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It’s not transphobic to question endometriosis charity’s new CEO

Endometriosis South Coast's new CEO, Steph Richards. Credit: Steph Richards

November 15, 2023 - 7:00am

When Endometriosis South Coast announced the appointment of a trans woman as its CEO, the message to women was clear: “object to this, bigots! Go on, we dare you!”

It felt like trolling, because that’s what it is. For several years trans activists have told us that our female bodies have nothing to do with whether or not we are women. Hence we are bleeders, gestators, cervix owners and the like. We have objected to this dehumanisation, and now here’s the response: “Oh, so you wanted a woman in charge of a women’s health issue? Here you go! What’s that? It’s the wrong sort of woman? Honestly, no pleasing some people.”

The appointment is cruel, and those behind it will be perfectly aware of the hurt it will have caused. Nevertheless, those who are offended will be expected to suffer in silence. It’s particularly poignant, given the history of endometriosis, and the way in which it has been coloured by a lack of interest in female experiences and the devaluation of female pain. 

I am aware, of course, of the way in which the appointment of Steph Richards is being defended. One does not need to suffer personally from a disease in order to treat it. One does not have to have given birth to be a midwife, or to have a vagina to be a gynaecologist. But being the head of an endometriosis charity is not the same sort of thing. Women’s healthcare campaigning is political, and it’s political because women’s bodies have been so badly neglected by science and medicine. 

And why have our bodies been neglected? Because men have insisted that their idea of what women are trumps our own embodied realities. Because gender is a construct, they tell us, and they will construct us as they see fit: as helpmeets, as gestational vessels, as privileged cis ladies. Never as human beings with internal experiences which have nothing to do with them.  

Right now, we know far less about endometriosis than we might if it were something that happened to men. As Elinor Cleghorn points out in Unwell Women, it remains “one of the most frequently misdiagnosed, misunderstood and medically stigmatised chronic diseases”:

Sufferers today wait an average of seven and a half years from first reporting their symptoms to receive a correct diagnosis. There is still no cure.
- Elinor Cleghorn, Unwell Women

Cleghorn notes that prejudice regarding femaleness and femininity has led to sufferers being mistreated and bullied by the medical profession. “One ignorant misbelief,” she writes, “has held fast: endometriosis is a punishment for women who dare to deviate from the biological imperatives and social duties marked ‘female’.” It’s yet another story of women being told that what they believe their bodies are going through doesn’t matter. Femininity must define them, or else. 

In such a context, forgive me — and many other women — for being less than impressed when a charity for endo sufferers considers it appropriate to put a trans activist at its helm. The pain of sufferers is intimately connected to the prioritisation of male perceptions of womanhood at the expense of women’s own. A movement in which male people compare their penises to miscarried foetuses or describe “the asshole” as “a kind of universal vagina through which femaleness can always be accessed” prioritises these perceptions more than most. 

What’s especially grotesque about the Endometriosis South Coast appointment is that the women who complain are being portrayed as bullies. Don’t women know how unfeminine it is to voice their pain? As in women’s healthcare, so in the politics of women’s healthcare. Suck it up, uterus-owners.


Victoria Smith is a writer and creator of the Glosswitch newsletter.

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N Satori
NS
N Satori
5 months ago

All part of the Transgender activist strategy aimed at making sure there is no such thing as a ‘no-go’ area for them. A callous insult to the women who suffer from Endometriosis. No merit whatsoever in the politically motivated appointment which will serve only to alienate those who actually sufferer from the condition.

Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
5 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

This is a very small charity founded by a woman who has endometriosis and the trustees are women with endometriosis. The founder who is writing a PhD on the subject happens to be also a woke woman who is signed up to trans ideology and referred to herself as cis on Women’s Hour when she was being interviewed. She also happened to know the trans woman socially and thought he would be able to relieve her of some of the burden of administration and he was appointed with the agreement of the other female trustees.

It has certainly garnered publicity for the charity and it is too early judge whether the outcome overall will be positive. The principal problem is not really that the trans woman can’t do the job perfectly well despite not being a woman it is more that as a trans activist he is likely to distract from the main issue by the use of trans terminology but it was clear in the interview that the founder is fully lined up to referring to people with endometriosis rather than women so there has been no fundamental change of policy. It might be a policy that irritates some but that is the line the founder and her trustees wish to take. It is really not a big deal and I speak as someone who depreciates the whole trans ideology and terminology. It is not some patriarchal plot to do women down just the idiosyncratic choice of a woman and her fellow trustees.

N Satori
NS
N Satori
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Are you saying that the provocative nature of the appointment is just incidental?

Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
5 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Yes, this is effectively a woke woman’s Charity. In her view her friend is the ideal candidate. We have to accept there are lots of woke women. It is pointless getting worked up over the idiosyncratic decision taken in a small charity. Whether her decision is positive or negative for the charity has yet to be seen. If it attracts more funds of woke donors who might not have heard of the charity previously and does not put off anti-woke donors who might previously have donated to a greater extent it will have achieved a positive outcome.

