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Cambridge academic rounds on Charlotte Proudman for writing same article ‘over and over again’

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Lawyers aren’t very happy with latest piece from the LinkedIn row barrister

proudman-popart

The latest piece of journalism from sexism row barrister Charlotte Proudman has sparked a very negative, and very public, reaction from a number of high-profile lawyers.

Findlay Stark, a criminal law lecturer from the University of Cambridge, where Proudman is studying for her PhD, said that it was the same article “over and over again”, while a barrister described the piece as “terrible written advocacy”.

The criticism comes as junior barrister Proudman — who has suffered an extraordinary amount of abuse since she famously tweeted a senior lawyer’s sexist private LinkedIn message to her — resumes her career as a columnist with a piece in The Telegraph entitled ‘Sexism is rife in law – take it from me’.

In it, she claims that she is “all too familiar with the demeaning comments that can be made by male lawyers and judges to women”, and that sexism is “undoubtedly a contributing factor” to the high level of female barristers leaving the profession. Drawing on her personal experiences, she continues:

I have been referred to as a ‘young lady’ and a ‘good girl’ in front of clients, and other lawyers — to the point where one male senior law professional took it upon himself to ask me: ‘And where have you been young lady?’

This paragraph, in particular, drew intense criticism from the legal Twitterati. Anonymous practising barrister and blogger the Secret Barrister claimed it “reads like satire”, while solicitor-advocate Defence Girl said it made her laugh out loud.

Other digs include comments from criminal silk Mukul Chawla QC, who agreed the article is a “classic example of how not to argue”, and family barrister Alison Burge who said Proudman “could do with taking the SAT test on spelling, punctuation and grammar”.

In defence of the article — which may have been written quickly to meet news deadlines — family law barrister Zoe Saunders has agreed with Proudman that sexism is still a real issue at the bar. She added:

There are still real issues with men / women being specifically requested for cases.

69 Comments

Anonymous

Oh Katie, the irony

(49)(5)

Anonymous

Did you omit the full stop ironically?

(9)(9)

@CRProudman

This is about me.

(45)(4)

Trumpenkrieg

“There are still real issues with men / women being specifically requested for cases.”

How is this sexism? Juries are often thick, and draw inferences from the basest of facts. Clients are entitled to exploit this, by example having a female barrister when they think it’d help their case.

(19)(4)

Anonymous

You call the jury thick you can’t even spell based. Intelligence isn’t based upon gender it’s based upon education and intellectual ability. In my eyes, “case closed” as they say .

(0)(26)

Anonymous

Basest is a word -_-

(22)(0)

Blueterrabyte

It’s not based, it’s barest… the sentence doesn’t make any sense otherwise…

(0)(2)

Anonymous

The English language is patriarchal, and punctuation is sexism incarnate. Clearly Charlotte’s poor grammar isn’t a mistake, but rather a courageous attempt to shatter the misogynist nature of lexographical heteronormative opression.

(79)(1)

Anonymous

Here we go again..

(7)(1)

Anonymous

Well to be fair to them, the article was a crap – it discussed a range of issues then “argued” only at the end for 1 para about why quotas should be used (making you go, ‘wait, what?!’) No links between the two, could have been written by an 18 year old IMO.

(9)(0)

Anonymous

Poor, biased article Katie. Talk about defending the indefencible.

1. “who has suffered an extraordinary amount of abuse since she famously tweeted a senior lawyer’s sexist private LinkedIn message to her”

She’s hardly been hiding under a stone – her attempts to become the media spokesperson for sexism have made her a target.

2. “a senior lawyer’s sexist private LinkedIn message to her ”

Whether it was sexist is at the heart of the debate over whether we should have sympathy for CP. I think a neutral tone would be better to reflect this – i.e., allegedly sexist, or what some say was sexist.

3. “which may have been written quickly to meet news deadlines”

Yes, because there is an urgent need to get this article out NOW. Sorry, but it’s not like there is a big sudden event which had to be responded to here that would have necessitated a rushed reply. Alongside this, as a professional barrister, CP should be used to writing up documents quickly – as a solicitor, I know I’ve briefed counsel numerous times at short notice, and they consistently are able to draft something coherent and correct in a short space of time. It’s part of the job.

On top of this, has no one asked CP to provide evidence of all these female barristers leaving due to sexism? Surely if there are so many there would be more speaking out?

