Be womankind?

Written by
Andrew Papworth
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

SOFII’s best of the best showcase - introduction and contents

This showcase collates all the greatest fundraising campaigns currently on SOFII. Be prepared to be inspired and amazed by the very best fundraising ever. And you can suggest other appeals or projects that resonated with you as well.

Read more

NSPCC’s Full Stop campaign - a fundraising triumph. Part six: after the appeal

Giles Pegram CBE analyses the aftermath of the Full Stop campaign and pays tribute to the donors and volunteers who were crucial in making it such a successful and ground-breaking appeal.

Read more

Latest lightbulb moments

Here’s news of the latest 32 ‘lightbulb moments’ short videos just going live on SOFII . Plus, we’ve just posted two more ‘context-setting’ videos too.

Read more

Chinese take away: reinventing fundraising in the People's Republic of China

Daryl Upsall looks at the innovations being made in Chinese fundraising, notably how NGOs, working with corporate businesses and the latest technology are having huge impacts in mass digital communications.

Read more

NSPCC’s Full Stop campaign - a fundraising triumph. Part five: recognition and consolidation

The Full Stop appeal itself was only one chapter in the story of this groundbreaking campaign, as Giles Pegram reveals how the NSPCC ensured its donors were properly recognised and its success in the appeal was consolidated.

Read more

Also in Categories