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

by Sierra I 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 … [Read more...]

Debunking the Fourteen Basic Needs of a Marriage: Part 1c Men are Fragile, Women are Manipulative Fools

by Incongruous Circumspection In Part 1b we listened in as Gothard tried valiantly to describe the differing outlooks on life that, according to his understanding, men and women exemplify. It needs mentioning again here that Bill is relying on no practical experience. He has never been married. It makes sense that, being he has propped himself up to be a guru in every area of life, and the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of worshipers at his feet, he would make vast, overarching, easily wrapped up in a square box and neatly tied with a silk bow, conclusions for very complex issues in life. One of those issues is human nature. It cannot be pidgeonholed, no matter how many verses … [Read more...]

Thirtyone – Adventures in Recovery

by Calulu I was driving around the other day running a few errands and when I got back to my car I caught the tail end of a some random preacher speaking about the proper role of women in The Kingdom on local Christian radio. I didn't catch his name or the name of his ministry or sponsor but his message was loud and clear and made my blood boil. Bulls eye. Trigger hit. Buttons pushed. He started off speaking on the subject of what his ten year old daughter wanted to be when she grew up. She's crazy for gymnastics and he asked her that question about the future we all contemplate, what did she want to be when she grew up. Her answer to that question was that she would be a gymnastics … [Read more...]

Homeschooled Girls and Trash Cans: The Social Isolation of Homeschooling

by Latebloomer What do homeschooled girls and trash cans have in common? They both only leave the house once a week.   This joke was well-received among homeschooled youth because it rang true for so many of us. For almost all of my teen years, church was the only social activity that I engaged in, the only time during the whole week that I might have a chance to interact with people who were not my immediate family. Making friends in that context, especially as a shy teen girl, seems daunting. However, I had an even greater obstacle to deal with: I was not allowed to participate in youth group. My parents were absolutely terrified of teenage rebellion. Thanks to various … [Read more...]

Debunking the Fourteen Basic Needs of a Marriage: Part 1b – Women? Goals? Who Are YOU Kidding!

By Incongruous Circumspection In Part 1a, we witnessed Bill Gothard call a woman who does not obey her husband in everything, never questioning any decision he makes, a "fool". He based this epithet on a woman while referencing Ephesians 5:22 - 24. Of course, I uncovered the fact that Bill was flat out lying. That passage says nothing of the sort. Let's continue discussing Gothard's first Basic Need of a Husband ([A man needs a wife that is loyal and supportive]). Gothard continues to expound on the above basic need by stating the following: [Realize that your husband’s perspective is different than yours.] Wow. Bill is really smart. Put two or more people together and you … [Read more...]

Why Courtship Fails: A Male’s Perspective

by The Graduate As 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 … [Read more...]

Debunking the Fourteen Basic Needs of a Marriage: Part 1a

by Incongruous Circumspection In the Introduction, we looked into the general idea that Bill Gothard is trying to get across in this series. He attempts to list seven basic needs of a husband and seven, also, of the wife. We discuss the flaw in this logic, which is, Bill treats life as if all men and women are exactly the same. Worse yet, Bill positions this series, as well as all of his "truth" in all of his materials, as the non-optional, unquestioned, standard for finding favor with God. Let's look at Bill's first "Basic Need" of a husband. Basic Need One: A man needs a wife who is loyal and supportive. At face value, this looks lame enough. What man wouldn't want a woman that … [Read more...]

Debunking the Fourteen Basic Needs of a Marriage: Introduction

by Incongruous Circumspection I will be quoting Bill Gothard's material in this text style and my response will be in the normal text:Bill Gothard has published a manual on how a wife should meet her husband's seven basic needs, as well as how a husband should meet his wife's.  As you'll see, the latter part, directed at the husband, is highly disingenuous because, according to Bill Gothard, a marriage relationship is skewed completely toward the man.  The wife is only a cheerleading, supposedly willing, party.As Bill is notorious for, he takes anything he can find in the Bible to support any point he dreams up, disregarding the context, the era, even the writer's style, etc., and … [Read more...]

Divorce as Salvation

By Sierra Growing 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 … [Read more...]

The Formula Problem: Why Duggarizing Your Marriage is Not Recommended

by Incongruous Circumspection Baking is one of my favorite pastimes.  I make a killer banana bread. I love baking cookies and many times, like Marie Barone, bake a cake just because.  I follow recipes very closely but always add vanilla even if it is not called for.  I can follow those recipes to the letter for one simple reason - I live 900 feet above sea level. Those who live 2500 feet above sea level cannot enjoy the ease of baking I take for granted.  When a recipe calls for a certain amount of flour, they have to add a bit more of the liquid ingredients.  If baking powder is needed, the elevated baker must reduce the amount by as much as half.  Baking temperatures must be … [Read more...]


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