Then Why Didn’t You Tell Us That, Mom?

“I want you to know that I never actually believed everything in those Above Rubies magazines,” my mom told me when I was visiting home a while back.

“Then why didn’t you tell us that, mom?” I asked. “I read every issue of that magazine cover to cover, and I always thought it was completely approved material.”

I don’t know why my mother made that admission to me when she did. It was before the Mother Jones article about Kathryn Joyce’s new book on evangelical adoption, which sheds light on the Above Rubies/Liberian adoption scandal. My mother knows I identify as a feminist and that I’m critical of at least some aspects of the culture of the Christian homeschool movement, but that’s about it. Beyond that, we have a strict Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. Except, I suppose, for the Pearls child training methods—that we’ve discussed on more than one occasion. But the Pearls don’t run Above Rubies magazine. Nancy Campbell does.

Regardless of what prompted my mother’s admission, I think there is something incredibly important to be learned here. Kate and I were talking a few months ago, and she told me she doesn’t think her parents realized quite how many extreme patriarchal/purity ideas she picked up and took to heart through Christian homeschooling culture. Her parents, she said, were always quick to condemn reading material, organizations, and leaders they believed promoted ungodly ideas or false doctrine. Because of this, she always assumed that materials that entered the house under the banner of Christianity and without condemnation were things they approved and endorsed.

My experience was very much the same.

My mother subscribed to Above Rubies and read each issue thoroughly. The ideas contained within the magazine aligned at least generally with beliefs I heard my mother espouse. When my parents disagreed with a religious leader, they were quick to say so. In fact, I grew up hearing James Dobson described as too wishy-washy and soft. Yet, I never heard my mother call Nancy Campbell or her magazine into question, so I assumed that the messages contained therein were approved, and that it was something I should read, take to heart, and learn from. And read, take to heart, and learn I did.

I’ve talked to many homeschool graduates—some I knew growing up, some I’ve met in person since, and others I’ve connected with over the internet or through facebook. This thing I’m talking about? This thing is important. Once homeschool parents enter the Christian homeschool subculture, if they don’t vocally and openly condemn, question, or contradict what that subculture teaches, their children will assume that the ideas and ideals of that subculture are approved—something the should listen to, take seriously, and imbibe. I’ve talked to more than my fair share of homeschool graduates who grew up in this culture and took to heart things they later found out their parents never even realized they were learning.

Christian parents who choose to homeschool their children but do not ascribe to the ideals of the Christian homeschool subculture, especially things like Christian Patriarchy or Quiverfull, need to be on guard against this. It’s not uncommon for homeschool parents who happen to be Christian to find themselves in the same homeschool circles with Christian parents who homeschool out of religious conviction. And it’s also not uncommon for their children to find themselves in those circles whether their parents actively frequent them or not. In this kind of situation, parents may not realize the toxic ideologies their children taking in through osmosis from the Christian homeschooling culture around them.

In my mother’s case, it’s not that she disagreed entirely with the Above Rubies magazine. My mother was more mainstream than many, but she definitely ascribed to the outer circles of Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull ideology. To be honest, I don’t actually know what parts of what Above Rubies she takes issue with—I was too surprised by her admission to think to ask. There is one thing I was not too shocked to make sure to tell her, though:

“You need to tell the girls, mom,” I said. “They read Above Rubies just as I did at their age. You need to tell them you don’t agree with all of it, because if you don’t, they’ll think you do.”

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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.

  • Baby_Raptor

    I mean no offense to your mother, Libby, but is it possible that she’s backtracking now that the magazine and it’s higher-ups are being outed for really bad stuff?

    Edited for unclear wording.

    • jhlee

      Libby said this was before the adoption scandal. Was Campbell or her organization accused of other bad stuff before that?

      • Baby_Raptor

        Oh. I skipped that part then. Apologies; please disregard my comment.

  • Tracey

    I am the oldest in my family. My religious upbringing is from a Catholic perspective but there are I think some similarities. In terms of relationships I was taught a rather conservative view. My mother became visible agitated when I stated I’d been sexually active with then-boyfriend. Compare to my last sibling- my mother pressured her to go on birth control “just in case” (if I remember correctly sis was single at the time) and didn’t really bat an eye when she decided to live with her boyfriend. Sometimes moms mellow out over the years/ change their minds about how important stuff really is. Maybe some of this is at play in your mom?

