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Breezy Brookshire


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Breezy Brookshire, the talented artist who co-developed the Daughters of HisStory paper doll set, also pounds the pavement over at Raising Homemakers. It's odd, but I generally don't find much worth snarking at when it comes to Brookshire's posts. She's only 20 years old, after all – and unlike some other young women in the Movement, she doesn't pretend to have more knowledge than her limited experience would allow.

Her most recent post, “For What Doth Thy Heart Prepare? (raisinghomemakers.com/2011/breezy-october-ready-whenever-for-what-doth-thy-heart-prepare/)†is a short meditation on the difference between caring for young children and for elderly parents. This caught my attention because it offers a quick peek at how the Dominionists train their kids when it comes to handling the changes that occur over the course of a lifetime (with disability being a specific and common challenge).

The Dominionists talk a lot about family unity and “multi-generational faithfulness,†and yet here is a topic rarely discussed openly by the faithful: What happens when a family member – maybe an elderly parent – becomes disabled? Perhaps too disabled to be entirely independent?

I think some of them believe the lack of obvious disability in their children, in their parents, or in themselves is a testament to their own merit and proof of their right relationship with God. Not too many people would admit that, but the idea is there nonetheless. (The condescension this breeds is plenty obvious, for example, in Kelly Crawford's treatment of disability and her objectification of people this affected.)

Alas, Brookshire suffers from the same malady. She writes...

“So, if you were married tomorrow and had a

home of your own, would you be ready?â€

This question may send our thoughts to pondering the wonderful state of matrimony, setting up house, and taking on the world beside our husbands. The thought of sunshine streaming through the windows as little chubby feet pound and patter across the floor while I prepare a hearty midday meal just thrills. my. heart.

But what if we were asked, “If your parents were ill needing yourconstant care, or were even in hospice, would you be ready to lay down your life to take care of them?â€

Are you readying yourself for the disenchanting jobs life will bring?

First of all, I wish fundies would banish the ponderous word “pondering†from their vocabularies. (No, Breezy – the question did not get you to pondering, nor did it land on your heart; it got you to thinking, and it engaged your mind. Some of these fundie ladies work so hard to avoid the simple verb, “to think.â€)

Anyway, I find it odd that Brookshire would categorize eldercare as disenchanting even while suggesting childcare – e.g., butt-wiping - is the precise opposite.

Rather than looking at the various ways these two topics are alike, or talking about how to achieve the former in such a way that everyone gets to retain basic human rights and personal dignity, Brookshire merely indulges in a bald guilt-trip:

There may be a bigger difference between the two answers than we’d like to admit. From my own blissful optimism changing to deer-in-the-headlight discomfort, they reveal my heart’s attitude toward showing true Christlike love....We cannot sow to the flesh and expect to reap the Spirit — the true meaning of love must be rediscovered and lived out in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ who showed us what Love really looks like.

In other words, caring for disabled family members (such as elderly parents) is a burdensome duty akin to martyrdom - indeed you need to lay down your very life - and the only way to ensure people will do it is by threatening diminished returns on an eternal investment. (Never mind that this is a recipe for caregiver burn-out.)

It's a profoundly negative view and wildly out of step with what the Dominionists claim to believe.

Rather than treating the specific matter of eldercare as just one more item for “homemaker training,†and recognizing this part of life as a normal stage in the cycle, Brookshire sees it as a special challenge and entirely different in nature from the care of children.

I suppose it makes sense from a psychological standpoint: Brookshire would see greater returns, and thus gain more personal satisfaction, from caring for people that will eventually grow up and presumably return the favor. But she doesn't appear to see herself as part of the cycle she's discussing – as not only the giver of care but the eventual recipient.

I shouldn't be surprised, and yet I am: This continuing gap in Dominionist “homemaking†education surprises me. Eldercare is the perfect intersection between the topics of caregiving and hospitality, among other things. The only time it (or disability management in general) is discussed is when the faithful are whipping themselves to achieve greater ideological purity or when the people under discussion are being used as object lessons or tokens.

