Mae Martin has shared a compassionate message on Instagram in response to Bette Midler’s recent controversial tweets.

The Feel Good star, who shared their childhood obsession with Midler in their Netflix special, responded to Midler’s tweets after reportedly being inundated with messages about the situation. 

This comes after Midler shared a tweet claiming that women are being “stripped” of rights over their bodies, their lives and their name.

“They don’t call us women anymore, they call us ‘birthing people’, ‘menstruators’ and even ‘people with vaginas’,” Midler wrote.

Martin’s response encouraged compassion and urged people to take time to understand the perspectives of older feminists who may struggle to understand the need for trans-inclusive language.

“These figure heads, like Bette Midler, fought hard for women’s rights and they’re upset when, in the context of reproductive rights, they read phrases like “people with uteruses”. They feel reduced and negated and confused,” said Martin. 

“I would say to them: Nobody is negating the fact that people assigned female at birth have a unique struggle against an oppressive patriarchy. Nobody is denying the power and magic of cis women.

“But, for instance: I was born female, grew up with all the struggles that entails, but I am trans/non-binary, not a woman.”

Breaking down the crux of their point, Martin continued to explain: “Woman is not an accurate word to use when describing me.

“The use of inclusive language when talking about abortion rights means that I – with all my shared experience and shared threat of pregnancy as I also sleep with cis men – can participate and be acknowledged in the conversation and fight alongside women.”

Martin also explained the message behind the phrase ‘trans women are women’, arguing that “nobody is denying that people have biological differences” but stating that trans women struggle against rape culture and the patriarchy in a way that is “parallel” to the struggles of cis women. 

“We need each other. We need cis women as allies,” Martin concluded. “We all have the same goal and common enemy”.

Martin underlined the need for understanding in the fight for social progress, saying “one day there will be things that i struggle to understand and operate and I hope that people are patient with me and explain it and teach me.” 

Midler has since responded to critics of her tweet.

“There was no intention of anything exclusionary or transphobic in what I said; it wasn’t about that,” she clarified on 6 July.  “I’ve fought for marginalized people for as long as I can remember.”

She added: “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.”