this from the booth babes perspectives?

    Presumably they aren't being forced at gunpoint to attend these conventions and wear the outfits provided for them? Has anyone asked them if they mind being looked at given the amount of time, effort and sometimes money it takes to get/keep the figure/looks/image they have? Or if, in fact, given that this appears to be a line of work they not only choose to be but as aforementioned have to work hard to be in they might actually enjoy the attention?

    Has anyone asked them if they'll miss the income they get from these events? Or the extra bits it adds to their portfolios?

    I'm all for equality and I'd have no beef against the companies utilising booth hunks too for the ladies and gents that appreciate them.

    If these girls were unwilling and felt forced/objectified then surely they'd choose a different path?

    Just asking.

    But I do sometimes wonder why the blokes in IT are still so terrified of women.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Haven't read all of the comments but...

      >>I'm all for equality and I'd have no beef against the companies utilising booth hunks too for the ladies and gents that appreciate them.

      Reminds me of an Apple developer event I attended a few years ago. Probably 2/3 of the Apple employees at the event were young, trim, muscular men with striking features and perfect hair and tight shirts.

      I couldn't figure out what was going on since almost everybody attending the event was male. I didn't know if Apple was trying to appeal to the gay demographic, or if it was aspirational (make iOS apps and you'll look like this!), or if there are just a lot of kickass gyms and barber shops in Cupertino.

      Anyway, I didn't get all upset at Apple for objectifying men.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Haven't read all of the comments but...

        Or perhaps it's "like recruiting like", and that once some employees who looked like that started to affect the hiring, they recruited more people who they thought of as their kind of people.

        Or perhaps some of the management prefer to have staff who look like that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Haven't read all of the comments but...

      > Did anyone consider this from the booth babes perspectives?

      Yes, they have, and when interviewed about it, more often than not, they're breathtakingly hypocritical about their own involvement. Nothing but resentment for the guys who are attracted to the stand, calling them 'saddos' and 'w*nkers', whilst nevertheless taking the cash - and heaven-help the interviewer who dares to question their morals for parading around half-naked for money. I can see why they'd be banned, but I see no reason (other than further supplicating sexism) for glorifying the models as some impeachable innocent party.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's amazing how many men are so threatened by the 'invasion' of women who speak their mind about gender issues in the tech industry. If you think there aren't gender issues you are on another planet frankly, and the labelling of any women wanting to change things as 'feminazis' and the like is equally embarrassing and depressing at the same time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >>If you think there aren't gender issues you are on another planet frankly, and the labelling of any women wanting to change things as 'feminazis' and the like is equally embarrassing and depressing at the same time.

      What makes you think women are behind these changes? I don't see that in this article.

    2. LucreLout Silver badge

      @AC

      It's amazing how many men are so threatened by the 'invasion' of women who speak their mind about gender issues in the tech industry

      Threatened? No. Bored? Yep.

      Sorry, but "gender issues" simply don't exist in the real world. Maybe they did, once, a long time ago, but in 20+ years in a variety of businesses, cities, and countries, I've never once encountered genuine sexism in IT. Ageism, all the damn time, but never sexism or racism.

      There is, however, a growing group of people, both men & women, that are very keen to present the idea that there is a problem, mostly because they have attached themselves to the diversity train and are hoping to ride that to a position beyond their competency.

      The "feminazis" labelling I'll give you. I've always found that an odd term, and symptomatic of peoples weird desire to equate whatever trivial difficulty they're working through, with one of the worst periods of human history.

  27. Yugguy

    Attractive girls don't make me buy stuff

    But I much prefer looking at them than whatever gray box is being sold.

    Men like looking at attractive girls, and you know what - women like looking at attractive men.

    I think it's called being human.

    1. Petrea Mitchell
      Boffin

      Re: Attractive girls don't make me buy stuff

      A/B testing supports this subject line. One example: http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/13/booth-babes-dont-convert/

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @dan1980

    " I am bound to get downvoted by all the knee-tremblers but to use scantily clad women to sell a product to men is to say that you are trying to control men by leading them around by their genitals."

    Fixed. :)

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In other news .....

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-32068673

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't this a bit backwards? Surely the way to stop people being sexist, misogynists is not to stop women wearing what they want, but to stop the idiots behaving badly. Some people might like wearing lycra and short skirts.

    http://cdn.themetapicture.com/media/funny-flammable-clothing-set-fire-revenge.jpg

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's incredible to me is, how would everyone here be reacting if this dress code was being enforced in (say) Saudi Arabia, for religious reasons? I imagine people would be up in arms.

