A transgender woman has responded to critics who expressed outrage after she was appointed to CEO of a women’s reproductive health charity.
Endometriosis South Coast (ESC) is described as an “inclusive” charity set up to support those diagnosed with endometriosis or adenomyosis. These two diseases occur when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus or into the uterine muscular wall itself.
The charity recently announced that Steph Richards, a transgender woman who uses she/her pronouns, was named the new CEO of the charity.
Following the announcement, a large number of social media users spoke out against Richards, including several women’s groups, who said the appointment was an insult to women.
Endometriosis South Coast (ESC) CEO Steph Richards, a transgender woman, put out a statement amid backlash. (X/Screenshot)
Let Women Speak founder Kellie-Jay Keen said the announcement was an “absolute disaster” that “ignored women.”
“It’s an absolutely shocking appointment. There’s just disbelief and despair among the entire community,” Conservative for Women Director Caroline Ffiske told The Daily Mail.
On Sunday, Richards published a lengthy statement reacting to the “media interest” in her appointment, where she claimed she was hired because of her skill set and resume, not her “birth sex.”
She went on to note that there are “numerous examples” of organizations’ employee CEOs whose sex does not correspond with the demographic they serve, name-dropping Laura Kerby at Prostate Cancer UK and Simon Cook at MSI Reproductive Choices.
“Many gynecologists are men – I don’t see any headlines about them. Some midwives are men – I don’t see any headlines about them either. And how about the male paramedic who may deal with miscarriage or prolapse – there are no headlines about them either. Am I wrong? No, I am not,” Richards added.
Steph Richards considers herself an intersectional feminist and human rights activist. (Twitter/Screenshot)
She also linked to several of her critics, including authors Milli Hill and Helen Joyce and suggested their complaints are “transphobic.”
Richards then revealed she had filed a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to her local hospital to determine how many women had been treated for endometriosis in 2022.
“Diversity should be seen as a strength. Stereotyping is wrong, and by appointing me as the CEO of ESC, I will look at the issues Endo suffers endure with a different perspective than others. Who can argue that is not a positive?” Richards continued. “ESC are an inclusive charity, meaning we welcome EVERYONE with endo and adeno. We do not mind if you are straight, gay, black, trans, non-binary or whatever.”
Richards put out another statement on November 15 after she was interviewed by Emma Barnett, the presenter of “BBC Woman’s Hour.”
In the interview, Barnett asked if a “trans activist” was suitable for the CEO role and highlighted concerns from critics that worried Richards would not preserve the importance of the word “women” and women’s experiences.
BBC has defended the interview, calling it “fair and robust.” Richards disagreed.
A post on the social media platform X announcing Steph Richards as the new CEO of Endometriosis South Coast. (Twitter/Screenshot)
“Clearly, Emma Barnet intended to cause conflict, and she went out of her way to do so. In short, she manufactured an issue. Many may say that was due to transphobia. Whatever the case, in my opinion, that was highly unprofessional,” Richards wrote on X. “The fact is that the gender-critical movement caused all this fuss because of their #hate of trans women (transmisogyny).”
She then admitted that she was not keen on phrases like “chest feeders” or “birthing people” and instead preferred “trans men,” “gender-diverse people,” and “everyone.”
Richards also took aim at a tagline pushed on social media that touted “the word is woman” and claimed the phrase was “discrimination against others” who identify differently.
The ESC CEO then said it was “truly amazing” to see the number of people who have become aware of endometriosis because of the controversy. However, she expressed disappointment that such awareness was brought on by “genuinely shocking transphobia by the gender-critical movement aided and abetted by a transphobic right-wing press.”
She added that the outcry has affected her mental health as well as the mental health of her volunteers.
Richards and ESC did not return Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Steph Richards speaks out on X following backlash. (Twitter/Screenshot)
Richards describes herself as an intersectional feminist and human rights activist, previously working as Portsmouth’s Labor Women’s and LGBTQ Officer.
On the social media platform X, Richards wrote that she was “genuinely honored” to be named to the position.
“My mission will be to oversee the charity’s everyday running, raise awareness of #endometriosis and #adenoyosis and raise the profile of ESC,” Richards said.
“Feminism has many causes, far too many to put in one tweet – but for me, inequality in healthcare is a priority and I will do my best to help overcome this injustice,” Richards added.
According to The Daily Mail and Reduxx, Richards has previously claimed that transgender people can change their biological sex “a little bit.”
Richards also touted a “safe space” where adult men could dress up as women, including “schoolgirls,” without fear of shame or harassment.
Nikolas Lanum is an associate editor for Fox News Digital.