Charlotte Proudman has over-reacted to her sexist suitor

The top solicitor Alexander Carter-Silk has been made to look a bit of a plonker by human rights barrister Charlotte Proudman.

Charlotte Proudman
Proudman: Delicate porcelain beauty

Ms Proudman is an accomplished barrister, an academic and a successful, albeit amateur, politician (she is an active member of the Fabian Society). She is also a beautiful woman.

He sent her a private Linked-In message complimenting her on her profile picture.

Charlotte, delighted to connect, I appreciate that this is probably horrendously politically incorrect but that is a stunning picture !!!

You definitely win the prize for the best Linked In picture I have ever seen

Always interest to understand people’s skills and how we might work together

Alex

It was indeed horrendously politically incorrect.

Her reply was very terse:

I find you message offensive. I am on Linked In for business purposes not to be approached about my physical appearance or objectified by sexist men. The eroticisation of women’s physical appearance is a way of exercising power over women. It silences women’s professional attributes as their physical appearance becomes the subject.

Unacceptable and misogynistic behaviour. Think twice before sending another woman (half your age) such a sexist message.

Charlotte

Not content with ticking him off privately, and with reporting him to the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority, Ms Proudman took to Twitter to publicise the exchange, which was then enthusiastically taken up by the national press. Needless to say the Daily Mail led the way, unkindly pointing out that Mr Carter-Silk was a “married father of two.” The Guardian ran the story in a very Guardian sort of way, by not including any photograph of Ms Proudman, lest it be taken to endorse the eroticisation of her appearance, while the Evening Standard reported Ms Proudman as saying

I’m on there for business purposes and I thought he may be interested in my skills and experience as opposed to my body.

People are treating LinkedIn like Tinder, I’ve received many messages based on my physical appearance, but this one was from a senior partner.

His response was to say that:

… my comment was aimed at the professional quality of the presentation on linked in which was unfortunately misinterpreted.”

That doesn’t really wash. In fact, if washing is what he’s after he’d be better off going on a weekend refresher course in reputation management.

There’s nothing very special about the photograph, as a photograph. I’m no expert on these things but it looks professionally taken: at least the lighting looks cleverly done, and it’s in focus. But that’s about it. It doesn’t really deserve much attention for its technical merit. Much the same could be said about any number of Linked In pictures, including his own, which shows off his craggy good looks to excellent effect.

Carter-Silk: Chisselled good looks
Carter-Silk: Chisselled features

It’s pretty obvious that Mr Carter-Silk was not commenting on the “professional quality of the presentation,” but on Ms Proudman’s appearance: her delicate porcelain skin, her limpid eyes and her cheeky gamin haircut, perhaps; who knows. I don’t know what particular features he found so captivating but that’s why he correctly anticipated that his observation would be regarded as “horrendously politically incorrect.”

Moreover, despite the suggestion that he might like to “work together” with her, it seems improbable that he was seriously thinking about doing so professionally. She works in the chambers of the “radical” barrister Michael Mansfield QC. Her professional interests, as her Linked In profile make clear, are ending female genital mutilation and family law. She recently worked with “vulnerable women seeking legal support having undertaken pro bono work in the Middle East, Pakistan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Had he delved a little deeper he would have discovered that she is a fierce feminist. As she put it in a recent article for Left Foot Forward:

I am a feminist and I do not strive for equality. I support liberation.”

She explains why she does not approve of equality:

To be equal, women have to show they are strong enough to live up to men’s standards in a man’s world. Backers of equality cheer as women enlist in institutionally discriminatory police forces, join the military in invading other countries and committing war crimes, train for the roughest of men’s sports whether its dangerous and cruel horse racing, or life-threatening cage fighting.”

If he had read on, gulping as he did so, he would have read her uncompromising views on those who advocate mere equality:

Once women have joined male dominated areas of work, nobody asks why anybody regardless of gender would work in these repressive institutions. The crux of the matter is that men live and work in a brutal society, which is maintained through stratified social order based on ritual humiliation, gentleman’s clubs, fights, rites of passage, sexism, and banter.

When women enter the male realm whether law, politics, or a construction site, they find themselves in a repugnant world in which their only means of survival is by undergoing a fundamental transformation leaving them with little opportunity to make any change. We see this manifested in descriptions of women professionals as harsher than men. Assertive women are seen as aggressive bitches.

Mr Carter-Silk on the other hand, according to his firm’s website, is “a litigation heavyweight in the resolution of complex high value disputes.” He has “25 years of experience advising on contentious and non-contentious IP and technology matters and has particular strengths in the licensing, sponsorship and franchising of IP rights, and the protection of copyright, design rights and trademarks.”

Somewhat ironically as things have turned out, enough one of his other interests is “reputation management.”

There is nothing on her Linked In profile to suggest that she would have had any interest in getting involved in any of his “high value disputes.” It is true that she is obviously better at reputation management than he is, but he wasn’t to know that when he contacted her.

At the risk of myself facing an angry response from Ms Proudman, I think she was unwise and perhaps just a little unkind to humiliate Mr Carter-Silk by making their exchange public.

His offence was not a great one. He didn’t come leering over her shoulder, or rub himself against her in a crowded tube. He didn’t pinch her bottom on the train. He didn’t, as seems to be the custom these days, send her a rude photograph or even make any remotely indelicate suggestions to her, unless perhaps the suggestion of “working together” could be so construed.

He was not abusing a position of power over her: he could have no influence, or at most only a tiny amount of potential influence over the future of her career, should she decide to move away from human rights work and into the very different worlds of intellectual property and reputation management.

