Bette Midler sparks backlash for tweet attacking trans-inclusive language

Bette Midler disappointed fans and social media users on Monday after posting a controversial tweet attacking trans-inclusive language.

“WOMEN OF THE WORLD! We are being stripped of our rights to our bodies, our lives, and even our name!” the Hocus Pocus actor tweeted.

“They don’t call us ‘women’ anymore; they call us “parturients” or “menstruators” and even “people with vaginas”! Don’t let them erase you! Every person on earth is indebted to you!”

Some people use terms like “pregnant people” instead of “pregnant women” to acknowledge that transgender and non-binary people who don’t identify as women can also get pregnant and give birth.

Inclusive language is a way of recognizing and respecting the different ways people express their gender and sexuality. Advocacy groups and other proponents of inclusive pregnancy language argue that this does not preclude women from acknowledging all people who can become pregnant. Critics have used it as another tool in culture warclaiming that it reduces or erases women.

Known as a gay icon, Midler divided Twitter users with her tweet, sparking backlash from the LGBTQ+ community and its allies.

Rory O’Neill, a gay rights activist and prominent drag queen who goes by the pseudonym Panty Bliss, pleaded with Midler not to “succumb to fake anti-transgender scare nonsense.”

Another Twitter user who identified himself as a fan said it was “heartbreaking” to see Midler’s opinion.

“The point of the anti-choice movement is to try to control the bodies of people who are assigned women at birth, including trans men, and to impose gender identities and gender roles on *all* of us.”

Colin Munro Seymour, a contestant on the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK under his stage name Crystal, noted that “the fight for women’s rights INCLUDE transgender people – transgender rights do not undermine women’s rights.”

“We are all fighting this together and this exclusionary rhetoric is helping NOTHING,” he wrote.

Midler is outspoken politically about his views on Twitter, often criticizing conservatives and negative reaction per ignorant gaffes.