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Feminist barrister tweets screenshot of senior male solicitor’s ‘sexist’ LinkedIn message

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Well, this is embarrassing

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A senior partner at the London office of Brown Rudnick has been shamed on Twitter after sending a private LinkedIn message to a barrister praising her “stunning” profile photo.

Rather than respond with, as perhaps was hoped, a coquettish smiley face to Alexander Carter-Silk’s note, Charlotte Proudman — who describes herself as a “fearless feminist” in her Twitter bio — took a screenshot of the correspondence and yesterday evening posted it on Twitter for all the world to see.

The five-year call family law specialist at the Chambers of Michael Mansfield QC also included her non-plussed response in which she brands Carter-Silk’s message “offensive”, “sexist” and “misogynistic”.

Proudman has received messages of support on Twitter for her actions exposing what some have dubbed “disgusting” behaviour. Meanwhile, Carter-Silk, who leads his firm’s European intellectual property division, has issued this statement via City law messageboard RollOnFriday:

Most people post pretty unprofessional pictures on Linked in, my comment was aimed at the professional quality of the presentation on linked in which was unfortunately misinterpreted. Ms Proudman is clearly highly respected and I was pleased to receive her request to linkup and very happy to instruct her on matters which [are] relevant to her expertise that remains the position.

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278 Comments

Anonymous

“Sexism,racism and ageism” are political thought control words designed to intimidate or smear opponents.
As a German intellectual once said “Dominate the concepts”.
For decades people lived under Soviet ideology then the USSR collapsed and the
Berlin Wall fell.
Political correctness is already on the way out even if not everyone is aware of this fact.

(5)(1)

Dave

Charlotte should read this article before publicly humiliating and professionally assassinating in future:

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/mar/15/publicly-shamed-jon-ronson-is-shame-necessary-jennifer-jacquet-review-think-before-you-tweet

There are various ways to respond to provocation, but she appears to have elected to pursue the Tony Martin, ‘shoot the intruder in the head with no questions asked’ approach.

(22)(1)

Anonymous

She was entitled to send an offended message privately in response to his message.

What she was not entitled to do was to publish and spin private correspondence for publicity purposes. This is particularly so in circumstances where she herself made ageist comments in response. Given the wider media coverage of this incident, Mr Proudman has, in my view, brought the profession into disrepute. Perhaps she would enjoy a BSB investigation?

(14)(1)

Anon

“What she was not entitled to do was to publish and spin private correspondence for publicity purposes”

Everything is allowed as a feminist. It’s the Patriarchy see? You owe them privilege because their great great grandfather oppressed your great great grandmother.

(0)(0)

Bobrob

Great for the “fearless feminists” who aspire to be like a well trained professional woman, but what about the vast majority of ordinary women (men too!) who are increasingly frightened of what they write and say for fear of being attacked for daring to say something which might upset somebody.

Far from improving the lot of all women in the workplace, I suspect this type of response will make the average “careful but cautious” worker even less inclined to break out and show what they rerally are made of.

(9)(0)

Anono-mee

Mate, you’re having a laugh…no one is “increasingly frightened” of sending an email…..dont go overboard….I don’t know anyone who breaks out in a cold sweat cos of this

Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows how to write a lame bit of communication to a colleague without causing offence, and most people know how to receive and not overreact…….

(0)(0)

Kuzka's Mother

Hey guys what’s gong on he- oh, right.

(0)(2)

A caring feminist-lover

The reason for her hairstyle is that it provides a perfectly fitted underlay for her barrister’s wig. By exactly modelling the contours of the scratchy old syrup, she maintains optimal comfort.

This, with her plain shoes, frumpy tan tights, big knickers, yellowing bra and untouched ladygarden, enables her to focus on her mission to become the next Harriet Harman. You go girl!

(30)(5)

Anon

Wow. That’s just abuse.

(1)(0)

Race commissioner

Cultural appropriation. An ultra-privileged Caucasian woman doing a PhD at Cambridge on FGM? It would be appropriate for a woman of colour, especially one from the relevant Horn of African or North African community, to be doing this work. I wonder if any WoC applied or were considered? I would regard her appointment as cultural appropriation of the worst kind.

