Bette Midler Says She Was Not Intending to Be 'Transphobic' by Tweeting About the Erasure of Women

·3 min read

Bette Midler is clarifying her tweet about women's rights that some fans viewed as transphobic.

The legendary actress, 76, initially sparked backlash with her tweet Monday, in which she wrote: "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!"

While some fans believed that Midler's tweet was meant to criticize the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade and subsequent state abortion bans, other followers of the actress argued it was an anti-trans comment.

On Tuesday, she penned a series of tweets to clear the air and said that her original message was not meant to be viewed as "transphobic."

Referencing an opinion piece published by The New York Times titled The Far Right and Far Left Agree on One Thing: Women Don't Count — in which author Pamela Paul writes that "the word 'women' has become verboten" — the Hocus Pocus star 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."

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

She went on to say her tweet "was about the same old s— women — ALL WOMEN — have been putting up with since the cavemen. Even then, men got top billing."

The Tony-winning actress urged those who believe she has an issue with "any marginalized people" to "go to Wikipedia and type my name."

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"I've fought for marginalized 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," Midler wrote.

In a final tweet, she concluded, "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."

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Midler's statement comes after the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, which eliminated the constitutional right to an abortion and fueled the ongoing debate surrounding women's rights.

The 6-to-3 ruling reverses nearly 50 years of precedent and will completely change the landscape of women's reproductive rights by giving individual states the power to decide whether to allow the procedure. It is estimated that nearly half the country will enact near-total bans in the coming months.

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Midler was one of the first to react to the reversal of the 1973 law and tweeted, "GET READY, GAYS. YOU'RE NEXT," referencing a prediction that the Supreme Court will now look to overturn Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hodge — the rulings that currently protect the right to a same-sex relationship and the right to same-sex marriage.

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