NLQ Quote Worthy 1

Call me crazy, if you like, for suggesting this possibility… but it seems to me more likely that it is a woman’s “indiscriminate subservience” to a man which gelds him over time, rather than her spirited, loving, challenge of him. Authoritarian patriarchy mass-produces nutless weakling men… bitter, abused women… and scarred, emotionally-deformed children, and ought [Read More...]

Family Man, Family Leader: In Conclusion

by LivingForEternity The other day my husband came to me and confessed that sharing our story was just very painful for him to the point of tears. Out of love and respect for him I am submitting by not continuing to tell what we have been through. He did not ask me not to, but the [Read More...]

Justice Is No Lady: Chapter 8 ~ Backlash

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.

by Defendant Rising

Part Two: The Legal Aftermath

I fled to the farm where I grew up and spent several weeks just trying to get the fuzz out of my head. I went to the doctor, who diagnosed Abi with failure to thrive. I supplemented her with formula but continued to breastfeed, because for once I had the luxury of breastfeeding by my own lights, and I intended to enjoy it. I moved six kids, 9 years old and under, in with my mom and dad, who were absolute angels about it.  I do not remember either of them complaining even once.

What were Tess’s long-term plans? Did I want separation? Divorce? Neither? Was God angry with me? Could I ever go back? I just stumbled through the days, utterly numb. I could not feel the presence of God, which struck terror into my heart. I could not pray, and opening a Bible freaked me out. Where had my faith gone? What did I believe? My thoughts were like muddy water that must be filtered through normality until the water runs clear. It took a long time to get clear, and in the meantime, I made a very costly mistake.

I filed for legal separation but then withdrew my action. Here is how this went down:

Nate called four or five times a day. He also sent multiple long emails every day. A few highlights:

  • “I will counter-sue for divorce on fault-grounds of desertion.”
  • “Venue (where the divorce will be held) is where the marital home is. You will have to travel back and forth repeatedly.”
  • “I will avail myself in good faith of every legal procedure available. This means massive expense to your father. I will appeal any and all negative decisions.”
  • “As I am living in the marital home, you will lose the [custody] fight. And of course, if I have the kids you will be paying me child support.”

In every email and phone call, Nate demanded that I come home immediately. In one email he made a condition: “Because of your hart [sic] heartedness and manifold sins against me, I will require that you sign an oath before God that you will submit to my authority completely, without question or dissention, and joyfully.”
[Read more...]

Tea Party Family Values and the World's Greatest Freak Show

On fundamentalist counterculture & juvenile black market adoption fantasies …

by Vyckie Garrison @ No Longer Quivering

Do you remember when it first dawned on you that your relatives are all a bunch of crackpots and weirdos?  Seems like I was around 8 or 9 — my mother worked all night in the casinos and slept most of the day, leaving me alone to protect my naïve older sister from the depraved advances of Mom’s alcoholic boyfriends and worry about my big brother’s drug addiction. I couldn’t count on my grandparents to help — they were too preoccupied with their own divorce, dating, and remarriage dramas.

“Holy sugar,” I thought to myself, “these people are seriously messed up!”

That’s about the time the fantasies began.  My home, I imagined, was a three-ring circus — and my relatives were the freaks and the clowns.  In my daydreams, I was not really one of them.  No — surely, I was of aristocratic origin.  My REAL family were royalty in a faraway Kingdom and I was born a beloved Princess in a fancy castle with many servants and my own Fairy Godmother.  Somehow, I’d been separated from my blood kin as an infant — I was captured by gypsies and sold in a black market adoption — that’s how I ended up being raised by this group of crazies!


ABC’s Primetime Nightline recently aired a segment featuring the Gil & Kelly Bates family — a conservative, Evangelical mega-family of twenty.  The Bates, who are close friends of JimBob & Michelle Duggar of TLC’s “19 and Counting” fame, hold to the extreme fundamentalist ideals of the growing “Quiverfull movement.”

During the one-hour special, Gil, Kelly, and their children explained the family’s lifestyle which, to all modern appearances, represents a throw back to the imaginary 60′s-style “Leave It to Beaver” family combined with strict, Victorian Era sexual mores and the atavistic gender roles of ancient goat-herders. The Bates eschew all forms of birth control and adhere to the marriage model of the biblical Patriarchs — with Gil as family leader and Kelly as submissive “help meet.”  Kelly and the girls adorn themselves in modest, hand-sewn dresses, while Gil and his clean-cut sons teach bible study and participate in local Tea Party politics.