(7)(3)

Quo Vadis

We’re fine with mutilating young people too – but only if they are male. (It’s the patriarchy, stupid…?)

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Mr Carter-Silk has shown spectacularly poor judgment in this matter.

She’s hideous.

(19)(2)

Anonymous

I

(5)(0)

what's wrong with the world

This post has been removed because it breaches Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(0)

Glen the Spanker

This post has been removed because it breaches Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(0)

RobertaRinder

Being a barrister is all about good judgement. She has exhibited terrible judgement. I would not instruct her after this incident and I imagine I am not alone. A lawyer sent her an inappropriate message and she decides to publicly shame him?? Proportionate? Reasonable? Kind? This story is now all across the media and tabloids, will she feel so smug if the poor bloke’s life is ruined? What if he does something stupid as a result (people have been known to commit suicide after similar incidents)?

It is hardly like the message was deeply offensive or explicit, just a bit stupid. I wouldn’t like to be a man ever trying to compliment a woman or god forbid ask her out these days…. I am a feminist and agree that there is an issue with sexism in law, but this has not raised the profile of the issue in any helpful way.

(12)(1)

me

Someone should send a copy of Jon Ronson’s ‘So You’ve been publicly shamed’ to her.

She should be ashamed of herself.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

I fail to see how the solicitor has been sexist in any way at all.

He’s an adult. She’s an adult. There is no professional relationship between them (to my knowledge) that would render a personal relationship inappropriate. For instance, to my knowledge, he hasn’t instructed her on any cases. He is thus perfectly entitled to an express an interest in her.

She, in turn, is perfectly entitled to be utterly disinterested in said interest. She is entitled to find him pathetic and unappealing. She is entitled to find him totally unattractive. She is entitled to find his age unattractive. She is even entitled to feel that she doesn’t like being spoken to in that way from someone she doesn’t know at all, to tell him so, and to have nothing more to do with him.

However, she is not entitled to act as if he has committed some great sin against all womankind. Nor is she entitled to make the private conversation public and trash his reputation.

Thus, while he comes across as silly and naive, she comes across as positively psychotic, and I pity her fellow tenants at Chambers, who must be cringing at this whole sorry affair.

(22)(3)

Anonymous

100% this

(4)(1)

Anonymous

Jon Ronson’s book’s explores this shaming phenomenon in detail, for those who are interested/horrified by this cancer of our times.

This would make a great case study as its illustrate the depths of hysteria to which the shamers have sunk, because this man’s “crime” is so laughably minor that it barely compares to the various other transgressions that have destroyed the lives of otherwise decent people who happened to “offend” some baying online mob.

Ronson makes the point that traditionally in our culture the worst thing you could do to someone was to try to get them fired, and lose their job or professional standing.

Before there was a welfare state, that could mean destitution – the end of your life.

Even now it could mean your marriage breaking down, loss of contact with your children, alcohol, gambling.

It was simply something no-one would ever countenance – it was just not acceptable socially to set out to ruin someone’s life.

Now, our solicitor here has got a few quid, so he won’t starve, but the principle is same – all sorts of problems could flow from this.

In these times, it seems it is socially acceptable – even encouraged – to set out to destroy someone’s reputation.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why you would want to do that.

Furthermore, this silly woman is a lawyer – isn’t the point of a lawyer to be cool headed, calm, rational, exercise good judgement?

(9)(0)

Anonymous

I would disagree with your assertion that it is now socially acceptable – and encouraged – to set out to destroy someone’s reputation. The fact that the so-called ‘twitter mob’ like to run rampant on a story like this is not a basis for asserting that somehow it is now part of modern society to destroy someone’s reputation. I would also take issue with your point that this woma..

FUCK IT, I can’t be bothered anymore, you’re all a bunch of twats anyway.

GOODBYE!

(5)(1)

Not Amused's Doctor

Not Amused has taken his meds now and will come back when they have taken effect. Apologies for any offence caused.

(0)(0)

Not Amused

That wasn’t me. I had hoped people could tell. LC do often correct the name back when people think it is terribly witty to impersonate me – which is very kind of them. So all the impersonator achieves is making extra work for the site – which wants for gratitude given all the content is free.

