Women in the Law

Was it 'misogynistic behavior'? BigLaw partner is chided for comment on 'stunning' LinkedIn photo

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A human rights lawyer in the United Kingdom has accused a Brown Rudnick partner of “unacceptable and misogynistic behavior” for his comment about her “stunning” photo on LinkedIn.

The human rights lawyer, 27-year-old Charlotte Proudman, used Twitter to post a screen shot of the comment by 57-year-old Alexander Carter-Silk, who heads Brown Rudnick’s intellectual property group in Europe. The Telegraph, the Guardian, the Daily Mail and RollOnFriday have stories.

Proudman was “inundated with messages of support” for calling out Carter-Silk, according to the Daily Mail.

Here is what Carter-Silk wrote (typos are corrected): “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.”

Here is Proudman’s response on Twitter (with American spellings): “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.”

Proudman says Carter-Silk has since apologized in an email that read, “I sincerely regret my remarks have offended you and I offer you my apologies.” A Brown Rudnick spokesman told the Daily Mail that it has “apologized for the offense caused” and notes the comment was made on a private social media account.

Carter-Silk explained himself in a statement to RollOn Friday. “Most people post pretty unprofessional pictures on LinkedIn,” he said. “My comment was aimed at the professional quality of the presentation on LinkedIn, which was unfortunately misinterpreted.”

Proudman’s tweet:

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