    I admit to my views on these things having evolved since following the Honest Courtesan's blog.

  32. Tim J

    A lot of these comments rather prove the idea that the IT business is still full of nerdy mysogynists.

  33. jason 7

    Topics like these...

    ...really give a clear indication of the types of folk that peruse this site.

    I feel quite uncomfortable.

    By all means have attractive women AND men at such events (it's sales after all) but I too agree that woman shouldn't have to dress like strippers/sci-fi hookers/Anime peado fantasy schoolgirls, just to sell tech products.

    1. jason 7

      Re: Topics like theses...

      Also on a similar note, I'd like to point out to motherboard and graphics card manufacturers that putting pictures of -

      Dragons/Spaceships/Barbarians/Sci-fi hookers/Rambo types on the boxes doesn't really encourage me to buy. In fact I don't think many 9 year olds who may actually like such images buy such items either.

      Thanks

      1. jason 7

        Re: Topics like theses...

        Hmmm seems like we have a few indignant and affluent 9 year olds on this site.

        Apologies.

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Topics like these...

      " By all means have attractive women AND men at such events (it's sales after all) but I too agree that woman shouldn't have to dress like strippers/sci-fi hookers/Anime peado fantasy schoolgirls, just to sell tech products."

      I think it's depressingly sad that 'Booth Babes' can improve the sales of security tech, and despair at the caveman comments you sometimes hear.

      But banning? That's not fixing the problem, just burying it under the carpet.

      Wouldn't it be nice to see a successful "babeless" stall where they emphasise their product is so good, it doesn't need marketing gimmicks?

      And the people who choose to do these jobs are not forced to - it's ironic how many posters here playing the sexism card are assuming these women are brainless bimbos...

      1. jason 7

        Re: Topics like these...

        Yes indeed. Let the product sell itself. Shows confidence in the product at least.

        At the end of the day how many are there at Tech shows to seriously buy or just to gawp?

        You can afford to lose the gawpers.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Friend zone

    And so many of you wonder why you are stuck in a friend zone?

    Most women do like men to at least occasionally act like men, you know. They want to know they are attractive and sexy and sometimes even like to revert to stereotypes and feel that they're with a man who can and will do manly things like protect them. Mostly they don't usually want to be treated as just a pair or tits and a couple of available holes.

    Anonymous because of this - I stood in harms way for my wife and kids and unfortunately it was against her father. I prefer non-violent resolutions where possible but in this case it wasn't to be. Made much worse by who the protagonist was.

    Despite the difficulties my wife was grateful I did it and my kids remained safe. And I'd do it again in a flash.

    Yeah I send flowers and say nice things and try to keep myself looking good (because secretly I like it when members of either sex notice but especially when women do and if they want to sexualise me, and objectify me...well if only! lol). But by the same token I also like to look at pretty girls and occasionally think very non-PC thoughts. And even the not-so-pretty, dolled-up types that you might consider 'normal women'.

    When I'm with my all male friends, in private, I'll drink, fart, belch, swear and swap anecdotes of 'past conquests' in the most unsavoury terms. Yup, we'll revert to full on caveman.

    But equally outside of that environment I treat women as respectfully as humans and value their opinions, experiences and contributions.

    You know you can have/be both.

    1. jonfr

      Re: Friend zone

      @AC.

      Friend Zone was invented when standards that cannot be met did go into force. It might have existed in some form all the human history. I just can't back that up with any data so that is going to remain a guess at best. Social demands today are based on unrealistic standards, both for men and women. Men also put women in friend zone, you just don't hear about it. Since often (among the population) women have more chose then men.

      As for this banning of the booth babe, this is in fact "political correctness" gone completely crazy with power. What this mean is those trade shows (disclaimer: I have never been to one and I might never been to one) are as about exciting as building with nothing in it. While there are those how remain against this they should not force there view on others as is being done here. Being that U.S is the home of puritanism that left Europe in the 17th century, since nobody listened to them (and they wanted to control people) this is no surprise as such to me.

      The most sexist people that I know of are those how often (not always) claim to have the best and most correct and highest ethics around.

      As for me. I don't care what people do for long as they do so with there own free will. If they are being forced and that is something else and needs to be stopped.

