Mindr presenter Mathilde Dratwa is the founder of the advocacy and community-building organization Moms-in-Film.
On screen, I have seen scantily-clad women and women completely naked, and I have seen nipples of all shades and shapes and sizes. I have seen breasts - either bare or barely concealed - being fondled, caressed, squeezed, pinched, licked and bitten. I have seen much of this happen in mainstream movies. But I have never seen a woman pump.
The representation of mothers on screen is important. According to the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, when TV procedurals began casting women as forensic scientists, forensic science training programs saw a notable spike in female applicants. If young girls don’t see working mothers portrayed on screen, they are more likely to develop an ingrained belief that motherhood comes at the cost of one’s career. It is therefore paramount that moms work to tell the stories of working moms.
Since the film industry is particularly taxing on parents, mothers are underrepresented behind the camera. As a direct result, the world sees few on-screen mothers. When they do appear, they are all too often two-dimensional characters. Our #MakeThemMoms campaign urges content creators to include mothers in their projects - particularly working mothers, who are often absent from film scripts.
Many women worry that motherhood might make them 'invisible,' that it's all-consuming, or that it's incompatible with a successful career. Where do these fears come from? In most films, moms are secondary characters. They exist only in relation to their children. The few times that leading roles go to a mom-character, the story is usually about family. Television is doing slightly better - Catastrophe is a show in which I see my experience reflected (there's even a joke about pumping! Hurray!) and Elissa Strauss has noted a few other examples of mothers edging their way into comedy content. But these stories remain absent from the big screen.
My organization, Moms-in-Film, advocates to increase public awareness around issues facing parents making film/television. The Wee Wagon project, launching this March at SXSW 2017, serves as our most public advocacy tool to energize the careers of moms in film. We believe that more women working behind the camera leads directly to more complex women on screen. We believe that the stories we choose to tell matter; they define us as a society.
Here are some examples of what movie posters might look like if they featured moms. Note that the stories themselves don't need to be any different! You can see all of the posters we created here.
So, content creators: #MakeThemMoms.