He simply, and rather clumsily, said, or implied, that the picture, which she herself had chosen to put on Linked In, looked very beautiful. For this she denounced him for “objectifying her” and “eroticising her physical appearance.” No doubt Ms Proudman will put me right, but I don’t see why a comment on her physical appearance “objectified” her (presumably as a sex object), any more than a comment on the quality of her work would “objectify” her as a mere barrister, rather than the fully rounded person that she is. And if Mr Carter-Silk found her picture “erotic” (which is anyway bit of a jump from saying it was “stunning”), he wasn’t “eroticising” her appearance, he was simply telling the truth about his own feelings. Men like beautiful women.

We don’t what Mr Carter-Silk would have done had she replied with a flirty come-hitherish selfie, but the message he actually sent didn’t invite her to participate in a “ritual humiliation,” or to join him for luncheon at the Ladies Annexe of the Athanaeum; he did not ask her to accompany him to a “cruel and dangerous horse race,” still less to a “life threatening” ladies’ cage fight. Yes, he is twice her age, but so what? She is an adult and was clearly well able to decide what sort of a relationship, if any, she wanted with Mr Carter-Silk. Most 27 year olds would probably not want to get involved with him, some would. Was it that wicked to try to find out if she was in the minority?

I am not a great lover of Linked In. I have a profile with a single description: barrister. I never use it, except occasionally to look at other people’s profiles. I find the way it then tells me who has been looking at my profile slightly creepy (though not half as creepy as the way Facebook constantly suggests I message people I have forgotten that I ever knew). Obviously Ms Proudman prefers to keep her profile entirely for business purposes, but it seems over the top to denounce Mr Carter-Silk because he thought she might have a broader use for it.

She likes to keep her work and her private life separate, which is fair enough, but not everybody does. Plenty of people fall in love at work. Quite possibly, these days, some people have fallen in love with a Linked In profile, or if not quite that, they have been inspired to contact a future romantic partner by a Linked In photograph.

Some time ago I wrote a blog about a solicitor in Bolton who called himself “The Rt Hon. Lord Harley of Counsel,” and called me an “ignorant cretin.” I won’t bore you with the details now, you can read it here if you want to know more. Lord Harley had the most extraordinary Linked In profile in which he claimed all sorts of qualifications – starting with his peerage – which seemed rather hard to believe. It was a popular post. Soon, poking fun at Lord Harley, which I had started, became popular with lots of other people. I’ve left the post in place, but I sometimes wonder whether I should have done so. To me it was a light-hearted piece, although it did at least have the serious point that one should be careful about lawyers who look, on paper, “too good to be true”. But I am troubled, at least slightly, by the thought that Lord Harley may have been punished by an online reaction that was out of proportion to his actual offence.

I don’t know whether Mr Carter-Silk will face similar punishment. The wrath of being tagged an #everdaysexist for a day or two is probably something he can shrug off. But being the hate figure in a twitterstorm – it might almost be called a ritual humiliation – is not a pleasant experience.

Of course he has brought it on himself, but people often bring terrible consequences on themselves which they don’t really deserve. For telling Ms Proudman that she looks stunning, I doubt whether he really deserves it.

Liked it? Take a second to support Matthew on Patreon!

Author: Matthew

I have been a barrister for over 25 years, specialising in crime. You may also have come across some of my articles I have written on legal issues for The Times, Standpoint, Daily Telegraph or Criminal Law & Justice Weekly

87 thoughts on “Charlotte Proudman has over-reacted to her sexist suitor”

  1. What I find so fascinating is that he behaved in a very gentle, kind way, whilst SHE behaved in a dominant, deeply aggressive way, very like the kind of man she seems to abhor.

    Personally, as a woman, I cannot stand The Charlotte’s of this world, up their own posteriors, arrogant and patronizing, plumped up with endless Self-Importance and regarding all men as Savage Beasts, hellbent on Being Foul to Women…

    Had he written thus to me, I’d have said, “Why, thank you, Mr. Carter-Silk, but you really should have gone to Specsavers…” and given a naughty wink, but this is because I’ve NOT been sprayed with Feminist Spray, and can’t bear all these boring, deeply hostile women, who appear, to my Feminine Brain, to be lovers of Off Their Trollies perfume, a perfume guaranteed to instantly remove ALL sense of humour, gentleness, fun and feminity, leaving only a sourpussed expression upon a once beautiful face, where Cracks of Bitterness replace Wrinkles of Laughter & Love…..

    Yes, Men LOVE Women…in fact, they ADORE us, and that’s really wonderful and gorgeous and JustAsItShouldBe too, and most of the men she purports to loathe would be only too happy to lay down their lives for her and her Sistas, were they ever in trouble at any time, unable to battle their own way out of a grim situation.

    I’m very, very tired of this vicious feminist war upon men.

    I’m truly sorry that these wimmin have such major problems with men, but painting ALL men as vile beasts is absolutely repugnant to me, for both genders have their share of vile beasts, but the female side of this is never mentioned, of course…Most of us are kind, loving, decent people who just want to live our lives in peace and harmony.

    These foul women who adore belittling men, not just in private, but on the internet, are really nasty pieces of work, in my view and there are far too many of them now, using Twitter to bash and trash men, in a way that MEN are NOT doing to women.

    I’m ashamed of how women are behaving at present, I truly am.

    I’m just glad there are still men in the world who can pay a woman a compliment in such a sweet way.

    We need to put Flirting on the National Curriculum, and start being pleasant to each other again.

