Q: Who is The Feminist Breeder?
A: Gina Crosley-Corcoran, BA, CD(DONA), CCCE. I’m a certified childbirth educator and certified doula with a Bachelors from Loyola University Chicago, and am a graduate in the the Master of Public Health, Maternal Child Health program at University of Illinois at Chicago. I have two young sons and a baby girl, along with a husband who laughs at all my jokes. Interestingly, they all speak Spanish. Yo no hablo español. But I’m working on it through osmosis.
Q: Where did that crazy name come from?
A: I hard time finding like-minded feminists once I became a mother, and I started to feel like feminism and motherhood may be mutually exclusive. I chose the moniker The Feminist Breeder to prove that even those of us who reproduce can still be concerned feminists.
Q: But wait – I thought feminism meant staying childfree?
A: Nope. Where do you think the future feminists will come from if the feminists aren’t breeding them? Do you think Michelle Duggar is reproducing feminists for us? Come on.
Q: So what kind of things do you care about?
A: I am passionate about informed choices in birth, breastfeeding, and mothering from a feminist perspective.
Q: Okay, so then what IS a feminist?
- “Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings” ~ Cheris Kramerae, author of A Feminist Dictionary, 1996.
- “Feminism is the advocacy of political, economic and social equality between women and men.” ~ Feminist Majority Foundation
- “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” ~ Gloria Steinem, founder of Ms. Magazine, leader of the Women’s Movement.
Does any of that sound like you? Then I hate to break it to ya – but you’re a feminist too!
Q: Why do you call your husband “Hyphenated Husband”?
A: Because he hyphenated his surname with mine when we got married. Our entire family is hyphenated, as a matter of fact.
Q: Is that your real hair color?
A: YES, DANGIT, THAT IS MY REAL HAIR COLOR!!!! I am an authentic redhead (and all that may imply.)
Q: Hey, you look familiar – were you in a band?
A: Yes. I was a semi-professional musician for 10 years. I played bass guitar and sang in Veruca Salt, and played bass guitar in a short-lived band with Courtney Love called Bastard. I also fronted my own band Rockit Girl, after first beginning my career in music as the lead singer of Chicago rock outfit, Emil Muzz. I made records, did international press, did some TV and radio and film, and generally rocked peoples’ socks off for awhile.
Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: First, I’d like to finish my Master of Public Health, then possible work on a Doctor of Public Health. I’m doing all of this is in hopes that it will continue to grow my health advocacy expertise and ensure that I can be the best advocate and activist I know how to be.
Q: You have the best readers and I’d like to reach them by advertising on your blog. Can I do that?
A: Probably. If I agree with your product, your company mission, and the amount of money you want to give me. Go over here for more info on that.
Q: Can I contact you by email?
A: If you must, you can do that here.
My life was once described by another author as “The Glass Castle revisted.” I will concur. By definition, I was homeless for most of my childhood, living in campers or crashing with which ever family member had paid rent at the time. My father was 14 when I was born, my mother 16, and together they couldn’t (and wouldn’t) take care of a baby, so I was given to my maternal grandparents who raised me as their own. However, they were “mountain folk” who never even had a bank account, and every day was a new adventure in “Where will we be living when I wake up tomorrow?” They would often pick me up from school only to tell me we were never returning to the place I had called home until that moment. It was a transient lifestyle, one might say. I count that I went to 26 different schools between Kindergarten and 12th grade.
Despite living like a nomad, I loved school and excelled wherever I went. I also found a home in music, and played in the orchestra or sang in the choir of any school I attended. The latter earned me a 1st place award in the Illinois High School Association Choir Competitions.
Thanks to our lifestyle, and a little thing called Marijuana, I didn’t graduate high school with the rest of my 1996 class. Instead, I acted out and skipped class until I realized it was too late.
I was a musician for the first part of my adulthood. At 18, I joined a band as a singer, learned to play guitar, and went on to tour and make records for most of my 20’s. I played in a few high profile bands (“Veruca Salt”, Courtney Love’s “Bastard”, and my own band “Rockit Girl.”) I always assumed that I would stay a career musician. Then, I realized that I wanted to get my degree and do more with my life. Music wasn’t consistently paying the bills, even when I thought I was seeing some success. In 2003 I got my GED and started figuring out how to get myself back into school.
In the fall of 2004 I enrolled in the local community college. Around the same time, I started dating John, who I met through the music scene. We fell in love while touring Canada, and were engaged within 9 months. 6 months after that, a surprise pregnancy turned our plans for a September 2006 wedding into a January 2006 “shotgun” wedding, and there my life took a dramatic turn.
In February 2006, I retired my band and decided to take a break until after the baby was born. That break turned into a retirement, as I’ve never had the energy to go back to my pre-baby rocker-chick lifestyle.
In March of 2006 I got a day job and took a break from school.
Jonas was born August 1, 2006 via cesarean section, and he (and the surgery) changed my life forever.
Thanks to my terrible birth experience, I am passionate about women’s issues, especially those that affect reproductive rights, childbirth rights, and children’s health.
During the pregnancy and birth of my second son (Jules – May 16, 2008), I saw just how hard a woman has to work to simply give birth naturally. Because my first son was born by, in my opinion, an unnecessary cesarean section, I sought to give birth to my second son naturally, but it required a battle with my provider who didn’t understand why a vaginal birth ws important to me. I had done my research, and found that natural childbirth is far less dangerous than birth smothered by unnecessary medical interventions. In the end, in the middle of laboring my child, I had to wage a legal battle with the medical staff who wanted to perform yet another unnecessary cesarean on me because they simply didn’t want to wait around for me to have my baby. I fought off doctors who insisted that I sign papers consenting to treatments I did not want or need, and in the end I gave birth vaginally to a beautiful 10 pound baby boy. No scalpel required.
After sharing my story with the birthing community, I received so many responses from women who were unable to advocate for themselves the way I did. I hope to put an end to situations where a woman would be forced to consent to unnecessary surgery and medical procedures that are forced on them providers not using evidence-based medicine. The United States is far behind other developed countries in its view toward childbirth, and our maternal and neonatal mortality rates are an embarassement. I hope my work helps to humanize birth and keep all women and children just a little bit safer.
After two traumatic experiences, I had my 3rd baby at home in a tub of water, which turned out to be an almost painless birth. I have evidence-based providers and a supportive birth team to thank for that.
So here are the stories, anecdotes, trials and tribulations of a rocker chick turned concerned mother, and all that may imply…… Enjoy!