  35. This post has been deleted by its author

  36. rusty94114

    The neo-Victorians win another round

    Prudishness is a mental illness that actually has harmful effects on society. Long-term studies of children have shown that children brought up in prudish families have more problems with social relationships, and are more likely to engage in criminal behavior, than children brought up in families that take a more relaxed attitude toward things like nudity and sexual behavior.

    It is not a good thing that puritannical or Victorian attitudes are making a come-back in the 21st Century, after a century of losing ground.

  37. L05ER

    think of the models!

    i think it sucks for the people who rely on this work for income.

    if they had other talents/passions/better ways of making money, wouldn't they be doing that instead?

    i'm glad i got to see the world before this whole "don't offend ANYONE, EVER!" shit started getting out of hand...

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: think of the models!

      >>"if they had other talents/passions/better ways of making money, wouldn't they be doing that instead?"

      Not necessarily. The lead in to many careers becoming profitable can be quite long. Quite a few women under the age of 25 do modelling work to help get through university, internships, etc. Also, you're a lot more likely to end up looking after a young child if you're a woman which can put paid to a lot of careers until the child reaches school age. Part-time modelling work can be lucrative and fit in with this. Do not presume that someone is unintelligent or even uneducated because they are doing modelling work.

  38. Bleu

    Strange article

    You are bemoaning women and perhaps men dressing in rather cheap party clothes at a conference for a well-known encryption standard (you do say it is RSA)? Why should they not?

  39. Eeep !

    What's wrong with tank tops?????

    The only thing I can think of against tank tops is that they appear to be all the same! Two people (female) in my office thought I had a tank top that matched the diamonded LEGO programmer figure - my only tank top is solid brown!

  40. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Some thoughts....

    A) Marketing and promotion is great, but I am pretty much against having pretty women in the booths who are only there to attract attention. It's at least borderline unprofessional.

    B) Well, there goes my wardrobe choice for my next tradeshow :)

  41. Rick Giles
    Joke

    There are some things...

    that happen in the CEO's office that shouldn't be allowed on the showroom floor either...

  42. Brian Allan 1

    Booth Babes Were A Staple

    The booth babes were the best thing (and in some cases the only thing) most of these conferences offered other than a holiday from the office! Who is actually interested in the products and booths?

  43. Craigness

    Citing Kotaku...

    ...is instant fail.

  44. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    The organisers are losing an opportunity here...

    The policy that they SHOULD adopt IMHO is that stand-holders can wear whatever they like PROVIDED THAT they have been properly trained in the equipment that they are trying to flog.

    This would appear to address many of the comments/complaints listed above and makes no assumptions whatsoever about sexism, etc., etc.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oddly enough,

    if you substitute a fashioner designer logo for the G4 logos, I think I've seen someone from the building in which I worked dressed in each of those booth babe outfits. In theory, it's a professional business office.

  46. atlatl265

    This is old news.

    Back in 1979 at the RSNA (Radiological Society of North America) show/convention in Atlanta GA and then the following year in Dallas TX, they banned the "sexy booth babes". It started out a little differently though, their were women in bikinis that volunteered for abdominal ultrasound scans. The premise was that the show "was taking on too much of a circus type atmosphere". I can understand if they banned these same "babes" from volunteering for breast scanning" using our differential transmission spectroscopy ie., light scanning, that might have went a little far. But, to ban miniskirts and some blouses that you see both on the street and in your workplace is a little much. Who gets to draw the line and use his or her own idea of morality. atlatl

  47. Dave 15 Silver badge

    I hate this 'exploitation' bullshit

    For heavens sake who is exploited? No one forces the women to dress like this and generally they are making a huge amount more money than the engineers they are tempting. The only people exploited are the gullible males and frankly I don't mind being exploited in this way! (Far better than the other forms of exploitation we are all put through daily as our management prostitutes us to the highest bidder while giving us a pittance)

    And I would love to book a booth so I can have some fully naked booth babes... after all they only worry about revealing attire, not revealing non-attire, it isn't a 'public' event being ticket only so there is no issue of public decency :)

  48. SBU
    Mushroom

    Not enough meat

    Clearly the problem is, there is not enough meat at these trade shows. I propose booth set up frying pans with bacon in them. Free bacon for attendees because bacon.

    Free buns with that bacon and some sauce as well.

    Bacon.....

  49. This post has been deleted by its author

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