A partner has been slammed by a barrister for engaging in "unacceptable and misogynistic behaviour" after he told her on LinkedIn that she had a "stunning" photo and suggested that they "work together".

Alexander Carter-Silk, Head of European Intellectual Property at Brown Rudnick, sent Charlotte Proudman, a barrister at the Chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, the controversial message yesterday morning. Headed, "RE: PICTURE", he told Proudman, "I appreciate that this is probably horrendously politically incorrect but that is a stunning picture !!!!"

    Smooth as Carter-Silk

He continued, "You definitely win the prize for the best Linked in picture I have even seen", and then appeared to lose control of his keyboard, finishing, "Always interest [sic] to understant [sic] people's skills and how we might work together".

    The LinkedIn photo that so impressed the lawyer

He might have realised Proudman was the wrong subject for his 1950s charm if he had looked beyond her picture. Her LinkedIn bio reveals that she is studying for a doctorate in Sociology from Cambridge University, "researching #FGM #fearlessfeminist because rape, prostitution & pornography are problems of male dominance".

Which meant this did not go down well:

At all. Just before 6pm the same day, Proudman replied: "I find your message offensive".

She explained, "I am on linked-in for business purposes not to be approached about my physical appearance or to be 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."

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

Ouch. He probably will think twice, because then she posted the exchange on Twitter:

Carter-Silk told 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".

He said, "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".



Anonymous 09 September 15 04:29

Terrible lack of respect for the bar. Shocked he does not know at his age how to communicate with learned counsel.

Should have been: "Hey gorgeous.........I've a 3 month trial coming up with. Brief fee of £30k and refreshers of £3500, shall we make some music?"

She would have immediately picked up with a proper professional response.......

"Thanks big boy, you're pretty fit yourself.......please speak asap to my clerk Bill Grabbit."

Anonymous 09 September 15 05:13

carter silk should counter complain for her ageist remark, '..women (half your age)'.
if his message should be viewed only in the most negative light, so should hers

Anonymous 09 September 15 08:45

Ms Proudman must be delightful company at social events. She must have her fellow guests in stitches with her self-deprecating humour and general joie de vivre.

Anonymous 09 September 15 10:25

Why would any lawyer think this sort of comment was sensible and that it would not get into the public domain?
It is a question about his wisdom.

Not wise particularly as many of us advise regularly and know about the legal risks of comment in the public domain.

(Also most men who leave their wives for another woman do it with a woman with longer hair than their wife so interesting that he prefers someone with shorter hair - out of the norm)

Anonymous 09 September 15 10:29

Massive over-reaction to a very innocuous message. Her original reply is poorly judged itself but to then put it on Twitter? What else would she feel free to leak in future if she unilaterally decides it offends her extreme sensitivities? Arrogantly assuming she can speak for all women too. There are ways to persuade people of your cause but this kind of behaviour isn't one of them.

Anonymous 09 September 15 10:59

What a rather sad world we live in. A person who in all likelihood gave out a compliment, gets hung out to dry, is accused of being sexist etc etc ad nauseum.
Ah, but its not a compliment anymore, its sexist! YOu man of half my age...I wonder how long and how many "takes" it took to get the "perfect photograph" before she was happy.
Sociology the science of twisting life's facts to suit the occasion, boy this was sure one of those moments.
Well good for you Ms Proudwoman you got your fifteen minutes of Kardashian style fame.

Anonymous 09 September 15 12:11

I now know how to behave next time a female colleague says I have a nice tie. Throw her into the pillory of the internet where she can learn the errors of her sexist ways. How dare she simultaneously objectify me by reference to symbols of my earning power and oppress me with her notions of gender roles and unwelcome implicit suggestions of being suitable mating material.

Anonymous 09 September 15 12:32

"Misogynistic"? Sheesh. Another silly little lady with an exaggerated sense of self-regard and a desperate need of a dictionary.

Anonymous 09 September 15 12:49

Can people start using "misogynistic" correctly? It describes someone who hates women generally. I've never come across anyone like that, outside a mental institution, that is! As for this lady who apparently became so offended over something so objectively innocuous, you'd think her studying of FGM might give her a perspective on what real oppression of women amounts to.

Anonymous 09 September 15 12:51

Black clothes, bobbed hair, authoritarian & bullying manner. Not out of place in the Khmer Rouge.

