While the end of Roe v. Wade has brought many frustrated members of the left together, a growing number of self-proclaimed feminists and celebrities have decided that now is the time to further marginalize transgender and non-binary people by pitting them against cisgender women in the struggle for reproductive rights.
Among them were R&B singer and actress Macy Gray, who stated that trans women weren’t women during an interview on Piers Morgan Uncensored on Monday. (In a subsequent appearance on TODAY, she said she felt bad that she “hurt some people” but didn’t retract her statements.)
While Gray’s remarks sent shockwaves through Twitter, folks seemed less surprised when the social media app’s worst liberal pundit, Bette Midler, issued a warning seemingly to cis “women” about queer-inclusive language.
On July 4, the actress tweeted, “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!”
In a later tweet defending herself against the backlash she received, Midler claimed that she was simply responding to a “fascinating and well-written piece in the NYT” written by columnist Pamela Paul that criticized the adoption of inclusive terms in conversations about reproductive health.
“I’ve fought for marginalized people for as long as I can remember,” the Hocus Pocus actress went on to say over several tweets. “Still, if you want to dismiss my 6src years of proven love and concern over a tweet that accidentally angered the very people I have always supported and adored then so be it.”
It turns out that being a beloved gay icon is not a get-out-of-jail-free card for talking about trans and non-binary people like they are a threat to womanhood.
“After she said some of the most divisive bullshit in her entire life and proceeded to double down on it, now Bette has the gall to call for unity,” one user quote-tweeted. “Apologize or get out of the way. Democracy’s salvation is no longer in your TERFy hands.”
“Bette Midler being a TERF despite getting her start playing at gay bathhouses is a reminder that being progressive is like doing the dishes,” wrote another. “You’re never really *done* with it. There’s gonna be new dishes to do tomorrow and you have to keep doing them every day.”
It also didn’t help that, earlier that day, Midler posted a photo of the conservative Supreme Court justices photoshopped with turbans, beards and a burka, seeming to draw a false equivalence between our country’s abortion ban and Sharia law.
Self-identified feminists with exclusionary, bigoted politics are a dime a dozen on the internet. But few have been quite as visible and persistent in their regressive views disguised as female empowerment than Midler, whose Twitter account has become one of the most wretched places on the liberal-identifying side of Twitter. In fact, her tweets are so routinely bad that, if you presented someone with one of her posts from just the past couple of days with her username blurred out, it would be hard to tell whether she or Ben Shapiro was the author.
Some of Midler’s greatest hits include invoking the title of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s song “Woman Is The N****r of The World” when she expressed anger at the results of Brett Kavanaugh’s FBI probe in 2src18. There was also the time she mocked former first lady Melania Trump for her level of English and called her an “illegal alien,” which is ultimately a very Trumpian thing to say. And before her most recent snafu, she attacked the residents of West Virginia for having a terrible senator, calling them “uneducated” and “strung out.” Keep in mind that this is just a sampling of her tasteless remarks.
Considering that Midler tweets nothing but political opinions several times a day, we’re bound to encounter more of her terrible tweets before the year (maybe month) is over. Likewise, it’s time for the people she offends every other week to prioritize our sanity and disengage from her account once and for all.
Considering that Midler tweets nothing but political opinions several times a day, we’re bound to encounter more of her terrible tweets before the year (maybe month) is over.
I personally blocked Midler several years ago for her tweet that implied that (white) women are equally as oppressed as Black people while rendering Black women invisible. However, I can’t even enjoy this choice because her words are constantly being screen-grabbed and popping up on my feed. Yes, dunking on the most dim-witted celebrities can be fun and cathartic. Occasionally, they’ll give an introspective apology following a bad tweet, win our trust back, and make us forget about their crimes against humanity. But anyone with problematic grandparents or parents knows that there’s no changing a 76-year-old’s mind or guaranteeing that they really get it via a scolding on Twitter.
It’s embarrassing enough that someone with as much money, awards, and access to luxurious vacations as Midler is logging onto Twitter everyday pretending she’s an MSNBC anchor. Why not let her live with that shame and go on with our days in peace?
Again, I understand the emotional release in fussing at a famous person (and I’ve certainly done it a number of times). But in Midler’s case, it really feels like speaking to a wall, as opposed to calling out celebrities who can engage with criticism on some level or at the very least delete their rotten tweets after they get ratioed.
There’s no thrill in engaging with someone with a stock photo of a flower as their profile picture or who posts political memes from 2src16-era Facebook. Those people can’t be radicalized. So, I invite you all to hit the block button and pretend that Midler isn’t suffering from a terrible case of Twitter Brain.