'Your barrister boyfriend' founders plan female equivalent

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  • The thought that any barrister endorses this is sickening.

    The thought that this will be extended to women makes me fear for my lunch.

    Why are these bullies permitted anonymity?

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  • The fact that female barristers or female staff in barristers' chambers are taking part in this (whether light-hearted or otherwise) would be called sexist if the boot(y) were on the other foot. The last I remember, the "it was only lighthearted fun" defence didn't wash in claims based on sexual harrassment or discrimination.

    If the first list had been a list of the hotest women at the bar or in firms, there would have been uproar - not only at the bar but in national media. Barristers or chambers condoning or nominating for either list beware! At what point does involvement in this become bringing the bar into disrepute?

    What about us solicitors? If clerks are now receiving calls expressly hoping to instruct these "hotties", what position does that put them in from an equality and diversity point of view? What implications could that kind of conduct have for any solicitor instructing on that basis? These are "ethical" or conduct considerations constantly rammed down throats by regulators etc. - look out for their involvement on this too.Comment

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  • Silly season.

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  • I can't really see the problem here. I certainly don't think that it's immoral for someone to write somewhere that they think someone is attractive, which is really all that has happened here. The comments on the tumblr are quite tongue-in-cheek, but they are still essentially saying these guys are attractive. Is that really "sickening"? I don't think it's "sickening", for example, when someone leaves a comment on Facebook or Twitter saying a friend or even someone they've never met before looks attractive. I'm afraid people do find other people attractive based on their looks. People have been writing about it for thousands of years. I doubt it will ever change.

    If looks should have absolutely nothing to do with choosing a barrister, why do so many chambers get such glossy, professional photos done, in which barristers are clearly trying to look their best? Why not just face-on, passport style mugshots? Or no photos at all? Do you really think people don't already look at chambers photos and think 'Hmm, he/she is good looking'?

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  • "“I don’t think we’re scared [of listing women] as we knew that when we did the original listing people would say it was sexism, but against men. We kind of knew we were going to have to do women, so hopefully it will come out alright and people won’t be horribly offended.”"

    Yes somewhat sexist but a list was made rating male barristers on appearance so it would be genuinely sexist if it was not done for female barristers too!

    Can't say this is objectifying women without also admitting it has objectified men, can't call the male barrister list a joke without admitting this is exactly the same to be treated with the same level of humour. Femenist nightmare!

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  • @Not Amused - how is it "bullying"? They're not rating ALL barristers, only their select favourites, all of whom are hot. They're not, as far as I'm aware, rating ugly people too, so everyone wins.

    The worst it can be described as is a beautiful people's club.

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  • "Sickening"? | 24-Jul-2013 10:32 pm

    I can't really see the problem here. I certainly don't think that it's immoral for someone to write somewhere that they think someone is attractive, which is really all that has happened here.


    Sorry I ought to have said, this story does not make it clear (but if you read others it is clear) that they are now linking attractiveness directly to the question of "would you instruct this barrister" (although I do think that issue was impliedly there). That for me is where this crosses the line from vapid attention seeking (I doubt the anonymity was meant to do anything other than make the revelation of their identity more 'dramatic' - a cheap marketing trick).

    I'm afraid I get intemperate about this sort of thing because the Bar has a hard enough time changing and challenging misconceptions. We are all endlessly talking to bright young people from less advantaged backgrounds who are afraid that certain types of discrimination occur - which do not occur (at least thank goodness, not any more).

    I really don't want to be faced with endless undergraduates worrying about whether or not they are attractive enough for a career at the Bar on top of all their other worries.

    I think that by picking a perceived 'strong' group of individuals to bully first these awful individuals have exploited our natural British desire to put down percieved betters. It is so obviously true to be trite that had they picked a percieved weaker group to begin with then we would not even have tolerated this nonsense thus far.

    The line is crossed. Linking expressly (rather than impliedly) to instructions must not be tolerated. The idea they will soon expand their biggoted gaze to women at the Bar is not to be tolerated.

    In the words of Liz Lemon "shut it down".

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  • @Not Amused - I think you may be missing the joke. When the poll says 'Who would you like to handle your case', I think it's meant to be crudely euphemistic, not seriously asking if you would instruct these barristers because of their looks. After all, the word 'case' was used in Shakespeare with a very specific meaning. For example, Mistress Quickly saying: "and my case so openly known to the world" in Henry IV Part 2...

    Also, I find your saying things like "shut it down" really rather scary. Free speech...?

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  • I'm a devastatingly good looking barrister who was suitably devastated to be left off the list, and indeed its list of newest additions. All of which suggests that I may not be as good-looking as I think I am. But I digress. I am also a member of one of the sets whose barristers feature on the list. These barristers have taken all of this in impressively good humour. I'm not sure though whether this is a sufficient answer to a few concerns.

    The (initially) non-consensual (as I understand it) aspect of posting the photos worries me and I wonder whether the website owners are going to apply the same approach to the list of female barristers.

    Also, I'm not aware of any male barristers having asked to be removed (or their prior consent to posting being obtained). I hope that if any barrister did ask to be removed that such a request would be treated with the respect it deserves (and a complete absence of snarky comments from the women running the website).

    The other thing that amuses me is the insistence that the website owners maintain their anonymity. For me, that is the aspect of the enterprise that raises issues of bullying (albeit in a very light touch manner).

    But what most worries me is what I fear will happen when the "female" lists are published. I confidently expect the tone of comments to take a sharp turn towards the misogynistic. I believe that's what tends to happen in a world where, arguably, there is already a hugely disproportionate emphasis on perceived "hotness" (or lack thereof) of women in a way that sometimes characterises them as objects of desire, first, and not individuals who ought to be allowed to succeed on their own merit alone (and compare this with the treatment of men in similar positions). I like the website and I think the authors are witty and write well but I'm not sure that its further development promises to be a such pleasant experience.

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  • Can we have one for Solicitors?

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  • If you have ever made a judgment on whether someone is attractive or not, then you have absolutely no right to moan or complain as something so trivial as this hotness table that was put together. Those people complaining about it stink of the middle class dilemmas discussed round some Islington dinner party by people who love the smell of their own farts.

    I am a bloke with a legal education. I have no qualms whatsoever with Hot Male Barrister. In fact, I looked and thought 'he's actually not that hot, don't care what charity work he does'. If you can not have a jovial laugh, you are boring and it is best we don't meet in a pub because I prefer people not to have stuffy personalities that are about as interesting as a wet carrot.

    Sometimes I think people in the legal profession think that they are somehow better than other people. We are not. Our poo smells as much as the next person's. Personally, I suggest Charlotte Harris takes up advocacy work at the Bar if she hasn't done so already, she gets my vote. Hot stuff.

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  • I couldn't agree with Quasimodo more. The problem with extending this approach to women (barristers, or other professionals for that matter) is that for decades women have been hired, or not hired, on the basis of their appearance, and it has taken an inordinately long time to change that approach. Indeed it has not entirely gone away. Men have not hitherto, usually, been subject to having the same emphasis applied to how attractive, or unattractive, they are, and so it is much easier to treat this present list of "hot" men as the joke it is intended to be. Indeed, part of the joke is that it somewhat levels the playing field as between the way men and women have historically been regarded. If it is extended to the 20 "hottest" female lawyers, whilst it will no doubt flatter those who are included, I fear that it will be a retrograde step in the fight against women lawyers being regarded by reference to their looks rather than their brains. I started practice in the era when that was the case, and I would not want to return there.

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  • I have to agree with Quasimodo's comments. The "hot male" list can be a light-hearted subject simply because men's looks are not something they have to spend a lot of time or effort worrying about. Not so for women; and this can have a negative psychological impact on many women, as well as the time and effort involved.

    I'm all for people taking care of themselves and their appearance, but how liberating it would be if women had the same level of pressure in relation to their looks as men do (i.e. not much).

    In that sense, the "hot female barrister' list is, in the words of the song, just another brick in the wall.

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  • Why not one for Judges?

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  • If you do not take issue with a "hot male" list, you cannot in a fair and equal society subsequently take issue with a "hot female" list. A fair and equal society either accepts both or neither, it does not apply different standards depending upon gender. Is that not what we have always wanted?

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  • It's a joke, people - rather an amusing one at that. Man up and let your hair down. Looking forward to some more amusement from that blog.

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