Bette Midler has infuriated supporters of transgender rights by claiming that the word ‘women’ is ‘being erased’ in favor of woke terms such as ‘birthing people’ and ‘menstruators’.
The 76-year-old actress and gay icon tweeted on Monday: ‘WOMEN OF THE WORLD! We are being stripped of our rights over our bodies, our lives and even of our name!’
She added: ‘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!’
Midler’s comments generated a swift reaction, with 11,000 retweets and 61,000 likes in less than 12 hours.
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She appeared to be referring to a New York Times opinion piece published Sunday.
That saw columnist Pamela Paul blast the use of terms such as ‘birthing people’ and ‘menstruators.’
Supporters say the controversial terms are inclusive of transgender men and non-binary people, but critics say they effectively erase another historically-oppressed minority – women.
Tennis icon Martina Navratilova – who has herself angered trans activists by questioning whether it’s fair to let trans women compete in some sports – was among Midler’s supporters.
She said: ‘Careful Bette- you will be called transphobic too or worse…,’ she said, with the ‘horrified’ emoji.
Comedian Shaparak Khorsandi joked: ”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.’
And singer Bradley James Skistimas, known as Five Times August, tweeted: ‘I agree with you on this. Is your account hacked?
‘Also, where were you when women of the world were being forced and coerced to get a vaccine jabbed into their bodies?’
But as predicted, thousands of others quickly descended on the famously-liberal Midler to accuse her of bigotry.
‘No,’ said Irish drag queen and gay rights activist Dr Panti Bliss-Cabrera.
‘Don’t 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.’
Dr Jacqui Lewis, senior minister at the Middle Collegiate Church in New York City, said it did not need to be a ‘them or us’ scenario.
‘Using gender-inclusive language does not deny my womanhood,’ she said.
Author Chanda Prescod-Weinstein tweeted: ‘The stupidity of TERF semantics knows no bounds.’
TERF stands for ‘trans-exclusionary radical feminist,’ and is a term used to describe women who don’t believe that transgender women should be afforded all sex-based protection rights that correspond to their gender.
Trans journalist Niko Stratis said: ‘The issue with Bette Midler’s post is how the language is a direct line from that NYT op-ed, the power of the paper of record to play on peoples fears, insecurities and lack of proper information creates this space where the idea that trans people are erasing women becomes real.’
It is not the first time Midler has waded into the culture war battle, although she generally sticks to the progressive side of the online battle-lines.
In May she sparked outrage by res…
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