CES 2013 and Women

Let’s just start out with this photo taken by @Emily as seen on Twitter:

And yes, those women are just hanging out there on the trade show floor. Do note all of the men gawking with cameras out.  The only other women on the scene are the cute “booth babes” representing the brand.  This is #CES13.

Here’s our snaps from #CES12. Which pale in comparison to the naked painted ladies. But you still get the point right? Men gawking at ladies. Women represented, well, you know . . . classy. Like dessert hookers. That’s what sells cameras.

Or at least, that’s what sells cameras to these guys:

Apparently CES is one big testosteroom full of men who need hot, naked ladies to sell them their electronics. As a woman at CES you might as well have not been in the room as far as many of the brands were concerned (that is, unless you had half of your clothes off). The photography brands were the worst, Nikon and Canon to be specific. One of the aforementioned brands literally told us they were uninterested in the female demographic.  We even let the representative clarify and repeat themselves because the statement was so outlandish. He was not making a funny.

(Note: I’ve had lots of questions on the camera brands. It was a Canon representative that said they were uninterested in women and it was Nikon who had the ladies on stage dressed as half naked desserts holding cameras. In general, our experience with both brands was poor, especially in terms of their focus on women. This was at CES’12)

It’s all very solid logic really.  You know, women and mothers don’t use cameras and take pictures . . . at all.  This really leaves us women with Sony, who frankly hasn’t done a great job addressing women either, but they are better.

As you might have gathered by now, we’ve gone to CES before. And there are reasons we didn’t go back this year.

Alison from PetitElefant.com:

“It sets feminism back 100 years to walk through the door.  Do dudes not understand women are buying and using technology?  Not at CES they don’t.”

But you know, they do try to appeal to us tech savvy women and mothers. From @lauramayes on Instagram:

Their whole “Mommy Tech” track was so unappealing last year. They miss the boat by so many docks it’s not even worth discussing. But if I can, let’s discuss their logo and design. I’m sorry. I want to vomit on it. And I think I still would have vomited on it in 1987, which is where they seem to have snagged their color pallet and design inspiration.

I can’t really do justice to how complicated it was for women to be admitted as press at the CES press desk in 2012. 20 year old boys were breezing through the line.  If you were a woman, you were pulling up months of analytics and trying to prove to them that you actually discuss tech on your website. It took us 45 minutes, pages of analytics, and screen shots of posts,  working with one individual to get through. In the meantime, dozens of men (and boys) walked through the press doors without a hassle, many of whom had a couple of thousand visitors to their sites, and most didn’t have to show a page of their analytics to get through. We only had a couple hundred thousand visitors to our site. So I get why it was a tough call for them.  It was more than amazing.

At the end of the day, I’m not asking anyone to go and burn their bras on the steps of CES headquarters. They’d probably enjoy that. I’m literally just asking, W.T.F. #CES? Who is running this buck-ass naked rodeo?


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26 Responses to CES 2013 and Women

  1. Petit Elefant January 11, 2013 at 6:23 pm #


  2. Liz January 11, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    While I also wrote about the sexism at CES I feel like have to mention that both Nikon and Canon were wonderful with us. Thorough, helpful, professional, and super interested in the mom market! Especially with Canon’s new videocams.

    I guess it’s a great lesson that a single jerk can impact one’s impression of the entire brand.

    • RachaelH January 11, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

      Agreed — I’m glad you had a good experience in 13′. I’ve yet to see great things from either of those brands but maybe they are shifting. It sounds like at least their floor staff was better this year than last!

  3. Briana January 11, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

    This is beyond ridiculous.
    There is obviously a huge disconnect here.
    Is this 2013?????

  4. Briana January 11, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    Btw I purchase 95% of our electronics. I think women are a but more important than they think!

    • RachaelH January 11, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

      Agreed! I got a Smart Phone before my husband. I’ve even been the one to purchase our gaming systems!

