Why Courtship Fails: A Male’s Perspective

by The GraduateAs a young man in my early twenties who grew up in conservative homeschool circles, I was excited to return home after spending four years in a Christian college. I had very little experience in dating and hadn’t been in a relationship in college, but I had a good degree and a solid career lined up in front of me. My parents were excited too, because they hoped that I would be able to easily find a bride among the many single homeschool girls my family knew. I was a willing participant to their plans, but I soon found out that even with the right credentials, it was still impossible for me to come against homeschool patriarchy and perfectionism.According to Bill G … [Read more...]

Divorce as Salvation

By SierraGrowing up fundamentalist, I heard endless tirades about the importance of having a set of heterosexual parents. My mother was to be my example of submission, selflessness and homemaking. My father was to be my protector, modeling the role of my future husband. I’ll say more about some of the problems with this model in a future post.I was taught that children needed both a feminine and a masculine parental figure, that the traits of each would “balance” us somehow (even though I was expected to grow up 100% feminine). The worst possible sin against one’s children was to entertain the thought of divorcing one’s spouse.When I was 13, my parents divorced. It was awesome. … [Read more...]

How the Doctrine of Hell Justifies Quiverfull Authoritarian Parenting

by Libby AnneFrom my experience, I would argue that hell is the worst Christian doctrine of all. I’m not even going to get into how there is no justice in punishing finite transgressions with eternal torture, or into all the other problems with the theological ins and outs of hell. Instead, I’m referring to the practical implications of the doctrine.I am a mother. I look at my beautiful young daughter, so full of life and joy and excitement and curiosity, and I feel my love for her bubbling up in my heart. If I believed that there were any possibility that this sweet little thing could end up tortured in a lake of fire for eternity, I would leave no stone unturned in d … [Read more...]

Carefully Scripted Lives – The Real Reality of the Duggar Family "Blessings"

by Libby Anne I can’t say how often I’ve heard ordinary Americans defend Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their popular TLC television show, 19 Kids and Counting. “I wouldn’t choose to have nineteen kids,” they say, “but if they can manage it, who am I to question their choice?” “The kids look happy and healthy,” they say, “look how polite and well mannered they are.” I hear these comments and I just have to sigh.First of all, I want to point out that I would have concerns about the Duggars even if they were your ordinary family plus seventeen extra children. For one thing, there is no way any two parents can give nineteen children the individual attention and time they need. It’s just no … [Read more...]

How the Modesty Doctrine Hurts Men, Too

by SierraI’ve written a few times about how the modesty doctrine hurts women. Now it’s time to switch lenses. The modesty doctrine also wreaks havoc on the minds of young men in the Christian patriarchy movement. Here’s how:It teaches men to be afraid of women because their sexual power is too great to be resisted. It teaches men to despise women and hampers their relationships. It teaches men to be afraid of their own bodies. It teaches men to control and criticize women in order to protect themselves. It teaches men to be paranoid about their sexual orientation. It teaches gay men that they don’t exist.(There are probably more consequences of which I’m not aware, so m … [Read more...]

The Destiny of a Virtuous Daughter ~ Part 5: Not My Will

by StarfuryAnthony and I maintained a long-distance courtship until shortly before I turned 18, whereupon he moved to where I was safely ensconced at a conservative Catholic university. Our arguments grew in number when we spent more time together, but I pretended nothing was wrong. After all, I should feel guilty. He was trying to encourage me to grow spiritually when I wasn't willing to take chances and trust in God. Still, I loved him, and even though I hated how he told me what to do at times, I knew it was in my best interest.That spring, he drove me home from school, where my parents were waiting. Unexpectedly, they called us in to discuss the state of our relationship. Having … [Read more...]

The Destiny of a Virtuous Daughter ~ Part 4: Have Mercy on Me, a Sinner

by StarfuryAt 15, I was finally given the female role models I had longed for. My family converted to Eastern Orthodoxy, and I embraced it wholeheartedly. No longer did I have to pray only to God, but I had the Theotokos to turn to.. someone who could understand me as a girl. After our conversion, my prayer to God (whether the Father or the Son) diminished greatly, and I prayed often to both Mary and St. Katherine the Great-Martyr.I was searching for unconditional love and acceptance, and it was hard to see it in the God who would stand judging you when you died. It was easier to find it in a woman who watched her son be crucified.Regardless, I was determined to do things right. I … [Read more...]

Throwing Out the Moral GPS

by SierraGrowing up in fundamentalism was like living with a moral GPS navigator installed in my head. Every decision was mapped out already; all I needed to do was listen to the voice telling me where to go. Sometimes I could stop and look at the map. Most of the time I was looking ahead, trying to live, listening and following directions as best I could.The GPS gave me directions for living: Read the Bible and pray every day. Obey your parents. Be respectful of elders.Those directions made sense. They were there to help me get where I wanted to go: straight ahead. There were no twists and turns yet.Then the directions got a little stranger: Listen to one of Branham's … [Read more...]

Smoke & Mirrors

by VyckieLibby Anne makes an astute point in her recent post at Love, Joy, Feminism: Vision Forum focuses on problems in society, inflates them, and then blames feminism and modernity. Then Vision Forum seeks to fix the problems by turning back the clock to a time that never existed. The version of the past that Vision Forum sells is a myth. The problems we face in society today are not new. Substance abuse, the challenges of balancing motherhood and work, and the devaluation of women have always been with us. Looking back to some idealized imaginary past where families had no problems, mothers happily stayed home and devoted their time to raising their children, and women were valued … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: Daybreak

by Sierra By the time I turned in my final remedial math exam, my family had settled into a tiny rental house in Pennsylvania. I was now eligible to start community college, getting prerequisites out of the way while finishing up my high school diploma. For my first semester, I was registered for Basic Problems of Philosophy (my mother, snickering, said, “There are a lot of problems with Philosophy,” implying that it was a godless discipline), and Earth Science.Community college was a dazzling experience. Not only could I drive myself there three nights a week and not have to worry about tiptoeing around my father’s ever-simmering rage, I could talk to normal people face-to-face. I became … [Read more...]


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