Bette Midler has responded to the social media backlash she received over the weekend after tweeting that society is attempting to “erase” women — a comment that some perceived as transphobic.
“WOMEN OF THE WORLD! We are being stripped of our rights over our bodies, our lives and even of our name!” she wrote on sunday, seemingly referencing the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade. “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!”
Since then, the tweet has garnered more than 21,000 replies, many of which criticized Midler for her language. While some acknowledged that the actor may have had good intentions, they also pointed out that her comments on her were exclusionary of transgender people, who also need access to abortion care.
In a follow-up tweet on Tuesday, Midler clarified that she had been tweeting about a New York Times opinion article that argues that “the far right and the far left have found the one thing they can agree on: Women don’t count.”
“PEOPLE OF THE WORLD! My tweet about women was a response to this fascinating and well written piece in the NYT on July 3rd,” Midler wrote. “There was no intention of anything exclusionary or transphobic in what I said; it wasn’t about that.”
The entertainer also bristled at the insinuation that she doesn’t support transgender people, writing: “I’ve fought for marginalized people for as long as I can remember.”
“It was about the same old shit women – ALL WOMEN – have been putting up with since the cavemen,” she continued. “Even then, men got top billing. But seriously, folks, if anyone who reads that tweet thinks I have anything but love for any marginalized people, go to Wikipedia and type in my name.”
Midler isn’t the only celebrity who has been called out recently for anti-trans language. Grammy-winning recording artist Macy Gray also argued Tuesday that she was “misunderstood” after telling Piers Morgan that “just because you go change your parts doesn’t make you a woman.”
“Like if you want me to call you a ‘her,’ I will, ’cause that’s what you want. But that doesn’t make you a woman just ’cause I call you a ‘her’ and just because you got a surgery,” she said.