Last edited 5 months ago by Jeremy Bray
Adrian Smith
AS
Adrian Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

She has already created significant awareness for the disease nationally and put ESC, which really is a tin pot charity virtually nobody has ever heard of, on the map. Whether that was the intention when she was appointed is unclear, but that is an indisputable outcome.
It is a massive storm in a teacup which paints feminists in a very bad light, but will all be chip paper next week, unless Steph decides to ignite it all again by stepping down claiming to have been hounded out by transphobes – activists on both sides are excellent at playing the victim.

Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

Indeed the total income of the charity last financial year was £8,400 and the year before around £3,000. This is not some great cultural issue. Those commenting on it adversely should get a grip. Anyone who has seen my previous posts regarding trans issues will know I am no friend of trans ideology but downvoting information that puts this brouhaha in context is merely pathetic.

Adrian Smith
AS
Adrian Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

It is fairly clear from the voting that most on here cannot tell the difference between opposing trans ideology and transphobia – great news for the trans ideologues as that really helps their cause.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

Yes the rant by Victoria Smith might have been understandable in the context of a large charity dealing with a woman’s medical issue where a woman was rejected in favour of a trans woman as CEO by a board of predominantly men but simply makes no sense in the context of a tiny basically one woman and friends Charity who appoints someone she knows who just happens to be trans. You can be pretty certain there wasn’t any eager competition for this unpaid job and that it had nothing to do with sending a message to women despite the fact that the woman concerned is clearly on board with trans ideology.

All the hysterical blowback about a woman’s decision to ask a trans woman for help with her tiny charity will only convince her and others that transphobia is indeed alive and well.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

I am unapologetically transphobic or whatever you want to call it.

Dumetrius
D
Dumetrius
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Thanks for the information. Agreed, small charities are often very idiosyncratic places, reflecting the founder’s views and experiences.

If it were some large charity, connected to systems of preferment and patronage, the motivating factors would be likely to be different and there might be more justification in interpreting it in the context of broader social issues.

Last edited 5 months ago by Dumetrius
Jerry Carroll
JC
Jerry Carroll
5 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

A poke in the eye is still a poke in the eyes despite the most clever rationalization.

Dumetrius
D
Dumetrius
5 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Carroll

It’s just the truth, Jerry. No need for the big words.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Would you think that a man (aka trans woman) running an Edinburgh rape center, who calls women who have been raped by a man and don’t want a man present when they talk about their rapes, bigots, is okay? Are women just being hysterical? It is just one rape center who is run by a man so what’s the big deal? Would it be okay if I, a woman, was the CEO of a prostate cancer organization? I think not.

Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
5 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Two issues there. I certainly think it is not bigoted for a woman not to wish to talk in the presence of a man (trans woman) about her rape and it would be barmy to appoint a trans woman to run such a centre. So far we are in agreement.

However, as a man, I would have no issue in a woman running a prostate cancer organisation provided, of course, that she was focused on the work of that organisation and not on some weird feminist agenda that didn’t advance the cause of fighting prostate cancer. As it happens last time I had a consultant check out my prostate for possible cancerous growths it was done by a woman. Some might have been uncomfortable but I was happy to assume she knew her job and her own lack of a prostate was not an issue for me. This is far more intimate than any CEO would be involved with prostate cancer.

Would you reject a male gynaecologist treating you and if so would that be for religious reasons or some other objection to men doing the job? You don’t, of course, have to answer if it makes you uncomfortable. I am just curious as to why you feel a woman could not be the CEO of a prostate cancer organisation if she was otherwise competent and committed.

Victoria Cooper
VC
Victoria Cooper
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Don’t understand the down-ticks.

Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
5 months ago

Indeed, if it was some trans woman being appointed CEO of an important woman’s issue Charity in preference to a woman I should probably get lots of upvotes for my post deploring the woke motivated choice, but simply pointing out that this was the case of a woke woman appointing a mate to her tiny £8,400 income charity and so scarcely a cause for major hysteria garnered me down votes.

A rather poor reflection on the sense of proportion of the down voters. It does rather explain why the MSM likes to run stories ramping up hysteria rather than sober analysis. Fewer upticks for the latter.

Last edited 5 months ago by Jeremy Bray
Fran Barrett
FB
Fran Barrett
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

What a very plausible argument: ‘we needed an admin assistant but accidentally put CEO on the job description’.
Would need to read the Trust Deed, are the Trustees fulfilling their fiduciary duties? Are idiosyncratic choices part of their remit?

Tyler Durden
TD
Tyler Durden
5 months ago

The UK in 2023 is an absolute disaster to the point where the chaos in its politics emulates the anarchy generated by this notorious left-liberal culture that has been inculcated over the last 10 years.
But what’s most sad is that insulting women, or being grossly insensitive to those of 40s, has become a kind of sport also passing as an ideological purity test.

Marcus Leach
ML
Marcus Leach
5 months ago

Why on Earth is the author using the silly made up concepts and language of a group of insane ideologues?
Endometriosis South Coast have appointed a man; a biological male.

Courtney Maloney
CM
Courtney Maloney
5 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Endometriosis South Coast have appointed a man.

Full stop. The end.

Roxanne Deslongchamps
Roxanne Deslongchamps
5 months ago

In this specific case, it does matter that the man appointed pretends to be a woman. That is adding insult to injury.

