Mom is a Dirty Word Documentary
Mom is a Dirty Word Documentary
"Mom is a Dirty Word" feature-documentary explores how damaging public policy and media depictions impact Mothers and their families.
"Mom is a Dirty Word" feature-documentary explores how damaging public policy and media depictions impact Mothers and their families. Read more
About this project
I'm a wife, I'm working on a second graduate degree, a history lover, a full-timer and freelance researcher with taste buds for Chicken Tikka Masala. However, after I gave birth to my two kids, my identity was watered-down into one single archetype: MOTHER.
This got me thinking... Why is it that when my family grew to include two adorable kids, all those other interests that made me, ME aren’t valued anymore? There is an expectation to sign off on my former identity and assume a new one, like some kind of double agent... And because I work full time, my new title is - WORKING MOM.
You may have been pegged with one of those other tired phrases: “STAY-AT-HOME MOM” or “SUPER MOM” or “TIGER MOM” or “HELICOPTER MOM…”
Women must give up their personal and professional identity once they become Mothers. Once they give birth, a line is drawn in the sand and they must fall in line and accept their badge. What's worse, these titles are often used as arguments to pit one Mother’s parenting style against another, the most frequent being SAHM vs. WORKING MOM – which parenting style is better?
That's not the point.
These stock characters do nothing other than make Mothers feel like inadequate parents and people. The REAL HARM is something more subversive… it’s in the DNA of our culture and public policy. And like racism and sexism, it has a name...
The United States praises Mothers as the selfless devotee.
***Motherhood is the most important job in the World!***
***Stay-at-home Moms are chefs, chauffeurs, accountants, therapists... if paid a salary, they'd be trillionaires!***
We may celebrate Motherhood more than any other country, yet as a nation FAIL in almost every appreciable measure. In fact, out of 185 nations, we rank among the WORST in support for Mothers.
- The U.S. is ONE of only FOUR countries that DOES NOT offer government-mandated paid maternity leave. (The other three are Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, and Lesotho).
Why is this important?
- Paid family leave has been shown to reduce infant mortality by as much as 20%. Oh, and the U.S. ranks low on infant mortality too - 37th out of 185 countries surveyed. – Released in May/2014 by the United Nations’ International Labor Organization
- In the U.S., 25% of all women return to work fewer than 10 days after giving birth. This makes breast-feeding more difficult.
- Inadequate breast-feeding causes higher rates of infant illness and hospitalization at a cost of billions of dollars annually. - American Academy of Pediatrics
- Mothers are either the sole or primary source of income in over 40% of households with children under 18. However, they make $17 LESS per week than women without kids.
And what about men?
- For a man, having children means making $147 MORE per week than their childless peers. - Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Pew Research and Social Demography
And speaking of men... of 185 countries surveyed, 76% offer paternity leave. The United States doesn’t.
Not only is public policy telling us Mothers are not important - but neither are Fathers.
WHY MAKE THIS DOCUMENTARY?
- Because ANTI-MOTHER = ANTI-CHILDREN.
- Because current American media and public policy does not value Mothers and consequently does not value the family unit – Mothers, Fathers and children.
- Because there is no preordained role how Mothers must act - whether working or staying-at-home, Mothers must not be made to feel "Mom-guilt" about choosing the best means of caring for their families.
- Because we broke through the glass ceilings and have risen through the job ranks - but we’re cutting ourselves along the way. Women must not be punished for working and child-rearing.
- Because “MOM” shouldn’t be a dirty word and with YOUR help, WE CAN START A SEA of CHANGE.
THREE STATES have mandated maternity leave - California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. Join us and we can pressure all states to put maternal and parental leave - as well as other family concerns - on the agenda.
OTHER TOPICS OF DISCUSSION IN "MOTHER IS A DIRTY WORD"
The idea that as soon as women deliver, they're encouraged to “shed the pregnancy weight," removing the scars a.k.a "badges" of Motherhood.
The notion that women must "do it all" and never complain, because that's unbecoming of a Mom and they must TAKE IT LIKE A WOMAN. Of course, this creates guilt and a "bad-Mommy" complex.
The discrimination against Mothers breast-feeding in public.
The controversial trend of "child-free" businesses and the increasing momentum of the ‘Ban the Brat’ and ‘No-Kid Allowed’ movements.
The rise in the popularity of ‘egg freezing’ among women and employers.
The increasing number of women opting out of having children entirely.
The sparsity of relatable Mothers in TV and film. Media representations of mothers still reinforce the same stock characterizations that existed in the 1950s – bad mothers vs. good mothers and that maternal problems are not public but personal issues.
We understand it takes many financial streams to make a film. In addition to applying for grants (Sundance, Roy D. Dean, Fledging Fund, Cinereach, Tribeca, among others)... we're counting on our Kickstarter goal to get us over the next hump in production.
Another advantage of Kickstarter is the opportunity to reach a broader audience and unite more Mothers together. We're always eager to strengthen our message and happily embrace your feedback.
HOW YOUR FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION WILL BE USED:
First off, thank you for supporting female filmmakers. You may already know women account for just 16% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors. In an industry dominated by men, your contribution not only supports women in film, but Mothers in film!
MOM IS A DIRTY WORD documentary is already in PRODUCTION. To date, we’ve shot hours of gut-wrenching, intimate footage with our THREE MOTHERS:
We've also interviewed PULITZER-NOMINEE AND NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR Ann Crittenden.