Anonymous 09 September 15 13:55

Pathetic over-reaction from the woman involved. Reading the letter he sent her suggests no controversy at all really, just a compliment that her photo was professional(fully covered up and professional looking).

In typical feminist style she has gone well over the top playing the victim card here.

I wonder if we're getting to a point where men one day will take action against slurs on their name when people call them sexist and misogynistic.
I would love it if he did.

Anonymous 09 September 15 15:31

I'm getting a "young-Sally-from-Coronation-Street" vibe from that photograph.

Anonymous 09 September 15 16:38

What a stupid immature female who is so far up her own backside only her shoes are showing. It was a compliment girl (yes girl) a compliment and nothing more. Grow up and come in to the real world. In the criminal world you would be called far worse than that. Learn to cope with it or get a different job.

Anonymous 09 September 15 16:55

I'd imagine with the frenzy that Ms Proudman has whipped up on twitter, there are going to be a lot of men waiting for their tea to be cooked tonight.

And if Ms Proudman, some researcher from the Jeremy Vine Show or other news organisation are reading this, I'm being ironic.

I think that is still legal in this day and age.

Anonymous 09 September 15 17:55

I would have been flattered if somebody told me I looked nice in a picture.

But then I'm not a jumped up feminist

Anonymous 09 September 15 18:11

"markfurn" has a point.

the guy could quite easily turn this into a slander case against her - she has publicly called him a sexist and mysoginistic.

all he did was say it was a nice picture.

Sue her for millions mate

Anonymous 09 September 15 23:07

It comes across like she's only taking offence because of his age. While other posters have noted that this might itself be "discriminatory" in her left wing dreamworld, isn't the main point that she shows a lack of judgment and self-awareness to post this email exchange publicly? Why should a fairly innocuous email from Carter-Silk be used to ridicule and embarrass him? Why on earth is she taking offence at a compliment from the old fella, even if it is "unsolicited"? Does she think that men should seek permission before complimenting a woman, or chatting them up? Or only after they reach a certain age? And why does she suppose that by his email he is "eroticising" her physical appearance?

The fact that he does an entirely different area of law from her in a respected US firm that probably never touches her area of work may have suggested to Ms Proudman that she can take a few free hits. That is a poor call by someone who's professional reputation depends on their discretion and soundness of judgment. She also advertises the fact that, for all her learning, she doesn't know what "misogynistic" means. It may take some time before she meets a UK solicitor unaware that this is what she did to someone who had the bad luck to pay her an unsolicited compliment.

Finally, I know she is "self-employed" in a lefty set but wasn't Moneybags Mansfield himself recently in the news for taking up with a woman 21 years his junior? Did she think to take a look around her before casting stones at others?

Anonymous 10 September 15 00:45

Your posters, slightly strangely for people who make a living constructing arguments, don't engage with her substantive points that (1) Linked In is a professional site, not a dating site; and (2) Complimenting a woman on her 'stunning' looks in a professional context demeans her by totally neglecting her professional expertise. Nor do they mention the fact that the man is married and pretty much the only person he should be saying is 'stunning' is his wife. It's incomprehensible to me that a man with such a lack of awareness should be a partner in a law firm.

Anonymous 10 September 15 11:13

OK let's get our facts straight.
1. it appears Carter-Silk was replying to a request to connect from Proudman, this was not an unsolicited message
2. The statement is that it is a "stunning picture" not a compliment on stunning looks
If you are going to criticise others' construction of arguments, please ensure your own are well constructed (anonymous at 23:45).
As a female, I would have found such a response perhaps mildly dubious, but would have been pleased that my request to connect had been accepted, and made a mental note to ensure any future communication was kept formal and be slightly wary of any future "warning signs". End of story. I do think the emotive and public response was defensive, rash and unreasoned. As someone who was also trained at the bar, I know it is fundamental to be able to back up your position with evidence.

Anonymous 10 September 15 15:03

Fair enough his response to her request to link in was a bit letchy, but she seems to have gone slightly mental about what really boils down to an old boy sending an ill thought out reply. I suspect she has probably done herself more harm than good! I think the SRA report she's reputedly made is nuts - let's not forget she seems to have reached out to him!

