Bette Midler unwittingly wandered into a TERF war on Twitter on Monday, stating that women "are being stripped of [their] rights," and that women should not capitulate to the new, woke language surrounding women's bodies.
"They don't call us 'women' anymore," she wrote, "they call us 'birthing people' or menstruators,' and even 'people with vaginas'! Don't let them erase you! every human on earth owes you!" She wrote. The language she critiqued has been adopted by leftists, including those who identify as feminists, in order to be more inclusive of both women who call themselves men, and men who call themselves women but neither give birth nor menstruate, and likely don't have vaginas.
Midler, a life-long leftist, likely waded into these treacherous linguistic waters unwittingly, thinking she was standing up for women against a tirade of abuse and oppression from those who the left perceives are the usual suspects: conservatives. Yet, in this case, those women-haters she is seeking to shame are the ones that are primarily on the same side of the political divide as herself.
And trans activists, those who perpetuated the idea of women as nothing more than entities intended, quantified and qualified only through their function as gestators in human reproduction, did take notice.
Trans-identified biological male Katy Montgomery had words for Midler, saying "Trans people just want the same rights you want." Montgomery didn't note that there are no rights trans people don't have.
A drag queen called Dr. Panti Bliss, who identifies as a "gender discombobulist," said that Midler's concerns over the erasure of women and womanhood were nothing but "anti-trans panic fake nonsense."
"No one is erasing women," Dr. Panti Bliss said, despite the language being used to erase women. For Dr. Panti Bliss, language that takes the word "woman" away from women and gives it instead to men who identify as women, replacing the word "woman" with words that strictly classify women according to their reproductive functions, is inclusive.
Others took the "clap emphasis" approach, saying that because "not everyone with a vagina calls themselves a woman," essentially, no woman should be able to use the word to be inclusive only of women, to the exclusion of sperm-havers, or people with penises.
Some simply tried to educate Midler, with the assumption that maybe Midler wasn't aware that there are some women who are biologically female but prefer to consider themselves as non-women.
The concerns for biological women who prefer to be considered male, despite not being biologically male, was of the foremost concern to many in Midler's mentions.
"Inclusiveness is not erasure," said another. "Please do better."
A non-binary person, who doesn't consider themselves as a woman despite noting that they are able to give birth, took offense to Midler's statement that women should be able to use the word woman to describe themselves without having to identify their biological functions to name themselves. "If people who can give birth were referred to only as 'women,'" the non-binary birthing person wrote, "it would include you and exclude me incorrectly."
This person then said that erasing women in language does no harm.
Another biological female who identifies as non-female said that "including trans men in the conversation about reproductive health does not harm women." Evan Urquart seems to believe that it's more essential that trans men be identified as men with vaginas than the biological women that they are.
And there were so many more.
But TERFS also took to Midler's defense, just as they have with legendary literary luminary JK Rowling, a hero for many women who feel she has swooped in to the rescue of women who were standing up and speaking out to declare that women are adult human females.
These so-called trans-exclusionary radical feminists, the last bearers of feminism on the political left, who insist that while women are the only sex that can carry new life, this is not the summation of their worth, nor a final indicator of their potentiality in society, stood up for Midler.
Julie Bindel simply praised Midler's efforts.
Milli Hill quoted one of Midler's hit songs, saying "did you ever know that you're my hero?"
Twitter account Crone in a Million, outspoken and women-centric, was exuberant in her praise.
And activist Billboard Chris, who changes hearts and minds on the trans agenda one conversation at a time, recommended Midler have a look at who is backing the efforts to erase women from language, trans activists who also, in many cases, support the medical gender transition of healthy children.
Midler would do well to accept the support of those women who have been in the trenches trying to take back the language, as well as the many conservative women who also are willing to die on this hill. They won't back down, they won't ask her for apologies, and they will stand by her side as she demands that women be recognized for what they are, adult human females, the only ones on earth capable of human reproduction, but who are also capable of so much more beyond those biological boundaries.
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