Ridiculously Long Men's Room Lines at Tech Conferences: A Photo Essay

A Bizarro World twist, documented

From the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco today, CNET editor Dan Ackerman posted the following picture:

wwdc1.jpg-jpg

Ackerman's unofficial title for his piece of photographic artwork? "WWDC explained in one photo." And, indeed. Though Tim Cook et al might beg to differ, the image certainly does explain at least one noteworthy aspect of such a developer's conference: specifically, its dearth of ladyfolk.

Which is why this particular type of photo -- evidence of one particular part of, er, technology's sausage being made -- has become a trope at tech-related confabs. The images document something funny and a little bit sad. They're evidence and wry commentary at the same time. They're the photographic version of the delightful Twitter account @WomenInLine, which exists to promote women in tech, it says, "so we can achieve the ultimate goal of having to wait in line at a software conference ladies' room."

Here's another entry in the genre, this one from the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show and shot by Kelly Clay:

tech2.jpg-jpg


And here's one from what looks to be the 2012 WWCD:

ces4.jpg


And here's one of the men's room alone shot at an unnamed "tech trade show" by Sarah Silbert:

tech_nowomen3.jpg


And here's this year's Google I/O, this one from Engadget's Darren Murph:

io6.jpg


And here's a shot from a 2012 Google Publishers Conference. It was taken by Callie Schweitzer, who noted that there was "no line for the ladies room":

googpub7.jpg-jpg


And here's a men's room line from the 2009 Big Omaha conference for entrepreneurs and investors:

omaha8.jpg


And here's the "endless men's room line," via Jeffrey Zeldman, at the 2012 South by Southwest:

sxsw.jpg


And here's a shot of the 2011 TechEd conference. (Per the photographer, Kasia Lorenc, "Only at TechEd is there a line to the men's room and NOT the woman's room.")

teched_nowomen11.jpg


Aaaaand ... here's a shot from the 2009 TED conference. It was taken by Katrina Alcorn, who noted with a mix of regret and delight that "the women's line only had 3 people":

ted5.jpg

Presented by

Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic.

Saving the Bees

Honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy. A short documentary considers how desperate beekeepers are trying to keep their hives alive.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Technology

Just In