Episode 9: My So-Called Selfish Life
Therese Shechter is a documentary filmmaker based in Brooklyn. Her latest project is My So-Called Selfish Life, a documentary about being childfree in a society where motherhood feels mandatory.
Therese and I cover a lot of ground in this episode. She draws a line through societal expectations around motherhood, social policy, capitalism, racism, power, and of course reproductive rights. We spoke not long after Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the United States Supreme Court, so we were feeling a bit raw.
If you’ve been listening to this show for a while, you’ve heard me talk about freedom a lot. The freedom to control your own destiny, the freedom to make decisions for yourself. I’ve been talking about it more in the context of freedom from judgment and expectation when it comes to having children, but of course the freedom to choose what happens to your own body is a cornerstone of reproductive rights. And those rights are increasingly under threat in America these days. It’s not a huge leap to go from talking about the pressure to have a baby to the implications of confirming a conservative Supreme Court Justice.
I hope you’ll check out My So-Called Selfish Life, submit your own Selfish Selfie, and support her as she completes this documentary. All the links to her work are below.
More about Therese
Therese Shechter is a filmmaker, writer, and multi-media storyteller based in Brooklyn. Her work fuses humor and personal storytelling to disturb what's considered most sacred about womanhood. She is currently writer and director of the in-progress documentary My So-Called Selfish Life about choosing not to have children in a society where motherhood feels mandatory. She most recently directed How To Lose Your Virginity about the mythology and misogyny around our "most precious gift." Her documentaries have screened from Rio de Janeiro to Ankara to Seoul, including the award-winning I Was A Teenage Feminist which is probably screening for a gender studies class near you. In her spare time, she is a co-host of the podcast Downton Gabby, a funny feminist commentary on media by and about women.