Going Against the Flow

Just had to share this extremely relevant cartoon:

This is so true for so many homeschool families I have seen, including the one I grew up in. The parents step out against the flow of society, homeschooling, doing things differently, exercising their independence and autonomy, but they somehow can’t tolerate their children doing the same. “Get back in like with the rest!” they order any child who acts autonomously, embraces independence, and dares to be different from them. And they don’t even recognize their own hypocrisy.

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.

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    Love, love, love!-Naomi

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    On second thought, I do have more to say. :) This cartoon reflects my childhood better than a ten-volume memoir ever could! Plus it ties into my current research.I've just been reading Wendy Brown's _States of Injury_ where she argues that this kind of hypocrisy is inherent in Enlightenment liberalism. For example, a person cannot be "free" in this sense without others bearing the corresponding encumbrance necessary for that freedom. (Slavery in America, anyone?)As I'm sure you know, this is something of a conundrum for liberal feminists since this free, rational, agent is necessarily gendered male. Finding parity without passing on the encumbrance of our freedom/autonomy/rights onto someone else is the tricky part. It seems to me Fundamentalist women and families show us some of the problems inherent in Enlightenment liberalism, because as this cartoon brilliantly illustrates, independence and autonomy are necessarily reserved for male heads of households. Locke & Co. never imagined them extended further (much to the chagrin of women philosophers such as Astell and Wollstonecraft).And, obviously, many of us today find this "hypocrisy" revolting. As a feminist rhetorician, I see that part of the solution lies in developing new vocabularies/narratives about these issues. The hard part is figuring out how to do that. -Naomi