About this project
RAISING MS. PRESIDENT IS A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT HOW WE CAN RAISE THE NEXT GENERATION OF FEMALE POLITICAL LEADERS AND WHY WOMEN STILL DON’T SEE POLITICS AS A PLACE THEY WANT TO BE. WHY? BECAUSE WOMEN DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND YOU CAN TOO BY HELPING TO SUPPORT THIS FILM!
Thank you HerKentucky!
Check out this Google+ Hangout with Director, Kiley Lane Parker
Thank you Decca!
Decca Restaurant in NuLu (Louisville, KY) just raised $700 for Raising Ms. President by donating the proceeds of everyone who ordered the Bees Knees cocktail and matched the total. A huge thanks to Chad, Lindsey and the entire Decca family for supporting our film and helping us try to reach our $5,000 Challenge Match!
Raising Ms. President answers the many questions about why women don’t strive to be our nation’s political leaders, even in the 21st century, and what is being done to encourage more women to think about politics early. Studies show that women do make a difference and it is time to change the current face of politics, but first, perhaps we must change the way we raise our girls.
WHY THIS FILM?
1. We believe that women can make a difference.
Raising Ms. President has taken us across the country looking for answers as to why women don’t run for office and what can be done to encourage more women to run in the United States. Back in 2010 we felt this issue was worth a deeper look and what we discovered are some astonishing answers to questions that have been asked for decades. To date, we have self-financed this project because we knew the topic was current and could not be delayed, but now we need your help. We believe that the more we can talk about this issue in the open, as to why women do not see themselves as political leaders, the closer we will get to encouraging more women to run and more young women thinking about politics at an early age. Studies show that when there is a greater balance of power in the workplace or in politics, the outcomes for decisions being made are better for everyone involved. We believe that with more women in office problems that have plagued our nation for decades have a chance at being solved and that women will help to restore politics and civic leadership to a position of prestige and ethical integrity.
2. We believe focusing on younger women brought new insight to this topic.
As we traveled the country we spoke to many bright, wonderful young women, many of whom wanted to be doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs, but few said they wanted to be politicians. These were young women being trained for civic leadership, yet they still felt constrained by family, stress and many said that they didn’t think they could win even if they did run. Talking to these young women made us realize that we needed to figure out what was happening early on and why young women wanted to be everything else professionally other than our nation’s leaders. Our future depends on changing some of these mind sets.
3. It’s a conversation starter.
Our film is designed for broadcast television. At 60 minutes you can say a lot, but with this topic we feel it is only the beginning. We plan to use this film as an education tool and conversation starter that allows groups and individuals to discuss many of the topics and ideas raised within the film like: why women don’t run for office, is it hard for women to find financing, are women discriminated against when it comes to politics, how do family roles play a part in women running, how is the world for women different today compared to the 1960s, and do women truly make a difference? In our education series we will include discussion topics and supplemental media materials to help drive these continued conversations that need to happen at all levels of society. We will engage with audiences and individuals who are interested in learning more and who are involved in helping more women see that politics is a place they should be.
SO HERE'S THE STORY:
After the 2008 election I was left dumbfounded as to why Hillary Clinton didn’t win her party’s nomination. While she made a few very strategic mistakes, which in my mind were due to the misguidance of her campaign managers and some very impromptu bad decisions I felt were perhaps made out of desperation, Hillary was by far the most qualified candidate in the race. The media ripped her apart, it was disgusting if you remember it, and it was being done by both men and women. For any woman thinking of running for office at the time it made many rethink their decision. “If a smart, wealthy, intelligent and highly qualified candidate like Hillary can’t make it, how can I?” they asked. So I started to do my research. How is it Americans let this happen and was there something deeper going on?
I started the project focusing more on why don’t women run for office in the first place and wanted to explore new feminism, in case that was giving rise to many of the right leaning women we saw come to life after Sarah Palin in 2010. In addition, I was looking at the difference women make. Two wars, abysmal education, policies that leave the majority in shambles and a recession made me wonder if having more women in office could help fix many of these issues. After all, it hadn’t been done before and more of the "same" didn't seem to be working.
As we crisscrossed the nation, meeting several amazing men and women with stunning opinions about these subjects I realized something about a year into the making of this film, perhaps political ambition starts early. After an interview with Richard Fox out in Los Angeles, who wrote "It Takes A Candidate, Why Women Don’t Run For Office," I thought, hey, maybe I need to put my focus somewhere else than just the reasons why women don’t run, perhaps there is a bigger question. What I was hearing is that a lot of the barriers women used to face when running for office no longer exist. Finances, party politics, support, a misogynistic culture, while still present, really don't have that much of an impact anymore. In fact, in the 21st century, when women run for office they typically win, it’s just getting them to sign up that seems to be the biggest obstacle, which means that today, perhaps women themselves are their own worst enemy.
Thus, I started to look at my own life. While interested in politics I have no desire to run for office for the very same reasons I was hearing women all over the country tell me why they too were hesitant to run. But it wasn't until I visited a high school in Oakland, California and asked a class of 15 brilliant young women all hand picked to participate in a civic leadership program if they would ever run for office and they all said “no” that I knew we were in trouble. It was this moment that changed the tone of the film.
Before, I figured it was my generation and those before me that just believed women had to play certain roles in society and just didn't aspire to be leaders. Feminist struggles still weighed on many of us. But it was the millennial generation that I had hope in. They don't really know much about the feminist movements of the 20th century. They have never heard that they “can’t” simply because they are a girl. Yet, there it was, staring me in the face.
The focus on younger women was an easy choice because this is where ambition starts. I interviewed two neuroscientist to help be assess theories about gender roles and how much biology and environment play a role in forming one’s desire to be a political leader. I expected them to tell me it was biologic, just how we are that that boys and girls are different, but in fact they both claimed the opposite. That while there are biological differences that set apart the genders, if males and females were raised the same they would grow up to have the same ambitions. Wow!
So there you go. This is just a taste of where this story is headed. Society, families, education, culture and women have to change in order to get more women into office. That’s a tall order, but the good news is that change is already happening and there are many women, men, organizations and individuals working to encourage more young women to look at politics as a place they want to be. Policy decisions need a stronger female voice. This film is non partisan, we do not pick a side, but value a true democracy, which means more equitable representation across the board.
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP!
WHAT YOU WILL HELP US ACCOMPLISH:
The final stages of a film are often the most expensive and most difficult. With your help we will be able to purchase the rights to expensive footage from major news networks.
Your dollars will also help us in the final edit, which needs color correction, music, audio sweetening and mastering.
Also, your support we allow us to produce the additional educational resources needed to go along with this film for teachers, students, community organizations and institutions.
Your generous pledge will help make those needs a reality. And for your donation, we're already working hard on some great rewards!
STAY CURRENT + INVOLVED
If you like what you see please consider Pre-Ordering your DVD copy today. Any pre-orders will help us out as well!
Kiley, George, Anne Louise, Clay and Michael
Risks and challenges
We are almost finished with this film, but it still needs some images, footage, audio sweetening, music, color correction and mastering to make it ready for screenings and television broadcast.
Up until now we have self financed this entire project. The subject matter was so current that we pushed ahead even though we did not have additional funding. This story needed to be told and we felt that by having a near finished project would give us a better shot at raising the funds to finish the film as well as put it out into the world. This film will get done. We have gathered partners and support for the outreach and distribution, so in addition the film already has a home as well as a comprehensive education plan, now all we need is your support for final production in order to get it out into the world for everyone to see.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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