Aren’t they lovely?  Don’tcha wanna be just like them?

I sure did!  I left home at 15 and embarked on a quest to recreate my long-lost perfect, happy family — my REAL courtly family, where I truly belonged.  After a false start involving marriage at 16, a baby at 19, and divorce after seven years of abuse rivaling the most astonishing freak show acts Mom’s circus family had ever performed — I remarried, found a “bible-believing” church, and worked hard within the Quiverfull counterculture to implement the best of the best biblical family values into our home life.  I had six more children. I homebirthed, homeschooled, and home-churched. I submitted to my husband and joyfully sacrificed my time, energy and talents to build him up and help him to succeed.  I published a “pro-life, pro-family” Christian family newspaper to inform and encourage other Christians to defend “Traditional Family Values.”

In 2003, we were honored as Family of the Year at the Nebraska Family Council’s “Salt & Light” awards. I’d finally made it! I had built my own Magic Kingdom where my husband reigned as King and I was his Queen, the children were our loyal subjects and we could all live happily ever after …

[Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: The Waiting

by Sierra

I loved driving. I’d always known I would. As a child, I collected Hot Wheels cars until they numbered in the hundreds. When I was twelve, my mother decided to teach me to drive in case my father’s rage spilled over completely and I needed to escape. It was both terrifying and exhilarating. The car felt huge and seemed to move so much faster when my hands were on the wheel. I crowed with pride as I successfully navigated the winding roads of our rural neighborhood, passing a UPS truck with wide eyes and short breath.

As I grew older, I periodically stowed away money for a car. At my bakery job, I thought I might finally have a chance when I amassed $1,000 – a year’s savings. Anxious to get wheels, I researched motorcycles and mopeds, which were both cheaper and had a younger age restriction, but was repeatedly told that young ladies shouldn’t ride motorcycles – how could I, in a skirt? I was prepared to make it work until winter convinced me of the foolishness of that plan. I focused my energies again on hunting for cheap cars.

Time and again my savings evaporated: my father took the thousand; rent and food took the rest. I was a contributing member of the household; that meant petty savings for a teenager’s car was low on the priority list. Each time my mother’s outdated and under-maintained car ran itself into the ground and she was forced to buy or lease another, she promised that next time, I’d get to keep the old one. It never happened.

When I was sixteen, my mother and I moved to a farmhouse apartment in a rural area with only one general store within twenty miles. I applied for a summer job there, but was last in the queue of several farm kids and was never called back. My mother commuted to the bakery, an hour’s drive, and I was left to fend for myself in the house. My halfhearted attempts to master Algebra II soon dissolved, and I began to spend my days online, as I had done three years earlier. This time, I was playing a video game: Dark Age of Camelot, an online roleplaying game. All pretense of homeschooling was silently dropped. Our house was not in order; public school was not an option. And so I vanished into a game.

Sven and I played the game first together, igniting no small controversy in the church. The fantasy genre was already suspect: everyone knew that good Christian kids didn’t read Harry Potter, much less play any game resembling (God forbid) Dungeons and Dragons, where kids practiced actual incantations and learned to command the legions of the devil. (Oh, how many high schools would mysteriously burn to the ground if that were true!)

Sven and I defended our pastime vociferously: we knew no occult spells. Sure, there was “magic” in the game, but we were only pressing buttons to launch imaginary fireballs at opponents. There was no devil here. Our loudest opponent, a 26 year old, insisted that the only way to avoid witchcraft was to avoid the appearance of magic.

He was holier than we were; he only played Grand Theft Auto.

As my life dwindled to Sunday church services and fellowship, occasional trips to northern New Jersey to work at the bakery, and the closed Algebra book on my nightstand, I investigated more areas of Dark Age of Camelot, playing in zones where Sven didn’t play, and interacting with other people. Eventually, I made friends. I joined a group called “Lema en Estela,” where I found I could live in another world: one where I didn’t have to demonstrate my piety. I could be imaginative here. I could compete and win without being told that I was violating God’s order. I could make jokes without being told to be sober and serious, for the hour was late. More important, I could have long, friendly conversations with people who accepted me for who I was.

Soon I’d abandoned Sven’s realm to spend all my time with Lema en Estela. I was hiding, but I was safe there. Safe from the impending failure that was my high school education. Safe from my father’s intrusions back into my life. Safe from the judgment of the adults at my church. Safe from the false girl friends who used me to get to Sven. Lema en Estela, as ephemeral as it was, was a beautiful refuge from what otherwise was an empty time. [Read more...]