Adrian Smith
AS
Adrian Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

A biological male who by virtue of having a GRC is legally female and by virtue of having spent £30k on surgery has breasts and a vagina, but no uterus, Fallopian tubes or ovaries.
All facts and all totally irrelevant to whether or not she can do the job.

Glynis Roache
GR
Glynis Roache
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

I would dispute that what he has is structurally identical to a vagina. So no, not a fact.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

It kind of does matter. If someone is confused about concepts as simple as man and woman, what else might they be confused about?

Marcus Leach
ML
Marcus Leach
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

A man with a piece of paper, a mutilated body and a bad wig is still a man. Biological sex is binary and immutable.
I did not say anything the individuals competence to do the job. My objection is to conspiring in the absurd fiction of gender identity and gender ideology in general.

Carol Staines
CS
Carol Staines
5 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Man, Martian, woman, if the job is being done effectively and the issue gaining support, I really don’t care.

Marcus Leach
ML
Marcus Leach
5 months ago
Reply to  Carol Staines

Jodie Hughes, founder of Endometriosis South Coast and the Chair of Trustees who appointed Richards was on Woman’s Hour today.
In the interview she denied that endometriosis is specifically a ‘women’s problem’ or that it is necessary to have a womb to suffer from it.
Richard’s was also interviewed and taken to task on his previous attacks on “Terfs”.
When the person who recruited Richards denies basic medical truth, and Richards has shown animus to the millions of women who refuse to play along with the silly fictions of gender ideology, I think that is more than sufficient evidence that both individuals are unfit for their positions.

Last edited 5 months ago by Marcus Leach
Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
5 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

I heard the interview and while it helped me to understand that this was just a woke woman appointing someone she knew to be CEO of her tiny charity and so the brouhaha was entirely uncalled for their answers did not inspire me to send any money to this tiny charity as I really had no idea what they would do with it. To say they were unfit for their positions rather exaggerates the importance of their positions don’t you think?

Aphrodite Rises
AR
Aphrodite Rises
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

You might like to read Jo Bortusch’s current article in spiked on the topic.

Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
5 months ago

Thanks Aphrodite I now have read her article which confirms the impression I gained from the Woman’s Hour interview that Richards was an exasperating trans activist (is there any other sort) and an unsuitable CEO of a significant Charity.

The point I have attempted to make is that treating his appointment by the woke founder of this insignificant Charity as a matter to fulminate about and write hysterical articles about and waste Radio 4 airtime on shows a complete lack of a sense of proportion. Lots of insignificant unpleasant idiots get given trivial appointments by ideological mates and the right thing to do is is not to give them the oxygen of publicity they crave. Certainly not to big the whole incident up as if it had some serious cultural significance.
Otherwise it just makes those who oppose trans activists and their supporters look like hysterical idiot activists themselves.

Aphrodite Rises
AR
Aphrodite Rises
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I see it very differently from you Jeremy, for me it is not about numbers but about principles and precedents.

Last edited 5 months ago by Aphrodite Rises
Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
5 months ago

As a cynical old lawyer I usually find that when someone intends to do something as a matter of principle it usually means there are no actual good reasons to do it. As for precedent – another legal concept – lower courts or tiddler charities don’t set precedents.

Aphrodite Rises
AR
Aphrodite Rises
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

By setting a precedent, I mean it is setting the situation up as normal, the fringe is being brought into the centre. There is no such thing as society when the fringe has become central, society has completely broken down. As for cynicism, I am extremely cynical as to why a man who believes he’s a woman wants to associate himself with actual women’s uteruses, albeit obliquely. My experience tells me there are trans women fetishising women’s bodily functions and keen to insert themselves in places where they can indulge their fetishs. I am saddened to hear your experience of life has been so negative you have never met anyone who acts on principle.

Last edited 5 months ago by Aphrodite Rises
David Morley
DM
David Morley
5 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

the author using the silly made up concepts and language of a group of insane ideologues?

Which ones?

John Lammi
JL
John Lammi
5 months ago

This (gay) clinical psychologist says that there is no gender’. There are personality traits. There are 2 sexes. No one is trans ’. Autogynephilia and autism are real

Dougie Undersub
DU
Dougie Undersub
5 months ago
Reply to  John Lammi

No gender? Try telling that to a German noun.

Aphrodite Rises
AR
Aphrodite Rises
5 months ago

Or even a nun.

Glynis Roache
Glynis Roache
5 months ago

I think confusion arises because of a change in common usage of the word gender. In med schools in the sixties/seventies it was interchangeable with the word sex ie biological sex. As Mr Lammi does, I now interpret its current usage to mean the variety of ways one’s biological sex is expressed ie one’s personality. That’s why there are many
genders. But only two sexes – with due deference to unfortunate but rare chromosomal/hormonal problems.

.

Last edited 5 months ago by Glynis Roache
Aphrodite Rises
AR
Aphrodite Rises
5 months ago
Reply to  Glynis Roache

In England, in 1974, official forms used sex, by 1980, sex had been replaced by gender. It was political not scientific. Obviously the result of campaigning. The confusion was created by feminists. It’s a case of unforeseen consequences. Gender studies evolved out of women’s studies which started in the US in 1970. That is why both trans activists and feminism have the same underlying ideology.

Last edited 5 months ago by Aphrodite Rises
Janet G
JG
Janet G
5 months ago

Gosh ” trans activists and feminism have the same underlying ideology.” Pray tell what that same ideology is.

