My So-Called Selfish Life 2021
Distributed by Good Docs
Produced by Therese Shechter
Directed by Therese Shechter
Streaming, 77 mins
Women's health; Women's rights
Date Entered: 04/06/2022Reviewed by Kay Hogan Smith, Retired - University of Alabama at Birmingham, Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences
The reproductive functions and sexuality of women have been a focus of anxiety and oversight, mainly by men, for centuries. This film provides a frank and fascinating examination of how this historical fixation on the female body continues to play out in our society regarding women who go against the general expectation that they reproduce.
The pressure and censure that the primary subjects of My So-Called Selfish Life have dealt with when they revealed their lack of interest in becoming mothers are discussed candidly, revealing hard-won self-awareness, humor and resilience. Along the way, the documentary provides welcome nuance in acknowledging the diversity of experiences affecting childless women of different ages, races, ethnicities, sexual orientation, historical context and reasons for rejecting (or in the case of infertile women, giving up on) the role of mother.
Delightful graphics are interspersed among the interviews and film clips, heightening viewer interest in this compelling topic. Highly recommended, especially for audiences interested in sociology or women’s studies.
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