Human Rights Lawyer Publicly Denounces Lawyer As Misogynist For Referring To Her LinkedIn Photo As “Stunning”

310752-438c2652-5710-11e5-ade8-2efb76e8d469308251-4a0d9678-5710-11e5-ade8-2efb76e8d469There is a controversy in the United Kingdom where Alexander Carter-Silk, 57, the head of Brown Rudnick’s intellectual property group in Europe, has been accused from scores of critics of being a sexist, misogynistic monster. His offense? Carter-Silk had received a LinkedIn contact for Charlotte Proudman, 27. He responded by writing that he thought her photo was “stunning.” That led Proudman, a human-rights lawyer, to denounce his “unacceptable and misogynistic behavior” for complimenting the picture.

Carer-Silk wrote: “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 LinkedIn picture I have ever seen. Always interested to understand people’s skills and how we might work together.”

Proudman was outraged and responded that it was indeed horrendous: “I find your message offensive. I am on LinkedIn for business purposes, not to be approached about my physical appearance or to be objectified by sexist men. The eroticization 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 behavior. Think twice before sending another woman (half your age) such a sexist message.”

Carter-Silk said that he was actually not commenting on any sexual allure but “professional quality of the presentation on LinkedIn, which was unfortunately misinterpreted.” He explained that “Most people post pretty unprofessional pictures on LinkedIn.” From Proudman’s perspective, the reference to her appearance was both transparent and demeaning.

The controversy reflects growing conflicts over compliments in the workplace that are perceived dramatically differently. Critics raise the question of whether Carter-Silk would have commented on the appearance of a man in a similar photo. The photo after all is not particularly remarkable. Yet, Carter-Silk insists that he was only commenting on a striking image and not conveying any sexist attitude. Even if one was not inclined to accept his explanation, is complimenting a photo as “stunning” prima facie evidence of sexism?

What do you think?

116 thoughts on “Human Rights Lawyer Publicly Denounces Lawyer As Misogynist For Referring To Her LinkedIn Photo As “Stunning””

  1. How did Charlotte Proudman’s parents meet?

    It was not unacceptable and misogynistic behavior on the part of Alexander Carter-Silk to refer to Charlotte Proudman as stunning

    It was however a natural human reaction and necessary for the propagation of the human species whether Charlotte Proudman agrees or not.

    Why did Charlotte Proudman even post an image of herself for business purposes?

    If she was looking to network amongst her peers in the business world why not simply post her resume?

    Perhaps Charlotte Proudman would not have stood apart by simply posting her resume and thus added the stunning picture to act as a beacon to lure otherwise uninterested parties to her view her profile?

    PS Charlotte Proudman is stunning.

  2. BFM,

    Yeah. Absolutely correct. Let’s get constitutional – a meritocracy.

    Eliminate ALL bias and affirmative action.

    That is a free America.

    I am SO glad we agree.

  3. Karen,
    Why should anyone ASSUME a woman has benefitted from affirmative action? I’m not even arguing for affirmative action. I am questioning ridiculous ASSUMPTIONS that all successful women have gotten to where they are because of affirmative action. Do you think that you got your degree because of affirmative action?

  4. Why do people assume someone got a job based on their sex or race? Because that’s the insidious damage of Affirmative Action.

    As predicted, companies and universities filled quotas with wildly under qualified candidates. This swept the knees out from women and minorities who earned their jobs and college admission based on talent, merit, and sheer hard work.

    Because it’s been proven time and again that the bar was significantly lowered as part of AA and subsequent quotas, it tarnished the accomplishment. I’ve known people for which AA has dogged them their entire career, as many people assume the bar was lowered for them.

    As a woman, I want to be treated fairly, not given special treatment.

  5. Let’s assume your own daughter benefitted from affirmative action Mr.Forgot. It’s fair that I would assume this, no? You did, afterall. How is that fair to your daughter’s accomplishments? That you automatically assume a successful woman has benefitted from affirmative action is demeaning to women, which includes anyone who has a daughter, or wife, or a female they care about. Your assumptions smack of misogyny, which is ironic.

  6. “Even if she did benefit from affirmative action, what is the relevance for this particular issue?”


    This woman obtained the confidence to execute this act from a source which may have been affirmative action. Before the imposition of the artifice, she may have decided against it.

    You might think twice before disparaging convicts inside a maximum security prison, right? For example, you wouldn’t blurt out, “Hey, Vito, your mama wears combat boots.” You’re not going to say that, right?

    You pose a brilliant question. It applies globally.

    What if Abraham Lincoln had been prosecuted for just two of his many criminal acts, suspension of Habeas Corpus and providing citizenship to property? Chief Justice Taney told Lincoln that both of those acts were unconstitutional.

    If Lincoln had been in prison, understanding that labor is an economic issue, Americans might have taken the constitutional course and resolved the issue of slavery in the private free markets through the use of economic tools such as boycotts and divestiture.

    It may be akin to the “Butterfly Effect.” One tiny event causes a huge cascade of events.

    What ARE the unintended consequences of affirmative action.

    The first is that it has caused all who introduced and supported it to conduct illegal and unconstitutional acts making them criminals.

    The second is that, in order to place beneficiaries, affirmative action displaced its victims.

    We live In a nation of false and unconstitutional governance because of all the previous unconstitutional acts of people like Lincoln.

    When a judge makes an ideological or otherwise biased decision in his court, that error becomes “precedent” and “case law” and that erroneous decision will wrongly prevail in perpetuity.

    Retroactive corrective action is imperative.

    Let’s go back and get it right.