Anonymous 10 September 15 15:19

1. Carter-Silk starts by saying 'this is probably horrendously politically incorrect...' He was aware it was the wrong forum to make a comment on her photo/appearance - Linkedin is for business connections and he did not know Ms Proudman personally. I don't think, therefore, that it was an 'innocently' made remark.

2. I'm female. If I'd received his message I would feel deflated, worrying he'd only accepted my Linkedin request because he thinks I look good. For those who say she should just learn to take a compliment you're ignoring history. Only being judged on appearance has been a justified concern felt by women for years.

3. For those of you trying to suggest that 'stunning picture' just meant 'well done on the lighting and the pro look' you are either being disingenuous or naive. Do you believe Carter-Silk would have given that compliment to a male barrister on Linkedin?


4. Although it shows a worrying lack of judgement on Carter-Silk's part and maybe even the potential for trying something sleazy, I do agree that her reaction had a very lecturing tone. I might have said something like 'thanks but in the future it'd be wise not to comment on photos....' and then made a mental note to keep things very professional with him going forward, as anon user @ 10:13 said.

5. Also I would never have made the exchange public. It could have been dealt with effectively in private. If I wanted to talk about how inappropriate I thought it was or show other women how they could respond to such an email this could be done via a different platform and/or by anonymising the parties.

Anonymous 10 September 15 16:09

I will add two points that have not really been made by anyone yet:

1. The man appears to be a beta male,

Anonymous 10 September 15 16:12

2. The point of feminism is to try to stop older men from abandoning older women and one of the strategies is to get younger women to despise older men who show interest.

Anonymous 10 September 15 16:17

1. A beta male is someone who doesn't really score with women as well as the 15% alpha males do. Alpha males tend to easily meet and date relatively young beauitful women, because the women tend to like them very much, and these women would never feel the need to hit on someone on Linkedin (they have a feeling of abundance from those flirting with them in the physical world).

This would sound very condemning of the gentleman in this story, but what is interesting is that some insecure women who are aging out of the range of interest for alpha males, often get very angry at the continued attention of the beta males whom they never wanted but may soon have to marry. Plenty of beta males her age will apply at this stage in her life, but she won't be happy with them. Alphas who see what she did here, will keep their distance.

And Linkedin photos were often taken 5 years ago.

Anonymous 10 September 15 16:41

He was being inappropriate and a bit letchy. She over-reacted.

That about it?

Anonymous 10 September 15 17:28

A quick tip for men in high-end professions.
The solution is to do what I do, to completely ignore professional women from a sexual/attraction perspective. Dont even acknowledge that they are female. Work with them in an entirely neutral, slightly cold, and soulless manner while enjoying normal camaraderie with your fellow male workers.

You can then never be accused of being unprofessional towards women by either the woman herself or the HR hambeast.

As far as dating goes, look for home-maker, traditional girls with family values. You wont find any of those in these high-end high-pressure jobs. They will be primary school teachers, childcare workers, employed in small local firms, or family businesses.

I've been doing this for 20 years and its worked out perfectly.

Anonymous 10 September 15 18:31

Can somebody please tell me why all this fuss over what some geezer said to a woman who makes coffee?

Anonymous 10 September 15 18:43

While that kind of comment is a bit eyeroll-inducing, it's the sort of thing all of us, female and male, have to put up with every day. I think her showboating of his slightly irresponsible comment suggests that she was trawling for just such a response so she could then grandstand on it a bit.

Bonus points in this silly exchange is his completely disingenuous "explanation" of what he originally wrote to her. He obviously was commenting on her (outer) phsical beauty or he wouldn't have said that it was "horrendously politically incorrect."

Anonymous 10 September 15 18:48

He's a sexist pig from another era and his comments regarding Ms Proudman, and more worryingly, his daughter are frankly creepy. She a ruthless, self promoting, over zealous lady....with a fantastic career ahead of her, she'll go far, don't get in her way!

Anonymous 11 September 15 10:21

A comment in the private domain is acceptable enough for such an innocent compliment, but to then take to twitter.... Shameful!

She'll likely be blacklisted by most firms now and her career will likely flop, unless she joins an all women law firm...

Anonymous 19 September 15 21:15

What an awful, awful woman. His comment is at worst misjudged, but by no means offensive. Her reaction, by contrast, including her decision to publicise a private communication made in a professional context is offensive. Quite ridiculous and sad to think there are other people like her out there.