(19)(6)

Concerned

*indefensible

(5)(0)

Trumpenkrieg

In feminist parlance, criticism becomes “abuse”

(14)(0)

Anonymous

Many of us do support CP, but her article was rubbish. Poor showing from someone who is supposed to be better at advocacy than the general population.

(0)(3)

Anonymous

As a male lawyer, I can confirm that I’ve been called “young man” numerous times. When can I write my articles in the national press?

(51)(1)

Anonymous

Agreed. I’m 30, married with kids and lost count of the times I have been called ‘going man’ by senior counsel and opponent clients at court. I don’t look particularly young. It is not a sexism issue…simply a way for them to gain an edge.

(5)(0)

Blueterrabyte

Give it 20 years and she’ll be complaining that nobody calls her “young lady” anymore. She’ll be writing about the sexism targeted at older people – “someone call me old hag the other day… terrible is was too”.

(8)(0)

Female Pupil

Urgh. This woman.

When will this fun-sponge disappear and stop bringing our profession into disrepute.

Her inability to spell is reason enough for her to be professionally embarrassed.

(18)(0)

Gus the Snedger

Fun sponge!

Love it!!!

(8)(0)

Anonymous

More fool Cambridge for taking this attention seeking idiot on.

(11)(0)

Danger Mouser Chief Agitator & Rabble Rouser

Wait. A judge said to her “where have you been young lady?”????!!!!!!

Has he been duly hauled before the LCJ? What an utter nerve, the old bastard. Anyone knows, given her proclivity for attention-whoring in all manner of ways, she is anything but a ‘lady’ – let alone for the fact she clearly can’t be trusted with private correspondence or relied upon not to bring the bar into disrepute. ‘Lady’ my arse.

He should be duly dismissed, and by ‘dismissed’ I mean handed a cocktail and given a resounding slap on the back for having survived her endlessly irritating self at all.

(17)(1)

Anonymous

“Anyone knows, given her proclivity for attention-whoring in all manner of ways, she is anything but a ‘lady’ ”

Pretty sure there was no mention of this woman selling her body or any attention, of any kind from the statement given? And to be honest, your not exactly Prince Charming yourself!

If anyone should be hauled upon the LCJ it should be your sweet self for, your not only outdated, but sexist and damn right rude views of women.

With people like you in the world there is no wonder world wide wars are taking place.

Danger mouse, the only rabble your arising is the one in my arm wanting to punch you in the face!

(1)(13)

Grammar Police

*you’re not your

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Legal cheek is as much of a broken record as Charlotte is. I guess yesterday was a slow news day but do we really need anymore similar and non-newsworthy CP stories?

(4)(0)

Anonymous

The commenters on LC are much more of a broken record than anyone else.

(5)(6)

Anonymous

The commenters on LC are much more of a broken record than anyone else.

(10)(1)

Anonymous

The commenters on LC are much more of a broken record than anyone else.

(6)(1)

Anonymous

The commenters on LC are much more of a broken record than anyone else.

Anonymous

The commenters on LC are much more of a broken record than anyone else.

Anonymous

The commenters on LC are much more of a broken record than anyone else.

Anonymous

The commenters on LC are much more of a broken record than anyone else.

Gus the Snedger

The commenters on LC are much more of a broken record/CD/Tape/MP3 than anyone else.

Anonymous

Her article breaks the fundamental rules of even A Level essays.

– Starts arguement with the fact that female barristers may face sexism in the workplace. Gives two examples (one being herself). Shakey start.

– Jumps to unrelated conclusion from this: ‘Sexism is undoubtedly why female barristers leave the profession.’ No evidence given. Failure to acknowledge other reasons why this may happen.

– Statistics presented unclearly. ‘50% of people called to the bar are female’. Since when? This year? The last decade?

– ‘12% of QCs are female’. Ermmm, because it takes 20 years to become one. A lot less women went to Uni back then. thus this is wholly expected.

– Tries to present her unsubstantiated conclusion as a microcosm of society (Women are oppressed by the patriarchy, but are beginning to challenge this).

– Evidence: Two examples which are widely seen as wild over- reactions. Poppy King, who reported builders for whistling at her, compared this to ‘racism’.

– Smug attitude. I am an excellent person and a pioneering feminist because I tried to publically shame a man on Twitter. Does not confront the derision over her actions, thus weakening her arguement.