    • Gillianren

      Heh. My Catholic mother ranted at me for weeks after my older sister announced she would be living with her boyfriend. I just got treated like a child–that “what were you thinking?” tone–the first time I moved in with a boyfriend. Currently, she says I’m an adult, living my own life and making my own decisions. She’s a heck of a lot nicer to my brother-in-law, though.

      • CarysBirch

        I moved in with Boyfriend in July. My mother has not spoken to me, except in lectures since then. Every conversation hinges around when we’re going to get married (not any time soon, if ever) and how she feels like we need to understand the depth of her disapproval. I really do hope I’m paving the way for something better for my brothers, but even if not the independence is worth it.

      • Gillianren

        Mom knows all the weird financial reasons we aren’t married. (Even with the kid, we’re still better off right now.) She’s not happy about it, but she understands. As I’ve said before, she’s a lot more liberal when it comes to other people’s children.

      • Rosa

        my living with my boyfriend made my mother so deranged I kept having to remind her that babies aren’t actually produced by weddings, so the question of getting married had nothing to do with her not having grandchildren.

      • redlemon

        When I moved in with my then-boyfriend-now-husband, my mom just straight up told me I was going to hell. Not in a lecture manner. Just straight up, matter of fact manner, filled with disappointment and complete with shaking head.

        On the flipside, my husband’s parents bought us a bed and threw a “we got the second kid out of the house” party.

      • The_L1985

        I got that too.

  • Anna

    This was totally me. My parents homeschooled, but were on the mainstream side of it. I wanted to be a “good christian” so I read a lot of the quiverfull material and purity books and never had any idea my parents disagreed with some of it.

  • mary

    And….this is why, even though we’re christians who homeschool, we don’t do stuff with homeschool groups in the area or go for the overtly christian curricula. We started with Abeka, and I got freaking tired of having to debunk stereotypes and non-science all the time. So, now, my kids know no other homeschooled kids. Oh well- they actually fit in with their mainstream peers at church, sports, etc pretty well. I think that for a long time, there was not much available to homeschool parents other than the fundie stuff, so parents who might not be as crazy to begin with got sucked in. We are doing an accredited distance learning curricula put out by Texas Tech that us comparable to public school curricula, and we like that option. :) We didn’t even know about it until this year, though.

    Libby Anne, my folks were the same way about some stuff. I think that part of it was oversight on their part, not telling us when they didn’t buy into stuff, but in my mom’s case lots of it was her changing over time. She tends to idealize the past and she’ll say ”I never believed that” even on stuff she actually preached. Oh, the cognitive dissonance this stuff breeds…

    • Ibis3

      She tends to idealize the past and she’ll say ”I never believed that”
      even on stuff she actually preached. Oh, the cognitive dissonance this
      stuff breeds…

      Ha. My mum does that too. As kids we were allowed so much freedom–we were riding public transit by ourselves at 8 and 9–going to museums and other tourist attractions, just going downtown to play on the LRT. We trick-or-treated without adult supervision around the same age. When I was 7, I was the last one to leave the house in the morning, so I was responsible for locking the door and getting to the schoolbus on time. I walked my dog around my neighbourhood by myself at 4. Walked to several blocks to and from school at that age too (though I think my older sister was officially supposed to “watch” me). Now she’s horrified at the idea that we think she let us do any such things.

      • Olive Markus

        Boy, do I wish I were brought up like this. I’m 32. My mom, when given a choice, still doesn’ t let me be by myself. She must hear from me every couple of hours every single day. If I miss contact, the police are called and a near-heart-attack ensues. Oh, yes. It’s a great way to live!

        Growing up, our mailbox was 3 houses away from ours, easily visible from our house. I was not allowed to get the mail by myself until I was 15 years old!!

      • Lyric

        Good grief. That sounds like it would interfere with just about every area of your life, including holding down regular employment.

      • Olive Markus

        It’s been… interesting. When I moved out of our home to go to University, my mom fell apart. Even now, 7 years later, she is buying a new house and is buying one with the idea that I will be moving back in with them again in mind. Seriously. She is involving me in the entire process, because she thinks I will move back in. Both of my parents were both very disappointed when I went to school. They would have been happier if I’d simply stayed unemployed, uneducated and at home.

        My employers all ended up knowing my mom very well, as she didn’t let things like professionalism stand in her way. I, very unfortunately, haven’t been employed for many years now, so it’s very easy (logistically) to indulge. Oh, and she also learned how to text, which has made things much more tolerable! ;). If she knows I’m with my husband, she’ll be slightly more lenient. I make sure never to tell her I’m doing anything on my own, though.

