Atlanta mom and aspiring politician, Le’Dor Milteer, recently went undercover as a man, for Bravo’s newest series “In a Man’s World.”
Produced by actress Viola Davis, the series follows four women as they experience life as the opposite sex. With the help of Academy Award-winning Special Effects make-up team, Lou and Dave Elsey, and skilled voice and movement coaches, each woman develops her own alter ego and spends two days living in a man’s world.
The show documents their journeys as they follow their normal routines, both professional and personal, as men.
Prior to the show, Milteer has worked consistently to stand up and speak about the real issues of “mom bias” and how “mom guilt” affects all moms as they work to find the delicate balance between motherhood and career.
For years, Milteer has actively worked in the Sandy Springs community.
In addition to being an active PTA parent at Woodland Elementary, her experience includes entrepreneurship of two hair salons, a community activist, and most importantly a mother and wife to a loving family.
Nevertheless, as the mother of a 17-month-old daughter and 7-year-old son, Milteer took the challenge of running for public office to be the voice of Sandy Springs in District 4.
With an empty seat and no female on the ballot, this decision of running for political office became a pivotal moment. This was a moment to stand up and make history.
As a cast member, she explains her personal journey of the mom bias she experienced when running for office. In addition to her personal on-camera diary of her daily experiences, she gives viewers a true depiction of the struggles of mom bias.
The Atlanta Voice: Le’Dor, how did it feel when Bravo “It’s a Man’s World,” asked you to be part of this monumental series produced by Viola Davis?
Le’Dor Milteer: Well, I ran for office in 2017 for Sandy Springs city council. I knocked on so many doors in a short time all while doing my regular duties as a mom. In 2017, there has never been a woman of color as an elected official. I said to myself, I cannot sit back and complain. Therefore, I decided to get involved and run for office and get in the game.
Can you imagine to be in a city with six districts to be unopposed with no election? My mindset was focused on building a campaign even when we were knocking on doors in the rain and snow I was focused on building a movement. I remember when people stopped me as they looked at my photos and said wow what a beautiful family, but how are you going to run for office? Thankfully, Dakoro Art studio became an important part of my campaign and my location where I registered voters in Sandy Springs.
AV: How did it feel when you filmed your scenes with Bravo and people judged you as Le’Dor?
Milteer: I did not look like the traditional candidate running for office lol. Honestly, it was an uphill battle. I did expect as a woman of color to be judged, but I did not expect because of a mom’s bias of having young kids. I did not expect prejudice from women, men, republicans, and democrats. This is an issue that affected everyone involved.
AV: A whole year ago, Bravo reached out to you and I remember you calling me about this opportunity of you being asked to go undercover as a man. What were some of the differences that you felt being fictional “Roy” compared to “Le’ Dor”?
Milteer: I had to define a lot of things when filming with Bravo. I wanted to make sure Bravo understood the political arena in Georgia. I co-produced the scenes to show the viewers not living in Georgia to see and understand the real dynamics.
I wanted to set up a focus group to make sure viewers saw the true mom bias in real-time when filming the scenes. I wanted those viewers to see those hard questions such as ‘Le’ Dor how will you run for office with young kids? You were there to see the truth of the opinions from the focus group and the real mom bias.
AV: How did it feel when watching the playback of the taped footage when aired on Bravo? Take us back to how you felt at that moment as you stood behind that podium answering questions?
Milteer: At that time I was shocked. As “Roy” I was respected as I walked in the room, as “Le’ Dor” I had to ask permission to be there. It was those moments that I thought no one would ever ask a man how will you provide for your family or who will take care of your kids? No one will ask a man. I knew at that moment mom bias causes mom guilt. So what happens next? Do moms work or stay at home? Now it’s time to have that conversation.
AV: Now in 2019, Le’Dor you are bringing this conversation of “Mom Guilt”. What advice would you give to moms on how to handle Mom’s guilt as you work?
Milteer: Embrace it! The moment we don’t talk about it is the moment we are going to be left behind for handouts. We cannot let men decide what is best for us. Every single aspect of what we do is political. We have to get involved and have a conversation.
AV: We are so excited to share this news. Congrats on “Mom’s Best Job”, your new children’s book aimed to help all mothers dealing with mom guilt. What message did you want to convey?
Milteer: First, we are so excited to include Dakoro Edwards to be a part of this book as the illustrator. The art is so important to children. Dakoro is a community leader in Sandy Springs. He is important to our community in addition to offering children art classes.
Our upcoming launch will be at the Dakoro Art studio. This book, “Mom’s Best Job,” is for moms and their children. I want to remind moms that they are important and I hear them. It is not only a children’s book but for moms too.
AV: Running for office, being on a show produced by Viola Davis going undercover as a man can you enlighten us what is next for Le’Dor in 2020?
Milteer: We have a book tour. I am on the board for the Women’s March on Georgia, upcoming events with the Georgia Swarms, International Women’s Day and the Women of Color political brunch as well as upcoming political events and supporting Lucy McBath in District 6. There are a lot of things coming ahead.
For more information about Le’Dor Milteer’s undercover experiment watch Bravo’s “It’s a Man’s World” episode 2 – “Le’ Dor” which currently airs on Bravo on Demand. You can also purchase “Mom’s Best Job” on http://ledormilteer.com/