Aphrodite Rises
AR
Aphrodite Rises
5 months ago
Reply to  Janet G

Lot of Marxism and social constructivism. Kind of pick and mix. Anything which supports their cause in the moment. If you can be bothered to research it, don’t expect any coherence or consistency. You will find contradictions, unnecessary jargon, slogans and buzzwords aplenty, which is to be expected when there is no underlying substance and the intention is indoctrination and the creation of propaganda: truth is not something sought but frequently an inconvenience to be smothered.

Last edited 5 months ago by Aphrodite Rises
Katja Sipple
KS
Katja Sipple
5 months ago

Agreed. It’s why I don’t want to be called a feminist. The term has been deprived of its original meaning (equality of the sexes, not sameness), and any positive connotation.

David Morley
DM
David Morley
5 months ago
Reply to  Janet G

Read Kathleen Stocks book.

David Morley
DM
David Morley
5 months ago

Finally someone with a grasp of the intellectual history.

Derek Smith
DS
Derek Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  John Lammi

I would also add Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy to your list of things that are real.

Graham Bennett
GB
Graham Bennett
5 months ago

This is outrageous! How low has Britain sunk to allow such a thing?! It’s surely a sick joke. Unless a drastic turn-around is orchestrated soon, Britain will be beyond salvation, I’m afraid.

Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
5 months ago
Reply to  Graham Bennett

This has nothing to do with England it is the choice of the female founder of a tiny (income £8,400 last year £3,000 the year before) charity choosing someone she knew to head up this insignificant fund who happened to be trans. One at present unimportant woman’s choice. All the confected outrage may, of course make her a bit more important and may attract donations she would not otherwise have received.

Aphrodite Rises
AR
Aphrodite Rises
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I think it is more likely she thinks it is cool to appoint a trans woman and demonstrate her support. She probably believes she is on the right side of history. It used to be cool to have a gay friend but amongst the progressives, transgenders are the coolest.

Last edited 5 months ago by Aphrodite Rises
Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
5 months ago

Very probably. But her tinpot Charity so her choice – and not really a good foundation for all the hysteria generated by the author and commentators, don’t you think? If it had been a woman being ousted as CEO of a major woman’s issue Charity I would be happy to fulminate about such a woke decision. But one has to have a sense of proportion.

David Morley
DM
David Morley
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

When people make a fuss over nothing, it usually means they have nothing else to make a fuss over.

Aphrodite Rises
AR
Aphrodite Rises
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I suspect it is perceived as a symptom of a disease (a mental illness being suffered by much of academia) rather than an individual case. Plus Debbie Heaton (allegedly) confessed to being sexually aroused by the idea of possessing a feminised body. I would not want a trans woman performing any intimate examination on me yet I am comfortable, or as comfortable as possible in such a situation, to be examined by a man.

Last edited 5 months ago by Aphrodite Rises
Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
5 months ago

Quite understand your discomfort but, of course, the CEO (grand title for a position of little importance) of this tiny charity is not going to be performing any intimate examination as part of their job.

Aphrodite Rises
AR
Aphrodite Rises
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I am uncomfortable with the possibility of a trans woman finding the idea of his own feminised form sexually attractive being involved in a charity whose focus is women’s reproductive organs. To me it seems highly inappropriate as does trans women promoting tampons or taking drugs for chest feeding. There has been too much public fetishising of female bodily functions by trans women.

Last edited 5 months ago by Aphrodite Rises
Katja Sipple
KS
Katja Sipple
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I understand your point although I don’t agree with you in this case. You write yourself “One at present unimportant woman’s choice.” What happens when this woman is no longer unimportant? History is full of examples where seemingly unimportant people made decisions which proved to have disastrous and lasting consequences. Whilst I worry about the now, I also worry about tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.

Last edited 5 months ago by Katja Sipple
Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
5 months ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

This Charity would have remained unknown to the public at large absent the current hysteria and publicity generated by this appointment. Every angry denunciation makes it more likely the Charity might become important.

Lennon Ó Náraigh
L
Lennon Ó Náraigh
5 months ago

There is a lot of misogyny in the TRA movement. But there is some misandry among the gender-crits. The idea that some diseases would be fixed if they affected only men is nonsense. There are lots of diseases out there that affect only men and research into them is under-funded. Think prostate cancer funding versus breast-cancer funding. I’m not saying that research split is right or wrong, but it is what it is.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
5 months ago

Some of these these trans chaps are almost unbelievably misogynistic and feminists refuse to address who supports them: a very large minority of women. Not men, not even leftwing men (!) but their peers: middle class, university educated, progressive women. Are they going to write articles dissecting how and why such women support this stuff? It would make for uncomfortable reading, but one hopes out there in Terflandia it’s already happening.

