An Introduction to Me

I grew up in Christian Patriarchy. I was nourished on the Pearls, Vision Forum, and Above Rubies. I learned that a woman is always to be under male authority and that an independent woman is a dangerous thing. I learned that women should not have careers or even jobs. I learned that if my father died and I was unmarried, I would be under the authority of the eldest of my younger brothers.

Like many families involved in Christian Patriarchy, my parents’ family was large, and though I could never quite keep count, there were somewhere around a dozen children. I was the oldest, and that meant that much of the responsibility of raising my siblings and running the house fell to me. I was my mother’s right hand, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and watching the children.

As fundamentalist Christians, my parents taught me that Jesus would return any day, but also that we must work to take back the country for Christ with what time we had left. I spent countless hours campaigning for conservative political candidates, and knew the ins and outs of why abortion and gay marriage were wrong when I was no more than seven or eight.

Naturally, I never attended public school a day in my life. My parents believed public schools were atheistic and worldly, dangerous places for young children. By the time I was in middle school, I was teaching myself all of my subjects out of textbooks independently. I helped teach my younger siblings and was very self-motivated when it came to my studies.

I was also very dedicated to homemaking pursuits, learning to cook, bake, can, garden, find wild herbs, sew, cross-stitch, knit, quilt, and scrapbook. I believed that these skills would be crucial once I married and had children and kept a home of my own. I would be ready when my knight came riding, ready to marry and have children, ready to submit to my husband as my godly authority and lead the life of a homemaker.

And then I left. I am in my mid-twenties today, and I am a feminist.

Steve Is a Man: On Minecraft and Gender
Sometimes All I Can Say Is UGH
Bob Jones University Rejects Key Recommendations of the GRACE Report
Convention on the Rights of the Child, Articles 6-10: The Child’s Right to Know and Be Cared for by Their Parents
About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Lewis

    Looking forward to what you have to say.

  • Retha

    Hi, Liberty. I'm wishing you all the best for your blog and message!

  • Anonymous

    Really loving your blog, glad you are using your voice and look forward to what you have to say. Thanks so much for being brave. -Former QF/Pearl Wife

  • Anonymous

    THANK YOU!!! I am a feminist too. At least according to Doug Philips and my dad. Escaped a slightly different situation a year ago and I still am learning what I really was leaving behind.

  • Erika Martin – Stampin’ Mama

    The whole male authority thing and handing me off as property to my brothers if my father passed always squicked me out. One of my brothers held a bit of a chip on his shoulder about it, thinking he had more power over me because he was male.

  • Incongruous Circumspection

    Down woman, down!!!! Don't you know that you speak blasphemy! You heretic. Feminists are what is wrong with America today! I can't belive you would throw away all of what Debi Pearl has to say and live a non-Proverbs 31 Woman life! You are a demon of the devil!Ok. Just kidding. The feminist movement is the single most liberating movement this side of the Reformation. Now, let's make anti-Billy Boy G., Dougy Boy, et al, and all of patriarchy burn on the ash heap of history.Preach it!

  • Anne —

    Ugh, the thought of being under my younger brothers' authority if my dad died always irritated me. lolI grew up in a patriarchal house as well…just escaped last year. I'm in my mid-twenties as well. I write about my experiences and stuff on my blog.

  • Paula G V aka Yukimi

    It’s been a year since you started the blog, belated CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

  • The_Physeter

    Thank you for putting this here. I’ve been reading your blog and loving your insights for about 6 months now, and I’m finally starting to read your “testimony”. I think the story of where you have come from, and what events in your life shaped you, is the most compelling story you can ever tell. You seem like such a “staple” of online atheism, it’s interesting to me that you posted the first entries here just two years ago. Nearly a year after I had officially begun doubting my faith, this account would have been here to help me. I wish I had seen it when it first began.

  • lauraleemoss

    i so enjoy reading your blog, even from the beginning. Thanks for getting all this out here – out where it belongs, no longer hidden.

    • Libby Anne

      Thanks for the encouragement! :)