Rebel Moms: The Off-Road Map for the Off-Road Mom

Rebel Moms: The Off-Road Map for the Off-Road Mom

by Davina Rhine

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Overview

Modern motherhood has changed; it isn’t just frilly aprons, mini-vans, and soccer practice anymore. You are a modern mom—a rebel mom—ready to raise your kids while running a successful business, starting a band, or finding your voice, while doing the things you love and fighting for what's right. Even so, the path to epic mom rebellion is not always easy. Meet the women who have seen, conquered, and survived—making a difference, doing things their own way and on their own terms. They are activists, teachers, veterans, firefighters, pin-ups, fast food workers, tattoo artists, and more. A rebel mom has no set definition beyond her tendency to elude definition. These women, from varying places and backgrounds, have seen it all: divorce, abuse, depression, and disability. They have succeeded and raised children with tough grins on their faces. Are you a new or expecting mother? Are you a mother who's fed up with the super-mom/super-woman myth? Or are you a pro who’s been there and done that, but would still love to learn from other rebel moms? It’s never too late to learn a new trick, and motherhood is never the same for anyone. Cultures change, as do child-rearing practices, but certain aspects of being a mom are universal and timeless—love, support, and strength. The rebel moms have mastered the art of motherhood, and you can embrace the revolution.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781462026524
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/18/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Davina Rhine is a political activist that lives in Texas with her amazing family. She loves veggie BBQs, archaeology, dinosaurs, espresso, and aspires to be a professor of women's studies. She has written work published by: Altar Magazine of NYC, The Women's Press, Women's United Nations Report Network, the Feminist Review, and more. She's been a featured mom in local mags like Dallas Child, and the Advocate. Her work was published in the book anthology If Women Ruled the World by Inner Ocean Press. Jeffrey Levine of Tupelo Press has called her work, "strong and propulsive." Rebel Moms is her first book, and her next book The Chronicles of the Pharaoh's Daughter will be released early 2012. As a biographer and rock 'n' roll historian, she is currently writing The Authorized Biography of Janis Martin: The Female Elvis. You can check out her musings at Rebellion Press.com and on Facebook.

Read an Excerpt

Rebel Moms

The Off-Road Map for the Off-Road Mom
By Davina Rhine

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2011 Davina Rhine
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4620-2651-7


Chapter One

The Activists and Feminists

In this chapter you will meet strong, amazing women who fight the current. They stand up and battle for what's right.

If you ever needed help finding your way to courage, or how to securely stand on your own two feet while squaring off, the stories you are about to read will help you find and shape your voice.

These mothers have fought for victims of the international child and sex slave system. They have spoken up for exploited animals that have no voice in the meat, fur, and 'science' lab industries. They have helped women find their voice after being isolated in both bouts of depression and personal attacks. They believe women should have more say and control not only of their bodies, but the birthing experience. They bend the ear of big business while being a pain in their ass. They make their own medicines and encourage others to become enlightened, focusing on natural sustainability, team work and sharing. They march on D.C., for women's rights and children's rights. They have reached out for help when dads became dead-beats, and when they were coldly turned away—they started their own activist community and family support groups, specifically supporting women of color and mothers who are marginalized. They give a hand and a helping heart to teen moms, refusing to kick anyone when they're down. They have fought for their Ph.D.s, and they have fought and fallen for our country. They fight everyday for our children and a better world for all of us ...

Welcome to the bold world of the Activists and Feminists.

"Fuck the System makes for a bad-ass patch, but is even more bad-ass as a child rearing ideology."

Carol is a fully engaged activist and writer. Some of her favorite bands are X, Agnostic Front, and The Briefs. She uses cloth diapers and obsessively recycles. She loves crosswords and books. She and her husband Dave love going to punk and drag queen shows. Some of her favorite authors are Margaret Artwood, John Irving and Marion Zimmer Bradley.

