In the wake of sex scandals that have rocked the charity, Oxfam has produced guidance which states that: “Mainstream feminism centres on privileged white women and demands that ‘bad men’ be fired or imprisoned”.
Accompanied by a cartoon of a crying white woman, it adds that this “legitimises criminal punishment, harming black and other marginalised people”.
It advises staff to read a controversial book which concludes: “Mainstream feminism is supporting, not undoing, the root causes of sexual violence.”
Oxfam said that the training was voluntary, and the views are not presented as its own but designed to help staff understand the issues.
However, the charity was warned on Wednesday night that the document, compiled by its LGBT network and seen by The Telegraph, could breach equality laws as it suggests reporting rape is “contemptible”.|
The four-week “learning journey” recommends that staff read Me Not You: The Trouble with Mainstream Feminism, a book by Alison Phipps, a professor of gender studies at the University of Sussex.
Summarising the book’s central premise, the Oxfam document says white feminists need to ask themselves whether they are causing harm when they fight sexual violence.
It then links to Prof Phipps’s Twitter account and a thread which summarises the main themes of the book, including: “White feminist tears deploy white woundedness, and the sympathy it generates, to hide the harms we perpetuate through white supremacy.”
Naomi Cunningham, a discrimination and employment law barrister, says the document may breach the Equality Act, which bans harassment in the workplace on the basis of sex.
“The message seems to be that a woman who reports a rape or sexual assault to the police and presses charges is a contemptible ‘white feminist’,” said Ms Cunningham. “I think any woman could make an arguable case that this has created or contributed to ‘an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment’, which is how the Equality Act defines harassment.”
Learning About Trans Rights and Inclusion was drawn up in 2020, whilst Oxfam was still reeling from sexual exploitation scandals in Haiti and Chad.
The charity suffered further blows in April this year, when a female aid worker quit alleging that there was a “toxic culture” and her sexual harassment complaint had been ignored, and it faced separate allegations of sexual misconduct in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The training manual was written after the charity’s LGBT+ network wrote to the leadership team demanding that they publicly support trans people and suggested that any debate about rights was part of a “patriarchal and white supremacist narrative” used by the far right.
The letter called for specific resources to be made available, adding: “To argue that trans-inclusivity would undermine the vital work we do for women and girls is not only transphobic, but also perpetuates the white saviour complex that assumes that we know best for the people we work with.”
It says that it is “transphobic” to question whether men who identify as women could pose a threat to women and the fact that debates around identity continue among staff is exposing queer employees to “harm”.
The strategic leadership team responded saying that there “is no place in Oxfam for transphobia”.
The document produced in the wake of the complaint tells staff that protecting single-sex spaces for women has “contributed to transphobia and undermining of trans rights”.
It says the charity stands “firmly against” any attempt to exclude trans women, adding in an “important context note”: “Oxfam stands actively against any implication that the realization of trans rights and inclusion poses a threat to creating a safe environment for all.”
Oxfam staff training document blames privileged white women
Daily Mail 10 June 2021
A lawyer today accused Oxfam of suggesting reporting rape is ‘contemptible’ after a training document said ‘privileged white women’ were supporting the ‘root causes of sexual violence’ for wanting offenders jailed because it disproportionately affects minorities.
The charity, which has been hit by a slew of sex scandals including claims that employees used teenage prostitutes in Haiti, compiled the PowerPoint presentation through its LGBT network after the group complained to bosses that the debate about women’s rights was part of a ‘patriarchal and white supremacist narrative’.
Accompanied by a cartoon of a crying white woman, the PowerPoint claims that mainstream feminism supports ‘the root causes of sexual violence’ by painting white women as ‘victims’ and that this in turn justifies excessive punishment for ‘black and other marginalised people’.
Naomi Cunningham, a discrimination and employment law barrister, said the training – which uses extracts from a book written by Sussex University gender studies professor Alison Phipps – had shocking implications.
‘The message seems to be that a woman who reports a rape or sexual assault to the police and presses charges is a contemptible ”white feminist”,’ she told The Telegraph.
She added: ‘I think any woman could make an arguable case that this has created or contributed to ”an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment”, which is how the Equality Act defines harassment.’
READ MORE: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9671555/Oxfam-staff-training-document-blames-privileged-white-women.html