Gloria Steinem lamented Sarah Palin’s use of the “mama grizzly bear” as a symbol for right-wing women in a Big Think interview earlier this month.
“That is such a libel on mama grizzlies,” Steinem said.
Palin invoked the image to describe women who defend their country as a grizzly bear would her cub. In reality, Steinem explained, the female grizzy bear’s reproductive habits would displease pro-life conservatives.
“They are famous for their exertion of reproductive control in their lives…. Even compared to other bears, brown bears say, they mate later; they have only one or two cubs instead of four; they wait four years instead of two between having cubs; and even once they’re pregnant if they see that it’s going to be a really hard winter, they themselves are not in good health or the food supply is low, their bodies reabsorb the fetus.”
The mama grizzly symbol could even be of rhetorical use to the pro-choice movement.
“If you wanted to have a totem for reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right the mama grizzlies would be up there,” she said.
Watch the whole interview below or at Big Think.