    Down with Feminists!
    Up with our Boys, Young Men and Old Men too, and Men NEVER lose the Twinkles in their Eyes, no matter their age, which I think is rather lovely…

    Best not let Charlie Girl see this, else she might self-combust and get The Sistas to Swoop Down Upon Me en masse. ;0)

    1. Nice response.

      But for the record, as a man, there is no way I would consider laying down my life for a woman like that.

    2. He was merely complimenting her on her photograph,not propositioning her or asking her for a date.I believe he has been married 30 years. Ms Proudman,take it in good grace,and make the most of it,Amal Clooney you certainly aint.

    3. Lizzie, please can I say that I think you are beautiful? I have no idea what you look like, as I haven’t seen your picture, but anyone who writes something so lovely, humanistic and all inclusive couldn’t fail to be doing anything but emanating lovliness

    4. This is an excellent response. I have just seen an interview with Miss Proudman on tv who gave a ridiculous list of crimes by men against her. She needs to shut up and keep her head down. She represents the worst type of woman in the workplace and has done the cause of feminism no good. I have been a lady barrister for over 20 years and have never encountered anything but good manners friendliness and support from male colleagues. The way we behave in the workplace determines how others behave towards us. She has done her career untold damage and shows herself as somewhat immature. What is so wrong with nice compliment?

      1. Well she isn’t stunning, so such a comment from an older man seems to have a different message than just being a compliment.

    5. I have been taking portraits for over fifty years. The National Portrait Gallery has 42 of my portraits of celebrities in its permanent collection. My portraits have appeared in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. And a couple of years ago my picture of the portrait and fashion photographer, Norman Parkinson, was featured on a first class stamp.

      Thank god I never had to photograph this Proudman woman! I can now see that I have been doing it all wrong for over half a century. I tried to bring out the best in my subjects. Norman Parkinson once said:- ‘I like to make people look as good as they’d like to look, and with luck, a shade better.’

      Obviously he was wrong, too. We should try to make our subjects look as ugly as possible.

      The photographer Bill Brandt told me he once had an unsuccessful session with the writer J. B. Priestley. When Priestley saw the result he was enraged. He sent an angry letter to the photographer saying he had been made to look like ‘a Chinese murderer’.

      As Proudman objects to elegant and beautiful portraits I suggest the next photographer makes her look like a Chinese murderer, or at least a sullen ingrate. Perhaps she will then be grateful with her image – assuming she can find any photographer fool enough to want to picture her.

  2. What a shame these people can’t be grown up. By that I mean both sender and recipient of the stupid and facile comment.

  3. A truly vile accusation Matthew. The Athenaeum hasn’t had a lady’s annexe for years. The place is awash with them. Which is a very good thing and why I joined

      1. Which one? The present one never rocks up, the previous one was too busy and I’m pretty sure the one before that was blackballed.

  4. Beauty, of course, resides only in the eye of the beholder, as Alison Saunders would no doubt be the first to agree. Therein lies the rub, and Linked-In is no place for romance.

    The rebuff was justified.

    The rest of it is just a hysterical girlie shouting, “Look at me!”.

    Verdict upheld. Damages 1p. No costs awarded

    Next case please,

    1. It’s far classier for her to not respond.

      A senior (lady) engineer I know, has just heard this story, and what would her response be?

      “Thank you”.

      End of interaction. Career on track. Dignity maintained. Time and energy available for fun.

  5. Sorry Charlotte but you come across as being as equally stupid as the person you rightly or wrongly perceived as a suitor. Unless you calculated that there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

  6. As a feminist I wholeheartedly agree with Charlotte Proudman’s objection to Alexander Carter-Silk’s inappropriate conflation of the professional and sexual.

    Might I raise another point? In her Linked In reply Ms Proudman writes: “Think twice before sending another woman (half your age) such a sexist message”. Are women his age not to be spared this objectification and eroticisation? Or perhaps Ms Proudman felt it was inconceivable that a relationship across the generation divide could flourish. The crux of the matter is that young people live and work in a brutal society which is maintained through a stratified order based on age discrimination and exclusion of the older.

    While Mr Carter-Silk ponders his false consciousness (as we used to say in the seventies), perhaps Ms Proudman could spend some time examining some of her own unreconstructed attitudes?

    The Leader of the House sends his regards, by the way.

    the intrigant.

    1. Feminism, Islamism, what about realism?

      Don’t pretend for a minute that women don’t dolly up in the workplace and present themselves as physically appealing as possible on their professional photos.

      This is not revolutionary China, where women wear the same suit and trousers as men, without a flattering cut, and abstain from make up and a hairdo: there is a big lie being perpetrated here.

      Workplaces and work-related internet platforms are not sterile places devoid of emotion and social dimensions of interactions.

      It is a delusion to think that professional success has nothing to do with looking attractive and behaving in socially-astute ways. Professional competence is only part of the package – the package itself matters.

      In this regard, the likes of Proudman are anachronisms from the New Labour era. We’re all bored of them now.

      Her conduct and attitudes will be forever searchable online.
      No man will ever want to interact with her, because of both the content of her humourless response; and the spitefulness of her conduct.
      Many women will shun her too, because of the fear of being tinged with social kryptonite.

      She doesn’t get that she is the sexist in this interaction; and ageist too to boot.

      I’m sure there are shrivelled shews in the public sector, unions, and Labour Party who will laud her.

      She still has hope, she’s young, she can repent, eat some humble pie, and have a Damascene conversion… in theory… but a PhD in Sociology will not increase her intelligence or wisdom; only life experience can do that.