Shrunken Genepool
SG
Shrunken Genepool
5 months ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

This is true. And it is also true that gender critical feminists such as the wonderful Kathleen Stock and Helen Joyce have done great work BUT have completely failed to address the elephant in the room – which is that feminism BIRTHED this movement. From Rousseau onwards, all the revolutionary left movements have assumed and celebrated the complete malleability of human nature; denying any kind of constraints…..what Thomas Sowell calls the ‘unconstrained vision’. Feminism was a massive part of this. The absolute rejection of biological constraints, evolved behaviours/roles, psychological differences….and of course certainly the central idea of Aristotelian/Christian notions of natural law and original sin….The idea that we ARE constrained, and working with the structure and grain of that constraint is the path to societal and individual health (or divinity). Feminism and transhumanism were part of the same agenda until men started pretending to me women

Benedict Waterson
BW
Benedict Waterson
5 months ago

Exactly, gender ideology is just an extreme form of the prevailing liberal blank slatism.
Although, I wouldn’t want to denigrate all forms of political feminism as being purely ideological, and lacking practical application for women’s interests. For example, the current ‘TERF’ politics has a pragmatic role in protecting vulnerable women from new ideological trends.
But this is why writers like Harrington and Stock are more interesting and relevant than someone like Bindel.

Aphrodite Rises
AR
Aphrodite Rises
5 months ago

I was going to make that point. What the author is doing is pulling the victim card, using the same strategy as trans activists because contemporary feminism has the same underlying ideology.

Last edited 5 months ago by Aphrodite Rises
Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
5 months ago

Yeh the gender ideology stuff is just liberal progressivism eating itself, but liberal feminist ‘TERF’s don’t go the whole distance and question their own beliefs. If it wasn’t for this recent ideological split they would still be volubly supporting someone like Judith Butler, and advising ignorant men to read her.

Shrunken Genepool
SG
Shrunken Genepool
5 months ago

yep

David Morley
David Morley
5 months ago

Spot on. And conservative men on here (currently backing the TERF side) – indeed most men – would be in the cross hairs.

David Morley
DM
David Morley
5 months ago

To be fair, there is some self questioning going on – by KS for example. But it’s not clear yet whether this is genuine self reflection or just an attempt to erase the bits of their ideology with unanticipated trans consequences.

For the rest, most of the feminists on here don’t seem so much to disagree with the portrayal of feminist history, as to be completely ignorant of it!

I guess they are just the placard bearers and t shirt wearers of yesteryear who now have time on their hands.

Shrunken Genepool
SG
Shrunken Genepool
5 months ago

yep

Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
5 months ago

Agree with you there and happy to add to my tally of down votes Aphrodite.

Katja Sipple
KS
Katja Sipple
5 months ago

I have no idea why people downvote this comment. It’s true, and you get an uptick from me.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
5 months ago

Funding for breast cancer research has increased dramatically because thousands women demanded it . Breast cancer researchers had more money and women breathing down their necks. In other words women organized and got corporations to spread the word for donations. Why can’t men do the same?

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
5 months ago

I’m a bigot apparently, and I’m transphobic if that means I fear the activists and the ideology and think 99% of it is social contagion. And yes this is a BS decision

Andrea X
AA
Andrea X
5 months ago

I would like to ask the author (sorry for the trolling) why she avoids the use of pronouns when talking about trans women. This is the third article on unheard where she does that (admittedly, this one is less obvious than the previous ones as she barely mentions Richards).

On the matter at hand, I would ask whoever appointed Richards why they did it. From what I understand they are a bunch of women. Was there not an old fashion woman available? *Did they use Richards to get free publicity?* From what I read they approached *him* (take note, Smith), not viceversa.
For sure I had never heard of this illness, so when they talk about “endometriosis sufferers” I cannot possibly exclude that I could find myself in that group one day.

Pat Davers
PD
Pat Davers
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

I’d never heard of endometriosis either, until this latest controversy arose, which does make me wonder, whether the appointment was simply a ploy designed to generate a buzz and thereby raise awareness. It if it was, then you have to admit that it worked, sort of.
I say “sort of” because the reputational damage which it also caused may mean that the move was counter-productive in the end.

Andrea X
AA
Andrea X
5 months ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

Quite. I think the trustees (or whoever is supposed to appoint the CEO) needs to answer some questions, but nobody is asking them.
(And why on earth the downvote??)

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

In fact the founder of this tiny charity and the new CEO involved were extensively questioned on Women’s Hour despite this being a charity with an income of £8,400 on last published accounts. In other words of less significance than a one woman fish and chip shop in Hull. There are a number of other endometriosis charities of significantly more importance than this. On the individual choice of the charity’s female founder feminists like the author have built a tower of outrage in respect of patriarchal oppression as if the choice amounted to more than a tiny hill of beans.

Lesley van Reenen
LV
Lesley van Reenen
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Most women have heard of endometriosis and if you haven’t, get reading.

Adrian Smith
AS
Adrian Smith
5 months ago

It may surprise you but quite a lot of men have too. Just because you can’t directly suffer from something does not mean you can’t know or be concerned about it. Indeed both members of a couple that is desperate to have children suffer if the woman is rendered infertile by it.

Lesley van Reenen
LV
Lesley van Reenen
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

And why should she use pronouns?

Andrea X
Andrea X
5 months ago

Because they are a normal part of the speech. The author uses them as everybody would, except when it comes to trans women when the author (see why one uses pronouns?) goes through hoops to rephrase sentences in order to avoid them.

Lesley van Reenen
LV
Lesley van Reenen
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Why do you have a problem with this? It seems pretty obsessive to have tracked all her writing.

Andrea X
Andrea X
5 months ago

I noticed it some months ago for the first time. Then another article appeared and it was in the same style; now this one.
Now when I see this author I check the way the same author (no pronoun) uses pronouns.

David Morley
David Morley
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Pronouns

Does this mean you are starting to eat your own? I just love this political purity stuff. It’s so divisive. Eventually dumb political movements alienate the members with any brains – then fall to fighting amongst themselves.

Arkadian Arkadian
AA
Arkadian Arkadian
5 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Huh? I am not sure I follow.

Janet G
JG
Janet G
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Is it compulsory to use pronouns?

Andrea X
AA
Andrea X
5 months ago

Just listened to Women’s hour. It turns out that “Steph” is pally with the foundress of the charity and it was she who asked “Steph” to become CEO. I suppose it kind of makes sense as, being a very small charity, they won’t be awash with candidates.
The interesting point of that interview was when Richards was asked whether he (sorry, I can’t be bothered avoiding pronouns) would mind if a non trans person chaired a charity for trans people. Her answer was that a lot of charities do it, for example… *Stonewall* whose CEO is not trans (but the charity seems to be…).
Well, now we know. Stonewall is charity for trans people..

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
5 months ago

“Because men have insisted ….”
This is what I hate about these misandrist articles, they try to paint all men in the same bad light. I don’t know any men who have insisted “their idea of what women are trumps our own embodied realities” whatever that means!
I generally support the push back against trans activism principally from a freedom of speech perspective; I absolutely hate the idea of women being subjected to violence; I strenuously object to self harming ideologies being taught to school children and I believe the vast majority of men do too. TERFs do the cause no favours when they alienate those who should be their best supporters – decent ordinary men!

Simon S
Simon S
5 months ago

I am so sorry this is happening. It is simply monstrous.

William Cameron
WC
William Cameron
5 months ago

He is free to do whatever he chooses within the law. Does claiming to be a lady when he is a man make him a reliable safe pair of managerial hands ? Nope.

Simon Blanchard
SB
Simon Blanchard
5 months ago

The appointment is obviously bizarre (if not grotesque) but is there any reason why the organisation couldn’t be headed-up by a plain old common or garden man? I doubt that would ever have been an option.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
5 months ago

No, it couldn’t. Things are breaking down in the West because strong intelligent men are constantly being cast as villains and are barred from positions of authority. They’re being replaced by queerist psychopaths and their allies who are all-too-happy to enrich themselves as they degrade Western culture and generally making life horribly unbearable for the general citizenry.

Chipoko
C
Chipoko
5 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Men in positions of leadership are increasingly replaced by biological women. And I think you’re right: “men are “cast as villains and barred from positions of authority.”
This appointment is a gratuitous insult to genuine biological women who suffer from this egregious condition, like my daughter. There’s no reason why a man should have been appointed to this job (other than the fashionable prejudice against men generally, especially White ones); but to have inserted a so-called trans-woman into the role is offensive and calculated to be provocative.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
5 months ago
Reply to  Chipoko

Yes, it enrages the masses, which I think is part of a wider plan to break down societal cohesion.

Colorado UnHerd
Colorado UnHerd
5 months ago

Agree with the writer apart from her validating Richards, a trans-identified man, as a “transwoman.” There is one kind of female, and she’s born as such. (Why do gender-critical writers keep deferring to transactivists in the important matter of language?)
A person who never had a uterus has no business leading a charity devoted to a uterine disease, any more than a woman should be heading a prostate cancer charity. Disease is an embodied experience. Sex-specific diseases (which also have sex-specific emotional, social and cultural dimensions) cannot be fully understood by the opposite sex.
The CEO of a charity is not just an administrator but its public face. This appointment sends a clear message to women that political correctness and virtue-signaling matter more than female experience.
Suck it up, uterus-owners, indeed.

Last edited 5 months ago by Colorado UnHerd
Katja Sipple
KS
Katja Sipple
5 months ago

Thank you! I endorse every single word.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
5 months ago

Trans people are .003% of the population. The press and the rest of the left wants us to believe it is around 20% and that every hiring and social engineering decision must reflect this mad distortion.

Kate Madrid
Kate Madrid
5 months ago

It’s actually women who have told us that gender is a construct, and in that respect there is an element of something coming home to roost here. I’m Catholic, my Catholic (physician) husband is who actually figured out that I have endometriosis, not any of my female doctors. There’s a lot going on in the culture and in medicine that prevents reality based medicine for women. One of those things is the contraceptive mindset that is hell bent on using the male template as the norm for female sexual functioning. That’s not to say there is no prioritization of the male body and male concerns in medicine, it’s IS to say that contraception and its defendants have entered whole heartedly into those concerns to the detriment of health care for women.

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
5 months ago
Reply to  Kate Madrid

Haleluja

Janet G
JG
Janet G
5 months ago
Reply to  Kate Madrid

The notion of gender as a construct, referring to sex-role behaviours (rather than merely a grammatical term) was promoted by psychologist John Money, who, as far as I know, was not a feminist.

R Wright
R Wright
5 months ago
Reply to  Janet G

John Money’s theories on gender were voraciously eaten up by the feminist movement, after it was incorporated into feminist theory in Sexual Politics by Kate Millet in 1970, which is essentially the gospel of second wave feminist theory. She directly cited Money. By the end of the 1970s ‘sex’ had vanished from academic feminism and been replaced with gender identity.

