Considering the conservative nature of both Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann’s viewpoints, it should come as no surprise that Gloria Steinem, the nation’s most well known feminist, unabashedly opposes the female politicos.
On Wednesday, Steinem was honored at a luncheon that celebrated a new HBO documentary about her life called, “Gloria: In Her Own Words.” When asked about her thoughts on both Palin and Bachmann, she was candid, saying, “They’re there to oppose the women’s movement. That’s their job.” Below, watch her discuss Palin, Bachmann and plenty more in an interview with ABC:
While it is unclear exactly what the advocate meant by her statement, she also went on to accuse the two politicians of “selling out” the women’s rights movement. These statements are likely rooted in the fact that both Palin and Bachmann oppose abortion and embrace traditional societal values. In a speech that followed these comments, Steinem continued to pile on Palin and Bachmann, among others:
“I can testify, the very same things people were telling me 30 or 40 years ago — it’s against nature, you can’t do this, my wife is not interested — all these [people] are now saying, well, feminism used to be necessary, but it’s not anymore. That is the new form of obstruction. And, of course, it’s accompanied by the other natural thing that happens if you have a big social justice movement: You make jobs for people who sell it out. So we have Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, who are on my list of ‘the women only a man could love.'”
In her talk, Sheinem went on to call Palin, Bachmann — even Rick Perry — “people our founders came to this country to escape.” Below, watch a TIME Magazine interview with Steinem:
Concerning Bachmann’s unflattering Newsweek cover, the woman’s rights aficionado couldn’t bring herself to defend her fully. In an e-mail to Salon’s Joan Walsh, she refused to call the image “sexist” (though she admitted it was “borderline”), saying:
It’s so hard for feminists to prove that we’re even-handed — because right-wing anti-feminist women so rarely do anything defensible — that this may be grasping at straws.
Comparing Palin, Bachmann and Perry to the people America’s forefathers sought to escape is a bold statement — one that some will surely find unfair and rooted in political disagreement more than anything else.
(h/t New York Magazine)