Bette Midler Responds to Backlash Over Her Tweets About “Erasure” of Women

After the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Bette Midler has been criticized for tweets, and some have deemed transphobic because of their focus on the “erasure” of women.

Midler appeared to be referring to the Roe news in a tweet she posted on Sunday, which read as:  “WOMEN OF THE WORLD! We are being stripped of our rights over our bodies, our lives, and even of our name! 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!”

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Bette Midler Responds to Backlash Over Her Recent Tweets

The tweet generated over 20,000 responses, many of them critical of Midler for what they saw as anti-trans language because it did not include trans people in need of abortion care. Some users reacted more strongly, calling Midler a “TERF,” an acronym for “trans-exclusionary reactionary feminist,” a label also applied to J.K. Rowling. Some have even suggested they won’t watch the Disney+ sequel to Hocus Pocus, in which Midler plays Winifred again.

Bette Midler Responds Backlash
Bette Midler Responds Backlash

To summarise the controversy surrounding Midler’s tweet, author Katie Mack wrote, “The term ‘pregnant people’ includes pregnant women & also people who are pregnant but are not women. It doesn’t in any way erase/deny women; it’s just more inclusive. I am a woman. I have friends who are not women but can get pregnant. The language that includes them doesn’t hurt me.”

Some states are attempting to limit health care options for transgender people, and the backlash against Midler coincides with this trend. In February, Governor Greg Abbott of Texas issued an order mandating an investigation into families who are facilitating their transgender children’s access to gender-affirming surgical procedures. Abbott called elective pediatric surgical procedures “child abuse.”

On Tuesday, Midler posted an opinion piece by Pamela Paul from the New York Times to her Twitter account in an effort to clarify her earlier comments. Paul wrote in his article that “the far right and the far left have found the one thing they can agree on: Women don’t count.”

Midler tweeted, “PEOPLE OF THE WORLD! My tweet about women was a response to this fascinating and well-written piece in the NYT on July 3rd. There was no intention of anything exclusionary or transphobic in what I said; it wasn’t about that.” She elaborated, “It was about the same old shit women – ALL WOMEN – have been putting up with since the cavemen. Even then, men got top billing.”

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