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:
She has received a great deal of support. Other reactions have been negative and critical:
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:
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 wouldn’t be complaining. But you’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….”
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.”
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. 🙂