Feminist icon Gloria Steinem likened anti-abortion conservatives to former German dictator Adolf Hitler during an interview on NBC's "Today" show.
During the program's third hour Monday, co-hosts Dylan Dreyer, Al Roker, and Craig Melvin chatted with Steinem about the new edition of her book — "Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions," originally published in 1983 — and Melvin asked Steinem what she wants the "new generation" of readers to take away from the book.
Steinem, 84, replied that "the new generation of reader is instructing me by saying that these essays are still relevant," and then she noted two of them. First Steinem mentioned a "parody" titled, "If Men Could Menstruate," which got some laughs from the rapt co-hosts.
She then pointed to "another" essay "on a more serious note to put it mildly, is why Hitler was actually elected — and he was elected, and he campaigned against abortion. I mean ... he padlocked the family planning clinics. OK, so that is still relevant in the terms of the right wing. So there were very few things, actually, that I had to take out."
"If Hitler Were Alive, Whose Side Would He Be On?" was originally published in the October-November 1980 issue of Ms. magazine, which Steinem co-founded, and it became a chapter in Steinem's book. In that chapter Steinem decries anti-abortion efforts of political and religious conservatives on the eve of what would be President Ronald Reagan's election and draws parallels to Hitler's dictatorial reign.
Interestingly Steinem begins the chapter with quotes from conservatives comparing the genocide of abortion to Hitler's genocide of 6 million Jews in World War II — and apparently Steinem still sees a Hitler connection, just in an opposing direction.
After Melvin observed that "some have tried to pervert the term ... feminism," Steinem recalled famous criticism from conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and others, although without naming them: "I've been called a 'femi-Nazi' by various people ... we won't name."
"Let's not name names," Melvin said in agreement.
Steinem also hit the public eye recently when far-left pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber gifted her with a vagina sculpture made of melted down purity rings — a gesture in front of a rapturous conference audience against Christian evangelicals.