Your financial support will help us continue our production, financing equipment rentals and transportation costs. The following inspiring women have already signed on to be interviewed for the next phase of production:
However, to interview these women, we really need your help to make this dream happen.
JUST SOME OF THE EXCITING REWARDS!
$10 pledge – To give our thanks for your $10 pledge, enjoy a “I LOVE MOM” temp tattoo. While your support is permanent, this temp tattoo is removed easily with a bit of baby oil.
$15 pledge – “I SUPPORT MOMS” wristband.
$25 pledge - With your $25 pledge, we'd like to include your photo, along with all of our other contributors in our Mother Mosaic image!
$200 pledge – We're offering LIMITED EDITION POSTERS signed by the entire MDW crew! $200 contribution snags this exciting reward!
$300 pledge – Five signed copies of Arlie Hochschild's "THE SECOND SHIFT" is on offer for a $300 contribution.
$300 pledge – Five signed copies of Sharon Lerner's "THE WAR ON MOMS" is on offer for a $300 contribution.
$300 pledge – Five signed copies of Ann Crittenden's "THE PRICE OF MOTHERHOOD" is on offer for a $300 contribution.
$500 pledge – Delve into your maternal ancestral line with the help of SJR Research. Uncover the powerful female figures buried in your past and bring them back to life to celebrate today for your $500 pledge.
$1,500 pledge – Your $1,500 contribution earns you an opportunity to be the photo subjects in an upcoming "4th Trimester Bodies Project" photoshoot!
You can support Mom Is a Dirty Word in three crucial ways:
1. Make a financial commitment to our Movement. Every contribution helps.
2. Share our message with your family, friends, and colleagues in person or through Facebook posts and tweets. If our vision aligns with other journalists or bloggers you know of, please help spread the word. Individually, we’re powerful. In numbers we’re unstoppable!
3. Do you have a story you’d like to share with our movement? Post your photo or message with #isupportmoms. We’ll include your contribution to the ongoing discussion on our Facebook page.
And FINALLY… a call for INTERVIEWEES
If you’re in the DC, Maryland, Virginia, and Central PA region and would like to be interviewed for an opportunity for YOUR STORY to be included in MOM IS A DIRTY WORD documentary, email the director, Samantha Rife via Kickstarter.
REMEMBER... MOM ISN’T A DIRTY WORD – Join the movement!
The MDW Filmmaking Team
SAMANTHA RIFE is Principal and Founder of SJR Research. For over 25 years, she has worked as a research, writer, and provided administrative support for large and small projects in a wide variety of fields including History, Genealogy, Information Technology, Education, Writing/Editing, Film and Media, Communications, Marketing, Public Health/Social Services, managed Healthcare, Visual Arts, Retail, and the Tourism and Hospitality Industries. Samantha is a mother of 2 children – Joshua and Cassandra. She lives in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, with her husband Jamie.
DARREN MITCHELL is an American actor and cinematographer based in Lancater PA. Darren has written, directed and produced more than 20 short films as well as worked on Hollywood production crews for short and feature films. Darren owns and operates Relevant Noise Media/RLVT Films, a freelance production company for commercial film and television.
MICHELLE MEDVEDOFF is a screenwriter and filmmaker who has produced over 10 films. Her feature film, "The Wife Master" won the "Critic's Prize" at Mexico City’s Mic Genero film festival in 2014 and has found distribution with Pathfinder Pictures and Fandor. Medvedoff writes short film scripts for independent filmmakers through her company "Short Script Gods."
ENDREA KOSVEN: Founder and CEO of EDK and Company, a boutique marketing communications, copywriting, and social media agency based in Los Angeles. She studied broadcast journalism at the USC School of Journalism. She has worked for several media outlets, including MTV News, KCAL-9 Los Angeles, and KYSR 98.7 FM Los Angeles. Before launching her own venture, Endrea was an Account Executive at Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, where she worked on public relations campaigns for large consumer goods and entertainment companies such as Nissan North America, DreamWorks SKG, Microsoft Xbox, Baskin Robbins, Universal Studios Home Video, and ABSOLUT Vodka. She later worked as a Style Consultant with several luxury and boutique hotel brands in Southern California. Her client list included the Four Seasons Resort Santa Barbara, Bacara Resort & Spa, Canary Hotel, Montecito Inn, and San Ysidro Ranch.
ASHLEE WELLS JACKSON and LAURA WEETZIE WILSON. Known for their transformative photography for "The 4th Trimester Bodies Project," these two soulful gals are an inspiring addition to the MDW team!
Risks and challenges
Our team includes professional, working filmmakers who have produced feature-length, award-winning films. We are aware of the unexpected challenges that can come up in movie-making and are taking every precaution to minimize potential roadblocks.
Like all filmmakers, our ultimate goal is for the documentary to gain an audience, and for that one depends on finding a distribution partner. While our team has secured DVD and VOD distribution for other feature films, there is never any guarantee we will earn distribution for MDW. However, our passion for MDW is contagious. The stories of our Moms and Dads featured in MDW are inspiring, and we believe this project will attract a fabulous distribution partner.
If after making the rounds on the festival circuit we do not find a distribution partner, we will self-distribute. Throughout the duration of this project, we will always maintain our true mission: to improve the lives of Mothers in the United States. We will never compromise our mission and always choose to collaborate with people and organizations that are as passionate about Moms as we are.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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