How was Ivanka Trump’s keynote speech at CES?

My Facebook friends were outraged that Ivanka Trump had been asked to speak at the Consumer Electronics Show. How was her talk?

A senior citizen white male programmer linked to “Ivanka Trump Keynoting At CES Is All That is Wrong For Women In Tech” (Forbes):

Both in 2017 and 2018, the keynote lineups did not have a single woman included on the main stage. … The presence of the so-called “booth babes” continues to anger many. While they were officially outlawed years ago by the CTA, it seems that booth babes are now on stage disguised under tight exercise clothing.

If you are a woman in tech, like me, you are very familiar with the T.WA., the “token woman appearance” on keynote stages and panels. I have been one myself several times, mostly being called to facilitate an all-male panel.

Whose job is it to decide that a person working in a booth is a “booth babe” and must be ejected?

[The author claims to be “in tech” and yet the biography at bottom says

Carolina Milanesi is the Founder of The Heart of Tech, a technology market research and consultancy firm focused on tech in education and diversity in tech.

Isn’t she actually in the diversity industry?]

All of his Facebook friends are white male senior citizen programmers. They were similarly outraged.

Of course, I couldn’t resist:

Me: It is refreshing to see older white men with the courage to boo young women off the stage before they have started to speak.

White Boomer Coder 1: She isn’t there because she is young or a woman. She is there only because of who her vile father is.

Me: I am just waiting for [the original poster] to ask “Why isn’t she home with her three children?”

White Boomer Coder 2: “before they have started to speak” is a rather bizarre claim. She’s not an unknown personna and she’s ever bit as vile as her father. And as already noted, she has literally no relevant skills to this conference.

White Boomer Coder 3: You seriously think she’s credible within the tech community? Age and gender have nothing to do with this. You’re missing the point entirely. I can think of multiple women, white and not-white, who would be almost infinitely more credible, intelligent and knowledgeable, than Ms. Trump. I’m incredulous that this decision was made for any reason other than to pander to the squatter in the WH.

White Boomer Coder 4: Philip Greenspun Are you a troll or an idiot? Serious question. She has no qualifying characteristics for delivering such a talk. It has nothing to do with race or gender. I don’t care one whit about boycotting CES or not. But shame on anyone who would attend that talk. And shame on the fools and tools who booked her. If you are serious about breaking the speaker mold, there are credible choices out there. However, you clearly are not serious about this…

How is CES lately? The folks protesting Ivanka Trump’s presence there make it sound like a sacred temple. I was there so long ago that silicone (adult film stars and their products) and silicon were able to coexist on the same floor. If almost everything interesting in technology is happening inside smartphones, how relevant is a show centered on “everything else”?

And, circling back to the top… how was Ivanka Trump’s talk?

10 thoughts on “How was Ivanka Trump’s keynote speech at CES?

  1. The reception was very predictable depending on the political orientation of the beholder. Maybe if she had done a striptease like Elon Musk just did in China.

    I think given the level of prejudice and front-loaded antipathy she had a lot of guts to show up. She didn’t say anything particularly earth-shattering. She stuck largely to the script and it wasn’t a barnstormer of a performance. Frankly I don’t think anyone from the Trump Administration could have shown up at CES and fared any better. They are not cool.

    You can watch her here:

    • @Gary Shapiro: What’s up with those zebra-stripe socks, dude? Do they blink and change color when you walk?

  2. Not CES, but new technology from Garmin (and/or Cirrus?): check your plane’s fuel/oxygen/battery/oil/tks remotely via your phone; “otto pilot” that monitors/alerts oxygen+altitude, flaps+location+altitude, location+glideslope+glidepath, altimeter+gps, tailwind+crosswind; gps AOG.

  3. As a White Boomer Coder as long as the White Boomer Coders who objected to the lack of qualifications would have been equally outraged had the speaker been Michelle Obama, I’ll allow it.

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