It’s not like me to not have an opinion, is it? That’s part of my charm. Having an opinion is my ground state, as physicists say. But events this week have left me truly not sure. I can’t make my mind up, because both parties behaved badly, so it’s hard to come to a conclusion.
A solicitor, Alexander Carter-Silk, sent a message to a barrister, Charlotte Proudman. He foolishly did this via LinkedIn. He said her photograph was ‘stunning.’ Not that she was, but her photograph was.
My view is he’s a bit of a knobhead. He didn’t know her, and it’s good manners to be a bit circumspect. Especially if you’re 57, and the subject of your comments is about half your age. On the other hand, I’ve complimented complete strangers before now. I once told a much younger woman she was very elegant, because she was. A shop assistant she had great hair that suited her. You can do that face to face, but not on the internet. Otherwise you just look like a bit of a perv.
Ms Proudman then went to Defcon 1, and outed him on Twitter and anywhere else she could think of, accusing him of sexist misogyny. She claimed she put her image up to build business links, not to be leched over.
I think she’s right. Linked In is weird, but it is a place for people to make professional contact, not a dating site for swingers. There were, however, better ways of going about telling him to sling his hook. A private message saying ‘F*** you, you pervert,’ would have done adequately. I’m not sure why she felt she had to name and shame.
Both have behaved badly, so I’m having to sit on the fence here. This is an awkward position for me; my arse is the wrong shape.
Faults both sides. As in most human interactions where it goes wrong, as I’m pretty sure you’ll agree. I don’t agree with the Guardian that he was a sexist chancer. Nor do I agree with the Mail that she was a harridan intent only on furthering her career. They both screwed up. As did the press.