Is Mom a Dirty Word? New Documentary Explores Social and Political Stigma of Motherhood, Kicks off Campaign Drive on Kickstarter

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Feature documentary “Mom Is a Dirty Word” explores the negative cultural expectation of Motherhood in the media and proposes that inflexible family measures in public policy make being a Mom in the U.S. more difficult than ever.

Most people are surprised to learn that among wealthy nations, the United States fails in almost every measure to support Mothers. And when you fail to support Moms, you fail to support children, families, and communities.

The documentary treads on unfamiliar and controversial territory: from breastfeeding in public and unscrupulous judgment of post-baby bodies to the ever-widening economic chasm that makes one wonder if raising children is a luxury only for the rich. In a nutshell, America is anti-Mother and therefore anti-family.

“Mom is a Dirty Word” is the brainchild of producer and director Samantha Rife. Through one-on-one interviews with Moms, Dads, and experts, Ms. Rife raises questions she never considered before becoming a Mother herself, such as: “Do Mothers sacrifice their identity for their children? Is this their choice?” And, “Does capitalism put emphasis on career at the expense of Family?” Explains Ms. Rife: “Of course my husband and I expected certain challenges with the birth of our first child. But I never imagined that society would challenge my very identity and ability to support my family.”

The documentary delves into what many claim to be the contradictory nature of how Mothers are stereotyped.

“American culture worships, and at the same time demonizes Mothers,” says Ms. Rife. “Once you become a Mom, there is an implicit understanding that you can no longer be sexy, that you’re selfish for maintaining a professional job, or if you stay-at-home – you’re given a pat on the back for your sacrifice but considered boring, less competent, and not worth listening to. “Mom is a Dirty Word” demonstrates that Mothers are people: with real people identities.”

Currently in production, the feature documentary explores how Mothers are represented in pop culture, including the origins of Mother clichés and “Mommy Wars” arguments such as “stay-at-home-Moms” vs. “working Moms.” The doc also illuminates how lawmaking decisions negatively impact American families.

“Sadly, I came to learn I wasn’t the first person to notice unfair treatment towards Mothers – that there is a term for the prejudice: it’s called Motherism,” explains Ms. Rife.

Set to debut in 2016, Rife is excited to wrap up production on her film: “Most people are surprised to learn that among wealthy nations, the United States fails in almost every measure to support Mothers. And when you fail to support Moms, you fail to support children, families, and communities. Moms need more support – and it’s going to take a lot more than a Hallmark card. This film will make a difference.”

A Kickstarter campaign will launch on January 23rd to raise film production funds. Please visit Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1225787485/mom-is-a-dirty-word-documentary

Join the “Mommy Movement” on twitter @MomIsADirtyWord, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/momisadirtyword or Tumblr: http://momisadirtyword.tumblr.com/

About Samantha Rife
Producer, Samantha Rife, has been on both sides of the net. While 8 months pregnant, Ms. Rife was laid off from her full-time employer. Since then, Rife has given birth to two children - and has negotiated between; SAHM to part-timer, to full-timer, and entrepreneur, while caring for her husband and brood.

If you’d like more information about the “Mom Is a Dirty Word” Documentary Project, or 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 at momisadirtyword(at)yahoo(dot)com.

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Samantha Rife

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