"Voice babe of the week"

Hey Babe! What’s gender equality?

I just found one of the previous issues of the newspaper THE VOICE which is comparable to any popular paper like The Sun or BILD-Zeitung. As in those newspapers – at least in the german BILD-Zeitung – there’s a column called something like the “Girl of the week”. In THE VOICE it is called “the week’s voice babe”.

This makes me thinking about the very popular thing to call women “babe”.

I know that this is something like a pet name. I guess it is used a lot in the USA, even for men.
I know it is used a lot in Botswana.
And I know that it’s hardly used in Germany.
Basically, I assume that babe is said to the girlfriend.
In Botswana, this seems to be extented to either girls who are in the interest of a guy or to any girl at all.
It happened to me that guys call me babe, like I have explained in one of my previous entries. People I know but also strangers on the street called me babe or ngwanuza (which is the setswana translation, as far as I know).
I don’t like it.
I freak out if strange guys call me babe.
And I also don’t get along when male friends call me like that.
First, I don’t see the sense in it.
Second, I don’t like how a woman is portrayed when she is called babe.
In my view, a babe is a nice little doll or in the case of the “voice babe” a “hot chick”. In other words: a woman reduced to a sexual object. Beyond that a babe is a little creature who has to be taken care about.
I know that those women in THE VOICE do it because they want to do it. But has anyone considered what is behind that babe-label?
Gender equality is a big issuse, also in Botswana.
Eish…Hey Babe! What’s gender equality?