The headlines about a trans group allegedly trying to cancel Aretha Franklin‘s classic song “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” were all but unavoidable.
“Aretha Franklin song ‘A Natural Woman’ blasted by transgender ‘activists,'” the New York Post‘s headline blared.
“Aretha Franklin song ‘Natural Woman’ deemed offensive,” Sky News proclaimed.
“Transgender activists demand international ban on Aretha Franklin’s ‘A Natural Woman,'” the Washington Examiner declared at the top of an article that has since been unpublished.
“Now Aretha Franklin’s song Natural Woman is deemed OFFENSIVE to trans women,” the Daily Mail‘s headline said, seemingly mocking the concept as a farce.
But, as it turns out, the above and plenty of other news outlets all eagerly parrotted a narrative presented by a self-identified pro-trans group without actually doing any basic research to determine its veracity.
As a result, TCMA: Trans Cultural Mindfulness Alliance — a group that was founded just this month in Oslo, Norway — had the last laugh at the expense of media outlets that decided against incorporating any semblance of a journalistic approach to their coverage of the so-called news.
How it started
It all started on Friday with a tweet from TCMA’s Twitter account that called out Franklin’s song as being transphobic in nature.
“Aretha Franklin’s 1968 song ‘Natural Woman’ perpetuates multiple harmful anti-trans stereotypes,” TCMA tweeted. “There is no such thing as a ‘natural’ woman. This song has helped inspire acts of harm against transgender women.”
The group punctuated its tweet by claiming it was “requesting [the song] is removed from Spotify & Apple Music.”
While the tweet didn’t exactly go viral, many of the responses to it did, including choice commentary such as:
This is crap.. Cisgender=biological women. Transgender=biological men. Now your community is offended by a song that was made in the 60’s.
You are UNHINGED! Stop trying to erase biological women! We are going nowhere and your campaign will bear no fruit!
I never speak out against the trans community but this is pure ignorance. The song is from 1968. If you don’t like it don’t listen to it. Trying to have a song created by a blacc woman banned makes you the oppressors you claim to be fighting against.
How it’s going
On Monday afternoon, TCMA let the cat out of the bag and called out all the news coverage that didn’t include anybody trying to contact the group for more information or, at the very least, some clarity.
“I am STUNNED that not a single media outlet who reported on the Aretha Franklin tweet even ATTEMPTED to contact this account for comment,” TCMA tweeted. “Based on the sheer ridiculousness of the content on this page, how could JOURNALISTS not comprehend that this is parody/satire.”
The tweet is now pinned to the top of its account.
As further evidence of TCMA’s satire/parody mission, it tweeted early Tuesday morning: “Putting pineapple on pizza is transphobic and racist.”
The group’s Twitter bio explicitly identifies its account as “PARODY/SATIRE” and claims it was “Founded January 2023 exclusively by trans individuals, promoting cultural changes to ensure the inclusivity of trans individuals.”