My So-Called Selfish Life

Want kids? Don’t want kids? Want everyone to be free to make their own choices about their bodies and their lives?

MY SO-CALLED SELFISH LIFE is an in-the-works documentary about choosing not to have children in a culture where motherhood feels mandatory. This film will reveal the powerful cultural and political forces behind the message that every woman’s most important (and perhaps only) role is to reproduce.

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?

Layering powerful personal stories with wit, clever animation and vintage Social Engineering films, filmmaker Therese Shechter explores critical issues around female identity, and wonders why people seem so terrified of women who want to control their bodies and their lives. Viewers will take an irreverent trip through the worlds of history, politics, pop culture, pregnant Barbies with removable bellies, the Jennifer Aniston baby watch, social media MommyJackers, and “ubermother” Ivanka Trump.

Shechter uses her own decision not to have children to frame the narrative, and creates a far-reaching dialogue with people who have made this choice for a variety of reasons: a university student on a 5-year quest to get her tubes tied; the founders of a childfree LGBT seniors community; a Red State couple getting pressure to have kids from unexpected places; an single artist and rapper searching for her Golden Girls family; and a woman whose unsuccessful fertility treatments led to a total life transformation and an armful of tattoos.

We have the power to create women’s roles in society beyond motherhood, and to live our lives without judgement or stigma.

This is the third film of her documentary trilogy on women and identity, which includes I WAS A TEENAGE FEMINIST and HOW TO LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY.