Daughter of the Patriarchy: Hairspray

by SierraI awoke with my lungs filled with something pungent and sticky. I sat up groggily in the upper bunk, fumbling around for a watch or cell phone to tell me why it was still dark when so many beds were vacated. A light shone dimly across the long dorm room through a hazy moisture hanging in the air. My hand closed around someone’s small alarm clock, and I squinted at it. 5:30am.It was hairspray, I discovered as I staggered toward the bathroom. Lithe, elegantly dressed young women gathered cheerfully around the bathroom mirrors as they unrolled golden-flecked curls that fell gently to their thighs. Each strip of hair, carefully unbound from a foam roller, was sprayed within an inch o … [Read more...]

I Am So Much More Than a Maiden of Virtue! Part 1 ~ I learned to keep my fear of hell to myself

by WanderingOneI grew up hearing about my grandparents' and great-grandparents' deep faith.  Religiosity was, for my family, an important family heritage that was carefully handed down to us children.  Christianity was the most important thing my parents and grandparents thought that they could pass down to us. On my dad's side, my great grandfather was a minister.  On my mom's side, my grandparents served on the mission field in Latin America for a few years after they got married.  There was no escaping religion—it was instilled in us from before we could grasp it.I can't really say much about how things got to be as “bad” as they did.  I know my family has always been conservative, B … [Read more...]

Looking Back: My Family 10 Years on From Fundamentalism

by AriettyThe past is a foreign country: they do things differently there. ~ L.P. Hartley, The Go-BetweenWhen looking back at my family during our days of patriarchal fundamentalism this opening line in the novel The Go-Between often comes to mind. In the last decade we have journeyed so far from where we once were we may have well have moved countries entirely. In the beginning of our journey we were like refugees, clinging to our past forms and beliefs while trying to figure out what part of this new culture wouldn't damage us. For we had read and been preached to and fervently believed that our now adopted culture--The World--was one of poison and sure death to family bonds and … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: Two Snakes and a Virgin – The Serpent’s Seed

 by SierraI was about nine years old when I started paying attention to some of the doctrines that were slowly infiltrating my life over the past two years. I’d stopped wearing pants or cutting my hair by the end of the first year, following my mother’s lead. The last pair of pants she wore were a lovely pair of wide-leg trousers with a sheer lace overlay; they could pass for a skirt until she took a step. She wore them to church, then threw them away – she felt “convicted” for wearing a man’s garment. She threw away her makeup, too, keeping only a sheer moisturizing lip gloss as a token of her past.I liked my new dresses, and I liked the long hair slowly descended across my shoulders. I’ … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: A Jewel or a Trash Can

by SierraWilliam Branham with a woman in his prayer line. (He would lay on hands, pray, and they would walk away healed, allegedly.)If you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always had an answer. If you asked again in ten minutes, it would be a different one. I wanted to be a figure skater, detective, veterinarian, zoologist, writer, astronaut and archaeologist – and not just one at a time. When I went outdoors to play, I climbed rocks and saw them as mountains. When I jumped over streams, I bravely bridged rivers. With stuffed animals as my companions, I sailed pirate ships and submarines and narrowly escaped devastating wars through wit and determination. I harboured r … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: Scooby Doo and the Angel

by SierraBy my eighth birthday, Anna’s church had become our own. My father attended sporadically, but my mother and I adopted a weekly ritual of driving forty minutes through the woods, to the highway, passing numerous small churches on our way to the secret annex of the YMCA. No one would have guessed there was a church there, unless they happened by as we all bustled in with our flowing skirts and dresses and exited under the mid-afternoon sun. My mother was enthralled, talking excitedly to Anna and her new friend Sheila every day. A frequent topic of conversation was her journal, in which she recorded her thoughts and prayers as well as verses from the Bible that seemed to answer e … [Read more...]

It alienates people, pushes friends and loved ones away

by ErikaMy friend was waiting for me to convince her to help me run away. As my freshman year of high school plodded on, things at home became more and more constrictive and conservative. My friends from school started to drift away as my parents pulled the reigns in at home tighter and tighter. The few friends that stuck around were the ones that were known mostly as the "outsiders" at the public school, so they were of a rebellious and non-conformist attitude anyway.I always felt that my other friends had moved on from me, but I've found out recently that it wasn't that they moved on from me, but they had felt that my parents had pushed them away and that they were no longer welcome … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: Old-Girl in Young-Girl Disguise

by Sierra“What did you think?” My mother asked, as our blue Chevrolet rolled smoothly out of the parking lot, mingling with more expensive cars on a fresh-paved freeway.“I liked it,” responded seven-year-old I. “I actually listened.”We were talking about our first visit to Anna and Sven’s church, an informal affair that gathered weekly in the upper annex of a suburban YMCA. The church had begun in the pastor’s living room, hosting only two or three families. Over the next few years it had grown to six or seven. The pastor and his wife had six children, the youngest still a newborn. They’d welcomed a new child every two years since their eldest.Church wasn’t a new experience for me. … [Read more...]

Fox 9: Motherhood Movement

Read the transcript here.Discuss! … [Read more...]

Raising My Daughter to be a Keeper at Home: Maybe, maybe not!

by HopewellRecently in blog land there has been a good deal of discussion over whether daughters should be sent to college and prepared for careers or if they should be trained to be keepers at home and remain in their parents’ home until marriage. A lot of prayer and thought has gone into these posts.The Scriptural Authority for daughters remaining at home seems to be found here:3 "When a woman makes a vow to God and binds herself by a pledge as a young girl still living in her father's house, 4 and her father hears of her vow or pledge but says nothing to her, then she has to make good on all her vows and pledges. 5 But if her father holds her back when he hears of what she has done, … [Read more...]