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...]

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...]

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 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 8: Out of the Doll House & Into the Real World

by Libby AnneAnd then I left for college. College had always been one of my parents’ expectation for me, and I’ve never seen them as proud as they were at my homeschool graduation. With my parents’ approval, I chose a secular college because I wanted to witness to others and make a difference in the world. I had been taught that I was to be a culture changer, shouldn’t I start now? My parents approved of this choice because they believed I was ready.Of course, I believed my role was to be a wife and mother, but no one had appeared to seek my hand and my parents, both college educated themselves, had never shaken the idea that a college degree is important. I would graduate from college, … [Read more...]

Family Driven Faith ~ Part 1: God's Highest Calling

A Former Independent Fundamental Baptist Pastor's Perspective on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood by Bruce Gerencser For seven months in 2004 our family attended a vibrant, growing church in Central Ohio. We thought we had finally found a church to call home. One Sunday, after the morning service, Polly (my wife) was talking with a group of women who were trying to get to know her a bit better. One of the women asked Polly what she did during the day and she, without a moment’s hesitation, said “I work.” In a split second everything changed.  You see, in this church, none of the women worked outside the home. The pastor taught that it was a violation of God’s divine order for women to work … [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...]


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