Anonymous 09 September 15 19:53

I'd agree that it's unprofessional behaviour, but calling it misogynistic seems a bit OTT. I'm not convinced that him saying he liked her picture was intended to silence her and exercise male power, let alone express hatred of women.

Anonymous 09 September 15 19:56

While it may be seen as inappropriate, he did not make any comments about her appearance, he said she had a good picture. She has over reacted and then been ageist herself by making statements about her age.

She does female no favours and will make professional males think twice about connecting to females with regards to work and business on LinkedIn.

Anonymous 09 September 15 20:01

A misogynist is a person who hates or doesn't trust women. Misogynist is from Greek misogyn?s, from the prefix miso- "hatred" plus gyn? "a woman." The English suffix -ist means "person who does something

Anonymous 09 September 15 21:08

To me, it looks like irrelevant small talk gone wrong. It was a slightly clumsy email, but the response was equally crude. To publicise it was a disgrace.

Anonymous 10 September 15 19:53

If he was truly unaware that his comments on her photo might be misconstrued as sexist, then I would never want him as my attorney. A good attorney needs to be socially and emotionally intelligent in addition to knowing the law. And, if he is just trying to avoid responsibility for saying something sexist, then he does not have the moral character I want in an attorney. A good attorney is someone you can trust to take responsibility for their actions. So, his response makes me think he doesn't have the social intelligence, emotional intelligence, or moral character to be the kind of attorney I would want working for me.

Anonymous 10 September 15 20:40

Anyone on here suggesting she 'lighten up' or 'get used to it' is complicit in keeping us in a world of gender inequality. Women shouldn't have to 'deal' with anything we wouldn't expect a man too. This woman was uncomfortable, and sick and tired of being approached based on her looks alone, so did something about it. Linked In is a professional site. She was well within her rights to call him out on being unprofessional.
And this message IS sexist because, whether many choose to see it or not, we live in a patriarchal world where (some) men are used to getting what they want, whether or not it makes women uncomfortable.

Anonymous 10 September 15 21:50

I hope that she is as lonely as she deserves to be. The irony is that if she is not, it is because someone cares more about her looks than her obviously sad character. I don't think she even looks that good.

Anonymous 10 September 15 21:55

I don't think the photograph was stunning. Flattering, yes, but not stunning.

Anonymous 11 September 15 08:22

anonymous user
10/09/2015 19:40 wrote:’...is complicit in keeping us in a world of gender inequality. Women shouldn't have to 'deal' with anything we wouldn't expect a man too.’


Indeed. As sjw’s say we men in the West are an ‘aristocratic’ class. Then we should end this peculiar exemption that grants woman license to wear whatever she wants to the office.
Women can join us in only wearing: shirt, tie, dull coloured suit, with loose trousers hiding the shape of the legs and backside, with dour shoes to finish off the laughable ensemble.

Over in the Usa when discrimination started to lessen in the 1970s/80s and Black Americans began to enter the professions in greater numbers. They could only wear exactly the same clothing as White Americans. Yet women entering the professions at the same time did not adopt the clothing of men, the supposedly higher ranking social group.
And In common with other ‘aristocratic’, privileged class groupings in history, we Western Men:
1. receive greater societal and medical concern about our mental and physical well being
2. receive much lighter sentences for committing the same crime, than a woman of the same social class
3. are more easily exempted from dirty or life-threatening occupations
4. receive greater legal and social protection
5. have greater liberty in dress than women of the same social class
6. have greater liberty to choose whether to work or not, particularly after a ‘discerning marriage’ to a partner whose sole income can support a family

Anonymous 11 September 15 12:20

That would be this Andrew Carter-Silk: http://metro.co.uk/2015/09/10/sexist-lawyer-also-called-his-daughter-hot-on-her-facebook-page-5385895/

Anonymous 11 September 15 16:32

Whilst I personally believe Ms Proudperson's (oh...Proudman's) reaction to be slightly on the OTT side and a touch disproportionate, I certainly tip my hat to her decision to spice up her otherwise unknown and uninteresting Twitter profile with something written by her which people will ACTUALLY read.

From a sociological perspective, her reaction is perhaps justified if we consider that women have been objectified for so long, that it is easier to see how ANY woman - maybe even those women whose lack of social skills, mediocre emotional intelligence and poor judgement may well have prevented their professional accomplishment even though they were in fact of the opposite sex - could find solace in acting that way in an attempt to attain a long overdue equal status and social acceptance.