      1. Just seen her on newsnight. She is not stunning at all…. Perhaps the poor guy she attacked should have had his eyes tested before he sent her the message. Amazing hair style. From the 60’s I think. Being a barrister she has to wear a wig in court. Maybe she should wear one out of court too.

  7. In 10/15/20 years time, when she becomes invisible to men and messages are more likely to be “you were a babe when you were young”, she might well reminisce about the days when she was not.
    It wasn’t an appropriate message for a supposed business networking site. Linkedin in my opinion took a turn for the worse when it became possible on there to add a photo to profiles. Whilst her photo is indeed a lovely (and professional photo) many are not, with a lot of ladies using very glamorous photos of themselves in evening attire or even worse, photos more suited to a downmarket glamour magazine.
    When viewing a profile of a woman who has a very appealing photo, virtually every other profile which appears in the “also viewed” column on the right hand side is also of a woman with a very attractive photo. The only connection between them to explain why they were viewed in conjunction with the profile you are viewing is that they all have extremely attractive photos on their profiles.
    So men do trawl the site for profiles belonging to attractive women. Whilst some take offence to that, many others displaying “totally inappropriate for business” photos obviously do not.
    I think she over-reacted. On saying that, how likely is it that a man on there would receive a message like that from a woman? Probably very rarely and those who did receive one I suspect would be thrilled.

  8. His offence was not a great one. He didn’t come leering over her shoulder, or rub himself against her in a crowded tube. He didn’t pinch her bottom on the train. He didn’t, as seems to be the custom these days, send her a rude photograph or even make any remotely indelicate suggestions to her, unless perhaps the suggestion of “working together” could be so construed.

    He was not abusing a position of power over her: he could have no influence, or at most only a tiny amount of potential influence over the future of her career, should she decide to move away from human rights work and into the very different worlds of intellectual property and reputation management.

    No, I think it was a little more pressure than this. Instructing members of the bar substantially operates on ‘word of mouth’ and criticism of a barrister by a senior solicitor – even one in another area – may have an impact, particularly in circumstances where the barrister in question is not yet known to the beneficiary of the criticism and has yet to make their mark in court. This is shown very clearly by the response of Franklin Sinclair.

    http://www.legalcheek.com/2015/09/boss-of-top-legal-aid-firm-vows-to-never-instruct-linkedin-message-barrister-charlotte-proudman-again/

    I think what Carter-Silk needs to apologise for is not the compliment as such but the pressure his comment put on her by reason of his position. Quite possibly it was not consciously intended – though the line about looking forward to working together in the future – mis-spelt and a bit clumsy – indicates that he might have been more consciously aware of the advantages given by his position than he admits.

      1. It depends on what one has respect for.

        Sincere expression of feelings is to me worthy of respect.

        I appreciate that her expression of feelings may make things a little bit difficult for Mr Carter-Silk, but he did after all express his feelings first, you could in fact say, started it. And really, for someone working in law, he could have chosen his words and approach a little bit more carefully.

        If they are as good at their jobs as their resumes suggest, I don’t think either of them will be seriously damaged professionally by this.

        What surprises me about this – and what may do more damage to the legal profession than anything else – is the very strong reaction on the part of some lawyers to Ms Proudman’s actions. It makes one wonder whether there is more to this than just a storm in a teacup – is there in fact a ‘legal casting couch’ system for young female barristers?

        1. Indeed the reaction from some lawyers would suggest that they appear to think that we still live in the 1950s where women should be grateful for any attention from them and it’s the women who have a problem if they object to uninvited, inappropriate comments. Mr S-C is old enough and experienced enough to know his comments were completely inappropriate – he is a married man with children, no callow youth. Certainly anecdotally I have heard of all sorts of stupid, boorish behavior that women put up with in the legal profession from men with allegedly ‘brilliant legal minds’ and no doubt also men with mediocre minds. I have also heard these women make excuses for the boorish stupid behavior – what a shame they feel they have to rather than just telling these men where to get off. Maybe it is time for women in the legal profession to turn round and say enough is enough. Putting up and excusing juvenile/silly boorish/offensive comments and behaviors from men is not what women to go to work for. These men need to grow up, learn some basic manners and behave appropriately towards their women colleagues. And frankly it’s not that hard, there are many men who do behave perfectly appropriately.

          1. She is the one who sent the invite to connect with him…

            …he should have googled for her, and found her articles on rabid feminism on Left Foot Forward, then he would have quite sensibly, declined her careerist advances…

    1. Honey in the trap.

      For her oppression of/violence against wimmin thesis.

      No wonder she was so upset if his response was the best (worst) she received!

  9. Gosh! The legal profession seems to have many socially inept individuals working in it up to the most senior level. If you have arrived Mr Carter-Silk’s level and don’t know that making personal comments about someone’s appearance when they have in no way invited them is unacceptable you are either entirely lacking in social skills or – given that he makes the point himself that he is being ‘horrendously policitcally incorrect’- don’t give a stuff and think you can do and say what you like because good manners and common courtesy are beneath you.

    And for those of you who really don’t know, women do not go into work expecting to have to put up with comments about their appearance irrespective of whether they are positive or negative. We go to work to work.

    1. He didn’t make a comment about her personal appearance.

      He said that he thought her picture was stunning, and one of the best on the site.

      That is nothing to do with her personal appearance.

