Charlotte Proudman spoke out and shamed the senior lawyer that commented on her appearance on the social media site for professionals, LinkedIn. She was on there for work related purposes and was unhappy about being sexually objectified, by a man she had never met, in what was a totally inappropriate setting. A setting in which she should be valued for and judged on her intelligence and capability (like the men are). She felt patronised, belittled and not taken seriously. So obviously this resulted in her qualifying for the label of 'feminazi'. It makes perfect sense, don't you think, to marry together a belief in equality between people with and without dicks to the Nazi movement that killed six million Jews. Oh Daily Fail, you thick maggots.
I once worked with an actor who insisted in pestering our female director (who talked openly of her boyfriend and showed no interest in him) to send him a photo of her tits. Pathetic, I know, we all felt embarrassed on his behalf, so I'm not sure how he avoided suffering immense feelings of shame. If you're a thirteen year old schoolboy, have never seen a pair of knockers before and have no access to the internet to view said knockers, I'd laugh it off, but for someone in their mid-thirties it reeks of desperation, misogyny and is just, in Elton's words, 'a sad, sad situation'. The woman in question was a decade younger, so it was also damn right creepy and predatory. She passed her phone to a friend to wind the sleaze up and they got a laugh out of it for a while, but despite the lighthearted approach she took, we agreed that there is a very dark undertone to the whole fiasco.
The serious issue behind this cringeworthy debacle is how extremely telling it is of this person's attitude towards women. The female director was our boss, our employer and had full control over the job in hand. He clearly struggled with that and by sexually objectifying her, viewing her as a service to produce naked photos for his excitement, he not only displayed a vast lack of maturity in regards to male-female relationships, but also demonstrated a serious lack of respect for her as our director. Due to feelings of inadequacy, he attempted to reduce a strong woman in control of our shared workplace into a weak, submissive service (of depersonalised body parts) to his (clearly minuscule) penis. Imagine starting a new job and out of the blue texting your male (non-single) boss, that you barely know, to demand a dick pic. Imagine the arrogance needed to turn up at work after doing so without cringing. And imagine not worrying about him feeling belittled, disrespected and sacking you. There was no interest displayed in this woman as a person, just an ongoing persistence to attain sordid pictures. What a lovely example of misogyny in it's purest form.
Now this older lawyer calling Proudman's LinkedIn photo 'stunning' poses the same threat to woman kind and, despite more respectable wording than the sexting creep, the intent is comparable. These (thankfully rare) men do their best to remind us that we are nothing but sexual objects and how we look is to be judged, rated and censored. A secure, confident, respectful man with a decent level of self esteem and good moral conduct would not be threatened by, disrespect or objectify a woman. They just don't do it. The ones that do, viewing women like objects to satisfy their urges and attempting to refrain us from flying too high in our careers/thinking of ourselves as anything more than a pair of boobs, make me sick. Every time you witness them in action, I urge you to do what Charlotte Proudman did and speak out.
I worked in a bar during my teens where the manager groped my thigh and placed his hand on my lower back. I walked away when it happened thinking he would get the message and leave me alone, but it continued. I was well aware that he viewed me as an object, an empty vessel of a person, a bit of eye candy to help pass his time at work, and it felt truly horrible. When I politely asked him to please refrain from making any further inappropriate physical contact with me, he kindly gave me the sack. He had slept with most of the female employees so clearly had an ulterior motive when hiring and firing. I tried to take this case further and press charges for unfair dismissal and sexual harassment but the lack of evidence in the matter rendered me powerless. The numerous witnesses were metaphorically gagged by his threat of dismissal if they dared to back me. There are so many instances where men get away with indecent behaviour towards women due to there being a lack of sufficient evidence. So, when you're online and that evidence is gleaming at you through your iPhone or laptop, I say, SCREENSHOT THAT SHIT.
A bunch of trashy newspapers ran smug stories (what's new pussycat?) where their glee and excitement shone through as they proclaimed that Proudman has made comments from her PERSONAL Facebook account to MEN SHE KNOWS praising them for their appearance. Er yeah and? I really am failing to see this so called hypocrisy the cretins are highlighting. So, by flirting with a guy at a bar or saying my male friend looks 'hot' in a photo I am indebted to some loser objectifying me at work? No, no, no. It's such a ridiculous attempt at a response that I'm not even going to waste my time typing on it. If you have half a brain you will see what a feeble, non-sensical argument it is and seriously worry about how it's ended up in numerous national newspapers. The most outrageous sexism was the vitriol spat at Miss Proudman from the media and twitter users AFTER the LinkedIn fiasco.
I'll back Charlotte Proudman till the cows come home.
Oh, and ladies, screenshot that shit. Always, always, screenshot that shit.
This post originally appeared on Lily's blog here