In short, I wonder why Breezy Brookshire and her peers haven't studied this in more depth as part of their usual home ec studies.

I wonder why VF hasn't produced any material on this subject, even despite hosting conferences that supposedly address the thorny ethical issues surrounding abortion and end-of-life care. (Oh wait, I do know the answer to that one: VF is greedy as fuck. If you actually think any of those lying fucks give a damn about any of this, CLICK HERE.)

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  • 3 months later...

... is a twenty-something Charlotte Mason home-school grad and self-styled future home-maker, who despite nurturing her dozens of delusions about gender roles (etc.) is a very gifted young illustrator. Her sketches and drawings are actually quite lovely (despite channeling a Swedish illustrator with a similar style, as one of her devoted readers so astutely pointed out).

She and her sister started "Noble Ross Press," which is essentially a publishing/distribution company for Breezy's illustrations (and her sister's I-don't-know-what's) and can be found here: noblerosepress.com.

It got me wondering that if any of the more talented among these poor girls ever actually succeeds in this market as an illustrator or a children's book author (for instance, if Breezy's colouring books got picked up by a major Christian publisher) -- is that, like, against the 'rules'? Would daddy take over if any of her ventures actually took off? Is a woman only allowed to pursue something until it can be amply monetised?

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Back in Victorian times of America and Britain, women illustrating and writing children's books was seen as promoting motherhood, but writing anything besides children's books were seen as women not being in their proper motherhood roles, which would probably fit well in the Quiverfull lifestyle as long as it promoted a Christian patriarchal message. Women owning said companies that publish these sorts of book, is something I don't know that would be accepted in Victorian America and Britain and or Quiverfull societies.

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Oh, I like her prints a lot! I almost wish she would own up to being a young entrepreneur with her home-based business rather than hiding behind the SAHD label, but I guess that's what one must do in that community. From what I know of fundieland, a major success for her business would actually be a good thing because it would make her more marriagable due to the money she'd bring her husband. Of course, it could also buy her more independence but I don't know if anyone stopped to think about that.

Sidenote: We had a girl in my young adults class who was building websites in the mid-90s (i.e. back before every high school kid in town was doing it). She attracted interest from a big graphic design firm - and suitors came out of the woodwork to talk to her daddy.

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Me too! She's got a blog as well, but last night it wasn't working: it's abowlofmossandpebbles.com

And I agree -- I wish she'd own up to the fact that she's obviously got a lot of untapped entrepreneurial flair... I almost feel sorry for her.

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I really do wish her the best, though I chafe at the smugness I perceive (it may not be deserved, it may be entirely my perception) in her writing.

Should she break into the larger market, the comparisons to the late, great Tasha Tudor will be inescapable.

Not to derail, but I have the extremist ladies to thank for tuning me in to TT. Some 6 or 7 years ago they turned to her as a shining example of a SAHM who headcovered and ran a home-based business. I dove into her website and articles about her and found out that:

In fact, Tasha Tudor was married and divorced twice;

insisted that her first husband move to the country essentially as homesteaders when both of them had grown up as city children;

more or less drove her husband away;

public- or private-schooled her four children;

wasn't particularly religious;

believed that when she died, she would immediately be reborn into the 1830s, the era she loved the best;

was the daughter of an accomplished artist-mother who IIRC also left her husband.

She did wear a headcovering, but it was out of convenience and in homage to that 1830s style TT loved so much.

OK, sorry for the detour! But every tiem I think of Breezy, I can't help but think of Tasha, and the deluded dominionists who introduced me to her, and smile, smile, smile.

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No, you don't perceive it -- it's definitely there.

I didn't bother mentioning it as I've sort of taken it for granted that there is an underlying uppityness to everything these people say and do.

One thing that really scared me about Breezy was the most bizarre entry ever on the Happy Homemakers blog started by her mother, I think -- something about how writing in journals brings us away from God.

They are a bunch of weirdos still, but at least she's a talented weirdo.

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