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...]

How Modesty Made Me Fat

by SierraThis isn’t a story about how modest clothes allowed me to “let myself go” and conceal a growing figure. It’s not even a story about how wearing modest clothes kept my self-esteem at rock bottom and thrust me into a too-close relationship with Ben & Jerry. It’s a story about how modesty doctrines impacted my mind, in ways that had real, negative effects on my body. Modesty was one of the reasons my defining relationship with my body became whether or not I was “fat.” Modesty was one of the engines that pushed me into a full-blown eating disorder. It’s not just a dress code: it’s a philosophy, and it’s one that destroys young women, mentally and physically.Modesty taught me … [Read more...]

Me? Obey Him?

A review of "Me? Obey Him?" by Elizabeth Rice Handford. Trigger warning for former Quiverfull believers who actually read this book and tried to live according to the principles ... this post is a disturbing trip down memory lane.by Vyckie GarrisonThose fortunate enough to have never actually read "Me? Obey Him?" may be shocked and appalled by the teachings in support of "biblical patriarchy."  This review is simply quotations of Handford's own words (in italics), followed by comments from my personal experience as a former Quiverfull Believer.God's Perfect Creation Required OrderJesus, the Creator of Heaven and earth, submitted Himself to God the Father.  He took His place in … [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...]

I Am So Much More Than a Maiden of Virtue! Part 4 ~ Little Things

by WanderingOneI am a nail-biter.  I don’t bite them because I’m nervous or scared or anything like that.  I just…chew.  My nails are ugly and jagged; short and stumpy.  I hate the way they look.Growing up my parents tried to discipline me out of the habit.  It showed a lack of self-control, an inadequate ability for self-restraint.  I tried to stop.   I hated disappointing them.  I was afraid of punishment.  And yet, I never could shake the habit.  I bit and chewed—perhaps it was a form of unconscious resistance:  this small imperfection, this awful habit, was a small way of ensuring that my parents’ authority was not absolute.  Maybe it was just a bad habit I could never kick.In any c … [Read more...]

Steadfast Daughters in a Quivering World ~ Part 6: Soul-Binding

[Note: this series is dedicated to Quivering Daughtersby the former-Quiverfull moms at No Longer Quivering.]by DaisyMy name is Daisy.I am a good person...but I was a bad parent.Tragically, by choosing QF/patriarchal fundamentalist methodology as the pattern for my home, believing that it would provide the very best insurance against messing up with parenthood, I messed up. I messed up badly. I hurt my kids and, worse, I silenced them when they tried to tell me about it. Criticizing your parents is, of course, disrespectful and therefore opening a dangerous door that may lead a child ultimately to rebelling against God - and as I believed that put my child in danger of hellfire, of … [Read more...]

Steadfast Daughters in a Quivering World ~ Part 5: Confessions of a Quiverfull Hero

[Note: this series is dedicated to Quivering Daughters by the former-Quiverfull moms at No Longer Quivering.] by DaisyI was only 19 when I arrived at Christianity’s door, bruised and highly impressionable and, because of my family situation, determined to do a better job of sorting out my life than my parents had done. Victims of abuse in their own homes, my parents had learned very early to dissociate from their emotions. Our home was an emotionally sterile one and, although I know now that this is not true, as as child I believed my parents did not love me. I decided that when *I* had kids, if they grew up knowing nothing else, they would know for sure that I loved them more than br … [Read more...]

Steadfast Daughters in a Quivering World ~ Part 4: Acknowledgement & Apologies

[Note: this series is dedicated to Quivering Daughters by the former-Quiverfull moms at No Longer Quivering.] In this part of our series, the ex-QF moms of NLQ are speaking directly to our own Quivering Daughters ~ though we've already said our apologies in person, we want to acknowledge the abuse we inflicted on our children publicly for their sake, though we're doing it anonymously out of respect for their privacy.Trigger warning: As painful it has been for us to write these confessions down ~ it may be even tougher for the Quivering Daughters who were on the receiving end of our neglect and abuse to read.~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*My children were everything to me. I remember t … [Read more...]

Steadfast Daughters in a Quivering World ~ Part 3: Perception

[Note: this series is dedicated to Quivering Daughters by the former-Quiverfull moms at No Longer Quivering.] by VyckieSo what is "abuse" and who gets to define it? Steadfast Daughters devotes a considerable amount of time and mental energy to this question. The trouble with making definitions central to the discussion is this: there's no way to do it without being condescending, petty and dismissive of Quivering Daughters who are reporting their highly personal, and necessarily highly subjective experiences of emotional and spiritual abuse.There is no objective way of defining and quantifying "abuse" ~ no way. Sorry. Try it if you must ~ but you will lose.Too many factors affect our … [Read more...]

Steadfast Daughters in a Quivering World ~ Part 2: Expectations

[Note: this series is dedicated to Quivering Daughters by the former-Quiverfull moms at No Longer Quivering.] by VyckieProverbs 22:6 says: Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.Damn ~ I really hate that verse. Let me tell you why.1) It is from this proverb that we Quiverfull moms got the idea that through diligent training we could ensure our children would become mature Christians firmly grounded in the Lord and His word. Of course, we all know that God has no grandchildren ~ our sons and daughters must come to their own faith in Christ ~ still, there is a promise implied in Proverbs 22:6 which leads QF parents to believe that by our in … [Read more...]