This week I attended BlogWorld in New York City. Overall the experience was awesome. I learned a ton from a lot of really smart people. I got to know some new people, meet some people I’ve only known online to date, and just overall soaked it all in and got as much as I possibly could from it.
But there were a few things that made me scratch my head, and I want to talk about this from a women’s perspective for just a minute.
- At the opening night party, they had contestants from Miss USA walking around in their sashes. Most of the male attendees I talked to thought this was a great thing. But I have to say…why? Why, at this professional conference, are we stooping to the objectification of women as a draw to a party? As a female in this industry, I was slightly offended. I got over it, but still. Why?
- At the closing keynote, rather than bringing on some of the incredibly smart, professional women we’d heard throughout the conference, they chose instead to feature a woman who showed a video about mixing cake batter with a vibrator, and another who spoke at length about female sex organs. And people cheered. (You can read more about the travesty of the closing keynote here: http://www.thesaleslion.com/blog-world-new-york-sales-lion/)
How are women ever going to be taken seriously in this industry if we keep featuring women in this way? And I have to say, I’m not a kumbayah kind of girl. I’m not a hearts and flowers, hanging with my girls, let me tell you how I really feel emotionally kind of woman. I’m pretty tough. I’m a professional. And I think this kind of thing stinks.
There were some incredible women that I met and listened to over the course of BlogWorld. People like Gini Dietrich, Shonali Burke, Johna Burke, Julie Perry, and Ekaterina Walter. Professional women. Smart women. Why weren’t they on the panel? Why did they instead choose women who talk about female sex organs?
I think the BlogWorld people did a lot of things right. I learned a lot. But it’s this little seedy underbelly that’s going to keep women from being taken seriously. We have a responsibility to feature the smart women, not the ones that will just make people laugh at their crude jokes. We can do better.
Am I off base here? What do you think? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments.