NBC Celebrates ‘Icon’ Steinem as She Compares Pro-Lifers to Nazis

During the third hour of NBC’s Today show on Monday, the hosts were thrilled to welcome “feminist icon” Gloria Steinem to the broadcast as they touted a new edition of her book, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, being released. Amid all the adulation, Steinem felt comfortable claiming how “relevant” a decades-old essay of hers remained, in which she compared the pro-life movement to Nazism.

“Our next guest is a trailblazer in so many ways,” co-host Dylan Dreyer announced at the top of the softball segment. Fellow co-host Al Roker hailed: “Gloria Steinem is a best-selling writer, journalist, activist, and feminine icon.” Third co-host Craig Melvin joined in the gushing introduction: “For more than five decades she has been at the forefront of the fight for equality.”

 

 

As if those fawning declarations were not enough, a taped report followed of Melvin proclaiming: “Gloria Steinem is one of the most well-known feminist icons of our time....For the past 50 years, the best-selling author, journalist, speaker and activist has established herself as a leader in the women’s movement.” He touted how the left-wing radical “has been honored with several awards” and that her “life is playing out in a new off-Broadway play called, Gloria: A Life.”

Moments later, Steinem joined the hosts and worried that hype was too much: “It’s wonderful to be here, but I don’t know if I can live up to myself.” That prompted laughter as Melvin assured her: “I think you can.” Dreyer chimed in: “I could watch a whole movie on that.”

Melvin then teed her up to sell her book: “So the third edition is out, first edition came out in 1983, if I remember correctly. What do you want this new generation of reader to take away?” In part, Steinem fondly recalled an offensive essay she penned in 1980 that compare Adolf Hitler’s views on abortion to the Republican Party platform:

Well, the new generation of reader is instructing me by saying that these essays are still relevant....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, that was – he padlocked the family planning clinics. Okay, 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.

The hosts didn’t bat an eye as she doubled down on the despicable argument. There was certainly no mention of the over 60 million abortions in the United States since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

Instead, Dreyer highlighted a parody essay featured in the book, If Men Could Menstruate, and offered this glowing review: “I mean, if you’re not familiar with these essays you have to read them, because just the way you write talks about these topics but makes them enjoyable no matter how heavy they are.”

Later in the friendly exchange, Roker wondered: “...has the definition of feminism changed or has it splintered?” Steinem replied: “No, it really hasn’t. I think many more people understand that it doesn’t mean being anti-male....if you just go to the dictionary, you’ll feel better, okay? Because it just says, you know, a belief in the full social economic, political equality of women.”

Melvin fretted: “Some have tried to pervert the term, though, feminism.” Steinem alluded to criticism from conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh: “Yeah, no, I’ve been called a ‘femi-Nazi’ by various people on – you know, we won’t name.” Melvin agreed: “Let’s not name names.”

He then urged her to share her “interesting theory” on “why we haven’t seen a female president just yet.” Steinem condescendingly explained:

I do think that the fact that we are still raised primarily by women makes us associate female authority with childhood. We, as women, may have our own corrective experience, but for many men, they really feel regressed to childhood. I mean, otherwise why did people say about – grown-up men I know who are my friends said things on television like, “I cross my legs whenever I see Hillary Clinton. She reminds me of my first wife outside alimony.” I mean, it made absolutely no sense, but once you realize that they haven’t seen an authoritative woman since they were eight, you know, they feel regressed.

After not once referring to Steinem as controversial throughout the six-minute segment, Melvin wrapped up the discussion with effusive praise: “Gloria Steinem thank you so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Come back anytime.”

The Today show’s 9:00 a.m. ET hour is becoming the place for celebrating left-wing “icons.” Just last week, the hosts devoted an entire segment to promoting an Oscar-nominated documentary about Supreme Court Justice and “pop culture phenomenon” Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Here are excerpts of the February 25 discussion with Steinem:

9:23 AM ET

DYLAN DREYER: Welcome back, our next guest is a trailblazer in so many ways.

AL ROKER: Gloria Steinem is a best-selling writer, journalist, activist, and feminine icon.

CRAIG MELVIN: For more than five decades she has been at the forefront of the fight for equality.

MELVIN [TAPED REPORT]: Gloria Steinem is one of the most well-known feminist icons of our time.

GLORIA STEINEM: This is no simple reform. It really is a revolution.

MELVIN: For the past 50 years, the best-selling author, journalist, speaker and activist has established herself as a leader in the women’s movement.

(...)

MELVIN: Over the years, Steinem became more involved in activism speaking out and becoming a staunch advocate for women’s equality.

STEINEM: I stand here not only for the Equal Rights Amendment, but in the names of all the women in this country who struggle with two jobs when men have one.

MELVIN: Steinem also helped create New York Magazine and later on co-founded Ms. Magazine, the first magazine to bring feminist issues into the mainstream.

STEINEM: We’re not just a magazine. We’re a whole social movement.

MELVIN: Throughout her life, Steinem has been honored with several awards. Today, Steinem’s life is playing out in a new off-Broadway play called, Gloria: A Life.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN [ACTRESS PLAYING STEINEM]: The Constitution does not begin with “I, the President,” it begins with, “We, the people.”

MELVIN: And at 84 years old, Gloria Steinem does not appear to be slowing down, continuing her fight for equality.

The third edition of Gloria Steinem’s book of essays, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, is out now. Gloria Steinem, so good to have you in the studio.

STEINEM: It’s wonderful to be here, but I don’t know if I can live up to myself. [Laughter]

MELVIN: I think you can.

DREYER: I could watch a whole movie on that.

MELVIN: So the third edition is out, first edition came out in 1983, if I remember correctly. What do you want this new generation of reader to take away?

STEINEM: Well, the new generation of reader is instructing me by saying that these essays are still relevant, which I wouldn’t have known when I was writing them, right? So one of them, If Men Could Menstruate, a great parody about –

DREYER: Which is so funny. [Laughter]

STEINEM: Is out there on campuses, you know, being read and so on. Another, 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, that was – he padlocked the family planning clinics. Okay, 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.

DREYER: Can I just read a line from, If Men Could Menstruate, because it is – it’s just so funny. Because you write, “Menstruation would become an enviable boast-worthy masculine event. Statistical surveys would show that men did better in sports and won more Olympic medals during their periods.” [Laughter] I mean, if you’re not familiar with these essays you have to read them, because just the way you write talks about these topics but makes them enjoyable no matter how heavy they are.

(...)

ROKER: You know, in the time since you’ve written this book, now in 2019, has the definition of feminism changed or has it splintered?

STEINEM: No, it really hasn’t. I think many more people understand that it doesn’t mean being anti-male. On the contrary, we chose the word feminism because men can be feminists too, and many more women identify with that now. But if you just go to the dictionary, you’ll feel better, okay? Because it just says, you know, a belief in the full social economic, political equality of women.

MELVIN: Some have tried to pervert the term, though, feminism.

STEINEM: Yeah, no, I’ve been called a “femi-Nazi” by various people on – you know, we won’t name.

MELVIN: Let’s not name names. One of the things I’ve always found interesting, you have an interesting theory, perhaps, as to why we haven’t seen a female president just yet and why women continue to be paid less than their male counter parts in most professions, and it stems from how we view women from birth as mothers in the home. Talk to us a little bit about that.

STEINEM: Well, I think the salary thing is really flat out profit, I think, motive, and racism and sexism, you know. That’s the cheap labor, you know, historically on which this country has operated.

But I do think that the fact that we are still raised primarily by women makes us associate female authority with childhood. We, as women, may have our own corrective experience, but for many men, they really feel regressed to childhood. I mean, otherwise why did people say about – grown-up men I know who are my friends said things on television like, “I cross my legs whenever I see Hillary Clinton. She reminds me of my first wife outside alimony.” I mean, it made absolutely no sense, but once you realize that they haven’t seen an authoritative woman since they were eight, you know, they feel regressed.

MELVIN: We can view –  

STEINEM: Regressed literally.

MELVIN: We can view women in power inside the home, but outside the home it becomes –  

STEINEM: It’s still difficult, which is why the answer, the ultimate answer to democracy is men raising children as much as women do. Until men are equal in the home, it’s gonna be very iffy and spotty, you know, for women to be an authority outside the home.

MELVIN: Gloria Steinem thank you so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Come back anytime.

STEINEM: Thank you, thank you.

NB Daily Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Pro-lifers Abortion Feminism NBC Today Video Craig Melvin Al Roker Gloria Steinem

Sponsored Links