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A film about not having kids in a culture where motherhood feels mandatory.
A film about not having kids in a culture where motherhood feels mandatory.
A film about not having kids in a culture where motherhood feels mandatory.
684 backers pledged $45,646 to help bring this project to life.

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My So-Called Selfish Life - A documentary from Trixie Films

$45,646

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WE DID IT!
Thank you to all our amazing backers! 
Final Hours Stretch Goal Surpassed!

Once the campaign is over, you can continue to support this project by clicking here. Thanks! 

You got us to goal with time to spare and then zoomed right past it. If we make it to our stretch goal, I will make you a supercut of all the #CatsOfSelfishLife. A SuperCat, if you will. Need I say more?

We are in SALON!! Thrilled to be interviewed in Salon about not having children,  pronatalism, and why a woman is never too old to be criticized for her choices. 

Lots of great press! Thanks to SalonKvellerEcoSalonRavishlyNylonBust MagazineReal Simple, Grok Nation, Out of the Box PodcastWe're {Not} Having A Baby, New York Women In Film and Television, Laura Carroll, Flight and ScarletThe Rinky-Dink LifeThe Lux Letter

Hi there! That's me by the Old Stroller Corral in my hyper-family-friendly neighborhood
Hi there! That's me by the Old Stroller Corral in my hyper-family-friendly neighborhood

Why is our society so terrified by women who want to control their bodies and their lives?

My name is Therese Shechter and I'm making a documentary about choosing not to have children in a culture where motherhood feels mandatory.  

There is so much judgment and stigma towards people without children!! We've been called selfish, immature, immoral, unnatural. Yes, people can be rude, but why are they so rude? My So-Called Selfish Life will shine a light on the powerful cultural and historical forces behind the message that every woman’s most important (and perhaps only) role is to reproduce.

Having children is still the most admired thing a woman can ever accomplish, the thing that gives women their value. Who profits from that, and what we can do to shift that conversation?

Along the way, we'll introduce you to the funny, moving, and sometimes incredible stories of a diverse group of people including: 

  • a Red State couple under pressure to procreate from unexpected sources
  • the childfree founders of a LGBT seniors' community 
  • a college student on a 5-year quest to get her tubes tied 
  • an artist and rapper searching for her Golden Girls family
  • and a woman whose unsuccessful fertility treatments led to a life transformation  

You’ll also take an irreverent trip though the worlds of history, politics, pop culture, pregnant Barbies with removable bellies, Bonobo aunties, social media MommyJackers, and "ubermother" Ivanka. 

As a woman who made the decision to remain childfree, I am also walking this road–and I want to bring you along for this pivotal journey. This is the third documentary in my trilogy about women and identity, which includes I Was a Teenage Feminist and How To Lose Your Virginity

Read more about our very talented human and feline team here, including gifted cinematographer Iris Ng (who would make this film all about cats if we let her).

BUT, HERE'S THE THING: If we don't reach our goal, we don't get the money. If we don't get the money, we can't make the film. We're counting on you!

***

That feeling when...you want to tell the Stork to take a hike.
That feeling when...you want to tell the Stork to take a hike.

Did you know that having children is the only way for women to reach their full feminine potential? No? Me neither.  

In 2014, almost half of all American women between the ages of 15 and 44 had never had children, an all-time high. So, why is choosing not to have children seen by so many as a threat, a decision made by the immature, the unfeminine, the selfish? 

We live in a world where femininity is tied to childbearing, where reproductive rights are under constant attack, and where society demands women have children–but only if they are the “right" kind of women. 

This is a conversation about gender, class, and race, and how that defines women's identities and places value on female lives. Want to know more?

First we have to reach our Kickstarter goal to get the money we are raising. Please help us reach our goal and make this film!

***

Shanthony models her Golden Girls rings in a scene from our film. Get your own ring by backing this project (check out Rewards to your right)!
Shanthony models her Golden Girls rings in a scene from our film. Get your own ring by backing this project (check out Rewards to your right)!

We're listening to you. All 3,748 of you! 