– Dashes- Why so many dashes-there are such things as commas- you aren’t Emily Dickinson-

– Conclusions: ‘There is sexism in any workplace. (Probably true). Therefore we need quotas.’ Lack of build up. This ought to have been addressed in the introduction or body of essay. You have not even proved to me that sexism prevents women from entering or staying in the profession.

– Failure to address the debate around affirmative action. Could it actually encourage men to see women employees as less capable, and simply there to tick the gender equality box?

Overall: B –

(33)(0)

Anonymous

Oh, another comment:
– Pretentious vocabulary. ‘Onus’, ‘parity’, ‘echelons of power’. Okay, but learn to use grammar correctly first.

Best Wishes,

A 20 year old nobody.

(26)(0)

Danger Mouser Chief Agitator & Rabble Rouser

Excellent analysis. I’ll add to that she can take her ‘quotas’ demand and shove it up her LinkedIn. It is undoubtedly true that old fart Aristotle was incorrect in his estimation that women couldn’t be relied upon to reason well, but the ability for any judge to do so still remains the law’s most powerful weapon against the hordes of the irrational and insane, and no one is above the law in this respect, either.

If she can’t reason well and a million other women can’t reason well and don’t get the position because they don’t reason well then too bad. Reason above all else. Gods help us if a quota was ever introduced for the sake of some notional ‘parity’ bollocks – my blood curdles.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Oh, Danger Mouse.

During this time of stess and procrastination for exams, your mention of my ‘excellent analysis’ is probably the only compliment I shall get on my essays.

(7)(0)

Boh Dear

She does enjoy the use of a good (unnecessary) hyphen!

(2)(0)

Boh Dear

Oops, I mean dashes! Oh, the irony to criticise another’s grammar with a lack of pedantry!

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Anyone else get the feeling that members of the profession feel threatened by feminism?

(0)(11)

Anonymous

Feminism? No. People who use genuine causes such as feminism to cover their complaints and defend their mistakes? Yes.

(9)(0)

Anonymous

I’m guessing, in relation to the DJ asking where had she been, that she was late into court.

(7)(0)

Shivani Jegarajah

I have worked on two cases with CP when she returned to practice. One was an FGM case, an asylum appeal which we won in no small part because of CP’s excellent research and drafting aided by the fact that her Masters study is in FGM. We then both went before the President of the Family division where we tried to challenge a shoddy social services decision and get the children back to mother. CP was fearless and pro parent rights. I did know what she was like as a barrister until she returned to Mansfield chambers and did not support her views on gender. But as a barrister she is fearless, well prepared and an excellent draftswoman. So back off.

(2)(16)

Anonymous

One of the few remaining barristers left at Mansfield pipes up.

*quakes in fear*

(11)(0)

Boh Dear

I do wonder why advocates are often described as ‘fearless’. Is court a scary place for barristers? Should one be commended for being fearless for operating in their usual work environment? Are solicitors commended for fearlessly being in their office and advising or litigating?

I wouldn’t mind if someone gave me a testimonial calling me ‘fearless’ because it sounds cool. Shame it doesn’t make any sense though…

(7)(1)

Anonymous

it suggests Courts are not “safe spaces”. Clearly, that will have to change.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

When she does something as a barrister, then we can comment on that. Currently, she is talking as a deranged feminist, so we will comment on that.

(8)(1)

Danger Mouser Chief Agitator & Rabble Rouser

She must be pretty mediocre if your measure is that she’s better than you in respect of draftsmanship.

(1)(0)

Trumpenkrieg

Fearlessness is required by the Code of Conduct. It’s akin to lauding her for not being on the take. I.e. Big deal.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Check out Shivani’s pouting pic on her Chambers website.

She seems a bit desperate to start her bio by a quote from Munby in 2004 about her being – you’ve guessed it – “fearless”…

LOL

(4)(0)

Not Amused

To be fair sexism is rife in the Family Division. But it is sexism against men so no one cares.

(14)(0)

shadowy figure

I don’t see anything wrong with this article. It’s very well written.

LC commentators – you are all copies of each other, spouting the same tired, trite rubbish, replicating yourselves into infinity…

(1)(9)

Boh Dear

Obvious troll is obvious.

(9)(0)

Ms Charlotte Proudperson

I shat my big knickers with joy when I saw that I was back in the limelight!

Get me my Tenas!!!

(7)(2)

Nicht

Ah, I wondered when the coprophiliac troll would rear his ugly head in the Proudman comments.

You need help!

(2)(6)

Comments are closed.