Carol is currently a mom who works at home raising her son, Acie. She thinks the whole "stay-at-home" mom/dad thing is very misleading. It implies one isn't working, when you are. She hates hearing men say about their wife's occupation, "She doesn't work. She's a stay-at-home mom ..." Women she has talked to say it almost the same way, as if they are unsure of what they do is work or not. This doubt comes from the fact that child-rearing work is simply undervalued in our society. Mothering is not valued as a contributing and valued role in our society. She vividly remembers a conversation with some guy:

Guy: "So what are you doing now?"

Carol: "Oh, I had a baby."

Guy: "Yeah, I know, but what are you DOING now?"

Carol: "I HAD A BABY."

There's a book called The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk. Carol loves this work of fiction because what the author does is create this ideal society that functions within and outside the current society. Motherhood and mothering is equally as important and critical to the society as the jobs of plumber, or doctor. Carol hopes someday mothering will be as important and considered as integral to the future of our society as a businessman is to the future of our country, and not just in lip service.

Carol's other job is activism. Her entire family is engaged in it. Her son has been to several protests, including a Pro-Choice Rally, and one opposing the War in Iraq. Their home life is activist and ethically driven. They are a vegetarian, animal rights, and human rights family, and environmentalists as well.

The Pro-Choice Rally she took Acie to, was in D.C. Carol isn't sure if everyone understood it was a baby in her sling or not. The fellow marchers however, were very positive and responsive to Acie's presence there among them. Carol described it as, "A big love-in." She has never been so catered to and looked out for. She got smiles, and people stopped to take pictures. One woman there who had an older toddler even stopped and chatted with her. It was a beautiful moment between women and families. They were both there for the protest and had signs that read, "Thank you for supporting my RIGHT to CHOOSE," and "FUCK PATRICARCHY."

A counter-protestor shocked her into silence by saying, "Thank you for not killing your baby." Carol regrets not "shocking" him back by whipping out her breast to breastfeed right then and there. Many people who are passionate about deciding for a woman if she should have child or not, are also so anti-child. She feels the same people who are opposed to choice, are also opposed to breastfeeding in public, and support cutting welfare, jobs, and are pro-war. As far as Acie is concerned, Carol hopes ... "I don't expect to raise a famous revolutionary, but a thoughtful, caring, vocal citizen in the world. I think the impact of one person trying their best is radical."

Carol has protested the circus, and fur shows too. She also has marched for the homeless and has worked in soup kitchens. Once Acie is older she plans on them both going together to work in soup kitchens and to become more involved in the Food Not Bombs movement.

Food Not Bombs is an anarchist collective that believes in decentralization and is open to involvement by everyone. Their stance is that government and corporate policies are designed to cause hunger and poverty in amidst of literal wealth and abundance. The basic principle (or irony) the group points out is: if the government spent the money they allocate for bomb-making on food instead, no one would starve, or go without. They need volunteers to help collect food, cook and distribute, and there are chapters everywhere; get more involved, just sign up at: FoodNotBombs.net.

Her activism started years ago. The early defining moment in her life was in junior high. She was raised Presbyterian, and went to Kenya on a mission to build a school there. In Kenya, she spent many nights staring up at the stars under the night sky. It was here she realized there was no god, just vast nature. She has been an atheist ever since.

Shortly thereafter, the Oliver North scandal came out. She was shocked at all the blatant lies. She was pissed and disappointed with government contradiction, and realized everything she had been raised to believe in were lies. Out of her growing frustration she started listening to bands like Black Flag and the Dead Kennedys.

She went to her first punk show at the age of fifteen. It was a band called Government Issue. It was followed by more shows like Inquisition, Wardance Orange, and Action Patrol. She also went to a PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) benefit show at the mall. These events, moments, and movements gave her the tools for creating positive change. Shortly thereafter, she did some canvassing for Earth Day 1990 too ... "It was an improvement on my teenage angst rebel-without-a-cause middle finger."

She went to work professionally in fields that built up community. She has worked as a day care teacher, and for non-profit agencies. For seven years she worked as a special needs care giver. It was an after school program (through her local district) for autistic, disabled, and handicapped kids. She also worked with children in the psychiatric ward, as well, at a local hospital. She later worked for a teenage shelter and a home for abused women. A principle she lives by is:

"I think holding true to your beliefs and applying them to your life is a revolution in itself. Recycling, being a vegetarian, and being aware of the companies you support with your dollar. Of course the most mutinous act: treating others like humans. Dignity ... how wild!"

One thing she doesn't do is TELL people things. She prefers to make information available and let people make their own choices and decisions. After dedicating ten years of her life as a full-time activist, she needed a break and became a massage therapist briefly. It was a better paying and less stressful way of working while still giving back to the community. This was her profession before becoming a mother.

She also writes a successful and loved column in the Punky Moms Zine (PunkyMoms.com). She developed a philosophy that she articulated in her first column: Practical Applied Punk Philosophy. Here's what that column said:

"Fuck the system makes for a bad-ass patch, but is even more bad-ass as a child rearing ideology. It's typical for a woman to feel a loss of identity in the abundance of mothering; and for a punk momma forgoing the scene hub of shows for bath-time and lullabies; it is quite easy to feel alienated from her community and herself. But don't look as this time as an absence or retirement from the scene, instead, consider this your chance for Practical Applied Punk Philosophy.

From the moment that wee egg is fertilized you have the opportunity to question authority like never before. Today's conventional wisdom can be the antithesis of intuition and instinct, and is often market driven. Gleaning sound advice from utter crap takes research and insight, and that skeptical punk brain of yours is the perfect tool for the job, and that middle finger rather practical.

My punk eye for the momma life led me to midwifes, attachment parenting, and cloth diapers. The list is huge and grows as my son transitions from a big baby to a small boy.

Books have always been my favorite resource, but I also tapped into my mother and grandmother—two exceptional and practical mothers, very willing to use hindsight to evaluate the choices they made and how they were influenced by the times in which they lived. Grandmother feels she has seen a full circle with me. My parenting and lifestyle is very similar to her mother's, just more deliberately so. My layette was minus some typically key items; if a cavewoman hadn't had an equivalent, I question what its purpose for me was. Not that I am living an austere life, just not a life taken out of a Parents Magazine photo shoot or a Gerber ad.

Your Punk eye may lead to a different way from mine. What's important is that you trample out your own path; that you remain true to yourself, and, as always, Punk-as-Fuck!"

As she notes in her column, she practices attachment parenting. The one thing she really likes about it is the life balance it promotes. Attachment parenting is a child-rearing philosophy that focuses on the relationship between the parent and the child. It is, however, not too overly focused on the child or too withdrawn from the child. It truly focuses on the relationship that is being built. It enables trust between the child and parent, not overt isolation, nor complete submissive dependence. It's empowering for both parent and child alike.

Carol feels as Acie grows, their relationship will have a balance of: trust, respect and love; which will allow his personality to grow and create open communication between them. She considers this aspect critical for her to be successful in parenting. She wants Acie to be confident, and secure enough in his relationship with his parents, to be able to find his authentic self; including his strengths and weaknesses without it being based on what her or her husband's beliefs are.

She also feels that children are often used as a sick marketing tool in the United States—a way to sell you everything and anything. Be it your kids screaming for McDonalds, or the newest gadget, or newest nuisance product that is designed to keep your child as far away from you as possible. She cites that many marketed items like bouncers, baby gyms, mats, yards, entertainers, bottles instead of breast, are counter-productive to attachment parenting and frankly unnecessary. She is shocked at all the marketing both parents and kids are getting bombarded with everyday, ranging from: baby-milk warmers, bottle-warmer chargers, baby-wipe warmers, breakfast cereals, T.V. dinners, fast food, clothing fashion, videos and music, electronics, toys, toys, and more toys, all aggressively marketed towards kids and parents. She feels having a few indulgent items here and there is okay, but right now it's extremely excessive in our current society.

Carol cites the marketing wars for example, which start before your child is even born, and she concludes that if you buy into it, you lose your self-esteem and your integrity as a parent and a human being. [It also compromises your decision making position as a parent. Also, if children are exposed to all this stuff, they lack the skills to decipher it and believe this product defines them and is somehow crucial to their existence.] It's been established that materialism (or our modern way of living/consuming) is linked to depression and depression is dangerous.