David Morley
DM
David Morley
5 months ago
Reply to  Janet G

Read Kathleen Stocks book.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
5 months ago
Reply to  Janet G

Indeed not; he was a Dr. Mengele figure.

Douglas H
Douglas H
5 months ago

Thanks, Victoria – great article

R S Foster
RF
R S Foster
5 months ago

“Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad…” Let’s hope so…

Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
5 months ago

He’s now said that endomeriosis is not a gynaecological issue. Stop donating and start a new charity.

Katja Sipple
KS
Katja Sipple
5 months ago

That’s one charity I will never support. Not a single pence from me.

Carissa Horton
CH
Carissa Horton
5 months ago

If men had periods, there would also be 3-5 extra paid days off a month in case the pain is severe. But because periods don’t happen to men, the pain must not be that bad. I’m tired of women allowing men to have the run of the place where our bodies and experience are concerned.

Last edited 5 months ago by Carissa Horton
Caroline Minnear
CM
Caroline Minnear
5 months ago

Yet again, a man taking the top job in a role of CEO.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
3 months ago

I’ll just leave this bit of reality you prefer to pretend does not exist here:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5833878/

O. M.
OM
O. M.
5 months ago

First, I shared this article with somebody – feeling the need to have somebody share in my indignation. Then, I read the appointee’s response to the backlash. And they made a fair point – roughly that their experience as a political activist can serve women better on this occasion than someone else’s experience as a woman. I then deleted the message I sent, as I found myself no longer feeling conflicted about the appointment. The ironic thing is that this apparently controversial event has just increased the general public’s awareness of the issue. How about that.

S Wilkinson
S Wilkinson
5 months ago
Reply to  O. M.

I might not object so vigorously to his appointment had he not consistently been so absolutely vile and offensive to and about women.

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
5 months ago

Sometimes it’s better to pick your battles. Of course the country is going through a time of gender madness. But this particular battle won’t help the Gender Critical campaign (one which I wholeheartedly support).

This is about a tiny charity appointing a person who has been transgender for a very long time and has an excellent track record in previous appointments.

Better to focus on pervert men pretending to be lesbians or second-rate sportsmen beating girls in swimming races.

But stay away from this one, because attacking the individual will be seen as mean and unpleasant. Which is perhaps why that person was appointed in the first place. Don’t fall into the trap!

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
5 months ago
Reply to  Roddy Campbell

It’s not the individual that’s being attacked, but the appointment, and quite rightly.

Adrian Smith
AS
Adrian Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Is there any evidence that the best person for the job has not been appointed? No. The EA is about not discriminating and there is no evidence of any discrimination.
I agree 100% with Roddy there are really important issues regarding free speech,, women’s safety, child well being and indeed the future of our species; this is not one of them.
We should not leave these issues in the hands of the TERFs. If you think you are being trolled Vicky, FFS don’t bite! This article is an absolute gift to a transactivist wanting to show how badly TERFs behave towards transpeople and indeed sadly are quite a few of the comments about it.

Last edited 5 months ago by Adrian Smith
Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

Behaving badly? You have to be kidding. How about we start with the truth. Read the room. Most people are done with this crazy BS

Last edited 5 months ago by Shrunken Genepool
Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
5 months ago

It is a good job that, for the most part, Unherd supports free speech and diversity of opinion. You might like to consider how the views you have expressed in your various posts would impact a transperson and how they could be exploited by a transactivist who wants to show that transphobic bigotry is rife.
I have no issues with transpeople – they are all people. Trans activists have created a lot of the problems they like to scream about and have further divided a society that was already fracturing down several rather bizarre lines. The antidote is genuine tolerance and understanding that comes from open discourse.

David Morley
David Morley
5 months ago

Most people are done with this crazy BS


Not on here they are not. They feed off it! And they keep coming back for more. Righteous indignation, washed down with a glass of bigot ‘23 is an addictive combination.

Last edited 5 months ago by David Morley
David Morley
DM
David Morley
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

Great posts Adrian, as the number of downvotes shows.

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Why not attack the individual. He should not have taken it or applied for it or accepted it.

David Morley
DM
David Morley
5 months ago
Reply to  Roddy Campbell

If she has a good track record then what’s wrong with the appointment? Would I get upset if a woman was appointed to head up a prostate cancer charity? Just because she wasn’t a biological male? Of course not. I’d just want to know she was good at her job.

Would you feel better if she was just an old fashioned male? Or would that be a problem too?

Last edited 5 months ago by David Morley
John Solomon
John Solomon
5 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Why not have it both ways? Get a trans woman to head up a prostate charity and then no-one could complain that he doesn’t have a prostate………….

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

A woman does head up a prostate cancer charity and men head up other women related charities.
For a tiny charity with an income of £8000 per year staffed by volunteers, the new CEO has certainly managed to get it some incredible publicity – isn’t that what CEO’s of charities should do?

David Morley
David Morley
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

And has added “leveraging bigotry” to her skill set. Wind em up and watch em run. 🙂

Shrunken Genepool
SG
Shrunken Genepool
5 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

He doesn’t have a good track record with the truth. Let’s start there

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
5 months ago
Reply to  Roddy Campbell

I agree.