Well done Charlotte!

Anonymous 11 September 15 17:53

What a hypocrite she is, have a gander at the link below!!


Anonymous 11 September 15 17:59

Agreed - he was chatting her up.

Men chat women up (and vice versa). There is nothing wrong with someone chatting up another person. It is a fact of life, in fact, one of life's necessities. Courting is a pre-requisite for life.

If it is accepted that chatting up, is OK, then the only issue is venue.

Linkedin is for professional connections, yes. So is work. So are work events etc. But life doesn't always adhere to strict faultlines and it's perfectly acceptable for a couple to say they met at work. If a couple met at work would one of the party not have chatted the other up? Yes.

So chatting up is fine and workplace chatting up is also fine. Men, sorry to say Charlotte, often have to take the initiative.

What it seems like Charlotte advocates is: 1. No chatting up in a professional context and, possibly 2. Men should not take the initiative in said chatting up.

If this were the case, a lot of people wouldn't exist.

The real issue here seems to be the age gap and the fact he has a family. What he did is not sexist.

Anonymous 12 September 15 09:37

I've read a few articles on this. Several of those from the more feminist lefty newspapers have published articles that read as though he approached her and then go on to criticise him for even mentioning the possibility of any professional involvement since he works in intellectual property so the likelihood of them ever having any connection professionally is zero. They conclude he could only have contacted her for sex. Maybe I misunderstand how LinkedIn works but it seems clear she initially sent him a request to connect which included a link to her photo - but she says when he responded in her view inappropriately she had to look up who he was. So what no one seems to be asking is why did she approach him in the first place if as she says she'd never heard of him and their areas of law are completely unrelated? I think rather than investigate the hapless Mr Carter-Silk as she has requested maybe the SRA should demand she authorise LinkedIn to provide them with details of all other people she attempted to connect to around the same time. If you look at her many recent radio appearances and articles all concerning feminism and women's issues it is clear she is trying to develop a media side to her career on these matters. Perhaps I am unduly suspicious, but I just wonder if quite a few late middle aged lawyers who look from their photos like they're trying to hang on to the good looks of their youth and might be open to a flirt with a younger woman received unsolicited requests trawling for a response she could make something of and Mr Carter-Silk's rather tame compliment was the best she could come up with. If that is the case then she has deliberately entrapped the old boy and tried to bring the legal profession into disrepute merely to build up her media profile and should be struck off.

Anonymous 14 September 15 15:49

It's incredible how you are all are doing 'The Trump'. Attacking the person who was rightly offended and who called out the perpetrator for the offense. You are doing the attacking for this senior partner who was definitely hitting on her. It was totally inappropriate and when he got caught, he back-pedaled but you are doing 'The Trump' for him...turning the victim into the aggressor and the offender into the victim. That's what's wrong with our society. No one can own their own actions anymore. Imagine if this man had simply apologized for the awkwardness of his comment and lapse of judgment. Now that would be newsworthy.

Anonymous 14 September 15 15:50

She doesn't look attractive to me. I do agree that the photo quality is better than many of the photos I've seen on Linked-In.

It sounds like this man intended to give Ms. Proudman a compliment. If she was offended by the message she should have ignored it or responded to him privately. Posting a private conversation onto a public forum shows a lack of class on this woman's part. I'm going to guess her professional skills need some improving. What she did was rude and shows a lack of social grace on her behalf.

Anonymous 16 September 15 13:43

She doesn't look attractive to me - there are many better pictures on Linked-in :). Perhaps Alex should spend more time surfing ?

O perhaps they had met in person and he was suggesting the photo had been photoshopped ...

Anonymous 10 October 15 00:05

Beauty is only skin deep as this demonstrates there appears to be another personality underneath the surface.

Anonymous 08 September 15 14:49

She should change her sexist name, while she's at it. Charlotte Proudperson it is.

Anonymous 08 September 15 14:52

Because of centuries of not being taken seriously women are sensitive about only being judged on their appearance. It may have been innocent on his part but, really, why risk sending such a message? It sounds pervy even if he didn't mean it to. And even if he did instruct her she is always going to wonder if it's only cos he wants to get into her pants.