As NA isn’t real, just an anonymous construct, I don’t really care. I chose to be anonymous so that people would feel free to challenge me, so I’m pretty sanguine. I suppose that if any one ever gets very upset by something a fake NA says then I will be upset. I think people should be nicer to people but my impersonator appears to disagree.

(0)(2)

Hack

Man hits on woman. Woman rejects him. This story is as old as mankind. LinkedIn is pitched as being for business purposes, but there is nothing in its terms and conditions that prohibits men from messaging women to tell them they are ‘stunning’. Men are hardwired to signal their interest in women and that is not illegal, nor should it be. How many people meet their future spouses in the workplace?

He did not use derogatory or threatening language. There was no need for her to publicise a private conversation or be derogatory about his age; there is nothing wrong with a man being involved with a woman half his age, as long as they are both consenting adults. She could have simply ignored him or dealt with it privately. By the way, I am a woman and an advocate of women’s rights but I disagree with her approach.

(10)(1)

Anonymous

She ought to be ashamed of herself – shes taken a remark to an extreme level under the guise of feminism. Feminism is not some woman whinging because a guy has hit on her (albeit in a truly uninspiring way). As for her comment regarding being on LinkedIn for professional reasons; she’s shown absolutely no professionalism whatsoever by plastering this all over social media. Hypocrite.

(4)(1)

Anon

Young women are being taught to hate men. It’s everywhere. Every advertisement shows men as dumbos. Every film shows women has having the idea that saves the day. Every female icon, actress, role model, etc. spouts “Of course I’m a feminist, I can do anything. Literally anyone could build a city, heat it, maintain it, make the roads, the buildings. But I’m an actress, it’s really really difficult. That’s why we are all beautiful”

Hermione Granger punched a man in the face on a film. Imagine had Draco Malfoy done the same?

(0)(0)

Anon

Well, he appeared to have stepped on a raging feminist’s foot…poor guy, wrong place at the wrong time. I’m sure he will think twice next time before he’s about to provide a compliment to someone.
It’s an over-regulated PC society we live in and it’s no surprise this have happened.

As for our Charlotte, she’s so deep into her feminist movement she’s turned into a borderline psycho case shrinks would have a field day with.

http://www.charlotteproudman.com/articles/feminism/
http://www.charlotteproudman.com/articles/feminism/

(6)(1)

Marion

Oh boy, you put it so well…love the ‘raging feminist’ comment and psycho comment. She really is a psycho, I wouldn’t employ such a person in my practice (we employ 2/3 female barristers, by the way) even if she wasn’t on a feminist crusade she seems to be obsessed with.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Oh Charlotte, what happened to you in your childhood to make you this way?

(5)(1)

Cat among the pigeons

Ugly girl gets a compliment on her looks and wants the whole world to know about it. Case closed.

(16)(0)

Satin Cut

I think I like Amal more than her

(5)(0)

Anonymous

How dare a man find a woman attractive !!
She must be really insecure about her practice if she feels a comment like that undermines her role as a barrister.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

She’s done a big interview in the standard tonight, complete with cover-shoot; Massage that ego, massage that ego…..oops, I’ve said massage – I hope that won’t be construed as untoward!

(3)(0)

Robert Adams

I, like any normal modern human being in western society staunchly oppose sexism on all levels! But here is a prime example of disciplinary overkill. What Mr Ms Proudman should have just sent the email and possibly notified LinkedIn as a first step. Let the punishment fit the offence!

(0)(0)

Anon (etc.)

What an awful lot of sexism is rife amongst these boards. No wonder she did what she did; about time it sees the light of day. Terribly sad to see this reaction, though.

(0)(4)

Sexist Man

So is it just me or is Charlotte Proudman not much to write home about. Not sure what he sees in her.

(3)(0)

Anon

Has a precedent been set?

Does this mean that politicians are no longer allowed to ask anyone out who works in politics?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

She should get a naff haircut and not smile. Or grow up.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

she has a naff haircut.

(0)(0)

mir

Professionally I would never consider working with such a mean person. From my point of view her career would have ended here.

(0)(0)

Anon

I feel dumb myself for wasting my own time in reading ,commenting , and getting irate on such a dumb story -I will never get this 20minutes of my life back….

