Bette Midler is taking heat for calling women the “n-word of the world” in a tweet that seems to have been made to show solidarity with women who are protesting Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
“‘Women are the n-word of the world,” she wrote. “Raped, beaten, enslaved, married off, worked like dumb animals; denied education and inheritance; enduring the pain and danger of childbirth and life IN SILENCE for THOUSANDS of years They are the most disrespected creatures on earth.”
Many responded to the tweet with disgust. The dominant sentiment was that the tweet erased the plight of black women around the world.
“Black women exist, Bette,” wrote Franchesca Ramsey, the host of MTV’s Decoded, a web series that tackles issues surrounding racism in America.
Others echoed that sentiment.
“By your logic, that must make Black women *super* ni***rs then. Am I right, Bette?” a Twitter user with the handle Clarkisha Kent wrote.
According to Songfacts, the controversial part of the tweet is derived from a quote by Yoko Ono which she said in an interview in 1967. It was later adapted as the title of a song by John Lennon. The song was released in 1972 on Lennon and Ono’s joint album, Some Time in New York City.
BLACK WOMEN EXIST BETTE— Franchesca Ramsey (@chescaleigh) October 5, 2018
But to many, the quote and premise sound anachronistic in 2018 in the wake of movements like Black Lives Matter which highlight the unique challenges that African Americans face in the United States.
“To use this saying which has been deconstructed and deemed offensive to African-Americans in this country shows lack of knowledge on issues of race and concept of intersectionality,” wrote organizer, lecturer, and journalist Rosa A. Clemente. “It also denies Black women agency. I would urge you to read Bell Hooks, June Jordan.”
Midler responded to the criticism with a subsequent tweet. She did not apologize for using the quote but mentioned that she had always identified with the Yoko Ono quote.
“It rang true then, and it rings true today, whether you like it or not,” she said. “This is not about race, this is about the status of women; THEIR HISTORY.”
Bette Midler’s tweet comes amidst huge protests against the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. As the Inquisitr previously reported, actress/comedian Amy Schumer and model/actress Emily Ratajkowski were detained by police as they protested the nomination on Capitol Hill. Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women including Dr. Christine Blasey Ford who testified about her experience at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week.