[Editor's note: Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country. This interview reflects the views of one mother—Alyssa Milano.]
"Love is the baseline" for everything actor and activist Alyssa Milano does—especially as a parent. And as a parent, she has to be political. Mom to two kids, ages 6 and 9, Milano has struggled in the past seven months, as all parents have.
On the latest episode of The Motherly Podcast, Milano tells Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety that she wants other women to recognize their own resilience and capacity to make change, even as the burden of the pandemic falls on us.
As we near the election, Milano (an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump) explains that wanting the world to be better for her children and their generation is what is driving her, and other mamas, to be courageous in a year that is full of fear.
"I'm a resilient person and I get scared, but there's something about a collective mission. And a collective drive. I think that when that happens, like when you're involved in a march or a protest, and you can feel that swell of collective energy where everyone is fighting for the same thing, you almost feel so much less alone."
Milano is encouraging fellow mothers to cast their vote for Joe Biden, noting that his plans on several issues—including more affordable post-secondary education and access to childcare—would help the nation's most vulnerable mothers.
"I'm really proud of the work that Joe and his campaign have done to really look at the intersectionality and how all of this exists, how all of this affects women, how it affects women of color even more, how it affects Native women and Indigenous women," Miano tells Tenety.
"I mean...they figured out how to incorporate every single part, plus securing economic security for women and mothers and understanding that balance that we have to make all the time. It just is another reason to love Joe Biden. And he has always fought for women. I mean, he wrote the Violence Against Women Act that is, you know, still sitting on Mitch McConnell's desk, which the reauthorization passed in the house and McConnell won't bring it up for a vote in the Senate."
The mom of two school-age kids, Milano knows how important early childhood education and childcare are for mothers who don't have the same kind of financial privilege she has. "Biden would implement early education, which I think would, would help so tremendously," she explains, referring to Biden's plan for free preschool.
As an actor who grew up on screen, Milano believes that Biden's campaign has tapped into knowledge that Hollywood producers have understood for years: Women are a huge and important demographic.
According to Milano, this is why so many television shows with strong, female leads air for years and years. "Those shows have female leads...because women are the most loyal demographic," she explains, adding that advertisers want to buy commercial time on these shows because they understand that women are doing the work (and the shopping) to make American family life work—and she's pleased to see politicians getting the message that ad agencies and showrunners have known for decades: Mothers are doing the work.
Now, according to Milano, it's time for the United States government to work to ensure mothers have equal rights and equal opportunity. Strong women belong on TV, but they also belong in every part of American society.
To hear more about Alyssa Milano's experiences in motherhood and her career listen to The Motherly Podcast for the full interview.