        I was not raised fundamentalist and/or evangelical, but I often wonder if I was smothered and micro-managed as much or more as those who grew up in the movement. I’m not entirely sure, but there’s a reason why Libby Anne’s history has resonated with me so strongly.

        It’s a good thing I actually like my parents and they treat me very well overall, because, YIKES. I told my husband it would be easier if I didn’t like them at all! I do have to start figuring out ways to set boundaries. That’s not my strong point.

      • S. Bean

        I recommend reading Captain Awkward (an advice column). She has wonderful scripts for boundaries and dealing with difficult people, seriously.

      • Olive Markus

        Thank you! I appreciate that.

      • smrnda

        Wow, that sounds a lot like my childhood. My parents don’t realize how much I was doing since they weren’t paying enough attention, and I figured out as long as I got home before them, they’d never find out.

    • fiona64

      Heh. I wasn’t homeschooled, but my parents were insanely strict … which resulted in a different kind of social naivete.

      This? She tends to idealize the past and she’ll say ”I never believed that” It must be part of the Moms of a Certain Generation(TM) Handbook, because my mom is really good at “I don’t remember saying/doing that” when a given issue is brought up. Then, if someone confirms that she did, the next verse of the tune is “Well, I don’t know why you still let it bother you after all of this time anyway.”


      • Rilian Sharp

        My mom “doesn’t remember” either. Some she apologizes for, but apology is not enough….

  • Kellen Connor

    I think this kind of thing is possible outside the Patriarchy bubble, too. I didn’t realize until I was 19 or 20 how many things my parents had taught me without even realizing it. Just makes me that much more determined to keep the dialogues open at all times once (if) I finally have my own kids.

    • jhlee

      I think it was Jerry Farber who wrote that in education the method is everything and content accounts for very little. The same goes for childrearing as well, I believe–how you teach often leaves a much deeper mark than what you teach. I know I learned a lot of unintended lessons this way, such as “never take risks” and “never admit to having a problem.”

      • Rosa

        yeah, the “hidden curriculum”. I know a lot of homeschoolers who can tell you ALL ABOUT the hidden curricula of schools, but have never managed to articulate what might the implicit lesson of their own methods & sources might be.

      • Kellen Connor

        One of the lessons I learned was “No one loves you enough not to deliberately hurt you.” That’s the royal “no one,” as in, it’s not possible to. It blew my mind when I realized how stupid that was, but for the longest time I never thought to question it.

      • jhlee

        And worse, “I hurt you because I love you,” which leads to “you are wrong/ungrateful to feel hurt” with a side heaping of “you deserve to be hurt.” I was blown away, too, when I realized what a load of crap this was and how long I’d been swallowing it.

      • Kellen Connor

        All of that. All. Gah! And my parents weren’t even bad per se. Believe me, I read some of the stories that get reposted here, and it stuns me how sheltered I was. And yet… still wound up in therapy.

  • Stev84

    I just don’t get why parents can’t think more for themselves. Even if they adhere to the general ideology, why not just make your own decisions about it and how far you take it? Instead there are all those preachers, books and magazines and everything they say is taken as infallible instructions that need to be implemented exactly as written.

    Of course if you’re in a cult-like church, they have absolute control over you. But it seems there are a lot of people who are not directly under the yoke of some totalitarian preacher, but still voluntarily do everything they read somewhere.

    • Jayn

      Because then you’d have to stop and think about it, and part of the appeal of following instructions is that the thinking is done for you. Some people want guidelines, others want detailed instructions. I’m something of the latter myself–I don’t handle vagueness well, let alone deviation from the expected. You should see me try to deal with some of the not-well-explained stuff in DnD rules while I’m trying to DM, it’s not pretty (my husband pretty much had to give me permission to decide on an interpretation rather than try and figure out what was intended).

      • aletha

        Love the DnD analogy!

    • VollyfromtheBlog

      all those preachers, books and magazines and everything they say is taken as infallible instructions that need to be implemented exactly as written.

      We think we live in such an enlightened time, when we’ve all outgrown peer pressure. Maybe we shrug it off toward the end of high school, but it all comes back the minute we become parents. Oh, the judgment! The scrutiny! That’s why so many moderate mainstream Christian parents get drawn into fundyism — because other people at their church, often including the pastor, use scare tactics about All the Terrible Things That Can Happen to one’s children unless they draw together like a herd of oxen facing outward. It gives parents a (false) sense of safety and reassurance that they’re following the same playbook as the people they see most often. They think back on the relatively innocent and harmless things they did as kids and suddenly see all of that from a parent’s perspective. Then come the rules and the oppression. Very often the people who took the risks and survived are the most heavy-handed when it comes to their own kids.

