Bring Me The Flaming Head Of Barbie! – Adventures In Recovery

by Calulu

A few weeks ago I was witnessing internet wide that one thing is certain. Just about everyone has a strong reaction to the news that Michelle Duggar is enceinte again. Of course I snicked like the sarcastic wise-cracking gal I am and some of us tossed around those hoary old chestnuts we always say when discussing Duggar child bearing. “It’s a vagina not a clown car” and “Looks like Jim Bob tossed the hotdog down the well again”

In most of the online discussion of how dangerous her playing maternal Russian roulette actually is no one seemed to hit upon my first thought, how quickly would Jim Bob replace her with a newer, younger, prettier model.

I mean, really, it’s like shooting dice, eventually snake eyes is going to come up. Bad things happen if you keep repeating the same risky behavior. Look at the last of her pregnancies. Something did go wrong. It’s just simple statistics that sometimes things go haywire and we can’t do much about them. But why put yourself in those types of risky situations in the first place?

Back when I was with my old church I got to see this numerous times. Lady either gets pregnant that probably shouldn’t be or would contract a very serious illness. They’d start praying, asking for prayer but refusing medical monitoring or intervention by the medical world at all. They say the same things Michelle Duggar does about this is God’s will and God would either deliver her safely or He would heal her.

One of the saddest cases of this was a lady named Christina who contracted breast cancer and refused all medical treatments, saying only God alone would heal her. She wasn’t going to have any surgery, no chemo, no radiation, she would simply rely on God.

Everyone at church supported her decision. Except for me. I’d had a bout with breast cancer many years ago, had the joyous fun (it wasn’t fun, I’m just joking) of surgery, chemo, radiation till I beat the cancer. Oh heck, I had chemo four summers ago for my auto immune problems. Big deal, so your hair falls out, you get the excuse to wear lots of fun hats. It is what it is, a temporary season. If it turned out that solving my ongoing immune problems meant eating a bowl of cockroaches or something even more disgusting I’d say ‘Gimme a spoon and a bottle of Tabasco sauce right now!’

Not getting health care while you have children in the home to finish raising is just irresponsible.

But the men of the church always had medical intervention, and it never seemed to strike anyone there that was some sort of warped double standard. I never understood why that was so I’m guessing the lack of serious health care was because in the world of Fundy-Gelicals women were without intrinsic value and considered interchangeable.

Christina died after an agonizing torturous 18 months. What did did Mr. Christina do? He did what I’ve witnessed a number of Patriarchal men have done. He collected that big insurance check, bought a sports car and within six months married a much younger, better looking, newer model. And the cycle continued. Even our Pastor did it, boom, wife dies of cancer, 9 months later Pastor has another wife and life goes on as before.

Then and now it struck me as a basic lack of respect for any woman to hold them all so interchangeable. The Barbie Syndrome. The sad part is that we all put up with this behavior at the time and thought we were holding up the image of the Good Christian Woman, never realizing that culture considers us as unique as an assembly line of Barbies.

I hope and pray that Michelle Duggar makes it out in one piece from this latest pregnancy. But if she doesn’t I predict a marriage for Jim Bob within a year to a younger, prettier, newer wife. And the breeding will continue.

I never liked Barbie with her perpetual fake smile.

Authors note: Since this was written Michelle Duggar has lost her newest pregnancy and mourned in the most repugnant public way possible. At least it strikes me that way. While I wish Ma Duggar no harm I wish wish wish someone would drag her off of television as soon as possible. That photo used at her website and at the funeral of her baby’s tiny hand haunts my dreams.

Discuss this post on the NLQ Forum. Comments are also open below.

Calulu lives near Washington DC , was raised Catholic in South Louisiana before falling in with a bunch of fallen Catholics whom had formed their own part Fundamentalist, part Evangelical church. After fifteen uncomfortable years drinking that Koolaid she left nearly 6 years ago.  Her blog is Calulu – Roadkill on the Internet Superhighway

Read all posts by Calulu!

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce

  • http://thepsychobabble.net thepsychobabble

    Photos of still-born babies are a very common, very normal way for mothers and fathers to grieve. Sharing them with the entire internet would maybe be more than I could do, but photos themselves, the preserving of that little bit of memories they have of their child, is not something worth shaming someone for. JMHO

  • abba12

    Yeah, I’m with you. If I stillbirthed or miscarried late enough in pregnancy to be able to see the baby (obviously it dosen’t work so well for a 6th week miscarriage) I would take photographs and display them at the funeral, in my home, on my blog, wherever I have friends who would take just as much joy from seeing my baby. Sure, some of them can be pretty grotesque, I’d understand complaints about a full body shot if it was not tastefully. but I thought the two hands was extremely tasteful and beautiful.

    I simply don’t understand the controversy around it.

  • murci3lag0

    What are you talking about? It IS gross to show the picturemurc of your death baby. Have you ever seen in a funeral or a card the picture of the dead body of the deseaced? Is that the last image that a family member wants for people to remember? If it helps the person to cope with the pain, so fine, let them keep a picture, but it is horrendous to want to show to the world the dead body of the person you loved: no one else wants to see that!

  • http://thepsychobabble.net thepsychobabble

    Actually, photos of deceased people were very common at one point. History, yo. Also, what is the point of a viewing/wake, if not to look at the body of the loved one and say good bye?
    How is a photo more “gross” than that?

