Bette Midler had a rough Thursday on Twitter, and it all started with her paraphrasing Yoko Ono. In a now-deleted tweet that you can see at USA Today, the 72-year-old wrote, "'Women, are the n-word of the world.' 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." USA Today reports the more than 8,000 comments her tweet gathered over the next three hours were mostly negative, with many arguing, as @NoisyAstronomer puts it, that it "erases the struggles of black women in particular." Journalist Jemele Hill's reaction was simply, "Full stop."
Midler's initial reaction wasn't to apologize. In a second now-deleted tweet, she wrote, "I gather I have offended many by my last tweet. 'Women are the...etc' is a quote from Yoko Ono from 1972, which I never forgot. It rang true then, and it rings true today, whether you like it or not. This is not about race, this is about the status of women; THEIR HISTORY." The title of Ono's song is "Women Are the N----- of the World," and the Washington Post reports it was largely kept off the radio at the time. In Midler's case, the critics eventually won out. After three hours, the post was pulled and she tweeted this: "The too brief investigation of allegations against Kavanaugh infuriated me. Angrily I tweeted w/o thinking my choice of words would be enraging to black women who doubly suffer, both by being women and by being black. I am an ally and stand with you; always have. And I apologize." (Read more Bette Midler stories.)