Sarah Palin & the “Mama Grizzlies” Don’t Have a Corner on the Political Motherhood Revolution

For some reason, Sarah Palin and her acolytes, or as she likes to call them, the “mama grizzlies,” want us to believe that politically conservative mothers speak for all mothers and that they have a corner on common sense or on the political motherhood market.

I beg to differ.

“Sister” Sarah, I hate to break it to you, but nothing could be further from the truth. Can you say Mothers of Intention?” Or MOMocrats? Or MomsRising?

And there are plenty of fabulous non-grizzly moms running for office, like my friend Aimee Olivo who’s running for her local school board.  And my friend Jill Miller Zimon who ran for and won a seat on her town council.  And Congressional candidate Krystal Ball, a Democratic mom of a toddler trying to make some headway in a really red part of Virginia.  And Ariana Kelly, who’s running for a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates.

You get the idea.

Sure, I’m glad that women, especially mothers, of all political persuasions are finding and exercising their political voices, especially the ones who realize they can do it without demonizing the opposition.  That’s why I’m so excited that over 50 amazing mothers of various political stripes agreed to be featured in my Mothers of Intention book that will be coming out late this fall thanks to the amazing people (especially Lucy Chambers!) at Bright Sky Press. In addition to great essays, the book explores the political revolution women and mothers are building online and through social media.

So I have to take exception to Palin trying to horn in on the political mom territory by implying through her rhetoric and advertising that her right-wing supporters are the ones who created this.   They didn’t.  We were out here shaking things up when she was still visiting the Beehive Beauty Shop to have her hair done in her pre-governor days.

As for the whole “mama grizzly” analogy?  Sure, mothers get riled up and all protective about things that impact their children, but we’re usually able to manage without rearing up and taking a swipe at someone.  After all, blood stains are just extra work when we’re doing the laundry! For the most part, moms are actually able to use their brains and verbal skills to get most things accomplished, including their “political” agendas.

Sarah, maybe if you tried to have an actual conversation with women about taking part in the process and engaging all mothers, not just the ones you think are like you in that ‘pioneer-woman-of-politics’ kind of way, you’d know that.  But I should stop there.  I don’t want to give you too many hints about reaching mothers who want in on changing the world.

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15 Responses to “Sarah Palin & the “Mama Grizzlies” Don’t Have a Corner on the Political Motherhood Revolution”

  1. deborahlquinn Says:

    What really gets me is the “pink elephants” reference at the end of this stunningly vapid video. If I were a conservative woman, that reference alone would force me to find some other spot in the “big tent” of the GOP. I just talked about the Grisly Mama yesterday…

  2. Debbie Owensby Moore Says:

    It’s as if she thinks women having a voice is an idea she just thought up. But of course she is not a feminist, just a pink elephant.

  3. Just Margaret Says:

    Pink Elephants? Grizzly Mamas? It sounds more like FAO Schwartz’s toy section than a women’s movement. I’m just waiting for the re-release of the Pit Bull (comes with her own Lipstick in “Palin Pink”).

    I’d laugh if the whole thing didn’t make me want to cry.

  4. DEO Says:

    $arah is insulting on SO many levels………….

  5. KarenJ Says:

    I like the more accurate term “sow grizzlies” for Sarah Palin and women of her ilk.

  6. Ariana Kelly Says:

    Thanks for this great post! Through my work at MomsRising, and on the campaign trail I have met countless moms who are active and engaged, and committed to building a better world for ourselves and our children. Yes, it is a revolution in the making, but not one driven by Sarah Palin!

  7. Lisse Says:

    Haha Just Margaret – there’s a joke in there somewhere about the Land of the Misfit Toys….

  8. Katherine Says:

    Amen, sister. She didn’t create or copyright mothers caring about something beyond the school carpool schedule and the PTA. (Not that those aren’t important!) Can’t wait to read your book!

  9. Anita Says:

    Thanks for the MomsRising mention! Great post, Joanne.


  10. Carol Schiller Says:


    “…we’re usually able to manage without rearing up and taking a swipe at someone. After all, blood stains are just extra work when we’re doing the laundry!”

    I love this! Priceless.

    It’s an exquisite example of the kind of common sense insight earned in the unglamorous work that is part of every mom’s day — and that we keep hoping will inform better government decisions.

  11. Jill Says:

    Frankly, the mama grizzly analogy would have me think those moms need some anger management help. If I’ve learned nothing else, being in an elected office has far less to do with having great ideas than it has to do with knowing how to get ANY idea agreed to and implemented. And while anger can be a motivating force, it sure isn’t going to get you to the finish line.

    Great post, Joanne – had to be said, and it’s a shame it gets ignored by MSM.

  12. Sora Ryu Says:

    Thanks for letting us know a lot of cool moms are out there…and they don’t where Palin Pink

  13. Dana Lucas Says:

    Thank you! Come on Progressive Moms let’s hear us ROAR in November!

  14. The Ranting Mommy Says:

    I appreciate this post for several reasons. As you point out, we should support women who are becoming politically informed and involved. I do not begrudge Palin this. As for most of her politics, I object to her (allegedly) cornering the market on things like patriotism, PTA moms, and ‘personal as political’. If she only knew.

  15. Melaina25 Says:

    Oh don’t even get me started about Palin. I posted an editorial a while back by Gloria Steinem and it expertly sums up exactly how I feel about her.

    She definitely does NOT speak for all Moms, especially me.

    Thanks for taking part!

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