      1. That’s such an odd way to view his comment. If you genuinely believe that his comment does not relate to her appearance then I think you have may have proved my point about socially inept individuals lacking in social skills. It may be that Mr CS is one of those and did not know that most people would read his comment as reflecting his view of personal appearance. Or maybe he did, as he does take the time to preface it by acknowledging that he was “probably being horrendously politically incorrect”.

        1. Yes, how odd, who on earth takes the strict, literal, interpretation of the meaning of a word, phrase or sentence?

          Especially in the legal profession!

          1. Poor old legal profession, they don’t understand language and all of its glorious potential, and they just get tripped up because they take things too literally. Or perhaps not. Perhaps its just a convenient excuse to gloss over bad manners. Interestingly, Justice Minister Edward Faulks has been tripped up by apparently not understanding what the words he uses mean and imply. He is quoted by the Mail as commenting on Amal Clooney: “I’m sure she gets such high-profile cases and everyone wants her because she’s married to George Clooney’. He now ‘regrets’ his comments were taken to mean that he thinks she gets high profile cases because she’s married to Mr Clooney because he never ‘intended to imply’ that her ‘considerable success’ has anything to do with her marriage.

          2. Bad manners?

            Convenient excuse?!

            Except that Ms Poudman “poked” him, wanted him to promote her personal marketing page, headed up by a professional photo, and he clearly responded to her request for a LinkedIn “like” by clearly complimenting her on THE PHOTO.

            She, and you, can choose to imply that he was complimenting her on her attractiveness, rather than her on her professional appearance, or the photo.

            You can even choose to guess it was a chat up line.

            If you want, you can even choose to believe that he was offering her work for sex (just as he or I can choose to assume she was touting for, shall we say, escort work, not unknown on LinkedIn or Facebook,apparently).

            But I somehow doubt either you or Proudman would defend his or my ‘uman right to call her out on that, publicise the way she demeans her sex by selling her body, and reporting her to her chambers and her professional body for the naughty things we prefer to imagine she was actually up to.

            Put that in your misandrist pipe and smoke it.

          3. Mr Mann I can only say your last response was entirely unenlightening, but on the other hand it has made me laugh out loud to see myself called a misandrist. I may start smoking a pipe as the image entertains me no end.

    2. Why do you jump the conclusion that he was making personal comments, never mind about someone’s appearance?

      He clearly said THE PHOTO was stunning. Have you ANY PROOF he meant something else? Apart from feminine intuition and prejudice?!

      As for your claim that personal comments were in no way invited:

      She had the no doubt expensively produced, heavily madeover, flattering lit, “artfully” posed, heavily photoshoped picture produced.

      And she headed up her personal marketing page on a professional marketing social media networking site.

      And she “poked” him and she asked him to “like” it and promote it.

      Perhaps she went ballistic because his was the only compliment she’d managed to trawl, and the nearest thing to “objectification” and “eroticisation” (which she equates with social oppression and even sexual assault!) she could find, while in the middle of researching her PhD on the oppression of women and sexual violence? Incidentally, she, herself, has also argued that context is irrelevant and sexism is sexism regardless of the circumstances (and presumably ageism too).

      And perhaps he was the only one that fell into her honey trap because he falls on the Autistic spectrum and is entirely lacking in social skills (something his other comments seem to confirm, so as well as being indiscreet, lacking judgement, being unable to keep a confidence, being sexist herself and ageist, sshe discriminates against the disabled!).

      Oh, and if a (female) selector for the English women’s cricket team was to say to a player that she is probably being ‘horrendously policitcally incorrect’ to say so, but the bowler bowls almost as good as a man, does that mean that she is admitting to objectifying and eroticising the bowler?

      Or simply that she admits that some strange women (and even some strange male supporters) would howl in anger at such a comment, regardless of who said it, its meaning, or their intent.

      As for “- don’t give a stuff and think you can do and say what you like because good manners and common courtesy are beneath you”.

      Is that a reference to Proudman and her apologists?!

  10. She will probably be the loser. Why brief X who has forming form for being difficult when you could brief Y who does not?

    All very unfair but you cannot realistically apply the concept of victimisation – or, frankly, of discrimination – to self-employed people.

  11. The world has gone mad. What has setting got to do with it? School was for learning but that didn’t stop love-notes being sent. Half this country would be single if it wasn’t for relationships struck up at work. Mad mad mad! The guy chanced his arm and got knocked back with a verbal kick in the Jacobs. It’s been happening since time and memorial. That should have been all there was to it.

  12. Considering you’re barrister you seem remarkably blind to what it’s like working in a law firm or barrister’s chambers. The upper echelons of law are pathetically lacking in female senior associates, partners and senior partners. And surely I have no need to remind you of how male-dominated and macho in attitude a barristers chambers is (well, macho for a bunch of bookish men anyway). Women work twice as hard day to day for half the respect of men in the legal world. I wonder if she might be fatigued of putting on that 1965-secretary-smile and saying ‘thanks for the compliment, I understand boys will be boys’ and has decided that old men should be treating women they same way they treat men.

    I don’t this type of behavour any different from catcalling a woman on the street. that she asked to professionally connect in no way ‘provokes’ the crime as you said (and which also smacks of victim blaming by the way). His comment is so obviously demeaning I struggle to see how you could sympathise with him. Terribly disappointing commentary by what appears to be an otherwise sharp legal mind.

    1. The only victim is the guy whose career, marriage and life she tried to destroy. And the only victim blaming is coming from her, and apologists for her such as yourself, for a non existent crime.

      His comment is so obviously not demeaning I struggle to see how you could sympathise with her. Terribly disappointing commentary by her and yourself, if that’s what passes for what you belie appears to be an otherwise sharp legal mind I hope you never have her defending you in court.

