Julie Bindel Julie Bindel

The interview that exposed the ridiculousness of trans ideology 

Emma Barnett (Photo: BBC)

On hearing that a trans-woman, the activist Steph Richards, was to be appointed CEO of an endometriosis charity, many feminists rolled our eyes, wondering if parody was dead.   

There has been huge pushback against appointing a biological male as head of an organisation concerned with women’s gynaecological health, for obvious reasons. Many newspapers covered the issue, and I figured this would be one of those moments that might convince sceptics or even the ‘trans-women are women’ crew that this has all gone way too far. 

When it was announced that Steph, along with Jodie Hughes, founder of Endometriosis South Coast and the Chair of Trustees (who appointed Steph to the role) would be on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour this morning, I was delighted. Emma Barnett is an excellent journalist, forensic in her questioning, and always meticulously prepared.  

Not everyone was quite as pleased as I was, though. There has been some criticism of Barnett since her appointment for not nailing her colours to the mast and coming out as full throttle ‘gender critical’. But surely what we need from any of our flagship presenters and reporters is the ability to scrutinise arguments, and expose inconsistencies and hypocrisy?  

Barnett was as ever a consummate professional in the way that she interviewed both Steph and Jodie, picking up on the wild claims made by both. She gave them both a chance to speak and to put their points across. As Jodie became more and more angry and less articulate in response to being questioned as to her choice of CEO, Barnett challenged some of her claims.  

In short, Jodie pretty much denied that endometriosis is specifically a ‘women’s problem’ or that it is necessary to have a womb to suffer from it. She said that members of the charity’s support group were all happy with the appointment, but did not commit to doing any polling to find out what they really think. 

Unsurprisingly, the question of whether it was fair and appropriate for a biological male to head up a women’s health charity was central to the interview. When Steph retorted, ‘Should the CEO of Shelter live in a tent?’, Barnett pointed out that women’s health was entirely different.

She then asked Steph: would you accept a non-trans-person taking on a role as head of a transgender charity? Steph said ‘yes’ but added that there were ‘hardly any’ trans organisations. My favourite moment was when Steph used the example of Stonewall having previously been led by Nancy Kelly, who is not trans. Barnett pointed out that Stonewall is not meant to be a trans organisation. But the damage was done; it is clear that some trans people think Stonewall is. Many lesbians and gay men have been shouting into the void about this for some time. 

Barnett raised Steph’s trans activisim and use of the word Terf – which most would consider a misogynistic slur. Steph’s response? Some ‘embrace’ the term as ‘something really positive’.

Had the dissenters got their way and managed to get Steph and Jodie cancelled from the programme we would not have heard the takedown of their crazy arguments.  

Isn’t that what public service journalism is supposed to be about? Much criticism of the BBC’s coverage of the trans issue is both fair and necessary. A number of feminists who speak out against transgender ideology, including myself, are informally blacklisted from a number of BBC programmes and platforms. Coverage is not balanced, and is often unfair, or even misleading. But having listened to the endometriosis segment, I don’t only want to praise Barnett for doing a top-notch professional job – I also wish to thank Steph and Jodie for exposing the Orwellian nature of their own arguments. 

Some women I respect and admire are very critical of the fact that feminists such as myself were not invited onto the programme to expose the ridiculousness of their arguments. I disagree. No one could have made the pair look more ridiculous.