  • ako

    I’m wondering – was the criticism mostly for people not going far enough? Because there’s a pretty common tendency to feel comfortable going after the people on your side who are softer and less extreme, but uncomfortable saying too much against the people who take things farther.

  • John Small Berries

    In fact, I grew up hearing James Dobson described as too wishy-washy and soft.

    Holy cow.

    • TLC

      Holy cow, indeed! James Dobson wishy-washy? (shudder) Who, then, did they admire because they stood firm in their position? Or do I even want to know?

      • AnotherOne

        Lol. Yeah, my parents totally though Dobson was a sellout. He talked about TEENAGERS for crying out loud. Every real Christian knows there’s no such thing as a teenager. That’s a worldly concept.

  • MyOwnPerson

    I think my mom has forgotten just how much of this stuff my parents bought in to. For example, if I bring up some of the bad things that happened as a result of their ideology, she says that was one of her sinful failings as a parents and apologizes for that particular instance. What she seems unable to see is that these weren’t one-off events, they were the direct result of the ideology she was buying into at the time. There seems to be some cognitive dissonance on the matter.

  • Lana

    lol. I’ve had almost exactly this conversation with my dad, such as “I didn’t believe everything Bill Gothard said.” Then why the heck didn’t you tell me! My parents would say the same thing about the Pearls, but they never once sat down and explained to me that the Pearls are more extreme than they are. I think they just thought that I would know, for example, that it’s okay to divorce an abusive husband…because my dad wasn’t abusive. But the thing is, I always believed that women should stay married even if their husband was abusive…until the day it dawned on me that some women (or men) desperately need to get out.

    • MyOwnPerson

      I just remembered something funny. I was talking with my mom once about some of the authors that influenced her and dad’s parenting choices, and we were talking about James Dobson. She said, “We didn’t agree with everything James Dobson said. He said it’s OK for boys to masturbate.” Lol! I was really tempted to ask if he said it was OK for girls to masturbate too, but I was afraid my mom would swoon at the mere thought.

      • CarysBirch

        For the record, he did!

        Can you believe I credit Dr. Dobson for lifting part of the immense burden of guilt being a sexual being caused me as a teenager?

      • MyOwnPerson

        Well hey, I’ll give credit where credit is due!

      • Joykins

        Same here! Of course, it left me with a totally false impression about how liberal and flexible he was.

  • Rebeccas_Daughter

    That’s partly why, in our own homeschooling ventures, we avoid pre-set curricula, and tend to follow, to some degree, John Holt’s unschooling ideas. Seems to work. Our kids are both straight ‘A’ students when they’re at school. Better (I’m proud to say) when he was 4 my son was talking about evolution and the dinosaurs during a playgroup playdate. One of the other moms (Christian homeschooler) said, “Well, don’t you think they were created just as they were?” It was so cool to hear my 4-year-old respond to this parental, adult authority figure with a very positive, “No! They evolved.”

    • Rilian Sharp

      Hm, the mom actually tried to contradict him? Where I lived (austin, tx), people never did that, they would have considered it none of their business to preach to someone else’s kids.

      • Rebeccas_Daughter

        Yeah, not sure what it is that impelled her to say that. I think she just couldn’t help herself. At any rate, it was cool to see that my kid didn’t need my support to stick up for reality.

  • alwr

    I would guess that on some level this happens to all parents simply because as adults we don’t always think about how children and even teens will take things at face value that we are more discerning about ourselves.

  • Kathleen Margaret Schwab

    I have seen this go the other way too, as in more progressive stuff is assumed by children if parents don’t make it very very clear where they stand. Inter racial marriage is the big one that I am aware of. I’ve known more than one person of my generation (I am 46) who dated & then got engaged to a person of another race, thinking that because their parents had said general progressive stuff, that there would be no problem with an inter racial marriage. The kids are shocked when the family suddenly is telling them that this is a bad idea – based on no factor but race. I’ve known people who thought their parents could never be such a thing as a racist – they assumed it in fact – until an actual engagement raised things to the net level and the truth came out.

    • Alice

      I can’t remember where I was reading about this, but one author said that there are some people who truly believed they didn’t have a problem with it until they learned their grown child was in an interracial relationship. Sometimes people don’t become aware of what they really think until the question becomes personal.