  5. Carole Baker January 11, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    “I’m literally just asking, W.T.F. #CES? Who is running this buck-ass naked rodeo?” <– LMAO. You are awesome. #iHeartBloggers

    • RachaelH January 11, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

      I’m glad you enjoyed! I did giggle a little to myself when I ended with that! :D

  6. Jill @BabyRabies January 11, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    Wait. HOLD THE PHONE re: the camera companies. I must know which one said they aren’t interested in women for so many reasons, including 1. I’m deciding between an pretty darn expensive Canon and Nikon professional grade camera and professional grade lenses right now, and 2. I work with a photography forum FOR WOMEN – ClickinMoms- that has over 25,000 members, over 134,000 likes on Facebook of mostly, and this might be shocking, WOMEN who buy cameras and camera equipment. Astounded.

    • RachaelH January 11, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

      At the end of the day I’d go with Sony –
      Nikon had the dessert stripper ladies, Canon had the misguided employee saying they didn’t care about women. As Liz mentioned above she’s had good experiences – we unfortunately did not.

  7. Victoria January 11, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    Wow, great post. I still don’t understand the bodypaint exhibit thing.

  8. Von January 11, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

    So wrong. If they only knew who was running the show in my house when it comes to electronics…most definitely not my husband.

  9. Briana January 11, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    What brand was the first picture for? I get that one jerk can ruin it for a brand but that picture says more than words would tell me.

    • RachaelH January 11, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

      The painted naked ladies at the very top were with Hyper Drive, selling hard drives. The “dessert” ladies as I’ve been calling them, with with Nikon in 2012, and literally surrounded by men just staring and taking pictures and videos of them.

  10. Aly January 11, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    Mostly I just want to know where they found the hoookers who were like, “sure, paint me and let creepy guys take pictures of my…” Such a good idea.

    • RachaelH January 11, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

      And that you could stand there, in shifts, with a blank face? So sad!

  11. Lynda @ Hit The Road Jane January 11, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

    omg how awful! Who the hell is running this!?

  12. Jeanne Medina January 11, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    Wow. :( I would really like to read an interview those women and find out what that felt like to stand there and experience that, how they were compensated, if they had to sign releases and what that looked like, and if they felt like it was worth it, and if they’d do it again. Also if they have families and how they deal with it, or if they know about it.

  13. Jessica Gottlieb January 11, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    I find it striking that Canon and Nikon would be so shortsighted.

    I find it exhausting and predictable that a storage company would pull this shit.

  14. Desiree January 12, 2013 at 12:52 am #

    I also attended CES this year, and I totally agree! It was the worst with women being exploited and disregarded as a “legitimate demographic.” And the whole Mommy Tech section was a complete joke! Not only was there maybe four or five booths that featured mom-friendly products, it was insulting to think that moms really care about a Justin Beiber toothbrush!! Uh yeah, that was one of the two booths that actually felt the need to chase me down and coerce me into watching a demo. Ridiculous!

  15. Traci January 12, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    With women growing leaps and bounds in the technology industry I say let’s petition for some Chippendales dancers next year at CES! We deserve something to gawk at too! :)

  16. Heather Solos January 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    On the upside?

    For once in their lives men have to wait in line for the bathroom while we breeze in and out.

    There’s a teensy side of social justice to this.

    • RachaelH January 12, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

      lol! I totally noticed that last year! I even took a picture of the mens line vs. the womens line!

      • Heather Solos January 14, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

        I did the exact same thing last year, too. Great minds.

  17. Keri L January 14, 2013 at 1:17 am #

    I was so disgusted when I saw that photo on Thursday night that I covered it at my news station. What is sad is that this story hasn’t even really be covered by major networks.


    However, I am glad to see other smart women like yourself, covering this important issue!

    Here is a clip to my one minute news coverage. Feel free to share :) http://bit.ly/13nQsQc

  18. tp January 15, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    I did not think women naked were good looking. I prefer talked to the blond chicks on the booth instead.

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