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Bette Midler, Macy Gray Draw Well Deserved Backlash for Transphobia

The Mary Sue logo The Mary Sue 7/5/2022 Rachel Leishman
Bette Midler making a face in Hocus Pocus © Provided by The Mary Sue Bette Midler making a face in Hocus Pocus

Bette Midler is … interesting on Twitter. Meaning sometimes she just tweets things out and you really wish she wouldn’t. And this time was a doozy of transphobia, with Midler just trying to equate women not having the right to call themselves women (they do) and the use of terms like “birthing people.” Women aren’t now being referred to as birthing people. It’s just a more inclusive way of talking about reproductive rights that takes into account the fact that not everyone who can be pregnant/give birth is a woman.

Bette Midler loves to write an all caps message and is generally very much of the liberal mentality, but this one just reads as if she tweeted out this transphobic message and then just ignored everyone trying to tell her how harmful this was.

Midler 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!” So her problem is simply that people are talking about these issues in a way that’s inclusive of everyone these issues effect? Because it isn’t just a women’s issue. It’s an issue for the trans and non-binary community, as well.

Pair that with Macy Gray’s transphobic interview with Piers Morgan and Jordan Peterson complaining because he can’t deadname Elliot Page, and this weekend was a series of transphobic events all thrown together at once for no reason other than people want to be transphobic and get away with it.

Your transphobia is harmful

What is horrible about this trend is that it is a sea of cis women and men just thinking that they can say whatever they want and it won’t matter—or, worse, that they’re hoping to cause harm—but it does. It ramps up the aggressive attacks to the trans community and makes it so that those at the center of it, like Elliot Page, are used as a talking point as if they are not real people with emotions who have to see all these “takes” that people have.

By complaining about not being allowed to use the word “women,” Midler is giving another huge platform for transphobic people to cling to. It’s the same start we saw with creators like J.K. Rowling and how she weaponized her platform against the trans community for whatever selfish beliefs she has. Rowling has, unsurprisingly, already come to the defense of Gray and Midler, which tells you everything you need to know right there.

No one is saying you can’t use the word women. They’re just asking you to be more inclusive in your language when talking about issues that don’t just affect cis women. Instead, there was a sea of “celebrities” being transphobic over the weekend and adding to the already volatile world that exists for the trans community. Your words matter, and being transphobic isn’t cute or trendy; it’s incredibly dangerous for the trans community. Enough already.

(featured image: Disney)

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