      As for the rest of your comment, she is 27 and has spent most of her adult life in academia, and apparently much of the rest of it in politics and the media.

      And most of that time in academia appears to have been funded by the people you and she attack as the law firm or barrister’s chambers, the upper echelons of law, that you claim are are pathetically lacking in female senior associates, partners and senior partners, and which are supposedly male-dominated and macho in attitude.

      If women work twice as hard day to day for half the respect of men in the legal world it’s because they spend three-quarters of their time preparing a case against “the patriarchy” for their PhDs!

  13. So, I personally, would have screen capped and saved all of the exchange, sent it to his HR department with a detailed complaint, and then blocked him. It’s really very unprofessional, which he clearly knew, to send such a message to a junior female colleague. It smacks of gross stupidity really.

    I might not have gone to Twitter with my complaints, but it IS a quick way to find out if such a person has ‘form’ for being a nasty lech. I was sexually harassed by someone at my old workplace (a man only a couple of years older) and I wish very much I’d reported him to HR – because he just keeps on and on doing it. Every woman thinks ‘it’s just me, I must be imagining it’, whereas actually that’s his modus operandi – to pick on younger women, assuming they won’t complain or compare notes. Each woman’s complaint alone looks like they’re over-reacting/being vain/hysterical – together, they show a history of particularly nasty behaviour. Will you still jump on Charlotte Proudman if a string of other women come forward with tales of similar behavior?

    The closest example I can find was of the wolf-whistling, cat-calling builder that a young woman reported to the police (cue media storm at Feminazis). When they dug into his past, he had a criminal record for assault – the man’s best friend had exposed himself to a group of women, a bystander had stepped in, and then the cat-calling builder has violently assaulted said bystander. Sadly ‘mild’ sexism like that shown above may be the outward sign of much more pernicious and dangerous attitudes towards women.

    1. Would that be the builders who turned out not to be builders, and not to work on the site the “victim” had accused them of working on?

      And as for “When they dug into his past, he had a criminal record for assault – the man’s best friend had exposed himself to a group of women, a bystander had stepped in, and then the cat-calling builder has violently assaulted said bystander”.

      Strange you forgot to insert “woman” or “female” in front of bystander. Or you could have used both and said:

      “a woman bystander had stepped in, and then the cat-calling builder has violently assaulted said female bystander”

      Or you could have shortened it to something like:

      “a lady had stepped in, and then the cat-calling builder has violently assaulted her”

      Could it be because this “sexist” “builder” had wolf whistled a woman but committed real GBH against a gentleman.

      Do you understand the actual meanings of worlds such as sexual, harassment, discrimination, bigot, prejudice, sexism, mysoginist (and misandrist), not to mention gross and stupidity.

      By the way, just like Proudman, you can’t have your cake and eat it. You can’t “complain” that “Every woman thinks ‘it’s just me, I must be imagining it’,” and then go on to assert:” whereas actually that’s his modus operandi – to pick on younger women, assuming they won’t complain or compare notes”.

      You seem to be admitting you weren’t a lone female and you all did compare notes.

      Perhaps your lone complaint looked like you were over-reacting/being vain/hysterical because your female colleagues thought the same.

      Just like most normal women seem to think Proudman was over-reacting/being vain/hysterical .

  14. I think Ms Proudfoot is very, very angry at something. This gentleman (perhaps a stretch) foolishly made a stupid comment to a woman he did not know and her response was out of all proportion.

    My Grandfather wisely said ( not the first I am sure ) ‘never put anything in writing that you would not want to see on the front page of the newspaper.’.

    Two lawyers should know better. He should it have written that message and she shouldn’t have responded publicly.

    They both look like fools.

  15. There is a niggle in my brain – what would Ms Proudfoot’s response have been had the original e-mail been signed ‘Alexandra’ not ‘Alex’. Would she have jumped to the assumption that this was a Lesbian approach rather than a compliment on a professional picture?

    Just asking for a friend.

    1. What impresion is Ms Proudfoot trying to portray with her photograph ? It is at the heart of the manner in which women or men dress or have their photograph taken…is there a moment when it is done to attract ? if so, to what? your efficient professionalism ? or to that and your charming good looks.

    2. The answer to that question is that it is extremely unlikely that “Alexandra” or any other woman would send that “original e-mail” so Charlotte would have no need to speculate about the sender’s sexuality.

      1. How big was your study sample? How many straight males, gay males, straight women, gay women, asexuals, bi’s, transvestites, trans-sexuals (pre and post op)…..

        Or was that just an “assumption” based on your “preconceptions”?

        Or as Gordon Brown might have put it a bigoted guess!

  16. Sad to say, women have to live with a constant background murmur of male attitudes towards them – even in a country more enlightened than many. There’s a deeply entrenched (male) cultural attitude that keeps up a subtle, but ever-present pressure – the throwaway comment, the lengthy stare at legs, breasts, bums, and of course the not-so-witty banter. As a man I don’t live with this oppressive drip-feed. I don’t get women commenting on my LinkedIn photo, slipping a motherly arm over my shoulder when they think I “need cheering up”, or (and I’m guessing here) having animated chats with their girly mates about whether I’d be a better lay than Frank in accounts. To say (as I believe you did – but have probably removed now) that Charlotte “provoked” it by asking to connect – as a fellow professional – is just as bad as saying a rape victim “provoked” it by what she wore or how much she drank. And you know what? If she’d just kept her reply private, this tosser would probably have put it down to PMS in his “witty banter” with his learned friends. Good for you, Charlotte.