David Morley
DM
David Morley
5 months ago
Reply to  Roddy Campbell

But stay away from this one, because attacking the individual will be seen as mean and unpleasant. 

To be honest, it is mean and unpleasant!

Last edited 5 months ago by David Morley
Jonathon
Jonathon
5 months ago

I think battles need to be picked carefully. This isn’t a hill worth dying on.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathon

Isn’t it? By accepting this decision, we are all complicit in maintaining the lie that a man can be a woman.

Last edited 5 months ago by Julian Farrows
Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
5 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I seem to be posting rather a lot on this topic but the level of hysterical outrage displayed regarding this trivial event is ridiculous. It is not up to us to either accept or reject the decision of the trustees of this tiny charity. It makes none of us complicit in the lie that a man can be a woman. It is utterly irrelevant to my views on the question and it should be to you.

David Morley
DM
David Morley
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

You’re right of course, but probably wasting your breath. My views are probably close to your own – but I’m starting to feel I have little in common with most of the people supposedly on my side of this debate.

Jonathon
Jonathon
5 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

My issue is not that though. Ultimately this is a private company/charity hiring someone. It’s irrelevant whether this is male, female, or anything in between. It’s their decision. Much like the article points out, you don’t need to be a woman to be a midwife. Whether you believe trans people can exist is a different issue and debate. Gender-specific issues are important, particularly around safety and such but this is not one and does no argument favour by being so outraged by it.

Derek Smith
DS
Derek Smith
5 months ago

“Women’s healthcare campaigning is political, and it’s political because women’s bodies have been so badly neglected by science and medicine.”

Now that is complete rubbish. Scientists and doctors have bent over backwards to try and fix female-specific problems, and all you can do is complain? Just listen to yourself! You’ve never had it so good.

Last edited 5 months ago by Derek Smith
Vir Raga
VR
Vir Raga
5 months ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

If women have never had it so good, why does it take an average of 7.5 years (of crippling pain) to get a diagnosis of endometriosis?

The bleeding can be so heavy that sufferers can’t leave their homes for days at a time, and must manage this as their norm. It makes working outside the home nigh on impossible for many. Why? Because they have to sit on the toilet passing blood clots the size of golf balls, and with no control over when that happens. And now with your words in their heads, telling them they’ve never had it so good.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Vir Raga

That is because in general, it is true. Women’s health is a top priority, if you haven’t noticed. This one condition, or rather its time lagged diagnosis and treatment, is simply not representative of healthcare as a whole, and cannot be used to generalise in the political way our author did in this piece.

Last edited 5 months ago by Derek Smith
David Morley
David Morley
5 months ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

With the result that they continue to outlive men by a significant margin. If the reverse were true we’d have feminists shouting from the rooftops.

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
5 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

The gender longevity gap.

Nancy G
Nancy G
5 months ago

It’s a sex longevity gap. We are told that there are lots of genders, including male, female, non-binary, genderfluid, genderqueer, agender, pangender, and many more. Does anyone have (or care about) longevity statistics for all these groups?

Steven Carr
SC
Steven Carr
5 months ago
Reply to  Vir Raga

‘There is no lab test, procedure or imaging that can be done to diagnose endometriosis without surgery.’ (John Hopkins Medicine)
Surgery is always a risky procedure, and is usually only done when all other causes have been eliminated.

‘For those with symptoms, endometriosis sometimes may seem like other conditions that can cause pelvic pain. These include pelvic inflammatory disease or ovarian cysts. Or it may be confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which causes bouts of diarrhea, constipation and stomach cramps. IBS also can happen along with endometriosis. This makes it harder for your health care team to find the exact cause of your symptoms.’
Any sensible doctor can will check those first before deciding on surgery.

I am not a doctor, so check all of the above for yourself please.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
5 months ago
Reply to  Vir Raga

Tbf Breast Cancer awareness has been spread primarily as a women’s issue and they announced today that they believe cervical cancer will be eradicated in the UK over the next 10 years (think they said 10). Unless they mean to have all UK female’s cervixes surgically removed to ensure it, over the next 10years, which given how much a pain in rear cervix havers are, it’s a distinct possibility. I mean if Transwomen don’t have them then should any woman? They’re clearly bothersome!

David Morley
David Morley
5 months ago

the message to women was clear: “object to this, bigots! Go on, we dare you!”

There is no other subject on Unherd where instead of attempts to be thoughtful and interesting we get these paranoid, ideological rants.

We have KS dealing well with this topic, while at the same time taking a clear side. I’m not sure why we need this other stuff. It adds nothing to the debate.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
5 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

But that’s exactly what this appointment is about. The decision to choose this individual was highly ideological.

David Morley
DM
David Morley
5 months ago

A question:

Was this a female only shortlist?

If no: what’s the issue? A man could have got the job.

If yes: why? There is absolutely no reason for sexist hiring to head up a charity.

Adrian Smith
AS
Adrian Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

She was head hunted for the (unpaid) job. She did not apply, there was no shortlist.

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

He

Katja Sipple
KS
Katja Sipple
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

She? Still a he by any factual definition. You know the old adage about putting lipstick on a pig…