A 57-year-old lawyer has been accused of being sexist after he messaged a woman barrister on LinkedIn, saying her photograph was ‘stunning’ and that the 27 year old should ‘win a prize’.
The compliment backfired completely when the woman, Charlotte Proudman, responded saying that she found it offensive. Proudman then tweeted the messages, receiving support for her response, where she told the lawyer that she’s not on the social media site to be objectified by sexist men, The Daily Mail reported.
“Alex,” Proudman wrote to Alexander Cater-Silk in a private message.
“I find your message offensive.
“The eroticisation of women’s physical appearance is a way of exercising power over women. It silences a woman’s professional attributes as their physical appearance becomes the subject.
“Unacceptable and misogynistic behaviour. Think twice before sending another women (half your age) such a sexist message.”
Proudman, who is currently a human rights barrister and PhD student at Cambidge generated Twitter interest by asking other women if they had been similarly approached by men on the site.
Carter-Silk, who has two children and a wife of 30 years, has had some fairly high profile clients in his career including Elle McPherson in the phone hacking scandal. Proudman told The Daily Mail that as a senior member of the legal profession, he has a duty to uphold laws against sexual discrimination.
He took to a message board on RollOnFriday to claim that his comments had been taken out of context.
“Most people post pretty unprofessional pictures on LinkedIn, my comment was aimed at the professional quality of the presentation on LinkedIn which was unfortunately misinterpreted,” the statement read.
Since the incident, Proudman has been targeted by internet trolls who have told her she has ruined her career, which she says shows how ingrained sexism is in the legal industry.
The whole row started when Carter-Silk sent Proudman a message on LinkedIn saying, “Charlotte, delighted to connect, I appreciate that this is probably horrendously politically incorrect but that is a stunning picture!”