Do I attend the annual back-to-school night or attend the Capitol Hill event where they will be having the national debut of The Motherhood Manifesto, a documentary that explores the individual stories of mothers around the country whose lives have been impacted by our less than family-friendly policies?
As PunditMom, I’m chomping at the bit to see this movie, especially the parts that talk about how providing flexible working hours and day care can actually benefit businesses, as opposed to the GOP rhetoric that allowing such “extras” will be the financial death knell for small companies.
Since Rachel is just starting first-grade, I’m afraid I have to err on the side of back-to-school night, especially since I know there will be a serious discussion about their daily schedule, the updated reading and math curriculum, and the unexpected addition of another student to the class, which tips the size just a little bit too much on the large side for my comfort. And, as one of this year’s room parents (I know — I didn’t already have enough commitments in my life, right?), I think I need to at least listen to the dialogue that I know is going to be a heated one.
But I’d love to see this movie, because it’s deserving of a heated dialogue, as well — not in the Mommy Wars/Linda Hirshman approach to things where we just argue about whose life choices are the “right” ones, but in a way that will actually promote positive changes for families who need affordable day care, health insurance, and workable flex-time programs.
If this film gets enough attention and play, do you think it just might be possible that it could light a fire under some Democrats? (We know it will only suffer a slow, smoldering death in the hands of most Republicans).
Perhaps too much to hope for, but in an election year when the Dems are looking for any and all ways to pick up some seats in the House and the Senate, it should be worth their while to sit through an hour of Motherhood Manifesto. It could be the enlightenment they need to find the way to resonate with women voters who want to be energized and want to be engaged in this political fight.
It’s no secret that millions of voters are looking for a reason to come back to the polls. Think of it, those of you over at the DNC — a few more mommy votes this way or that is going to establish the outcome of the elections in November. This could be the best spent hour in your campaigns since that McCain/Feingold tutorial!