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Bette Midler Shares Transphobic Op-Ed to Apologize for Transphobic Comments

Midler parroted transphobic talking points about the erasure of women in her initial tweet

bette midler transphobic comments
Bette Midler, photo by Shawn Miller/Library of Congress
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    On the same day as Macy Gray expressed outright transphobia, Bette Midler parroted transphobic talking points of her own. The actress was accused of being a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) after tweeting fearmongering rhetoric about the erasure of women, leading some to threaten boycotting the upcoming Hocus Pocus sequel. Now, Midler has doubled down by sharing a new statement alongside what she described as a “fascinating and well-written piece” in The New York Times.

    Midler shared her initial comments on July 4th, writing, “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!”

    The tweet pulls directly from an op-ed written by Pamela Paul titled “The far right and the far left have found the one thing they can agree on: Women don’t count.” In it, Paul ponders the “broader implications” of making room for transgender and non-binary people in the movement for reproductive rights, suggesting that the cost is the “erasure” of women as a whole.

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    In response to the backlash, Midler followed up one day later by sharing the op-ed along with a self-defensive thread about her “60 years of proven love and concern” for “marginalized people.”

    “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.”

    She continued, “It was about the same old shit 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 marginalized people, go to Wikipedia and type in my name.”

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    In between Midler’s first tweet and her “clarification,” she found time to share an Islamophobic tweet of conservative members of the Supreme Court of the United States dressed up in dressed in Taqiyah with long beards or niqab. While trying to make a point about religion and government, Midler missed the memo that many Muslim-majority countries actually allow abortion.

    Hocus Pocus 2 is currently slated to begin streaming on Disney+ on September 30th. Though it’s unlikely the backlash to Midler’s comments will adversely affect the release of the film, it’s worth noting that the House of Mouse has supported the idea of a trans man buying period products by depicting it in the series Baymax!

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