Bette Midler and Macy Gray have recently come under fire after making transphobic comments about trans women. They have been lumped in with the likes of J.K. Rowling and many others labeled as TERFs (feminists who exclude the rights of transgender women from their advocacy of women’s rights).
While appearing on “Piers Morgan Uncensored,” Macy Gray said “I will say this and everyone’s gonna hate me but as a woman, just because you go change your (body) parts, doesn’t make you a woman, sorry.”
Midler also 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!”
While Gray and Midler’s advocacy may be defined by their own terms of womanhood, they are not exempt from backlash and the thoughts of those who may disagree. Both have gone on to issue apologies but the damage is already done. Deeming trans women as “not real women” can be harmful in that it incites violence from others.
Are Macy and Bette entitled to voice their opinions? What do feminism and advocacy look like nowadays?