Why are booth babes still a thing at (some) Tech events?
Cate Lawrence

While I don’t disagree that the use of booth babes is rather low-brow, I think that just attacking the phenomenon and saying “we’re better” misses a lot of points.

What about the girls who work as booth babes? What about the many other jobs that revolve around the aesthetic beauty of the employee? What about the girls who make a living on being beautiful?

Should we stop all such practices because of our own outdated ideas?

Is it really that “we’re better” or is it that the girls make us feel inferior, because they can command more attention with their looks than we can with our ideas?

Is it because of sexism —which of course exists in the culture — or is it our anger at the loss of our own illusions: that our community is meritocratic. When of course it not — at least not as much as we’d like.

We do need to advance, of course. But we need to do it thoughtfully. We need to not fall into the same trap as those we argue against.

And we need to recognise that sex and beauty sell for a reason: because we’re human.

Maybe we should stop denying that fact and learn to live with it. Maybe appreciating beauty positively isn’t a bad thing, as long as it’s in a safe context. And maybe it’s as unfair that they get to be beautiful as it is that we get to be smart enough to work in tech.