(1)(0)

Lord Harley of Rabbit

Today, the blaggards at the Mail have published Facebook comments from young Charlotte, whereby she has commented upon the physical appearance of young men, with such delightful remarks as “fwoooar “and “sexy” or such like. I dare say this was to highlight the perceived hypocrisy of her position visa vis the old fellow. However the aforesaid rag fails to distinguish between Linkedin being used for business purposes and the wholly fatuous and personal nature of facebook.

(0)(0)

trickydicky

irrelevant nonsense she is a hypocrite

(0)(0)

MWS

(0)(0)
(0)(0)

trickydicky

Brilliant I love this but be careful melons are slang for female appendage – don’t want to cause offence now do we?

(0)(0)

Bern

He should have gone to Specsavers first

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Let me put an end to it all.

There is a time for play and a time for work. Thus the two shall not be blurred.!!!!

(0)(0)

Mike

I looked at my nearly 10,000 connections – my network is vast and the top 20 on my contact list are mainly females, i connected with them as their skills set were excellent, good or possibly useful in the future.

So i asked this question on LinkedIn – Do females use their looks to get better connected and if not – why do females on LinkedIn put on loads of makeup, have professional pictures taken, strike a pose that is both alluring and provocative and lastly either wear less clothing, sit in a suggestive way or have their asset’s protruding?
I had a few responses – Fact is my top 20 connections are 90% female and 10% males, so the answer is clear – or is it.
Remember a face will get you into a club or bar or interview that is either well groomed or attractive – we relate to beauty better than to an untidy or scruffy appearance…just saying

(1)(1)

Anonymous

if he is a misogynist ( woman hater ) when he never came anywhere near slating women then she is a misandrist (man hater) as she has derided men she is an hypocrite .

(0)(0)

Anonymous

So this makes it Ok for Charlotte to use age discrimination in her response to Alex…? And even though it is obvious that Alex is a man, why Charlotte makes an assumption he is not Gay – does that makes Charlotte sexist and hypocrite became if this very core assumption in the first place…? If Charlotte is a feminist would she not be sensitive to gender and open to a possibility that not all people are “straight”…?!? Charlotte – get a life!

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Quote from a legal blog:-

“The press have referred to the female barrister as a “human rights barrister”. In her LinkedIn profile she describes herself as:

“I am working towards a doctorate in Law and Sociology at the University of Cambridge researching the legal and policy approaches designed to combat female genital mutilation in England and Wales. Prior to commencing a PhD, I practised as a barrister in family law.

As an associate tenant at the Chambers of Michael Mansfield Q.C. I have a strong background in working with vulnerable women seeking legal support having undertaken pro bono work in the Middle East, Pakistan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo where I helped establish the country’s first free legal advice centre.

I write for a range of publications including the Independent, and the Guardian on civil liberties violations, and often speak at public events.”

The solicitor she approached to link to her is Head of European Intellectual Property at a City firm.

Perhaps she thought her background in family law and female genital mutilation would be the perfect skillset that a City IP solicitor would be looking for when instructing a barrister. Perhaps she is looking to move into a totally different area of law and thought that linking up with random strangers via LinkedIn would be the best way to do this.”

The blog also usefully points out, that putting a picture on a Linkedin profile, is optional; and that many people have professional pictures taken specifically for the purpose of making themselves appear more attractive to others

(3)(0)

Eck

Newsnight car crash interview. Sadly came accross like a sixth form debate fresh person.
A female Owen what’s his plank. Make it go away. Pleaaaaaaaaassssseeee.

(1)(0)

John

I have never been able to see the use of Linkedin anyway. You might as well put a pin in the telephone directory. Who is this person who has asked to be ‘Linkedin’? Do I have to do ‘due diligence’ before I contact them? What a waste of time! It’s just as bad as networking meetings, where any random person shoves their business card in your hand and expects that you might contact them. Charlotte should have known better, and certainly so should Mr Carter-Silk: they should both spend their time more wisely.

(0)(0)

Trixi Knicker Knot

God help us all when the day comes that the News of the World hack my LinkedIn account. Full of bizarre requests involving PVC cat suits and Archbold Crown 2007.

(1)(0)

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