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Bette Midler didn’t intend to be “exclusionary or transphobic” with her tweet about the “erasure” of women.
The 76-year-old actress has responded after backlash over a tweet in which she said “women of the world” are losing the rights to their bodies, lives and “even of our name”.
After some followers claimed the comments were anti-trans, Midler has now shared a New York Times article which says “the word ‘women’ has become verboten” and sought to explain her position.
She tweeted: “PEOPLE OF THE WORLD! My tweet about women was a response to this fascinating and well written piece in the NYT on July 3rd.
“There was no intention of anything exclusionary or transphobic in what I said; it wasn’t about that.”
The ‘Hocus Pocus’ star noted she has “60 years of proven love and concern” for marginalised people, and urged people to “unite” to save democracy.
She continued: “I’ve fought for marginalized people for as long as I can remember. Still, if you want to dismiss my 60 years of proven love and concern over a tweet that accidentally angered the very people I have always supported and adored, so be it.
“But the truth is, Democracy is slipping through our fingers. I’m all in on trying to save Democracy for ALL PEOPLE.
“We must unite, because, in case you haven’t been paying attention, divided we will definitely fall.”
Her original tweet – which comes after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, which removed the constitutional right to an abortion – has sparked criticism.
Earlier this week, she wrote: “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!”