When Carol was a child she suffered severely from depression. She is not exactly sure why or whether or not if Post WWII materialism had anything to do with it, but she feels she did not have the best life to start with because of this depression. Her childhood per se was good. When she was twenty-two years of age she had to face it, "The tendency once your depressed is to speak it. You get kind of satisfied once your feet are in it, but for me, no more."

One thing she figured out when she was younger is just because someone treats you a certain way doesn't mean that is how you should be treated for the rest of your life.

She manages her physiological tendency towards depression with strength and determination. She doesn't soak her feet in it anymore or dwell on it. She takes action to counter it. She will do things that motivate her and help her get past the 'feeling.' Her life is good, and will continue to be good, because she forces it to be that way and keeps that line of thinking going. It's a frequent inner dialogue that works for her and has helped her manage her depression successfully for over ten years now.

Carol met her husband Dave through mutual friends when she lived outside of Washington D.C. They have been together for over eight years, of which they have been married for five. They have traveled extensively together on tour with numerous bands they are friends with. Her husband works for an independent record store which allows them to stay current in the music scene. At the time of this writing, she is thirty-three-years old and Acie is three-years-old.

They had been talking about having a baby and planning on it when she got pregnant with Acie. They kept it quiet for a while, but the news came out to friends at a late night diner after the September 11th 2001 attack. A friend of theirs expressed grief over the world climate and decided she would not have kids. Their friend did not want to bring a child into a world like this. Carol assured her with humor, not to worry, because they were having one and their child would fix everything.

One of the hardest aspects of parenting that Carol has had to deal with is the decrease of contact with other adults. She has worked hard to maintain a strong network of support amongst friends and family. She speaks to her mom daily. (As she is relaying this, I suddenly see Carol hunched over cream and speckled countertops with her mix of blonde and lipstick red hair pulled away from her face—as she becomes animated in conversation and fueled by coffee; much like when we initially interviewed. The only distraction I could foresee is an incoming call, or Acie demanding attention.)

Her best friend from Los Angeles calls daily for long talks. She also watches a friend's son and has long and frequent hang-outs with her. Her local friends have also been great about staying in touch with them. The 'family and friends' hang-outs and BBQs are becoming more frequent as their friends become new parents, thus rounding out the social circle.

The Punky Moms message board online has been a great resource for her. She has an entire crew of mommas from all over the country that she can count on and lean on, and vice versa. The forum helps develop personal support through friendships, as well as parental discussions and debates.

When she is out, Carol gets her share of raised eyebrows, but no one says a word to her. At least it has not happened yet. She's not sure if this because she looks happy, and Acie looks happy, or because she is substantially taller than the average woman and is covered in tattoos, "GRRRRRR! Fear me!" She did however prefect the "back-down stare," when she was working with disabled children. She took the kids out for community outings and after seven years of staring off strangers who would dare to stare rudely at the children, she's got it down.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Rebel Moms by Davina Rhine Copyright © 2011 by Davina Rhine. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

