Who is Libby Anne?

I am a twenty-something writer, mother, academic, and activist living in the Midwest. I grew up in a large conservative evangelical homeschool family. My parents followed the teachings of a variety of high profile Christian homeschool leaders, including Michael Farris, Joshua Harris, Doug Philips, Michael and Debi Pearl, and Nancy Campbell. As a result, I am the oldest of a large number of children and was raised in a home where childhood obedience and female submission was upheld as the standard. I came of age expecting to court, marry, have my own large brood of children, and homeschool as any good Christian wife and mother should, but this was not to be, and I found myself scrambling, as a young adult, to figure out who I was and was not.

Okay, but why do you blog? 

My blog started as a place where I processed my experiences. Where did the beliefs I was raised with come from? How had my parents gotten swept up in them? Where precisely did they cause damage, and how could I correct it in my own life? What did life look like, after all of that? How could I ever fully integrate into a society so profoundly different from that of my childhood? Would the cultural experiences I’d missed out on forever make me feel like an outsider? Over the years I’ve come to terms with much of this and plugged in many pieces of the puzzle. I’ve also called out various Christian homeschool leaders for the harm they’ve caused. And as I’ve grown in who I am, my writing has shifted towards politics and culture wars.

Why should I read what you write? 

If you’re interested in the perspective of someone who came from a thoroughly conservative background and now identifies as a political progressive, you may find my writing worth reading. I write about feminism and women’s issues from the perspective of someone who grew up believing it was wrong for a woman to hold a job outside of the home, and about parenting from the perspective of someone who has transitioned from authoritarian, parent-centered parenting to positive, child-centered parenting. Finally, I write about religion as someone who grew up evangelical but is no longer religious, and about homeschooling as a homeschool graduate sending my own children to public school. If any of this sounds interesting, my blog may be for you!

What is the “lesbian duplex”? 

What is the “lesbian duplex”? Some time ago I spent two years on a week-by-week review of Debi Pearl’s book, Created To Be His Help Meet. Debi explained how to be a submissive wife in great detail and with many stories as illustrations, going out of her way to beret, shame, and frighten her readers into following her teachings. At one point she warned readers that if they did not follow her advice, they might end up lesbians living in duplexes, and thus the lesbian duplex — which my readers resoundingly deemed preferable to the hellish marriage Debi described — was born.

Why “Love, Joy, Feminism”? 

I grew up viewing “feminism” as a dirty word. Learning what feminism was (and was not) became central to my process of rebuilding who I was and how I understood the world as a young adult. As I began blogging, I found myself wanting to help redeem the term and make feminism more palatable to others in my generation or from my upbringing. Galatians 5:22-23 states that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control.” I took the first two words from this passage and attached them to feminism, creating a play on words that I hoped would help create a more positive view of this term.

How can I contact you? 

My email address is lovejoyfeminism (at) gmail (dot) com. I always enjoy hearing from my readers! You’re also to comment on my blog (read my comment policy here). I am often amazed by the further insight commenters have to offer on any given issue, and I find that highly valuable. My hope is that I can encourage you to think for yourself, live with empathy, and work toward the betterment of humanity.

Where should I start reading? 

When I first started blogging I wrote out my story under the title “The Beautiful Girlhood Doll.” I also wrote about my spiritual journey in a post called “Searching for the Baby in the Bathwater.” Probably the most viral post I’ve ever written was “How I Lost Faith in the Pro-Life Movement.” You can click on the the tabs under the header for collections of posts on various other subjects as well!