Bette Midler has been facing backlash after she tweeted in response to women’s rights earlier this month.
Bette Midler has been all over the internet lately as fans eagerly await the release of the highly anticipated Hocus Pocus 2. Midler will be reprising her role alongside Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy in the sequel. But the iconic actress has been appearing in headlines this week for an entirely different reason.
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Midler Sends Anti-Trans Tweet
Midler took to Twitter on July 4 to express her feelings on women’s rights. Here is the initial tweet.
“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!”
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!
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) July 4, 2022
People felt alarmed after reading the tweet from the actress and rumors of boycotting the Hocus Pocus film began. On Tuesday, Midler issued a response.
“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 continued. “There was no intention of anything exclusionary or transphobic in what I said; it wasn’t about that.
It was about the same old s**t 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.”
Midler has been beloved as a queer icon for years. She got her start by singing in gay bathhouses and since then, has starred in the LGBTQ+ beloved movie Hocus Pocus and often advocates for the community. Still, people had to question what she meant by her initial tweet.
“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.
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.”
Mae Martin Issues Important Response to Midler
Trans/non-binary comedian Mae Martin shared their own statement on Instagram in regards to Midler’s tweets and it’s really important.
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“I just want to say this in case this is useful to you if you have people in your own life – older feminist icons even – who are perplexed and threatened by inclusive language.
Those figures, like Better Midler, fought hard for women’s rights and they’re upset when, in the context of reproductive rights, they read phrases like ‘people with uteruses.’
They feel reduced and negated and confused. I would say to them: Nobody is negating the fact that people assigned female at birth have a unique struggle against an oppressive patriarchy. Nobody is denying the power and magic of cis women.
I am trans/non-binary, not a woman. I am medically and culturally transitioning and so ‘woman’ is not an accurate word to use when describing me.
The use of inclusive language when talking about abortion rights meant that I – with all my shared experience and shared threat of pregnancy as I also sleep with cis men – can participate and be acknowledged in the conversation and fight alongside women.
I hope that people like Bette continue to learn and evolve. I really want to be able to enjoy Hocus Pocus 2, which I’ve been waiting for for about twenty years, feeling safe in the knowledge that my idol is on the side of personhood and freedom and unity, and would include me in that fight.
The best part of life is continuing to learn and grow. And we have to try to rise above and have open arms and be full of love and respect.”