Worthwhile Reads: Quiverfull, Courtship, and Elsie Dinsmore

I thought I’d take a moment to introduce my readers to a few websites I read regularly and highlight a particular series of posts on each that I think are well worth looking at.

First is No Longer Quivering, which covers the stories of women whose lives have been affected by the teachings of the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements. Tess’s story is especially extreme, and especially moving.

Next is Permission to Live by Melissa, a young woman with a background similar to mine but a bit more hard core, including “home churching” and keeping daughters home from college. Melissa’s blog is her journal of breaking free. Her courtship story, which took place when she was nineteen, is fascinating and very well written.

The Commandments of Men is a site run by Lewis, who unwittingly walked into a courtship with a young woman being raised in the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movement and barely survived to tell the tale. He uses his blog today to fight these movements. His story of his courtship is long but worth the read.

Finally, Forever in Hell by Personal Failure is a blog full of delicious snark and delightful directness. The series deconstructing the Elsie Dinsmore books, which are extremely popular in Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull circles, is brilliant.

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.

  • Sarah

    I can highly recommend Melissa’s blog, read from the beginning to now it’s an amazing story of how she breaks free of it all. She’s an engaging writer, too.

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/ Ophelia Benson

    List lengthens…

  • bayleygreen

    Your links seem to be buggy, unless Permission to Live and The Commandments of Men are the same blog.

    • Libby Anne


  • Fredric Martin

    Also, took me awhile to find the story on commandments of men. Should link to “the joke was on me” tab.

    • F

      If only I’d fully recalled what you said in your post, and look a bit harder, I could have saved myself some time. Because really, I didn’t need to read everything else I read. Sometimes I walk too far into bizarroland for my own well-being. Contrails!

  • Sean

    Libby Anne, your blog has quickly become a favorite of mine in the FTB network. It’s fascinating to read about the quiverful and related ideas from a former victim. Granted this thread doesn’t really seem like the place to post this, but I couldn’t find a contact the author link. Look forward to reading more.

  • sunsangnim

    Libby Anne, I just read your personal story on your old blog. Very touching and educational. Thanks for sharing. Even though I grew up in a town full of Christian fundamentalists, I wasn’t aware of the Quiverfull and Patriarch movements.

  • http://www.shadesthatmatter.blogspot.com asmallcontempt

    Oh, Elsie Dinsmore…gag. I read those books for a hot second way back in the day…Redwall was SO much better (even though my mother thought that the books contained sorcery, therefore evil – I got into the Redwall series about the time that the HP series was coming out, and to her, every fantasy novel MUST be an instruction manual on how to be Satan incarnate. Totally weird.)

    But yeah. Elsie Dinsmore is exactly the kind of sniveling, weepy girl that I *never* wanted to be. What an AWFUL role model.

  • sithrazer

    I’ve read Tess’ story before, although the most recent post is more recent than when I read it. I found it to be a particularly disturbing read.

  • S

    Last night I read through Tess’ story. The abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband is so disturbing. I hope she has found some happiness after years of suffering.

  • http://giliellthinkingaloud.blogspot.com/ Giliell, not to be confused with The Borg

    Holy cow, Melissa’s courtship story reads like a Jane Austen novel if people back then had been crazy.
    Better said, in comparisson to hers, Jane Austen has adult content.
    Doing some bloghopping I ended up on Razing Ruth’s blog (who also writes on NLQ).
    As a mother I can tell you, if anybody tried to treat my daughters like that they’d be dead (and I’d probably not have to lift a finger myself).
    Sorry if that comes off as strong language. But outright childabuse is outright child abuse.

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