Justice Is No Lady: Chapter 8 ~ Backlash

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess WilloughbyPart Two: The Legal AftermathI fled to the farm where I grew up and spent several weeks just trying to get the fuzz out of my head. I went to the doctor, who diagnosed Abi with failure to thrive. I supplemented her with formula but continued to breastfeed, because for once I had the luxury of breastfeeding by my own lights, and I intended to enjoy it. I moved six kids, 9 years old and under, in with my mom and dad, who were absolute angels about it.  I do not remember either of them complaining even once.What were Tess’s long-term plans? Did I want separation? Divorce? Neither? Was God angry with me … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: The Waiting

by SierraI loved driving. I'd always known I would. As a child, I collected Hot Wheels cars until they numbered in the hundreds. When I was twelve, my mother decided to teach me to drive in case my father's rage spilled over completely and I needed to escape. It was both terrifying and exhilarating. The car felt huge and seemed to move so much faster when my hands were on the wheel. I crowed with pride as I successfully navigated the winding roads of our rural neighborhood, passing a UPS truck with wide eyes and short breath.As I grew older, I periodically stowed away money for a car. At my bakery job, I thought I might finally have a chance when I amassed $1,000 – a year's savings. A … [Read more...]

Sons of Patriarchy

by Libby AnneYes yes, I know I said it’s about the daughters, but it’s actually about the sons too, and here’s why: Christian Patriarchy may say its about creating the perfect godly family, but, at its heart, it’s about control. Yes, that sounds kind of harsh! Let me explain.In Christian Patriarchy, parents don’t let their children grow up and leave and make their own decisions. Instead, parents seek to control their adult children. The system only works if everyone stays in their place and does as told. The moment there is an independent thought or contrary life goal, it all falls apart.Where do the sons come into this? It’s simple. I have brothers, and while things have been much smoo … [Read more...]

Crushing Daisies ~ Ways in Which Patriarchal Fundamentalism Harms Its Children ~ Part 2: The Little House on the Prairie Fashion Club

by DaisyWhen we were Quiverfull, our family wasn’t nearly so extreme as some regarding dress standards, but we did insist on longish dresses and hair for the girls for several years.This wasn’t all religious nonsense: those Osh Kosh pinnies were tough as hell and could be passed on through all the girls in the family and still look as though they’d hardly been worn. And, despite how my girls remember it, they were actually in fashion at the time. I wasn’t  just sewing our own stuff (although I did that too), Osh Kosh pinnies were bought off the rack in Myer and Target by regular folk as well as fundies like us. However, I’ll admit that we kept it up for longer than was appropriate. And we … [Read more...]

The Beautiful Girlhood Doll ~ Part 7: Submission & Obedience

by Libby AnneThe Godly Woman recognizes that "the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man..." She willingly and joyfully submits to him in everything as she would unto Christ. What other women view as a burden and degradation, she views as an honor and a blessing.My parents believed in male headship and the umbrella of authority. They believed that the husband is the head of the wife and that the wife must submit to the husband even as the husband must love the wife. And submission meant obedience.My mother was constantly reading books like Me? Obey Him? as she strove to be a better, more submissive wife. This was difficult for my mother, for she was a very … [Read more...]

It's About the DAUGHTERS

[Note: This piece is being crossposted at No Longer Quivering as a way to introduce NLQ readers to guest writer, Libby Anne's new blog: Love, Joy, Feminism. Read Libby Anne's "The Beautiful Girlhood Doll" series here.] by Libby Anne When it comes to the multitude of problems with Christian Patriarchy, it is the position of the daughters that I am most passionate about. The patriarch has it pretty good - he’s the one who gets to call the shots. The sons usually don’t have it so bad either - they’re patriarchs in training. The mothers may spend their lives having baby after baby and they may believe that they’re to submit to the patriarch in everything, but they generally chose this life at som … [Read more...]

The Beautiful Girlhood Doll ~ Part 6: Joy & Friendship

by Libby Anne The woman of God is joyful and seeks companionship with those who share the same vision. For the daughter who has embraced the beauty of Christian girlhood, the richest friendships begin within her family, where she learns to love and honor, and first learns the joy of belonging to another.I had a lot of friends growing up, and they definitely all shared my vision. In fact, they were all exactly like me! All of my friends were white, middle class, and homeschooled, and they all shared the same religious beliefs that my parents did. This was because I only ever met other children my age at church or in a Christian homeschool co-op, and I only ever got to see a friend … [Read more...]

Crushing Daisies ~ Ways in Which Patriarchal Fundamentalism Harms Its Children ~ Part 1: Work, Work, Work!

by DaisyNote: This post is part one of a series that originally appeared at my now defunct blog A Dragonfly Diary sometime in 2010. It has been updated slightly for publishing here but mostly left as it was. Because of this, this post reflects my attitude at the time of writing when I still felt a strong connection to Christianity. I'd also like to note that I'm not suggesting it is necessary to leave one's husband or faith in order to find happiness. That's just my story.***Work, work, work!Recently I caught the tail-end of the US-made Wife Swap program. The father in one home was a real stick-in-the-mud and a big believer in strictly 'training' his children. How I cringed to watch … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: Surveillance

by SierraThick summer haze blended with the spirals of smoke belching from the backyard grill. A teenage girl in a sepia-colored seventies outfit poked at the flames with a stoic face, silently urging them to gulp up more pages from the notebooks she fed them, one after another. The fire surged with joy and then abated, leaving only charred fragments sinking into dust or drifting lazily into the air. The  grill was stuffed, but not for long. Soon the makeshift altar had reduced its sacrifices to embers. The girl sighed with relief, though the anger blazing in her chest had not subsided.Her mother had read her diaries. They had to be burned. Her most private thoughts unmercifully exposed, … [Read more...]

The Beautiful Girlhood Doll ~ Part 5: Home & Hospitality

by Libby Anne  One of the defining qualities of beautiful girlhood is a love for home and hospitality. A young girl watches her mother and looks forward to the day when she, too, will have a family. While other girls are driven by wanderlust, the hospitable girl finds true contentment at home.I loved being at home, and I never wanted to be anywhere else. My home was my father’s castle, and I loved it. While some of my siblings sometimes chaffed at not being allowed to go out and do things with their friends like other children, it never bothered me one bit. I would have rather stayed home anyway.Because my parents believed work was good for children and because there was so much work t … [Read more...]


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