Celebrity

Bette Midler says she had ‘no intention of being transphobic’ in attack on inclusive language

Danai Nesta Kupemba July 6, 2022
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Bette Midler apologised for her transphobic tweet. (Credit: Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images)

Bette Midler has backtracked after being accused of transphobia.

The Hocus Pocus actor sparked widespread criticism with a tweet that appeared to link the overturning of Roe v Wade with trans-inclusive language.

“WOMEN OF THE WORLD! We are being stripped of our rights over our bodies, our lives and even of our name,” she tweeted to her 2.1 followers on Monday (4 July).

“They don’t call us ‘women’ anymore; they call us ‘birthing people’ or ‘menstruators’, and even ‘people with vaginas’! Don’t let them erase you! Every human on earth owes you!”

After intense backlash – including calls for fans to boycott the upcoming Hocus Pocus 2 Bette Midler has claimed she had “no intention” of being “exclusionary or transphobic”.

“PEOPLE OF THE WORLD,” she tweeted Wednesday (6 July). “My tweet about women was a response to this fascinating and well written piece in the NYT on 3 July”. She included a link to a New York Times article titled “The Far Right and Far Left Agree on One Thing: Women Don’t Count”.

“There was no intention of anything exclusionary or transphobic in what I said; it wasn’t about that,” she added.

 

Bette Midler continued: “It was about the same old s**t women – ALL WOMEN – have been putting up with since the cavemen. Even then, men got top billing. But seriously, folks, if anyone who read that tweet thinks I have anything but love for any marginalised people, go to Wikipedia and type in my name.

“I’ve fought for marginalised people for as long as I can remember. Still, if you want to dismiss my 60 years of proven love and concern over a tweet that accidentally angered the very people I have always supported and adored, so be it.

“But the truth is, Democracy is slipping through our fingers! I’m all in on trying to save Democracy for ALL PEOPLE. We must unite, because, in case you haven’t been paying attention, divided we will definitely fall.”

However, for many followers, this wasn’t good enough.

Some noted that Midler had not apologised for her words, while many noted that The New York Times has faced criticism of its own.

Others brought up another tweet by Midler condemned as Islamophobic.

Midler’s original tweet was a reference to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade, a decision which removed the federal right to an abortion.

Her tweet was met with backlash from fans, allies and members of the LGBT+ community including Drag Race queen Crystal, who posted a blistering response.

“The fight for women’s rights INCLUDES trans people – trans rights do not erode women’s rights,” Crystal wrote.

“We’re all fighting this together and this trans-exclusionary rhetoric does NOTHING to help that. Bette – you are a woman. Some other people who give birth are not women. That’s ok!”

 

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