“And us men want to look like?”

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Well, it has been all over the place now. The Charlotte Proudman, human rights barrister, LinkedIn photo compliment-OR-sexism saga has shifted predictably from Twitter and “social media” and has headlined UK “mainstream media” in recent days. In the Independent, Ms. Proudman was given a column to defend herself for a privacy violation (in publishing a private message without the sender’s consent) and explain herself further:

Screen capture of the Independent.
Screen capture of the Independent.

She has received a great deal of support. Other reactions have been negative and critical:

Screen capture of Twitter.
Screen capture of Twitter.

Elsewhere, it has been pointed out that Ms. Proudman herself has “ogled” men on Facebook, sharing flattering appraisals of their appearances. Also, she has been ripped into by columnist Sarah Vine, whose view seems clear:

Screen capture of the Daily Mail.
Screen capture of the Daily Mail.

I’ve already shared my view – which is, umm, essentially…. to avoid having a view on how a woman ought to react when being “complimented” on her looks by male strangers online. I prefer to let the decidedly French Ms. Moutet, and the Mail’s Ms. Vine, offer their takes. As a man, I feel it is best to “abstain” on the issue.

However, one observation did make me smile. It came from a right-of-center male commentator:

“On a related note, I suspect that if the male lawyer looked like George Clooney, Ms. Proudman wouldnโ€™t be complaining. But youโ€™re not supposed to say that, are you.”

However, as we all also know, the actual Mr. Clooney’s now taken – by another human rights barrister. And the mention there of Mr. Clooney caused me to recall this.

Recently I had stopped in to see my – now, regular – haircutter. As I sat, he greeted me: “How are you? You know, I’m invited by a friend to go to New York end of September. First time! But the problem is I usually go to Morocco then to see my parents….”

Free Stock Photo: Open silver scissors.
Free Stock Photo: Open silver scissors.

Looking at us both in the mirror, he changed gears into discussing my prospective haircut. “How would you like it? The same?”

I told him I would.

“You know,” he moved on, “some women see a picture of someone. Some European woman. Or some American singer. ‘I want to look like that,’ she’ll say. Men are the same.”

Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a woman with an electric guitar.
Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a woman with an electric guitar.

I couldn’t resist, so I asked, “And us men want to look like?”

He laughed. “Men? They want to look like George Clooney.”

“Of course,” I rolled my eyes.

“But, eh, you know,” he gestured at me with the scissors as he continued, “you and he…”

“Oh, sure,” I smiled and interrupted in a tone that indicated I was not buying the obvious effort at flattery. “How big a tip do you want?”

Have a good Saturday, wherever you are. ๐Ÿ™‚

5 comments

        1. I’m sorry, but I don’t know if I accept the premise underlying your statements. You also know I’m not going to be drawn into giving you a headline tomorrow. (Like my Press Secretary imitation? I’ve just finished re-overdosing on 7 years of The West Wing in about a month.)

          Liked by 1 person

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