  • Angela

    As a mother of a stillborn baby (38 weeks) I see nothing wrong with the pictures. It is NOTHING like taking a death picture of someone who lived a full life. This is a person whose only life was within it’s mother. A picture is the only thing the family has to remember that person. That picture is priceless. I realize that an earlier loss may be difficult to look at. But the Duggar picture that was shared simply showed tiny hands and feet-beautiful, perfectly formed hands and feet. My personal pictures look like a sleeping baby. A beautiful, perfect forever sleeping baby.
    That being said, I do feel sickened at the thought that they capitalized on the death of that child. Measures could have been taken to keep things more private. And the picture of the whole family smiling at the service for baby Joy was eerie and truly sickening. God’s will or not, big toothy smiles at a funeral service are just wrong.

  • nolongerquivering

    I don’t really mind the pics – although I can understand how it could be offensive to some people – and I agree with Angela – it does seem like the publicity was in very poor taste.

    The truly weird thing is – there are young, beautiful, intelligent women who would be happy to step into Michelle’s place as the new Mommy Duggar. You would think no sane female would want a ready-made family of 20+ – but actually, these patriarchs seem to have no trouble at all finding willing victims. Why is that?

    So aggravating …

  • Calulu

    I never said that the photos were repugnant. I said it was repugnant how they flogged them around for publicity. That is the abhorrent thing. I did not enjoy viewing them but I can understand why the family might have them.

  • http://www.mrsspit.ca Mrs. Spit

    I seem to recall that the Duggar’s didn’t release the photo’s, that the photo’s were at least first released by a gossip blog. I can understand, after watching the firestorm of comments, that they might release the photo to point out that their child wasn’t a monster or repugnant, she was a baby, no different than any other. I’m not so sure that I’m willing to blame people for trying to point out they had a child and they loved her.

    Feel free to say that you wouldn’t release the photo’s of your child. That’s your decision. I would suggest that it is probable that you haven’t ever been in those shoes. I will maintain that the photo’s of my son show a beautiful and much loved child. There’s nothing wrong with them. In a great many ways, they are no different than any other photo’s taken after a birth. Yes, he’s dead, but he was ours and we loved him.

    Please though, be kind. When you suggest mourning publicly is repugnant, you marginalize an entire group of people. One in 200 pregnancies ends in perinatal demise. We held a funeral for our son, about a hundred people came. I guess you could say that was public. It seems cruel to suggest that grieving people should be silent because they made you uncomfortable.

    Make all the points about the politics of the Duggar’s you want. Grief? Perhaps it is kinder to leave judgement out of it.

  • Calulu

    I have had 9 count em 9 miscarriages, some as late as Ms. Duggar’s last one so I DO have some notion what she was/is suffering. It’s not her suffering I am objecting to, nor that she’s doing it in public. It’s the whole nature of it all being out in the media like it is and yes, many of the photos online of the service did include a shot of the photos, it wasn’t all ‘tabloid media’ like you imply. I have no problem with her having a service, I have no problem with them having photos. The problem is that everything they do is geared to how it will play out on tv and in the media. In my eyes they are no different than those folks that go on The Jerry Springer Show or any reality show that services no real purpose except to paint a false picture. They are such attention whores. I feel certain this tragedy is being exploited by the Duggars and TLC for maximum dollars and eyeballs glued to the show.

    The Duggars present a very false innocuous face of Fundamentalism, the whole Quivering Movement, ATI and so many things that aren’t at all like how they are presented on the Duggar show. It’s all Disneyfied on the show, cleaned up sanitized and perfected. It’s not reality being presented as reality.

  • elizabeth scobie

    As a grieving mother who miscarried at 24 weeks back in September I find your lack of compassion and education very offensive. When you lose a baby before it is born you don’t have any other pictures to remember them by. At a “normal” funeral a photo of the deceased would likely be displayed and probably many photos would hang around the home for years to come in remembrance of that person. Families who lose a child are no different. If you didn’t know that the photos were taken after the baby had passed there would be nothing offensive by looking at those little hands. It’s amazing and very sad that the majority of people today don’t understand or appreciate the grief of losing a loved one, at any age, and especially the grief of a parent losing a child. That grief is intensified by individuals like yourself who call it gross and horrendous to honor and remember the precious life that was stolen from a mother much too soon.

  • Donna

    When I was little, I was grossed out by the coffin pictures that my grandmother occasionally showed me. I couldn’t understand why anyone would even take such a picture. Many years later, I read in a history book about the 19th century that when photography was new and expensive most people never had a picture taken of themselves during their lives. As a result, it became common for grieving families to have a photo taken of the deceased to remember them. When cameras became cheaper and easier to use, this custom slowly became less common.

  • madame

    Calulu,
    I totally agree with your disgust at the way the Duggars and TLC are using their children to make money. Even the loss of one has been used to make money, but it was, IMO, almost inevitable. Everyone who follows them knew she was pregnant. They don’t miss a chance to proclaim their love of children and QF ideas, so if they lose a child, it’s going to be public as well. Of course, if you really want to, you can close the door and say “not this time”.
    Personally, I found the pictures beautiful, but the sharing of them unnecessary. I wonder if they ever give a thought to how their choice to be on TV and make their life so public is affecting their children!

    The Duggars remind me of the Little House on the Prairie show. It looks at a tough life full of difficulties through rose colored glasses and misrepresents the reality of what frontier life was like. I hope anyone watching them knows they are also human, not always sugary sweet, get angry, yell, and that their house must be a mess from time to time.

  • http://deadwildroses.wordpress.com/ Arbourist

    “Not getting health care while you have children in the home to finish raising is just irresponsible.”

    —–

    How about: Not getting healthcare [when you're sick] is just irresponsible.

    The first statement seems to predicate children being necessary for a woman to consider getting healthcare, which is potentially misleading, as women in any state, deserve medical attention when it is required.

  • JonelB

    To quote a friend who was mocking the way patriarchal men are:
    “To them, sheep are sheep, one baa’s as good as another.”

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