My Red Airplane....................ix
Introduction....................xiii
The Activists and Feminists....................1
Introduction....................3
Carol: Vegetarian, Political Punk Rock Activist, Columnist....................4
Dr. Taj Anwar: M.O.B.B Founder, Skater, Sociologist....................13
Natasha: Veteran, Human Rights Advocate, 666 Pin-up....................23
Kristin: Student, Military Wife, Teen Mom Mentor, Idealist....................32
Jenn Bats: Death Rocker, Atheist, Animal Rights Activist....................42
Kimberly: Warrior Mamma Productions, Activist, Speaker....................53
Crystal: Herbalist, Retailer, Sculptor, Community Visionary....................71
The Artists and Picture Takers....................93
Introduction....................95
Hayley Hara: Feminist, Mythological Painter, Curator, Teacher....................96
Sarah Jane: Photographer, Art Gallery Owner, Natural Momma....................108
Kristen: Political Illustrator, Magical Artist, Entrepreneur....................115
Jennifer: Mixed Media Artist, Iconoclastic-Holistic Mom....................125
Cynthia: Day of the Dead Painter, Waitress, Fashion Maker....................134
The Rockers and Music Makers....................143
Introduction....................145
Janis Martin: The Female Elvis, Queen of Rock 'n' Roll, Aries....................146
Corey Parks: Bassist for Nashville Pussy & Die Hunns, Patriot....................163
Sharon Needles: Giver, Educator, Guitarist for Betty Blowtorch....................174
Beth: Vocalist for Rubber Bullet, Gutter Punk, Psych Major....................182
Selena: Drummer for Menstrual Tramps, Counselor, Naturalist....................189
Mother Nature: Singer/Guitarist for Placenta, Anarchist, Sailor....................203
Nana: Upright Bass Player for Sik Luv, Gardener, Vegetarian....................226
Jenise: Music Promoter, Band Agent, Buddhist, Survivor....................238
Suzie: Drummer for Frump, Librarian, Story-teller, Filmmaker....................251
Marea: Cellist for Breadlines at Gunpoint, College Student....................269
The Designers and Stylists....................281
Introduction....................283
Stephanie: Cosmetologist, Salon Owner, Beauty Book Author....................284
Winter: Fashion Designer for the Stars, Model, Punky Mom....................299
Dawna: Hair Designer, Image Maker, Freethinker, Life Lover....................309
Juli: Interior Designer, Oi! Skin, Painter, Stay-at-Home Mom....................314
Sarah: Children's Clothing Designer-to-be, Record Collector....................321
Lola: Retired Hairdresser, Laid-back Catholic, Un-schooler....................330
The Ink Slingers and Piercers....................337
Introduction....................339
Momma Roxy: Tattoo Artist & Studio Owner, Rock Climber....................340
Pamela: Professional Piercer, Suspension Queen, Scooter Racer....................345
Syren: Tattoo Artist, Wiccan, Jewelry Making Business Owner....................354
Syndea: Piercer, Survivor, Healer, Waitress, Recovering Hopeful....................360
Sheila: Homemaker, Inventor, Cosmetic Tattooist, Historian....................371
The Performers and Warriors....................377
Introduction....................379
Stasia: Pin-up Model, Suicide Girl, Actress, Musician, Spiritualist....................380
Momma Cherry: Firefighter, Roller Derby Athlete, Performer....................388
Qui Qui: Boxer, Printing Pressman, Queen Crafter, Rude Girl....................395
Lucid: Circus Performer, Yoga Teacher, Designer, Philosopher....................401
Jenn: Emerging Actress, Ad Director, Poet, Art Lover, Dreamer....................416
The Writers and Teachers....................425
Introduction....................427
Ariel Gore: Author, Hip Mama, Preacher, Writing Teacher....................428
Heather: Poet, Zinester, Pro-Welfare Momma, Riot Grrrl....................436
Debbey: Novelist, Christian Punk Rocker, Reptile Lover....................447
Stacey: Rat Rod Enthusiast, Pre-K Teacher, Picture Frame Maker....................456
Katy: Modern Feminist, Editor, Newspaper Writer, Bid Pro....................466
The Students and Shakers....................477
Introduction....................479
April: Demolition Queen, Metalhead, Business Manager....................480
April: Knitter, Future President of the U S , Teaching Student....................487
Kaisea: Cosmetology Student, Bold Life Liver, Fast Food Worker....................502
Blaire: Optimist, Emergency Room Nurse, Poker Player....................514
Taylore: Handyman, Fashion Major, Survivor....................528
Leah: Dreamer, Screen Printing Consultant, Music Lover....................535
Lindsay: Dog Lover, Rockabilly Mom, Insurance Underwriter....................541
Jennifer: EBay Seller, Passionate Kitchen Singer, Job Hunter....................548
And the Next Momma to be is....................565
Afterword....................577
Circle of Questions....................581
The Modern Athena....................591
Acknowledgements and Permissions....................595
About the Author....................599
Resources and Cool Stuff mentioned in Rebel Moms!....................601
Join the Rebel Moms Reader Community....................607

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