Bette Midler immediately raised an alarm with her tweet. (Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/For the Washington Post via Getty Images)
Bette Midler has sparked alarm among LGBTQ+ fans after she claimed “women” are being “erased” by trans-inclusive language.
That mumbo-jumbo star, 76, brought up trans people’s rights as she raged over the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade and all but abolish the constitutional right to abortion after nearly 50 years.
she tweeted to her 2.1 million followers: “WOMEN OF THE WORLD! We are being deprived of our rights to our bodies, our lives and even our names!
“They don’t call us ‘women’ anymore; They call us “birth people” or “menstruators” and even “people with vaginas”! Don’t let them wipe you out! Every person on earth owes you!”
WOMEN OF THE WORLD! We are being deprived of our rights to our bodies, our lives and even our names! They no longer call us “women”; They call us “birth people” or “menstruators” and even “people with vaginas”! Don’t let them wipe you out! Every person on earth owes you one!
— Bettemidler (@BetteMidler) July 4, 2022
Twitter users were dismayed that Bette Midler chose to parrot anti-trans dog whistles at a time when at least half of US states are poised to end abortion rights.
Many urged the beloved Hocus pocus 2 Actors to use their “common sense” and consider their comments.
Legendary Irish drag queen Dr. Panti Bliss Cabrera said: “No. Don’t fall for the fake anti-trans panic nonsense. No one is wiping out women.
“In some small healthcare cases, they may use trans-inclusive language. That’s all.”
“The fight for women’s rights includes trans people – trans rights do not undermine women’s rights.” said RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Crystal icon.
“We’re all fighting this together, and this trans-exclusionary rhetoric is doing NOTHING to help. Bette Midler is a woman. Some other people who give birth are not women. That’s okay!”
“Dude, don’t fall for this pun nonsense” tweeted Katy Montgomerie, an English feminist and trans woman. “Trans people just want the same rights as you.”
Or as Derry girls Actor Siobhán McSweeney simply put it: “That is not true. xxx.”
When it comes to healthcare, simple language changes can make a difference in the lives of trans men and non-binary people.
Medical experts have stressed the importance of gender-neutral language to ensure trans men and non-binary people are not excluded from important drug information on maternity, swab testing, cancer treatments and more.
Trans men and non-binary people are often afraid to go to the hospital for treatment. And they have their reasons: Researchers say they often encounter a healthcare system that is “disempowering”.
Because staff are not always trained to support them, trans men and non-binary people fear discrimination, being misgendered, or being denied assistance altogether.
This knowledge gap can be deeply damaging. A case study published in New England Journal of Medicine In 2019, he described a trans man who came to an emergency room with severe abdominal pain.
Nurses assumed he was obese when in fact he was pregnant – hours later he gave birth to a stillborn baby.
But a growing number of anti-trans critics have slammed public health officials for encouraging staff to use terms such as “birth people” alongside women or co-parenting when treating LGBTQ+ patients. It is often claimed that using gender-neutral terms almost “erases” women, when this is not the case.
A healthcare provider in England, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, published the country’s first clinical guidelines to support trans people in 2021.
“By using only gender-neutral language, we risk marginalizing or erasing the experiences of some women and people who use our services,” the guide explains.
“We understand the fear of extinction, but excluding other groups because they are rare will not improve women’s care. We believe in human rights-based care and we can add an inclusive language to our current language without alienating anyone.”