I love women. I love scantily clad women. I think the majority of men, and of course some women, would agree with me. Sexual attraction is inherently part of the human experience and part of the instinctual core that makes up who we are. The same goes for women with men.
However, this is not okay.
*This* is a glimpse inside Ad:Tech San Francisco. Maybe not all of Ad:Tech. Maybe not even most of Ad:Tech. But it’s certainly a representation of how at least a few people decided to capture it. And this is not directed toward the photographers, at least one of whom I am personally acquainted with. And certainly not directed toward the women who are captured in the photographs or women who have embraced their own sexuality and their own representation of it.
It’s not directed toward sex in art, sex in social commentary, sex in music, sex in film, or choice of sexual exhibitionism. This is entirely about the objectifying of women for comercial gain.
Sex sells, right? It’s been used for decades to touch on an instinctual desire, particularly in men, that ties desire to a commercial action, such as buying. This is why the porn industry is so huge. This is why men will pour hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, into the sex industry and the industry thrives.
I am not naive, nor am I a curmudgeon. As a man, I readily admit to, at least occasionally, “Thinking with my penis”…
But this is an industry that is loosely defined as “tech” and tech is largely dominated by men. We have an image problem. On one hand, the industry as a whole has spoken out vocally about the representation of women in presentations, at conferences, on speaker lineups, etc. We have vilified organizations that put on events not proportionally represented by women and yet… somehow it’s okay, with a wink and a nod, to put women on display on show room floors for the purpose of selling a product. That’s, somehow, okay… even if no one will say that. After all, these “booth babes” are getting paid and this is their job. Sure, gimme a free tee-shirt or a brand-labeled rubber band ball. Cool.
I love scantly clad women as much as the next guy. I’d rather she be in my bedroom or sipping a bourbon and ginger at a bar or show, than pushing some new mobile ad network on a showroom floor so the married ad executive from Burbank can get his nards off. To me, this is a practice that really needs to end.
Note: Despite my desire to use a sexy image for this post, I’ve chosen not to for obvious reasons.