Bette Midler Says 'Birthing People' Tweet 'Wasn't About' Trans Exclusion

Bette Midler has elaborated on her controversial tweet about what women are being called, and insisted there was nothing "transphobic" about her initial comments.

On Monday, Midler caused a huge reaction online when she suggested women are being stripped of their name and are instead being called "menstruators" and "birthing people." Trans supporters called out Midler for her comments while thousands of others supported her stance.

She has once again weighed into the debate and attempted to quell the furor by stating in a new tweet that her original tweet was a stance on a recent New York Times article. Not everyone was satisfied with Midler's explanation, though, as some in the comments section suggested she was missing the point.

While Midler, star of the upcoming Hocus Pocus 2, attempted to appease the trans community, she ended up being accused of being "Islamophobic" after another tweet on Wednesday morning.

"PEOPLE OF THE WORLD! My tweet about women was a response to this fascinating and well written piece in the [New York Times] on July 3rd. There was no intention of anything exclusionary or transphobic in what I said; it wasn't about that."

She continued in a Twitter thread, "Seriously, folks, if anyone who read that tweet thinks I have anything but love for any marginalized people, go to Wikipedia and type in my name.

"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."

Midler ended with, "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."

Though Midler assured her followers she was not transphobic, some suggested her statement was.

"The article you've posted here is anti-trans propaganda, unfortunately..." @5TrackSeattle responded. "Women are AWESOME & unjustly oppressed, but that is not a good faith article on the topic."

Kansas State Representative Stephanie Byers, the first transgendered Native American elected to a state legislature in the U.S. also wanted more from Midler.

"People against trans women are using your tweet as proof that even liberals are against the trans community. If that isn't the case, specifically say trans men and women are men and women," she demanded.

Not long after Midler had tweeted her updated stance, former Wonder Woman actress Lynda Carter weighed in on the subject of women's rights and trans women.

"I cannot think of anything that helps women's rights less than pinning the blame on trans women," 70-year-old Carter wrote. "They face so much violence and scrutiny as is. Leave them alone and focus on the real war on women. It's happening in the courts and legislatures around this country."

Carter's tweet struck a chord with the Twittersphere, quickly charging towards 100,000 likes hours after being posted. Fans responded with Wonder Woman references, suggesting Carter has the "Lasso of Truth."

"Scratch a terf [trans-exclusionary radical feminist] and a racist bleeds," wrote @NoraReed in reference to another tweet posted by Midler late on Tuesday. The tweet in question features a mocked up picture of the Supreme Court, with beards and turbans placed on some members while one is wearing a burka.

"Just say you hate Muslims" was the response of @TerceraVenida. Journalist Karen Geier offered Midler some advice, "Ma'am... log the hell off."

Qasim Rashid explained why Midler was wrong to share the image in the comment thread.

"Your friendly local Muslim & lawyer AGAIN reminding you that Islam permits abortion for a variety of reasons & keeps that healthcare decision between a woman & her loved ones & doctor," he wrote. "Stop using our faith as your punchline. Call this for what it is—100% 'Christian' nationalism."

"Wow. Bette Midler is on a roll this week," wrote academic and TV presenter Marc Lamont Hill, "From transphobic to Islamophobic…"

Midler was unavailable for comment when Newsweek reached out.

Bette Midler image from 2019 and 2021
Bette Midler has attempted to explain her Twitter comments after she was accused of being "transphobic." Mark Sagliocco / Paul Morigi/WireImage / Getty Images