BBC presenter branded a bully for challenging trans narrative

A trans activist has claimed he was bullied on air over his controversial views on biology and endometriosis.

CEO of Endometriosis South Coast (ESC) Steph Richards – a man who has changed legal sex – accused Woman’s Hour presenter Emma Barnett of “aggression” after she challenged Richards’ pro-trans approach to the painful disease.

NHS advice says the condition – where womb-like tissue grows outside the uterus – “can affect women of any age”, and may cause debilitating pain and heavy periods, and make it difficult getting pregnant.

‘Assigned female

In a statement following Richards’ recent appointment as chief executive of ESC, the activist said: “In the UK, 10% of those assigned female at birth suffer from this awful disease”.

Raising the matter On Woman’s Hour, Barnett said: “There is a concern that as a trans activist, now running, being the CEO of an endometriosis charity for women, that you will not preserve the importance of things like the word ‘woman’”.

Referring back to Richards’ statement, Barnett then asked: “Is the word you are looking for there ‘woman’?”

Women’s health

Richards replied: “I look at woman [sic] but I also look at the issue of trans men and non-binary people”.

The CEO went on to claim that there are between 5,000 and 5,500 ‘trans men’ in the UK who have endometriosis who might feel “rather left out” of the discussion about the condition.

In a later exchange, Richards said: “I appreciate that the vast majority of endometriosis affects women but you probably also know, Emma, that there’s 29 cases of endometriosis which has been found in men.”

Barnett responded: “Do you not see, by even bringing this up, you could be accused of devaluing the female experience, which is why this is such a specific example of women’s health?”

‘Fair and robust’

Following the interview, Richards complained Barnett “obviously had an agenda to pick up on such a small point. She was basically looking for problems”.

Wading into the spat, Labour MP Ben Bradshaw also accused Emma Barnett of “bullying” behaviour.

However, a BBC spokesman described the interview as “fair and robust”.

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