Biology is back, big time–but it wasn’t men who tried to kill it
For at least a few hours, it looked as if the 1960s soul classic “(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman,” memorably performed by Aretha Franklin, was imperiled by woke attack. Various conservative and right-wing media reported in late January that a trans awareness group was demanding via Twitter that the song be canceled because of its exclusionary emphasis on “natural” womanhood. It was dutifully noted that this was the latest salvo in the trans “assault on women,” and a women’s activist was reported as saying, “I don’t think many women really know how much we’re hated.”
It turned out that the complaint about “Natural Woman,” which received well over one million views and provoked thousands of responses, had been made by a parody account. Aretha Franklin was safe—at least for now. But commentary on the song has a surprising history, as we’ll see, that complicates the standard claims about the trans erasure of women.
Rock critic Dave Marsh wrote that the song’s lyrics were about Franklin “finally finding a man who could make her orgasm.”