Be womankind?

Written by
Andrew Papworth
Added
May 14, 2013

Oxfam finally seem to have lost it with this advert for international women’s day. To quote a few clichés:

’They can’t be serious.’
‘It’s political correctness gone mad.’
‘They must have more money than sense.’

Apart from the fact that I believe that it is a dereliction of duty to run a hearts-and-minds advert like this without including a powerful ask for support (a web address asking viewers to ‘celebrate with us’ doesn’t count), the message in this ad is sheer divisive, sententious garbage which risks setting back the cause of women’s rights by at least half a century.

It is particularly ironic that such simplistic drivel should come from an organisation which has ‘Be Humankind’ as its tagline. Surely humankind has got beyond the stage where it is necessary to disparage men in order to argue for women? Is this advert meant to imply that men won’t tell their friends how to fish, how to start a business and mend villages given the right support and leadership? Note also that it says nothing about teaching her children, just that ‘she’ll teach her friends’, presumably because that would be stereotyping women as mothers. To quote that great philosopher Victor Meldrew*, ‘I don’t belieeeeve it’.

*Victor Meldrew is the grumpy old man in the UK’s sitcomOne Foot in the Grave.

About the author: Andrew Papworth

Andrew Papworth

After a long career in advertising agencies, Andrew Papworth has been freelancing as an advertising and communications planner for about two decades.

Recent Articles

I’m a fundraiser because…

Being a fundraiser is more than just a job for Ask Direct founder and leading Irish fundraiser Damian O’Broin.

Read more

Do you have the answer to the donor consent issue? Here’s a behavioural scientist’s perspective

Asking for your donors’ consent about when and how to contact them is a hot topic right now. Where do you stand?

Read more

Congratulations to friend of SOFII Lyndall Stein!

Lyndall Stein, a legend among fundraisers and activists, deservedly won the Lifetime Contribution Award at the 2017 National Fundraising Awards.

Read more

Serve or inspire? That is the question

Inspire is often a misused word in the fundraising world but it is not just a way of recruiting and even retaining donors. Inspiration can go much, much further.

Read more

What the gender pay gap is – and what it isn’t

In the wake of the furore around pay at the BBC, experienced fundraiser Beverley Callaghan says it's time to clear up the confusion around the gender pay gap, and how this affects the voluntary sector.

Read more

Also in Categories