Oxfam hounded by gender critical activists over ‘TERF’ cartoon

Oxfam Pride Month video

Oxfam has deleted a Pride month cartoon from its social media channels following a gender-critical backlash.

The international charity shared the video as part of its Pride month campaign, #ProtectThePride, which focused on the continued lack of safety for LGBTQ+ communities around the world. 

Created by Falana Films, a Bangalore-based, women-led studio, the minute-long cartoon looked at the various ways queer people are denied basic human rights, as well as the means by which people can protect and champion safety for LGBTQ+ communities. 

The video became the source of criticism for showing a character wearing a TERF badge alongside two other characters, meant to represent the hate groups that attack LGBTQ+ communities online and offline. 

Several people on social media claimed the badge-wearer looked like author JK Rowling. 

The video was subsequently removed by Oxfam, citing “concerns raised”.

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An edited version of the video was later re-shared, claiming it “made a mistake”.

“We have therefore edited the video to remove the term TERF and we are sorry for the offence it caused,” Oxfam wrote, while insisting it believes “all people” should be able to “live a life free from discrimination”.

While the original was live, gender-critical activists made the leap from the anti-poverty charity supporting LGBTQ+ communities during Pride month to somehow “promoting double mastectomies to children”.

Several people called for the Charity Commission to investigate, with others suggesting a boycott of the charity and claiming they would no longer donate to it. 

Kathleen Stock, who was recently quoted as saying people with so-called ‘gender critical’ beliefs “have the right to offend” said she was “shocked” by the video.

This is not the first time Oxfam has come under scrutiny for its LGBTQ+-inclusive stance.

In March, the 81-year-old charity became the centre of anti-trans anger after it published a guide for its staff and volunteers on how to use inclusive language. 

Oxfam’s Inclusive Language Guide was developed by the charity and compiled with feedback from specialist organisations, who work with marginalised communities. 

The 92-page toolkit offers advice on how to engage with different groups of people staff and volunteers might come into contact with, including those with a disability, sex workers and the LGBTQ+ community.  

It included information about the use of gender-neutral language in certain situations, which anti-trans activists slammed as “woke” and “erasing” the concept of mothers and fathers. 

Oxfam stood by the guide, telling PinkNews it will not “succeed in tackling poverty by excluding marginalised groups”. 

A spokesperson for the charity said: “This guide is not prescriptive, it is intended to help authors communicate with the diverse range of people with [whom] we work.  

“We are disappointed that some people have decided to misrepresent the advice offered in the guide which clearly states that authors should respect the desires of those who want to be described as a mother or father.”

In 2021, the charity was accused of withdrawing a Wonder Women bingo game from sale, with some falsely claiming this was because it included Rowling. 

In fact, trans and non-binary Oxfam workers had approached senior management to notify them that the game deadnamed actor Elliot Page.