Five days later and I’m still NAMM-ed out! Spent last weekend drooling over the newest guitars and music toys behind the orange curtain…and of course, posing for pictures with men who leave their wives behind for these sorts of things, freeing them up to openly leer at the fairer species as if it has been years since they last had a piece. And I’m not talking about cake. Any time I’m at a convention, whether it is a comic con, music, or car convention, I marvel at this activity: men collecting pictures of themselves with the women that stand listlessly in front of trade show booths, handing out pamphlets. You don’t even have to be a booth babe to take part in this phenomenon…just being mildly hot and IN a convention hall makes you fair game for a mini photo shoot with a strange dude and his buddy. And his buddy’s buddy. Having run the circuit of porn conventions back in my days with Playboy TV, I’m used to this scene. Never the less, it still makes me giggle to witness how differently men seem to be wired at times.
These days, I am no longer paid to go to conventions and pose coyly in front of a booth to draw in customers for big companies. I go with my own agenda: promoting my band, The Butcher Babies, or promoting my comic books. Both are things that I am extremely proud of, things that I used my BRAIN to create, not my looks. I was absolutely thrilled to be premiering my first published comic book at Comic Con 2011, but once on the convention floor, my excitement quickly turned to disappointment. As I hung out in front of the Deep Cut Productions, deep in male territory, men snapped pictures of me assuming I was simply a booth babe. They spoke to the illustrator (the fabulous Anthony Winn) about our book, but just looked dazed when I told that I was the author. To add insult to injury, in multiple on camera interviews I gave, the men that spoke with me only wanted to talk about my appearance or my boobs…I had to repeatedly voice that I was there because I had written a comic book…a damn good comic book at that.
One man with a puzzled look on his face asked me why I would write a comic book in the first place. “You’re hot. You don’t need to do anything,” he said. It was my turn to be puzzled. Why were men giving me such praise for my physical looks that I didn’t even have a part in making…why weren’t they MORE interested in the fact that I had written something? I didn’t understand a world where it was ok to just be hot and…do nothing. What about setting goals? Personal fulfillment? Doesn’t it get boring just standing around being hot? Wouldn’t men eventually get bored with a girl that just stands around looking hot?
That thought led me to another question: are women lowering their own standards? If we are ok with just being props in a man’s world, then they have every right to treat us as such. We all have encountered THOSE women; the ones whose life goals consist of not much more than marrying themselves in to a comfortable situation. Luckily, however, I know loads more BRILLIANT women out there, whether they are in the music world, business world or otherwise, who would never be content with simply playing the hot chick role. I embrace these women.
I do greatly appreciate the support I HAVE gotten from the men who dig what I do and what I bring to the table. After our Butcher Babies shows, my cohort Heidi Shepherd and I usually have a line of former non-believers with penises anxiously waiting to tell us how hard we rock out…for chicks. Ahhhh, there’s that dang girl thing again! I’d love the compliments even more if people would stop throwing the word female in front of the things that define us. I am not a female musician, female writer, female artist…I am simply a musician. A writer. To say it any other way takes the power away from what you do; it insinuates that if a male were doing it, it would be better. Besides, everyone can see that I have tits…I don’t think I need the extra adjective!
That all said…I don’t mind posing for said convention pictures. I quite enjoy being a pretty girl. I don’t want you to stop noticing me just yet. But if you’re going to wrap your arms around me for thirty seconds while your buddy fumbles with his camera, at least buy a friggin comic book that I wrote or take a listen to my band!
XO - Carla