The “news” that late, great soul singer Aretha Franklin’s song “Natural Woman” has been deemed offensive to transwomen has been disputed after the outraged “activist” group was revealed to be a satirical outlet. Once the group called for Franklin’s 1968 hit song to be removed from streaming platforms, other social media users and true activists debunked the rumor and defended Franklin’s legacy. Read more inside.
An alleged activist group from Norway demanded that Franklin’s song be removed from both Apple Music and Spotify after they deemed its lyrics offensive to transwomen.
The Trans Cultural Mindfulness Alliance took to Twitter last week to condemn the ballad, saying that it has ignited harm against transgender women.
“Aretha Franklin’s 1968 song ‘Natural Woman’ perpetuates multiple harmful anti-trans stereotypes,” the apparent organization tweeted. “There is no such thing as a ‘natural’ woman.”
The went on to say that the song has inspired acts of harm against transwomen saying, “TCMA is requesting it is removed from Spotify & Apple Music.”
Since the viral tweet, the group has since claimed that their original post was “satirical.” They later updated their Twitter bio to say, “PARODY/SATIRE,” so that fans are clear of their viral motivations.
An actual social and political activist named Dr. David Johns chimes in on social media to debunk the rumor and defend the late Aretha Franklin’s legacy.
“I want people to put some respect on queen Aretha’s name and to stop using LGBTQIA+ folks as weapons of mass distractions,” Dr. Johns shares in a TikTok video.
He encourages fans to take a page out of writer Bell Hooks’s book saying, “I also want us to learn the lessons of our good sister Bell Hooks, who taught us the importance of critical thinking.”
Johns reveals that several social media users sent him posts about the Norwegian organization.
“The activists in question in this story,” he adds. “Is a parody account that was started in January of this year  by an organization in Norway.”
In the video, Johns guides sincere supporters to real organizations doing the work for the trans-community.
“For folks who have questions about things the trans-community, there are organizations that do that work,” Dr. Johns continues.
He recommends two organizations for fact-based information: The Marsha P. Johnson Institute and the Trans Legal Defense Fund (TLDF).
Johns continues educating his fans in the video saying, “What this does play on is some of the worst fears about conversations so that we can all be free and have access to the rights and privileges that so many people take for granted.”
“Let’s stop this good people,” he closes out. “Let’s learn to actually look for sources and citations.”
Franklin’s popular and powerful song, “A Natural Woman” was considered an influential song with an impactful message. So much so, that the iconic singer performed the hit at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in 2015, during a ceremony honoring the track’s writers, Gerry Goffin and Carole King. Then-President Obama was there for the moving performance and shed a tear.
The late Franklin passed away in August 2018 after a battle with advanced pancreatic cancer. Still, she is revered as one of the greatest singers for her impact in music and beyond.
The Norwegian organization really just gave Franklin a few more streams, and we’re sure she’s singing harmoniously from the heavens above.
See the original tweet below: