The song A Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin is being bashed by LGBTQ critics as ‘offensive,’ with one organization in particular saying the tune helps perpetuate harmful anti-trans stereotypes.
Released as a single by the late Queen of Soul back in 1967, the stirring love ballad is now facing scrutiny – despite preaching positive messages in regards to women and femininity in general.
Leading the charge to have the song nixed is the Norway-based Trans Cultural Mindfulness Alliance (TCMA), a group started this year and has since made its presence known with a series of polarizing posts on social media.
Statements made by the dubious organization – which defiantly claims that it is genuine and not a parody account – have spawned outrage, including its January 20 request to pull Franklin’s song from streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.
The post, perceived by many as satire, began by asserting the song is offensive to transgender people and that ‘there is no such thing as a “natural” woman.’
‘Aretha Franklin’s 1968 song “Natural Woman” perpetuates multiple harmful anti-trans stereotypes,’ the post reads, erroneously listing the song’s September 1967 release as coming in 1968.
‘There is no such thing as a “natural” woman,’ the organization went on to declare, before claiming the song has already ‘helped inspire acts of harm against transgender women.’
TCMA said it is requesting the song be ‘removed from Spotify & Apple Music.’
The post – the group’s first-ever on social media – would go on to garner national attention, amassing more than 300,000 views in a matter of days.
In terms of likes, however, reception was more lukewarm – with the post as of Monday only boasting just over 100.
Social media users were quick to question whether or not the account, started just days ago, was a joke designed to fan the flames fueling the ongoing war between progressives and the political right.
Other posts that would follow contained statements deemed by many to equally controversial – and some even more so.
‘There have been zero meaningful studies into the gender identities of pets,’ one post published later in the day read, in which organizers told parents that children should be able to decide on their pets’ gender.
‘It seems meaningless, but many children learn gender from their pets,’ organizers wrote. ‘Just because you bring home a “gendered” pet, allow your child to choose the gender of the pet – don’t assign it one “at will.”‘
In another regarding feminine hygiene, organizers wrote: ‘You do not need to bleed to have a period. You do not need to ovulate to have a period.
‘A period is a state of mind than an actual state of being,’ the post went on to state, before stating that biological men who have transitioned ‘can absolutely have periods and need free hygiene products.’
Other requests aired by the organization included a ban on listing gender on birth certificates in its native Norway and ‘an international police force to prosecute bigotry.’
Despite assertions from many that the group is legitimate, including from TCMA itself, many users remain skeptical, and believe the brazen requests are a gag.
The group, however, attested to its legitimacy in a post published Monday morning.
‘For clarification, the TCMA is not a parody organization,’ it read, adding that the organizers ‘are a group of trans individuals seeking to make culture more fair for transgender individuals.
‘We are based in Norway but are seeking to open a chapter in each European country and also North America,’ the group revealed.
That said, following its initial post that demanded streamers pull Franklin’s classic melody, TCMA quickly found itself at the center of backlash on social media.
‘You have to be freaking kidding me,’ wrote one. ‘No one cancels Aretha Franklin.’
Another user, who conceded that he at first thought the account was a joke, added: I thought you had to be a parody but I looked at the accounts you follow and it seems you might be serious.
‘Y’all up the crazy level daily so it’s hard to tell,’ the user continued. ‘Just in case, YES there is such a thing as a natural woman. They’re born with female chromosomes + anatomy. Seek help.’
Someone else wrote the tweet was the ‘stupidest’ he had ever seen on the platform, before demanding ‘on behalf of all normal people,’ the group remove their Twitter account.
‘If you don’t like the song or sentiment don’t listen to it,’ another user simply instructed.
Others, including Standing for Women Founder Kellie-Jay Keen, slammed the request to pull the song as misogynistic, and an affront to female’s ownership of their own femininity.
Appearing for an interview with Sky News Australia Sunday, as backlash against the organization continues to burgeon, Keen insisted that ‘being a woman is not a crime.’
‘Being a mum, that is also being attacked, we’re now called birthing persons or pregnant persons,’ Keen said, appearing for the interview in front of a sign that featured an inscription of the aforementioned phrase.
‘I don’t think many women really know how much we’re hated – I hate to say it … I don’t have a victim mentality, but it’s really hard to ignore the misogyny of this particular movement.
‘It means a man who says he’s frightened to go in a man’s toilet – his words are more credible than a woman who says she doesn’t want that man in her space.’
The group, according to its social media profiles, was founded January 2023 ‘exclusively by trans individuals,’ and seeks to instill ‘cultural changes to ensure the inclusivity of trans individuals.’
The group’s request to pull Franklin’s song has yet to catch traction with more notable activist groups, but has drawn support from several onlookers on social media. The identities of the group’s founders are not yet known.