Unwrapping the Onion: Part 3: A Growing Up Story

by Permission to LiveBefore I go any further I just want to make it clear that my spouse has participated in the writing and editing of this series, and has given their full support and approval of it's publication.This post is part of a series of nine posts. Please click here to start with the series Introduction.Over the next number of months it seemed that we talked about transgender questions and issues constantly. My spouse had been unable to talk about this for so long and now it was like a floodgate had opened. He told me about how he had always felt different, that even as a small child he wished he could play with some of the girls’ toys and wondered why he couldn’t have … [Read more...]

Unwrapping the Onion: Part 1: A Secret Revealed

by Permission to LiveThis post is part of a series of nine posts. Please click here to start with the series Introduction.As many of you know, my spouse and I got married young after a short parent-supervised courtship. We began our marriage “the right way” according to everything we believed. We had obeyed our parents and stayed pure from emotional relationships or sexual activity, so when we got married neither of us had ever been intimate with any other person. We were wholeheartedly committed to our Christian beliefs at that time, feeling certain that birth control was wrong in almost any circumstance and that men should be the family leaders and women should be submissive. My hus … [Read more...]

Sex Confessions and the Single Fundy: Adventures in Recovery

by Calulu(or be careful who you tell your secrets to..)Bless me Father for I have sinned... told you I'd been raised Catholic. One of the big rituals from my days in Catholic school was the time of confession. At first I found it frightening, going into that big wooden closet-like structure, sitting down with only a metal grill separating you from a priest. You usually couldn't make out exactly which Father was hearing your confession.It was always awkward, trying to scare up a list of all the bad stuff you'd done that week. I was a shy bookish young girl and nervously squirmed in the confessional trying to come up with my wrong doings, only to sometimes whisper out stuff I … [Read more...]

Emotional Incest Part 4: The Pain

by Libby AnneIn Part 1 I discussed the definition of emotional incest, in Part 2 I discussed its relationship with Christian Patriarchy, and in Part 3 I pointed out just how easy it is to slip into the harmful emotionally incestuous dynamics (the “daddy’s girl” effect). I am now going to turn to the problems and pain emotional incest causes.But first, I want to note that emotional incest can happen in any family (not just one involved in Christian Patriarchy) and that it can happen with sons as well as with daughters. In focusing as I have on daughters, and also on Christian Patriarchy, I have of necessity left a lot out.Emotional incest causes a multitude of problems, but I’m onl … [Read more...]

Emotional Incest: The Bottom Line

by Sierra[Editors' note: At the time of writing, Libby Anne and Sierra were unaware of the controversy surrounding Hugo Schwyzer. The discussion of his critique of emotional incest is not an endorsement of Schwyzer by NLQ.]My last two posts, and indeed all my thinking on the subject has led me to some conclusions about the ways that Christian Patriarchy and purity culture enable and even celebrate emotional incest. The following are the cliff notes:Christian patriarchy turns marriage from a relationship to an institution, effectively reversing the historical trend from business partnerships and heir insurance to bonds between two free agents based on love. Evangelical culture … [Read more...]

Emotional Incest Part 3: Daddy’s Girl

by Libby Anne[Editors' note: At the time of writing, Libby Anne and Sierra were unaware of the controversy surrounding Hugo Schwyzer. The discussion of his critique of emotional incest is not an endorsement of Schwyzer by NLQ.]In Part 1 I looked at the definition of emotional incest and in Part 2 I looked at how integral emotional incest is to Christian Patriarchy, but in this segment I want to look at how easy it can be for even ordinary families to be sucked into (admittedly, less intense) patterns of emotional incest.I recently came upon an article called “Princesses, Princes, Daughters, and Dads: Against Emotional Incest.” The author explains his own experiences as the father … [Read more...]

Emotional Incest: The Mama’s Boy and the Other Woman

by SierraI have already written about the ways that growing up in fundamentalist-evangelical culture made me especially vulnerable to covert incest from my father. There is a flip side to the father-daughter craze in Christian patriarchy, though. I am here to bring you two stories: and one of them isn’t about me!In what would have been my high school years, a miracle happened. Sven, my best friend from my early childhood, came back to my church. We were fourteen. We had been estranged for about three years while his family lived in another state. But we quickly reconnected (not least due to my idealistic hopes that we could pick up where we left off, and some aggressive b … [Read more...]

Emotional Incest Part 2: The Botkins

by Libby AnneAfter discussing the definition of Emotional Incest in Part 1, I am now going to address the way the teachings of leading Christian Patriarchy organization Vision Forum and its close affiliates, the Botkins, essentially mandate emotional incest.Vision Forum teaches that adult daughters are to stay at home until they marry. More than that, it teaches that they are under their father’s authority just as they will after marriage be under their husband’s authority, and that well they remain at home it is their duty to adopt their father’s “vision” in place of their own and serve as “helpmeets in training” to their father in preparation for serving as “helpmeets” to their futu … [Read more...]

Emotional Incest: The Junior Wife

[Editors' note: At the time of writing, Libby Anne and Sierra were unaware of the controversy surrounding Hugo Schwyzer. The discussion of his critique of emotional incest is not an endorsement of Schwyzer by NLQ.] by SierraLibby Anne has begun a series on Emotional Incest at Love, Joy, Feminism. In her latest post, she also links Hugo Schwyzer’s striking analysis of the problems with the “Daddy’s Girl” myth and princess culture. The following is my attempt to confirm and add more perspectives to the issue they are bringing to light.As a child of a believer and a nonbeliever, I walked a confusing and sometimes torturous line between the prescriptions of my church and the realities of … [Read more...]

Snipped! Part 4 The Freedom of Divorce

 by Incongruous CircumspectionSeven years old was a big year for me. It was at this point that Mama and Dad’s relationship boiled over and broke apart. Dad left and went to live by himself, leaving my siblings and I alone with Mama. At this point in my life, the alone time with Mama wasn’t too bad. She hadn’t learned yet, to take her immature “lashing out,” and reconcile it with her interpretation of the Bible. She was just solidly abusive and then excitingly adventurous.At one point, Dad did try to come back and give the marriage another chance. I remember being asked to dry the dishes one evening. Dad had pulled our old black and white television from its corner, to the mid … [Read more...]


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