Good Intentions, Bad Fruit

by LatebloomerI heard the stories so many times as I was growing up, the reasons for my parents' decision to pull me out of public school halfway through first grade and start to homeschool me. I heard how I cried every day when my mom dropped me off at school. I heard how I was bored in class because I had learned to read at age 3, long before going to kindergarten. I heard how my teacher was wasting classroom time on political issues by having the class write a letter about saving some whales. I heard how the teacher hurt my feelings badly by insulting my quiet speaking voice during a presentation. I heard how I had the problem boy as my seatmate because I was the best behaved student. … [Read more...]

Why Courtship Fails: A Male’s Perspective

by The GraduateAs 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 G … [Read more...]

Contradictions: Who’s the Visual-est of Them All?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj3dYHwx2mMby SierraFundamentalists argue that women should dress conservatively because men are visual. This is supposedly something women can’t possibly understand, because women are emotional, not visual. Women become attracted to men through flirtation and flattery; indeed, male visuality is like a foreign language to them. Men are not obliged to cover up for women for this reason.However, Libby Anne has brought up the following argument that a fundamentalist father made against women’s right to vote: The first impact of women voters was really felt after the televised Nixon / Kennedy debates.  Nixon, the superior statesman without question, l … [Read more...]

Carefully Scripted Lives – The Real Reality of the Duggar Family "Blessings"

by Libby Anne I can’t say how often I’ve heard ordinary Americans defend Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their popular TLC television show, 19 Kids and Counting. “I wouldn’t choose to have nineteen kids,” they say, “but if they can manage it, who am I to question their choice?” “The kids look happy and healthy,” they say, “look how polite and well mannered they are.” I hear these comments and I just have to sigh.First of all, I want to point out that I would have concerns about the Duggars even if they were your ordinary family plus seventeen extra children. For one thing, there is no way any two parents can give nineteen children the individual attention and time they need. It’s just no … [Read more...]

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...]

The Destiny of a Virtuous Daughter ~ Part 5: Not My Will

by StarfuryAnthony and I maintained a long-distance courtship until shortly before I turned 18, whereupon he moved to where I was safely ensconced at a conservative Catholic university. Our arguments grew in number when we spent more time together, but I pretended nothing was wrong. After all, I should feel guilty. He was trying to encourage me to grow spiritually when I wasn't willing to take chances and trust in God. Still, I loved him, and even though I hated how he told me what to do at times, I knew it was in my best interest.That spring, he drove me home from school, where my parents were waiting. Unexpectedly, they called us in to discuss the state of our relationship. Having … [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...]

The Destiny of a Virtuous Daughter ~ Part 4: Have Mercy on Me, a Sinner

by StarfuryAt 15, I was finally given the female role models I had longed for. My family converted to Eastern Orthodoxy, and I embraced it wholeheartedly. No longer did I have to pray only to God, but I had the Theotokos to turn to.. someone who could understand me as a girl. After our conversion, my prayer to God (whether the Father or the Son) diminished greatly, and I prayed often to both Mary and St. Katherine the Great-Martyr.I was searching for unconditional love and acceptance, and it was hard to see it in the God who would stand judging you when you died. It was easier to find it in a woman who watched her son be crucified.Regardless, I was determined to do things right. I … [Read more...]

The Destiny of a Virtuous Daughter ~ Part 3: Pop Guns & Purity Rings

by Starfury Growing up, I read books like The King's Daughter, Dear Princess, Beautiful Girlhood, Waiting for Her Isaac, and The Courtship of Sarah MacLean over and over. I would plan out having twenty six children, so I could use every letter of the alphabet when I named them. I would try to devise my own homeschool curriculum based on the ones I had used, and what I liked and didn't like about them. On top of all that, I was writing my own Proverbs 31 devotional.And yet, somewhere in all of this, I was still punching things into a "computer" on a tree, and yelling for everyone to get out and climb the Jeffries Tubes because of a warp core breach. Rather than make a hoop skirt, I made a … [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...]


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