My So-Called Selfish Life bubbled up out of the hopes, frustrations and energy of the 3.748 of you who responded to a survey we created to learn about your experiences. YOU inspired us, contributed ideas, shared love for the Golden Girls, and became subjects. YOU have helped us tap into a hidden and powerful reality of life for people who don't want children, and into the shame and silence of going against the mainstream. This film belongs to YOU. 

My first documentary I Was a Teenage Feminist ignited a movement to redefine feminism for the 21st century, and How To Lose Your Virginity sparked conversations about sex in communities all over the world. Our new project is no less than incendiary

Calling all cat ladies, favorite uncles, crones-in-training, and the people who love you! We can't make this film without your support. Back this film to make it a reality!

***

Poet and Memoirist Molly Peacock in a scene from the film. Get a signed copy of her childfree memoir by backing this film!
Poet and Memoirist Molly Peacock in a scene from the film. Get a signed copy of her childfree memoir by backing this film!

You have the power to change the conversation!

There is little if any funding for independent media that focuses on the lives of women, especially a film that asks the questions about motherhood that you’re not supposed to ask. You have the power to challenge the way we think about women’s roles in society, by making a generous donation to fund the creation of this film.  

Most of our money so far has come out of my pocket–but now I'm out of resources. Your backing will help us raise the $42,000 that will take us to the next level.  

You can donate as little as $1 or help by spreading the word to everyone you know using the SHARE button! Every dollar, post, email and tweet gets us closer to our goal. This is not just a film, it's a movement. 

What your support will provide:

We will finish filming with our far-flung subjects this winter, and create a rough cut in spring and summer of next year. Having a rough cut in hand will be the crucial next step to getting significant finishing funds support and international distribution deals so we can complete the film in 2019. Through this process, we will continue to build a platform to tell your stories, amplify your issues, and grow this movement. 

We are thrilled to be at this point in production. Thank you for helping us get to our goal and get this film into the world. 

–Therese, Iris, Marin, Eryn, Chanel, Jason, Melissa, Patricia, Marj and the whole Selfish cast and crew!

***

Some of our fabulous rewards:  

 

 

 

***

What people have said about my previous documentary, How To Lose Your Virginity:

“Shechter’s movie, with a breezy, watchable, funny delivery, walks us through the simple argument baked into the very term virginity — one that we still use freely — the idea of a woman’s body as an object for transaction.” — Salon

"A breath of fresh, comedic air." — Tribeca Film Institute Blog

“Smart!"— Elle Magazine

I learned so much and felt validated in many of my private feelings. What a gift that is!" — Karen, Audience member

“We were so thrilled to partner with Therese to host a screening of her amazing documentary" – Planned Parenthood of New York City

Learn more about How To Lose Your Virginity here

 

Risks and challenges

I have been a documentary filmmaker for 17 years and this is my third feature-length documentary. I ran two successful Kickstarter campaigns for my previous film that raised a total of $50,000. We have a talented and experienced crew, and an enthusiastic and fascinating group of subjects.
Creating independent documentaries can be challenging because they are expensive to make and can take years to produce. This successful campaign will get us to rough cut stage in Fall/Winter 2018, the crucial step in attracting significant finishing funds support and international distribution deals. A work-in-progress sometimes experiences unforeseen delays in the schedule, so we'll keep you updated every step of the way! We love making documentaries that are both entertaining and conversation-changing, and we're excited to do it again!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Cool Aunt or Uncle

    We thank you (or your niece or nephew) on the website and with social media love.

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    Extra Eggs?

    Therese's Famous Deviled Egg Recipe, Stork-Repelling Mobile Phone Wallpaper–plus a thank you on the website and social media love.

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    Got Contraception?

    Don't want kids? Don't want MORE kids? Get a 100% effective* Stork-Repelling Laptop Sticker, plus Mobile Phone Wallpaper, a thank you on the website and social media love.
    *not at all effective as a contraceptive device

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    My So-Called Selfish Download

    A Digital Download of the Film, Stork-Repelling Mobile Phone Wallpaper–plus thank yous on the website.
    NOTE: Download will be sent separately when the film is finished in Spring 2019

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    Is Motherhood For You? (The Book)

    There are few places women can go to explore their ambivalence about motherhood without being judged or told what to do. Ann Davidman's book will help you through this important decision. Read more about her at http://helloflo.com/can-a-class-help-you-figure-out-if-you-want-to-be-a-mom/
    ––plus thank yous on the website.