    1. It’s not “sad to say”. The lingering look you dad gave your mum is the reason you’re here. If the worst thing that happens to you is you get a man complimenting you you know you’re in the first world.

      The man is an old fool, but I wonder at the sad lives women like this Proudman lead. One day she will regret her nastiness I suspect.

      1. True, this anti-men campaigning is both depressing and revolting.

        It’s reminiscent of that phrase “horribly white” to describe parts of England that were full of, suprise suprise, indigenous tribal English people. Heaven forfend!

        Trying to compare normal human male-female interactions with rape is a disgusting comment, and you ought to be ashamed of yourself Gil.

    2. So you’re saying women do not leer at men?

      Go on YouTube and type ‘women stare at crotches’. I for one have been cat called by women, even had my bum pinched, and I’m a man.

      Thiis typical feminist ‘victim role’ is tiring. Facts do not matter of course, like how women are just as abusive as men, as Miss Charlotte demonstrated.

      What you have done is just supported an abuser. Well done Ms misandrist. Well done.

      1. There’s plenty of science to show that men and women can’t help but look at each other and be attracted to each other. The idea that this would not colour their interactions is ridiculous; moreover isn’t not supported by the evidence:

        http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-interacting-with-woman-leave-man-cognitively-impaired/

        http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/dec/02/men-women-brains-wired-differently

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25402231

        Feminism is trying to demand that people behave contrary to their innate nature.

        1. Society in general requires us to behave contrary to our “innate” nature, it’s called social conditioning e.g. you teach children how to eat with a knife and fork and say please and thank you. You teach young people how to comport themselves in the workplace. The fact that someone hasn’t realised that offering unsolicited comments about another persons appearance is unacceptable, (and frankly bad manners), is hardly feminism’s fault. But helpful, feminism has taught women that they don’t have to tolerate bad behavior.

    3. Sad to say… constant background murmur of male attitudes… deeply entrenched (male) cultural attitude… ever-present pressure… lengthy stare at legs, breasts, bums… not-so-witty banter… oppressive drip-feed… commenting on.. LinkedIn photo, slipping.. arm over.. shoulder when they think I “need cheering up”, put it down to PMS in his “witty banter”…

      Are you Ms Proudman and I can claim my £5?

      Or projecting?!

      And as, actually if:

      “As a man I don’t live with this oppressive drip-feed. I don’t get women … (and I’m guessing here) having animated chats with their girly mates about whether I’d be a better lay than Frank in accounts.”

      You clearly don’t know much.

      Which explains why you have to make it up as you go along:

      “To say (as I believe you did – but have probably removed now) that Charlotte “provoked” it by asking to connect”

      Perhaps you are Charlotte after all!

      Perhaps as you have (her) crystal ball fired up, you can tell us how many other (unconnected) lawyers she “poked” for a “like” (of her photo).

      And as she thinks a compliment (on the quality of a photo) justifies outing, naming and shaming, reporting to employers and to professional standards bodies, perhaps you could tell us when she is going to do the same to the man who supposedly demanded a bikini shot of her and the one who allegedly groped her.

      After all, when your only talent is your creativity, you need to give your imagination as much exercise as you can!

  17. Adding to the comments:

    There are many men who are not very ‘good’ with women and regardless of age, are naive. They tend to miss social cues, have low confidence and may even be lonley.

    The fact she did this speaks volumes about her, and speaks volumes about his naivety.

    She should be reprimanded for what she did. There must be defamation laws he can use?

    1. Plus, especially given some of his other reported comments, and his legal speciality, he’s probably somewhere on the Autistic spectrum, we can add disability discrimination to Mz Proudman’s sexism and ageism.

  18. This is the equivalent of one country launching a nuclear strike on its neighbour’s capital because a patrol got lost and wandered over the border. What would worry me most is that someone (presumably) involved in the business of justice could consider this in any way a proportionate response.

    1. Actually, this is the equivalent of one country launching a nuclear strike on its neighbour’s capital because a patrol got lost and wandered near the border and said “nice view”.

      Actually, it’s like they said “nice camouflage job on that drab concrete bunker”!

    1. You know that and I know that Andrew, but Ms Proudman knew better. Going public with this has damaged both their reputations, reflected badly on their respective law firms and on the legal profession as a whole. The only ones enjoying this circus are the media.

    1. Mz Proudman correct on every level?

      Is she in the lift?

      It’s obviously heading down to the basement, rear exit, and skip she’s throwing her reputation into.

  19. According to Breitbart, she changed her surname to that of her grandmother, after leaving university, doesn’t reveal on Facebook that she went to Keele University and highlights Cambridge where she is currently studying for a higher qualification. She is a Human Rights lawyer, which to me says it all. No lies, but hardly the whole truth.

  20. Matthew, as I staggered into work this morning one of the girls said “Hi!” I was half-asleep and mumbled “morning – nice shoes”. I realised what I had done as soon as I said it, but it was too late. Now I greatly fear prosecution under the Vicious and Offensive Compliments Act, 2015. Would you be willing to take on my case if I plead guilty, but temporarily sane?

    1. Who are these “girls”? Were they by any chance women? What a thoroughly demeaning word to use. Nevertheless, in the highest traditions of the bar I am willing to defend any client no matter that they may be as vile and repulsive as you appear to be. So the answer to your question is “yes.”

      1. No Matthew, the girl in question was released from school on work-experience and is I believe underage, which makes my crime even more heinous. I will fully understand if you no longer wish to represent me in the light of this shameful disclosure.

  21. It strikes me that someone so keen on being only appreciated for their intellect and disinterested in how others perceive them physically would have gone to far less effort with their linked in photograph….. A professional photo….nice blow dry and make up… Why make the effort if you really don’t want anybody to appreciate it…

  22. I think we are all agreed that this Charlotte Proudman is a nasty, aggressive, person, a left-wing Feminazi, and there is more to it than that.
    The private message was far from offensive, maybe a tiny little bit inappropriate but not enough to merit any response. However, the tactic she used, of going public with it, and “calling him out” for sexism is a form of bullying that now permeates our society. Why? Our schools are run by left-wing dogmatists who teach children that the worst sins are sexism and “homophobia”. Any sign of either of these is pounced on and followed by a punishment, usually public. “Shaming” is the name of the game, All this is copied from the tactics used by the Stalinists and by the Chinese Red Guards in the 1960s.
    Ordinary, decent people are put in a spotlight of unpleasant publicity, stigmatized and treated as criminals, for a minor remark, made perhaps in a friendly way and in private. Their reputation is permanently damaged. Charlotte Proudman is one of the Blairite generation whose education was dominated by this sort of ideology and these tactics.
    Cyber-bullying has been raised to a profession by LGBTs who specialize in it, and there seem to be many of them who spend their entire life doing little else.
    Innocent heterosexual compliments have been made into a crime, while homosexuality is subsidized and promoted. We need to take steps to change this and undo the harm. School is the place to start and we need an Education minister who is a REAL conservative.

    1. Oh really, Claire. Comparing Ms Proudman with Red Guards and Stalinists is quite absurd. Just as absurd, in fact, as the “Feminazi” insult. She over-reacted but that doesn’t make her a mass murderer.

      1. No just a cynical self publicist who has well overstepped the mark. I suspect she engineered the whole thing from the time she initiated contact.

  23. Having felt ambivalent about whether her reaction was over the top, after reading many of these comments I can only conclude she was absolutely correct in what she did. The fact that many people here do not seem to understand social and professional etiquette in the 21st century is no reason for any woman to have to put up with the thoughtless sexist nonsense masquerading as cheeky charming chappy, just paying you a compliment, stupidity. We are not living in 1951 and the majority of us do not live in a bubble in middle england wishing it was 1951 and frankly that’s a good thing given the rubbish some people here would expect women to put up with if we did.

  24. @ Matthew. Don’t muddle up and misrepresent what I just wrote. I have not said that Ms Proudman is a “mass murderer” but the tactics she used are certainly taken from Marxist movements like the above, and her support for Marxism is revealed by her membership of the Fabian Society and her extremist “feminist” articles. (I put “feminist” in inverted commas as she does not represent me or most women.”)
    Cyber-bullying and public shaming or “calling out” as she termed it, are not a trivial matter. They are tactics that are openly advocated in left-wing handbooks and taught in schools. Now go back to what I wrote and don’t attempt to comment until you have understood it.
    As for the person who says “we’re not living in 1951” so what? Does that mean that good manners and respect should be replaced with bullying and abuse? This woman is a nasty bully. She tried to get kudos by putting her PC tirade onto the internet – but thousands of people have rightly condemned it. What she did has back-fired on her and will be a major handicap to her career.

  25. I was once on a bus (living as I do in a city where parking is impossible) and watched a group of teenagers from the local school. One of them, a tall, confident girl, was alternating between flirting with a boy and bullying him. I forget what she did or said, but it was a mixture of flirting, nagging and hitting him. She was taking things out of his pockets and bag, then telling him bossily not to touch her. He was quiet and timid and said nothing. The bus was stuck in traffic and this behaviour went on and on…and on.
    She was obviously showing off to her girl friends all around, just as Ms Proudman was. They were impressed.
    Eventually I couldn’t stand it any longer. I stood up and said, “If you don’t stop bullying him, I will call the police.” I waved my mobile phone in the air.
    She shut up.

  26. This chap really said nothing wrong, in my opinion. If she did not like it, then she simply could have said so or played it down in a private note.

    But this dainty, fragile, white, entitled, upper-middle class little girl in a woman’s body with a narcissistic complex, was just outwardly nasty and vindictive.

    We had a similar female employee like this at one firm, where I worked; She became a real problem for men and women there and seemed to be actively trying to drive a wedge between the sexes, where there really was not one before.

    She was constantly coming up with allegations of sexism and threatening to go after all the men in the firm, claiming that she has complaints out against them for almost any reason, including her work. She would simply hide behind feminism and claims of sexism when there were questions or corrections, which is completely normal — even for the most seasoned. Her work was also not outstanding.

    Other women in the firm, who I would by no means label as timid or afraid, and several of whom were indeed in management positions, did not have problems with the men in the office. In fact, the radical feminist was also quite nasty to those women to a point where they would want little to do with her and just label her as an “nasty little cow.”

    Her nasty and disruptive behaviour got to a point where upper management intervened and warned her to knock it off, or she would be out. And they were serious.

    1. I’m not at all surprised that this person was unpleasant to other women – it’s what I’d expect, frankly. Glad to hear that her management took a tough line. Maybe they will gently unload her after a seemly interval.

      1. Why are you not surprised that she was unpleasant to other women in the office?

        I’ll tell what management did after warning her: They promoted her to a position that was above other people who had been there longer, even though her work was in many places sub-standard.

        How or why she achieved that is anybody’s guess, especially considering he behavior, though I can tell you that it created a lot of consternation in the office.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *