Daughter of the Patriarchy: Doing the Math

by SierraTurning eighteen was magical. Suddenly, all the job applications I seemed to be throwing down an empty chute were bounced back with interest. Sven had already landed a job at Wal-Mart in his town. Now it was my turn. I nervously sat through my job interview, not daring to hope that I might actually be on my way to earning money. When they called back with an offer, I could hardly contain my excitement.Not only did I have a job, I had a real driver's license. No longer did I need the supervision of an adult driver. I could take myself anywhere I wanted, whenever I wanted. The freedom was intoxicating, and I found myself driving everywhere at the slightest excuse.Now that I was … [Read more...]

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...]

Adventures in Recovery: You Gotta Serve Somebody

On Schisms and Authorityby CaluluI was working recently on a large graphic design job when it struck me about the differences in the way authority looks inside of the Fundamentalist Patriarchal culture and from the outside.It was one of those design projects for a larger firm and I was working as an independent contractor. A design project where I was given the basic elements the client wanted in the design but not much else. Punt, pass or run with the ball, it was my call. My idea for the project really jelled quickly as I was working with those basic elements, I had a very good idea going in a totally different direction than was suggested at the meeting. I quickly worked up two or t … [Read more...]

The Beautiful Girlhood Doll ~ Part 10: I Am a Person, Not a Doll!

by Libby AnneIt has now been some years since I left my parents’ house and shifted for myself. I think my parents were somewhat surprised that I was able to make it on my own and that I did not come home asking for help, or maybe it was just me who was surprised. I found inner sources of strength I had not known I had. At the same time, my college friends, both the original evangelical ones and new ones I had met, were a wonderful source of support, and always accepted me regardless of what I did or didn’t believe. I finished college on my own, and was extremely proud at graduation.During this time I also found someone special, and I married him not long after finishing college. Because … [Read more...]

The Beautiful Girlhood Doll ~ Part 9: The Broken Doll

by Libby AnneSoon after this rethinking of my parents’ beliefs, I returned home from college for a semester break more worried than I have ever been in my life. What were my parents going to think about my new beliefs on evolution, the Bible, the pro-life movement, and female equality? For a few weeks I said nothing, afraid of what would happen when I did. But the longer I listened to my parents praising me for my steadfast beliefs and condemning evolution and liberal college professors the more I realized I couldn’t hide my changes in belief. And so I told them. I was used to being only praised and affirmed, so telling my parents about my changing beliefs was probably the hardest thing I … [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...]

My Courtship Story ~ Part 5: Will You Marry Me?

by Young Mom @ Permission to LiveTwo days later, I was allowed to drive over to “Hunk’s” house for the first time (with a sister along) and when I got there we went for a walk around the block alone (his family was a bit more liberal than mine). I had explained to my Dad that it felt very awkward to not be able to touch at all, and he had approved of us holding hands and promised to give “Hunk” a call to give him permission to do so.So we held hands as we walked, and I told “Hunk” about a dream I’d had where he had told me “well, this has been nice, but you’re not the one for me.” He replied with a shocked look “How could those words come out of my mouth!?” We walked in silence for a few … [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...]

Adventures in Recovery ~ Souvenirs From The Circus

by CaluluRemember when you were a kid and would go to the circus or the carnival? Sure, there were elephants and chimps, usually crapping everywhere. The air was scented with cotton candy, popcorn and the smell of animals. I remember the games, balloons, darts, tossing things. Besides the lion tamers and the freak show part of the carnival there were usually fortune tellers, people that would look at your palm or into a cheap hunk of round glass and predict you'd meet a tall, dark and handsome stranger. It was exciting and thrilling, wasn't it, when you were a kid?When I was a member of Possum Creek Christian Fellowship we used to have something like that, but we called it a … [Read more...]


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