      I’m not defending racists; all forms of racism are bad. I’m just saying that there is a /small/ possibility the parents weren’t hiding or miscommunicating.

      • Helix Luco

        this reminds me of the people who are emphatically anti-gay until one of their kids comes out of the closet. it’s baffling the way some people seemingly don’t ever think about how they think.

      • InvertIntrovert

        Yeah, I learned how that worked after I came out to my parents. I assumed they’d be okay, since they’ve never said homophobic things and are moderate-to-liberal Democrats. They took it hard, though. At one point they explained, “We’ve never had a problem with gay people, but we never wanted that for you.” I was tempted to say “So you have a problem with gay people.”

    • Rilian Sharp

      My parents, eg, are vocally in favor of gay rights … but their own kids being gay!? Or TRANS!? Noooooo!!!!!!

    • David Kopp

      Thankfully, their children turned out as better people than they are. I certainly hope that for my kids ;)

  • Alexandra

    I had this exact same experience with my mom, but with Catholicism. Catholic school through high school, mass every Sunday, and I read it all and tried so hard to come in line with it all, only to have my mom let me know that she doesn’t believe in *any* of it. She still doesn’t understand why I was so upset to learn that, or why it felt like something of a betrayal.

  • Lorri

    As someone who knows nothing about this, I would love to know what an Above Rubies magazine contains. The article doesn’t really mention it, except a vague reference to purity. I also don’t understand why someone would have reading material readily available for children if they didn’t agree with the message contained in it. Once children are old enough to think critically I can see introducing materials that could be taken in multiple ways and discussing each.

    • Ms_Morlowe

      I don’t think people realise how much they disregard subconsciously when they read. Or even listen to a TV programme. Alternatively, the could skim it/ watch an hour or so, think it’s alright and not realise that the portion they saw isn’t really representative of the whole. Children can also take different messages from media than adults.

      I think you also need to take into account that it seems like these parents think that they have taught their children to think critically when they really haven’t: Libby Anne has written before about how her parents thought they were fostering a well-reasoned understanding of their beliefs, when in actual fact she feels now like she was being praised for acting the parrot. So it’s possible that parents are thinking that their children have skills they actually don’t.

    • Alice

      “why someone would have reading material readily available for children if they didn’t agree with the message contained in it.”

      I think what often happens is that the parents agree with the overall message (Christianity, morals, etc) but not some of the smaller, more specific messages.

      Parents rarely inspect everything in detail before handing it to their children, which is understandable since they only have so much time to keep up. Even though my parents were strict about books, they would just read the summary and flip through it quickly, not read the entire thing.

      Also, I learned from an early age to get a large pile of books when we went to the library or used bookstore, so my parents wouldn’t even try to go through all of them. I hid the questionable ones near the bottom.

    • AngieGW

      The link to it takes you to their website, which has some of the articles from the magazine. I had never read any of it either, but browsing through a few of the articles on their webpage certainly gives you a flavour!

  • AnotherOne

    This is so true–I’ve known so many people who have said the same thing. I wonder if it’s because the parents grew up in an environment where stuff like Above Rubies and To Train Up A Child wasn’t the norm, and so for them it is easy to sort of brush the really extreme stuff aside, never thinking their kids would actually take it seriously. But for kids where literally all the input is from those circles, nothing seems extreme, because they’re not unconsciously weighing it against mainstream norms the way their parents are. I actually remember my dad taking a rare moment once to tell me that I should take some time off of reading missionary martyr porn like Tortured For His Faith and Shadow of the Almighty and Bruchko. He said something offhand about how sometimes a little common sense and moderation were more godly than a martyr complex. I remember being shocked and thinking he must not be very godly himself if he wasn’t willing to wander off into the jungle looking for random savages to convert, and that hellfire must be lapping at his heels for not believing that Jim Elliot was Jesus reincarnate. But it did have the effect of making those books seem a little histrionic. But if he hadn’t made the comment, I would totally have assumed that he thought those books were awesome in every way.

    Actually it’s one of the problems of fundigelical culture in general–moderates often keep their moderation to themselves.

  • TLC

    I just read the Mother Jones article and some of the related links. I am still in tears. I am physically ill after reading the California court document about Lydia and her sister, who were beaten according to the Pearls’ principles of discipline. I speak three languages, and I cannot find a word in any of them that could begin to describe the horror these girls went through.

    I am beginning to get an inkling what it must have been like for you, Libby Anne, when you learned that what you had been taught was not all true. One minute these kids are hearing the “Word of God,” and the next minute they’re being beaten to death. It’s so ingrained into the family that the other children didn’t see anything wrong with it. From “Jesus loves you!” to “I’ll beat you til you OBEY!!!”

