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UKIP Member Says Women Who Have LinkedIn Profile Pics Want to be Objectified


Charlotte Proudman is the Cambridge-educated barrister who caused a social media storm by sharing a sexually-motivated message she received on LinkedIn from another professional. The man in question chose to contact and compliment her on her physical appearance rather than her employability credentials. The post went viral back in September, with women online everywhere sharing similar harassing messages. Now, in the latest addition to the story, a UKIP candidate has made a contentious claim that women who have profile pictures on sites such as LinkedIn 'want to be objectified'.

John Bickley, UKIP by-election candidate in the north of England, reckons that women only use a profile picture on these sites in an attempt to further their employability based on aesthetics. The post, which was posted on September 12th but has only just come to light, is seen below:-




As a woman and a user of LinkedIn, I am hasten to admit that I do agree to some extent with his statement. It is an ideological dream in our appearance-obsessed world to believe that employers choose staff based purely on their skills and work experience, and that physical appearance doesn't play a part. It's the same with dating. We all say we go for someone who can make us laugh and has a personality but often end up lusting after the brawn with no brains. And I'm sure most people would agree that they are still willing to accept a job even if their appearance did play a small, subordinate factor in the process of their selection. However, when speaking in relation to Proudman - a so-called 'Feminazi' who apparently campaigns diligently for gender equality issues such as revenge porn and female genital mutilation - perhaps she should pertain to her powerful opinions and forego a profile picture. Whilst I appreciate that the inclusion of one is most simply an online implementation of putting 'a face to the name', if she truly is so against her physical appearance being the subject of conversation then wouldn't it make sense to remove the distraction altogether?

A profile picture is considered a step of 'completeness' on many social networking sites when creating a new account: a social media rite of passage. And while it should not be a facet that influences employer's professional decisions, I suggest it is an unavoidable fact. If sexism/ gender equality in the workplace is an issue close to you, then prove it by choosing to only highlight your professional prowess - a step that despite the furore surrounding her, Proudman has not decided to take. Her beaming photo still remains in pride of place on her LinkedIn profile, and is unavoidably the attention-grabber of the page. If you feel strongly enough to condemn a fellow peer both personally and professionally on social media for what is essentially a compliment then you shouldn't have uploaded a photo. Whilst LinkedIn is probably a more inappropriate platform to comment on a person's looks as opposed to, say, Facebook, it is painstakingly obvious that the fellow legal worker did not intend to cause offence. Dare I say this woman used a minor situation to add unnecessary effrontery to her campaigning at the detriment of one man who intended no harm or offence to her position as a woman or legal professional.  



SMF rookie, fresh out of academia, looking forward to more creative ventures. With a love of current affairs, green tea and an ever insatiable wanderlust, Katie is ready to have her voice heard. Follow her @KatieAtSMF


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UKIP Member Says Women Who Have LinkedIn Profile Pics Want to be Objectified Reviewed by Katie Gascoyne on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 Rating: 5

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