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    NEW! Children's Stories by George Sand

    A collection of magical children's stories by the great George Sand (yes, that one) courtesy of Feminist Press, Stork-Repelling Laptop Sticker, plus thank yous on the website.

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    NEW! Kids' Books Random Surprise Bag

    Perfect for the kids in your life! We'll select three titles from our big box of children's chapter books courtesy of Random House–plus a Stork-Repelling Laptop Stickers and thank yous on the website.

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    You're Missing Out! Trilogy Parts 1 or 2

    A signed DVD of one of the first two films of Therese's trilogy, “I Was A Teenage Feminist” OR “How To Lose Your Virginity” (your choice!), Stork-Repelling Laptop Sticker–plus thank yous on the website

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    Redefining Motherhood

    A copy of the book "The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood to Fit Reality" with personalized signature from author Avital Norman Nathman–plus thank yous on the website

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    Challenge Beliefs & Myths

    A copy of the book "The Baby Matrix:Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World" with personalized signature from author Laura Carroll––plus thank yous on the website.

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    Tales from the Crib

    A copy of the book "STFU, Parents: The Jaw-Dropping, Self-Indulgent, and Occasionally Rage-Inducing World of Parent Overshare" with personalized signature from author Blair Koenig. For you, or send it anonymously to an oversharing friend! Plus thank yous on the website

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    Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, or Sophia?

    A hand-crafted Golden Girls friendship ring, a Digital Download of the film, a Stork-Repelling Laptop Sticker–plus thank yous on the website and in the film's credits
    NOTE: We will ask you which GGs face you'd like on the ring after you back us. Download will be sent separately when the film is finished

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    NEW! Children's stories by George Sand

    A collection of magical children's stories by the great George Sand (yes, that one) courtesy of Feminist Press, plus a digital download of the film and thank yous on the website.
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    Paradise Piece By Piece

    A rare hardcover copy of the memoir "Paradise Piece By Piece" personally signed by its author Molly Peacock (this is where the title of our film comes from!)–plus thank yous on the website and in the film's credits.

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    NEW! Feminist Folk Tales Gift Bag

    The Feminist Starter Pack! Two new collections of Feminist Folk Tales from around the world: "Sea Girl" and "Hunter Maiden," plus a fabulous 'Feminist in Training" tote bag, all courtesy of Feminist Press. Also includes a digital download of the film, 2 Stork-Repelling Laptop Stickers––plus thank yous on the website and in the film's credits.
    NOTE: Download will be sent separately when the film is finished in Spring 2019

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    My So-Called Selfish DVD

    A signed DVD of the film when it’s finished, a handcrafted Golden Girls ring, Stork-Repelling Laptop Sticker–plus thank yous on the website and in the film's credits.
    NOTE: We will ask you which Girl you want after you back us. DVD will be sent separately when the film is finished.

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    Thank You for Being A Friend!

    Our amazing gift bag containing a Golden Girls 4-Ring Set hand-crafted for you and your friends (you decide who gets to be who), a signed DVD or digital download of the film, Therese's Deviled Egg Recipe (so you have snacks while you watch), 4 Stork-Repelling Laptop Stickers––plus thank yous on the website and in the film's credits
    NOTE: DVD/download will be sent separately when the film is finished

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    Let's Talk About Sex

    Are you a writer who wants to cover reproductive rights and sex for a mainstream audience? Get this 30-minute coaching session with Lux Alptraum, writer, sex educator, comedian, and consultant––plus thank yous on the website and in the film's credits.
    NOTE: This reward is good through Dec, 31, 2017. Learn about Lux at http://www.luxalptraum.com

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    Thank You for Being A Friend!

    Our amazing gift bag containing a Golden Girls 4-Ring Set hand-crafted for you and your friends (you decide who gets to be who), a signed DVD or digital download of the film, Therese's Deviled Egg Recipe (so you have snacks while you watch), 4 Stork-Repelling Laptop Stickers––plus thank yous on the website and in the film's credits
    NOTE: DVD/download will be sent separately when the film is finished

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    An Actual Biological Clock!

