Bette Midler has been asked by fans to “do better”, after they claimed that a recent tweet by the star “demonises trans people”.
The Hocus Pocus actor, 76, recently posted on Twitter, writing: “Women of the world! We are being stripped of our rights over our bodies, our lives and even of our name!”
She continued: “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.”
However, many fans have responded in the comments, criticising Midler for her “disappointing” message.
“Really disappointed in this as a trans man and a Bette Midler fan,” one user wrote, further adding that “including trans men in the conversation about reproductive health does not harm women”.
Actor and presenter Siobhán McSweeney stepped in to reply to Midler, writing: “This isnt true. xxx”.
Comic and author Shaparak Khorsandi also contributed to the debate, saying: “‘I’m excited about drinks with some birthing people I went to school with... we are having a proper mensturators night out!’ Let me know when this happens. Right now it’s just a kind nod to inclusion of a tiny minority.”
Another fan explained: “Many folks use that language to be more inclusive of trans masculine people.”
“What words would you use to be inclusive with the trans men who still have uteruses and can get pregnant?” one questioned.
“It's because not only women menstruate, give birth, or have vaginas. Trans men do all of these things, as do non-binary folks,” someone wrote. “I love you so much, Bette, but you gotta do better here.”
Activist Panti Bliss warned Midler to not “fall for the anti-trans panic fake nonsense”.
“No one is erasing women. In a few small healthcare cases where appropriate they are using trans inclusive language. That's all,” Panti Bliss added.
“Bette you started your career in bathhouses and were at like the first Prides… you should know better than this tweet which demonises trans people for no reason,” another fan commented.
This backlash comes shortly after 1993’s Hocus Pocus, which starred Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as witches from 17th-century Salem, Massachusetts, announced its forthcoming sequel.