The Tomboy in Skirts


My six-year-old daughter Sally wears dresses, well, basically, all the time. If she's not wearing dresses, she's wearing skirts. I can't think of the last time I saw her in shorts, and she swore off pants last year. Too uncomfortable, she said. When it's cold, she wears leggings under her dresses. Dresses, dresses, always dresses.  This is weird to me. I grew up in a conservative evangelical homeschool culture that valued female domesticity. When I was 13, I swore off pants. I believed women … [Read more...]

A Matter of Patriarchy


Yesterday I saw a trailer for the new Christian movie, A Matter of Faith.The film's website offers this summary:  A Christian girl, Rachel Whitaker (Jordan Trovillion) goes off to college for her freshman year and begins to be influenced by her popular Biology professor (Harry Anderson) who teaches that evolution is the answer to the origins of life. When Rachel’s father, Stephen Whitaker (Jay Pickett) senses something changing with his daughter, he begins to examine the situation and wh … [Read more...]

When Marriage Looks Like the Only Escape


Over the weekend I spent time speaking with yet another young Christian homeschool graduate considering early marriage. We'll call her Jen. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have heard this story. Speaking with this Jen, I was reminded, once again, of my own youthful wedding, and the decisions I made at the time.Jen told me she felt if she got married, her parents would give her breathing room---and stop trying to sabotage her relationship with her boyfriend. The sad thing is, … [Read more...]

Israel Wayne on the (Patriarchal) Father’s Role


Israel Wayne is supposed to be a voice of reason in the Christian homeschooling community. A homeschool graduate himself, and now a homeschool father, he travels the convention circuit and has written blog posts criticizing various patriarchal homeschool leaders. It's a pity he's unaware that he is himself one of those patriarchal homeschool leaders.Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’ve heard the smash pop hit, “Rude” by the group Magic!. It speaks about a young man, seeking p … [Read more...]

Someone’s Got to Be Responsible for Her!


You all know I had a bit of a rocky time with my parents upon reaching adulthood. Well, I recently learned something I had not known that occurred during that period, and it surprised even me. I think I need to give a little backstory to make what I'm about to say make sense. I've told this in pieces, so let me sum it up.Upon completion of homeschool high school, I went away to college. I chose a secular college, with my parents' approval, because I wanted to finally win converts for Christ … [Read more...]

Christian Patriarchy on Educating Daughters


Okay, let's take a few minutes to hash out Christian Patriarchy's view towards women and education. I think this is necessary because I hear one side saying "you don't believe in educating girls" and the other side saying "no no no, we do educate our daughters, your accusations are ridiculous." So what is really going on here? I can't necessarily get at what the ordinary family on the ground is doing, but what I can get at is what the leaders of the movement say. So let's take a look, shall … [Read more...]

Matthew Chapman, Child Marriage, and Homeschooling

Matthew Chapman

Yesterday I wrote about my concerns about child marriage in the Christian homeschooling world. In particular, I wrote about the Maranatha story, and included a mention of the marriage of Maranatha's daughter Lauren at age 16 to a man ten years her senior. I included a wedding picture from Lauren's wedding in the post, in order to make what I was talking about real. Blogger Lana of Wide Open Ground, who knew Lauren's family growing up, expressed concern at my use of that picture, saying that … [Read more...]