    Thank you for telling your Mom to be honest with your siblings about Above Rubies. I hope it opens up a door for her and others to start questioning what they’re told, and maybe even speak out against it. I went to that website and checked out the blogs — comments aren’t allowed. No surprise there!

    Sorry if this seems a bit disjointed. I’m still not recovered from that article.

  • perfectnumber628

    Wow… same for me. My parents subscribed to a bunch of Christian magazines- for adults and kids of different ages- and I read all of them and assumed since they were Christian, they were right.

    And then many years later… I was talking to my mom about dating and purity and how I was so confused and it made no sense and she was like “where did you get all these completely bizarre ideas?” She totally didn’t realize what messages I had been absorbing all those years.

    • Searching

      Same thing for me.. the most damaging books for me were “I kissed dating goodbye” and “Say hello to courtship” by Josh Harris.. my parents gave them to my older brothers and then me to read, I thought they believed it was biblical and sound, so I embraced the ideas wholeheartedly… my Mom also reinforced it with admonitions to “guard my heart”, and so on… but when I talked about it with her years later, she denied ever believing that courtship is best and emotional purity is godly, etc. Very frustrating.

  • shadowspring

    Thank you for pointing this out! I hope the current crop of home school moms take it to heart.

  • fiona64

    Oh gawd. I’m reading the Mother Jones article right now. And this: “The ultimate purpose of human adoption by Christians,” author Dan Cruver wrote in his 2011 book, Reclaiming Adoption, “is not to give orphans parents, as important as that is. It is to place them in a Christian home that they might be positioned to receive the gospel.”? Is one of the creepiest things I’ve ever read. The purpose of adoption *by its very nature* is to help children, not make them captive audiences to evangelism.


    • Alice


      Also, I don’t think it’s very Biblical. There are countless verses in both the Old and New Testaments about helping orphans or other people in need without “So they’ll believe/praise God” attached. Christians are supposed to give to others without expecting anything from them in return.

      A similar topic came up on a fundie blog, one of the endless debates about social justice versus evangelism. I asked, “If there was a way you could know for 100% certain that helping this person would not lead him or anyone else closer to salvation, would you still do it, or would you just leave him to suffer because you think it’s a “waste” of time and resources?”

      The debate was creepy because NO ONE on either side was talking about helping people Because. They. Need. Help. It was all “We gotta preach because that takes care of people’s eternal needs” or “People won’t listen to the Gospel unless we help them with physical needs first.”

      • fiona64

        These are people who, doubtless, consider themselves to be the Good Samaritan … without ever considering the feelings of the guy in the ditch.

  • Penguin

    This is pretty off topic, but that cover for Above Rubies is very off-putting for me. I can’t quite figure out is the picture is of a young girl who has been made to look older/sexualized via make-up and photo manipulation, or a young woman who has been made to look younger viz the same. And both have rather bad implications to me.

    • CarysBirch

      YES! I stared at it for several long moments trying to figure that out too. I never did reach a conclusion.

    • The_L1985

      For me, the juxtaposition with the article title just makes me feel like the person in the photo is asking the title question herself. :)

  • Val

    Oh! That magazine is cray. I read an article in issue #84 (I just looked it up online; I have since thrown my copy away – it was given to me by my mom and I don’t think she actually read it first) called A Tale of Two Cultures. It is by far the most WTF-inspiring thing I’ve ever read. It was written by the editor in chief or whoever she calls herself, and it was the most poorly thought out “rah rah babies are the only way a woman can please God and be holy” bunch of tripe I’ve seen so far. I actually got so mad that I blogged about the whole thing! It wound up being easily my longest blog post, although considering my blog has a whopping 8 posts, that isn’t all that notable (I blog maybe once every four months…I’m just too busy!). That was my one and only exposure to the magazine and it was enough to turn me off it permanently. The whole magazine focused on having as many babies as you can, and almost all the articles were about families with tons of kids rejoicing in their fertility. Yikes.

  • The_L1985

    “Why did you assume I believed in young-earth creationism? Or that I didn’t know it was in your textbooks? I was deeply disturbed when I saw that in there.”

    And yet you said NOTHING, Mom. And because you were paying for me to go to private school, I thought that meant you agreed with it.

    Why do parents just assume we’ll KNOW what things they do and don’t agree with if they won’t tell us? And why is it always, always toxic things that they don’t bother to tel us about?

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