The Shell Game Revealed

I really didn’t expect to see Christian homeschool leaders out-and-out reveal that, in the wake of the Doug Phillips scandal, they’re dumping the word patriarchy but keeping the ideas behind it. I mean it’s pretty clear that a lot of them are doing that, but they’re generally doing it in a shell game sort of way as though no one will notice. But not all are taking that approach. Commenting on her husband’s blog, homeschool author and speaker Stacy McDonald had this to say:

Well then. That makes it easy, doesn’t it?

Stacy McDonald is right when she says “the term is not as important as the principle.” But she gets it exactly backwards. She is willing to drop the term but wants to keep the principle. Newsflash here—the principle is what I and so many others have a problem here.

I should be clear that Stacy McDonald is no marginal voice in the world of Christian patriarchy. She’s the author of Passionate Housewives Desperate for God and Raising Maidens of Virtue and Three Decades of Fertility. She runs the website Steadfast Daughters and blogs at Your Sacred Calling. She writes for Ladies against Feminism. Stacy McDonald is no stranger in the more general homeschool world either. She and her husband used to run Homeschooling Today magazine, and Stacy is a popular speaker at homeschool conventions.

So with all of those ties to the patriarchy movement within Christian homeschooling that Stacy McDonald writes of dropping the word patriarchy while keeping the principle because “we don’t have to use a word that provokes people or causes them to misunderstand us.” But what exactly is being misunderstood, here? If Stacy McDonald preaches patriarchy, as she very openly does does, we’re not “misunderstanding” anything at all when we call it out. As for “provoking” people, I’m pretty sure it’s the ideas that are doing the provoking, not the term. That is apparently lost on Stacy.

But I suppose I’m just glad someone is being honest.

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