    Let’s get constitutional.

    1. “Let’s go back and get it right. … Let’s get constitutional.”

      Actually I think it is a bit more complicated than that. But rather than argue the point I think I will simply tell a story on myself and some of my class mates decades ago.

      At my school the freshman class reported a few days early for orientation and seminars. A favorite, albeit frowned up, activity was to discuss board scores. We found that as a group the women scored much higher. My recollection is that we estimated the women must have been nearly a standard deviation higher based on the entrance exam required at our college.

      We were not exactly troubled. However, we wondered if there would be more than a very few men in the class if the admission standards applied to women had been used on the men. We could not find a satisfactory explanation to justify the differences in board scores. Two of the explanations that I recall were that society needed men to be educated as well as women, and on a more personal note ‘who would the women marry if they did not let enough men in for a roughly balanced class’?

      My point is that it seems that for a very long time affirmative action for men, especially white men, has been baked into the system.

      All I can say is that clearly it is unfortunate that my fellow male classmates and I displaced deserving women from that freshman class. On the other hand hardly a day goes by that I do not thank my lucky stars that I was able to get a college education.

      It seems to me that affirmative action is a complicated subject – especially when it comes to affirmative action for white males.

      BTW, I can’t say that I have actually observed that affirmative action for white males has diminished the value of their credential or generated serious questions regarding their capability. But how can we know? Who knows what they say about us behind closed doors?

  7. Ridiculous. I agree.

    Eliminate affirmative action.

    It is illegal and unconstitutional.

    Affirmative action introduces prejudice and bias into neutral governance in a free nation.

    Most importantly, women are competent and capable if not superior to those pesky men.

    Women don’t NEED affirmative action.

    Get rid of the unnecessary affirmative action.

    Women can fend for themselves; and succeed.

    End affirmative action now.

    We agree,


    P.S. To be thorough we should rescind every single act of matriculation, hiring, promotion and compensation that resulted from affirmative action, actual and of secondary effect, programs for the past 50 years.

  8. She benefited from “affirmative action”? How so? Assuming such is the case simply because she is a woman? Do all our daughter’s benefit from affirmative action if they are successful in their careers? What would make one assume such a thing? Ridiculous.

    1. ” Do all our daughter’s benefit from affirmative action if they are successful in their careers? What would make one assume such a thing?”

      Even if she did benefit from affirmative action, what is the relevance for this particular issue?

      Besides, perhaps a little affirmative action will even out the affirmative action men have been getting for decades.

      I am sure Horatio Alger thanks his lucky stars he was born white, male and in America.

  9. Freedom of Speech is derived from natural or God-given Freedom of Thought.

    She said what she had a right to say.

    She will be ostracized for what she did; frivolous vandalism. She will be known for what she is. A radical

    extremist who falsely benefits from affirmative action and the unconstitutional,

    communist principle of “social engineering.”

    LAW is distinctly not etiquette, morality, courtesy, decorum, manners, politeness, etc.

    Where this artifice and absurdity carries over into LAW is where it must be nipped in the bud.

    The cause, affirmative action, must be corrected through elimination.

  10. What do I think? I think that her reaction was over the top, but, for his part, if you feel the need to preface a comment with “this is probably horrendously politically incorrect,” you’re probably about to say something you know you’ll regret saying… But more than that, I think there was no reason for this private email exchange to enter the public stage…

    1. Mike – at his age, what he said is something he probably said to women often. Now, it is no longer PC. Personally, (although I don’t think she rises to stunning) I would not have prefaced my remarks. There is no law that requires me to not say a person looks good.

  11. Ohhh How I LOVE when people like her get caught in their own crap….


    However, it emerged yesterday that the award-winning human rights barrister has commented on pictures of men on Facebook herself to praise their looks.

    She also told female friends they looked ‘sexy’ and ‘stunning’ – the same word used by Mr Carter-Silk.

    On the profile of a postgraduate student at Cambridge, where Miss Proudman is on sabbatical from her chambers to study for a PhD, she wrote: ‘Hot stuff!’, while under an image of a long-haired male friend, she wrote: ‘oooo lalala!’

    Beneath photos from women, she was also happy to compliment their looks, saying to different friends: ‘Oh ladies, wowwweeeeee!!!!!!’, ‘wow! stunning!!!!’ and ‘Sexy lady!’

    Miss Proudman said Mr Carter-Silk’s comments were particularly unacceptable because he made them in a workplace environment in his capacity as a senior solicitor.

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  12. here is the part I love most…. He did not even say that he thought she was pretty,
    just that he thought the PHOTO was stunning.

    There are a LOT of stunning photos of people who are not that pretty in real life.

    Quite frankly, I think she is an idiot… somebody commenting that they think a
    photo is stunning, does NOT mean that person think they are HOT, nor does it
    mean that person wants to date, or bed that person.

    and though her and Anna Wintour share the same haircut… she is NO Anna Wintour.
    Anna Wintour has CLASS and knows how to act to get what she wants, and
    worked VERY hard to get where she is, and she did NOT do it by punching somebody
    for saying they thought she had a nice photo.

    This women, is a Feminist chippy, who has a major feminist chip on
    her shoulder.
    She talks about sexism in Britain, and goes off on a man over a compliment,
    yet, she has spent time in Pakistan, where women actually face REAL
    sexist behavior. She is just being a dumb ass, there are women
    who face REAL sexism that is a danger to their lives, where some are not able to go to school,
    some have ACID thrown in their faces for being pretty, some are killed for shaming the family, yet, she wants to complain about a compliment?

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