Midler has been attacked for adopting what some regard to be anti-transgender language, as she mocked inclusive language surrounding abortion access.
Bette Midler has been criticized on social media for tweeting about the “erasure” of women following the Supreme Court’s decision to repeal Roe v. Wade, which some have deemed transphobic.
Bette Midler Addresses Criticism of Her Tweets Regarding the “Erasure” of Women!
Sunday, in an apparent reaction to the Roe story, Midler tweeted, “WOMEN OF THE WORLD! Our rights over our bodies, our lives, and even our names are being taken away! They no longer refer to us as ‘women,’ but rather as ‘birthing people, “menstruators,’ and even ‘people with vaginas’! Don’t permit your eradication! Everyone on the planet owes you!”
The tweet sparked a firestorm of controversy, generating more than 20,000 reactions, with a considerable number of them denouncing Midler for adopting wording that some deem anti-trans because it excludes trans individuals who require abortion treatment.
Some users accused Midler of being a “TERF,” or trans exclusionary reactionary feminist, a derogatory term that has been applied to J.K. Rowling. Some have even suggested a boycott of the forthcoming Hocus Pocus sequel on Disney+, in which Midler reprises her role as Winifred.
Author Katie Mack put up the issue with Midler’s tweet: “The word ‘pregnant people’ encompasses both pregnant ladies and non-females who are pregnant. It does neither exclude nor exclude women; it is simply more inclusive. I am female. I have male pals that are able to become pregnant. The use of language that incorporates them does not bother me.”
The uproar against Midler comes at a time when several states are attempting to restrict transgender people’s access to health care. In February, Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered state health officials to investigate parents who permit their transgender children to undergo gender-affirming surgery. Abbott termed such procedures “child abuse.”
Tuesday, in an effort to provide context for her initial tweet, Midler tweeted an opinion piece by Pamela Paul from The New York Times. Paul said in his article that “the far right and the far left have found a common ground: Women don’t count.”
In her tweet, Midler exclaimed, “PEOPLE OF THE WORLD! My tweet regarding women was a response to this intriguing and well-written New York Times article published on July 3. There was no discriminatory or transphobic purpose in what I said; it was not about that.”
She continued, “It was about the same old crap that women – ALL WOMEN – have endured since cavemen. Even then, men earned first billing.”