Credit: Screen grabs

Feminist Actress Sorry for ‘Transphobic’ Vagina Cupcakes: I Wanted to Fight Body Shaming

“Thank you for righting my wrong.”

Actress Debra Messing celebrated International Women’s Day on Friday by posting a photo of vagina cupcakes to Instagram.

Messing captioned the image of the variously shaded, pierced, and coifed labia: “Happy International Women’s Day! Powerful, beautiful, and sweet.” However, some people were unhappy that she excluded transgender women who lack vaginas.

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So, on Saturday, the former star of NBC’s “Will & Grace” edited the post to say she was ” so so sorry” to her “trans sisters.”

“I want to apologize to my trans sisters,” Messing said. “I loved that this picture said ‘every single one is beautiful and unique and that’s powerful.’ I did not, however, think ‘but there are innumerable beautiful, unique and powerful women who don’t have a vagina.[‘] And I SHOULD have. And for that I am so so sorry. Thank you for righting my wrong.”

Messing also explained that she had chosen the photo to try to combat vagina shaming, which she said was perpetuated by the porn industry.

View this post on Instagram

Happy International Women’s Day! Powerful, beautiful, and sweet. 🌸 (image by @therealaliwentworth ). (🔥ADDED🔥: I want to apologize to my trans sisters. This photo was supposed to be light, & sassy. The first thing I thought when I saw this photo was “wow how wonderful. Each one is unique in color and shape and size. The porn industry has perpetuated this myth of what a “beautiful” vagina looks like and as a result there are women who feel shame or insecure about the shape of the vulva. I loved that this picture said “every single one is beautiful and unique and that’s powerful.” I did not, however, think “but there are innumerable beautiful, unique and powerful women who don’t have a vagina. And I SHOULD have. And for that I am so so sorry. Thank you for righting my wrong.

A post shared by Debra Messing (@therealdebramessing) on

While some transgender women undergo gender reassignment surgery to remove their penis, most opt to simply identify as women while keeping their genitals intact.

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The vagina-cupcake misstep was a rare one for Messing, who has managed to simultaneously serve as a prominent feminist and LGBT activist. She has been one of the most public faces of the #MeToo movement and in 2016 was honored by Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’ for her advocacy.

During her speech accepting GLAAD’s Excellent in Media Award, Messing pleaded with Ivanka Trump to stop her father’s transgender policies.

“You can change the lives of millions of women and children just by telling your dad stories about real people who are suffering,” Messing said. “Don’t allow him to make trans kids fight in court for their basic human dignity.

In contrast with Messing, some feminists have insisted on drawing a distinction between transgender and other women, arguing that the gap in biology and life experience is significant.

For example, when International Women’s day was first held in 1909, these so-called trans-exclusionary radical feminists have noted, US transgender women already had the right to vote. It took biological women until 1920 to catch up.

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Cover image: Debra Messing/Vagina cupcakes. (Screen grabs)

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