sexism debate

The LinkedIn Sexism Debate Hits Woman Barrister

A London barrister at the center of a sexism storm over comments made about her LinkedIn profile has lead to another storm of support.

Charlotte Proudman’s isue arose when she objected to what she labelled “unacceptable and misogynist” comments about her LinkedIn profile picture.  The comments came from lawyer Alexander Carter-Silk, a senior solicitor with a London firm who said on LinkedIn:  “I appreciate that this is probably horrendously politically incorrect but that is a stunning picture! You definitely win the prize for the best LinkedIn picture I have ever seen.”

The Guardian reported:

The initial furore began when Proudman, 27, who is on sabbatical from the chambers of the radical QC Michael Mansfield while she studies for a PhD at Cambridge University, asked to connect with Carter-Silk on LinkedIn, the business-oriented social network. In his reply, Carter-Silk said: “I appreciate that this is probably horrendously politically incorrect but that is a stunning picture.”

Carter-Silk, an expert in intellectual property and a partner at the London firm Brown Rudnick, added: “You definitely win the prize for the best LinkedIn picture I have ever seen.”

Proudman, who specialises in violence against women and girls, replied with a terse note saying she was using LinkedIn for business purposes and not “to be objectified by sexist men”.

The issue has lead to wide ranging and heated discussion about women in the workplace and women in the law, in particular.

Characterised as a “feminazi” among other things, Ms Proudman has suffered from some vicious trolling online and as a lawyer specialising in violence against women has now seen some first hand behaviour of online bullying.

 

“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,” she replied. Carter-Silk has apologised for any offence the message caused.

“I have received messages saying: ‘You have ruined your career. You have bitten the hand that feeds you. There go your instructions from solicitors,’” Proudman later told the Daily Mail.

“It prevents women from taking a stand, making a change,” she told BBC Woman’s Hour. “We know that sexism exists … now I think it’s important that we collectively call this out, men and women supporting each other.”

 

Source: The Guardian

Scroll to Top