In the wake of sex scandals that have rocked the British charity, an Oxfam staff training document says “privileged white women” are supporting the root causes of sexual violence by wanting “bad men” imprisoned.
The Telegraph reports that the four-week ‘learning journey’ 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”.
The PowerPoint recommends staff read Me Not You: The Trouble with Mainstream Feminism, a book by Alison Phipps, a professor of gender studies at Sussex University.
It then links to the academic’s Twitter account, including 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.”
Alison Phipps told MailOnline today:
“I can’t comment on the Oxfam training materials as I haven’t seen them, but my book is grounded in a long tradition of feminist thought and politics that sees criminal punishment as part of the problem and not the solution… I would never tell a survivor of sexual violence what to do, but I would like us to have better choices than criminal punishment, media exposure, or silence.”
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. Read more…