    Our exclusive Biological Wall Clock emblazoned with our gal telling the Stork where to go. Bonus: Always set to snooze. Plus a signed DVD or digital download of the film, Stork-Repelling Laptop Sticker–plus thank yous on the website and a Special Thank You in the film's credits.
    NOTE: DVD/download will be sent separately when the film is finished

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    Support for Dealing with Bingos

    Tongue-tied or rage-filled with people's expectations for you to have children? Mindfulness in Social Justice Coach, Patricia Jerido will provide you with simple tools to establish boundaries while clearly articulating your decisions, all in 30 minutes–plus thank yous on the website and a Special Thank You in the film's credits
    NOTE: Reward good through Dec, 31, 2017. http://www.leadershipmattersconsulting.com

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    Early Delivery: Rough Cut Screening

    Join the filmmakers for a rough cut screening of the film (in New York or virtually) and give us your feedback! Plus a signed DVD or digital download of the film, Stork-Repelling Laptop Sticker–plus thank yous on the website and a Special Thank You in the film's credits
    NOTE: DVD/download will be sent separately when the film is finished. Doesn't include travel or accommodations

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    Trying to Decide If You Want Kids?

    There are few places women can go to explore their ambivalence about motherhood without being judged or told what to do. A spot in the online program Group Motherhood Clarity Course™ (offered here at a fraction of its cost) may help. Read about this unique experience at http://helloflo.com/can-a-class-help-you-figure-out-if-you-want-to-be-a-mom/
    Plus thank yous on the website and a Special Thank You in the film's credits
    NOTE: This reward is good through Dec 31, 2019.

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    (Child)Free Time with Therese

    An hour-long Skype-in with director Therese Shechter for your class or group about documentary filmmaking, childfree issues, or even Kickstarter mentoring (your choice). You also get a digital download of the film, 15 Stork-Repelling Laptop Sticker–plus thank yous on the website and an Inner Circle Thank You in the film's credits
    NOTE: DVD/download will be sent separately when the film is finished

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    Selfish AF!

    You and a guest get two tickets to our New York City Premiere screening, an invitation to our exclusive after-party, two Golden Girls rings to wear, two signed DVDs of the film, Stork-Repelling Laptop Stickers–plus thank yous on the website and a Special Thank You in the film's credits
    NOTE: We will ask you which Girls you want after you back us. Doesn't include travel or accommodations

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    You Would Be Such A Great Audience

    A private screening for your friends, class, or group in the New York area with director Therese Shechter, 5 signed DVDs, lots of Stork-Repelling Laptop Stickers for everyone––plus thank yous on the website and an Inner Circle Thank You in the film's credits. If you’re not in NY, Therese can Skype In for your Q&A and discussion!
    Don't want to wait? Therese can screen "How To Lose Your Virginity" right away.
    NOTE: Doesn't include travel or accommodations

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    Now Your LIfe Has True Meaning

    Be an Associate Producer, and give input at our Rough Cut Screening Event, get two tickets to our New York Cast and Crew screening or New York Premiere, your choice of Golden Girls ring, a signed DVD or download, Stork-Repelling Laptop Stickers–plus an Associate Producer credit in the film.
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    You Will Know What True Love is

    Be an Co-Producer, and give input at our Rough Cut Screening Event, get two tickets to our New York Cast and Crew screening or New York Premiere, your choice of Golden Girls ring, a signed DVD or download, Stork-Repelling Laptop Stickers–plus a Co-Producer credit in the film.
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    NO REGRETS!!

    Take the money you would have spent on diapers, piano lessons, bail, and college and put it towards a better cause: Our Film! We'll give you 4 signed DVDs, Golden Girls 4-Ring Set, The Biological Clock, 4 Premiere + Party tickets–and even Therese's Deviled Egg Recipe. Plus, all the thank yous online and Very Special Shout-Out in the film's credits.
    NOTE: DVD/download will be sent separately when the film is finished. Doesn't include travel or accommodations

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Funding period

- (29 days)