The battle between Ripley and the alien mother symbolizes how women of the 1980s were grappling with their changing roles of motherhood brought about in part by their increased power over their own reproductive health, as well as broadening career options for women. During this time, more women began to take on non-traditional gender roles in the workplace, the family, and in society. Ripley's character reflects this the growing wave of feminism, and presaged a more assertive and adaptable woman, while still demonstrating devotion to her adoptive offspring.
Reardon, Summer, "Monsters, Marines, and Feminism in the 1980s: A Look at Ellen Ripley from Aliens" (2019). Spring Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry. 56.