Quoting Quiverfull: Defrauding Others?

Quoting Quiverfull: Defrauding Others? November 28, 2012

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.

Michelle Duggar on her TLC blog  June 22,2012

And so in our dress — whether we’re doing activities that require us to climb, ride a horse, bike, swim, whatever — we just want to keep the thighs and torso covered; we don’t want to play peekaboo so that there’s a visual element that might defraud someone.

For us the definition of the word defrauding is to stir up desires in someone else that cannot be righteously fulfilled. Now, granted there are a few people out there who could be stirred up by a cardboard box all the way from head to toe, but regardless we want to maintain modest dress.


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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • This applies to both men and women, right? Both men and women need to wear loose shirts and long skirts because gay men are overrepresented in Quiverfull families. The more older brothers a man has, the more likely he is to be gay. The larger a family is, the more likely it is to contain a man with several older brothers.

    And if it’s wrong to be conscious of one’s heterosexuality – which could in theory be “righteously fulfilled” with someone other than the young woman you happen to see taking out the garbage in her jeans – it must be even more wrong to be conscious of one’s homosexuality whupich can never be “righteously fulfilled,” ever. Since gay men are attacted to masculine bodies, any indication of a man’s upper-body strength must be scrupulously concealed and their butts must be hidden under layers of petticoats. *Especially* when they go swimming. Men must never wear pants, because an eye might be tempted downwards to guess whether a man “dresses left.”

    That’s what she means, right?

    Also, what happens when a young man grows up never seeing thighs but occasionally gets a glimpse of knee? He will get all excited about the possibilities of glimpsing knee. So I guess that every ten years skirts will need to be lengthened six inches to cover newly eroticized body parts. It’s not very long before one runs out of body parts to cover, so the obvious end point is for men to never leave the house so they never risk seeing anyone – either men or women – to whom an incest taboo doesn’t suppress attraction.

    Since that’s the logical end point, why not go there right now? Men must never encounter a person not a member of their immediate family. Women and blind men may leave the house of course because we don’t risk getingt turned on by looking at people, so we’re safe. So we can go grocery shopping, but men who can see need to stay inside and be computer programmers or do some some other form of work-at-home breadwinning. If they have to leave the house to get medical care, they can always protect themselves by wearing blindfolds.


  • April

    Andy why are the women with all the culpability? Why is a man not able to control himself? Are men such slobbering animals with no self control?

  • If men are the ones who can’t control themselves, why do we let them leave the home and force women to stay home???

  • Cathy W

    I’m intrigued by the use of the word “defraud”. Usually that means that in a transaction, the item purchased didn’t match what the seller led the buyer to believe they were getting. So am I right that she’s saying every man has a reasonable expectation that every woman not dressed to QF modesty standards is sexually available, and the fraud is in dressing “immodestly” without actually wanting to take on all comers?
    (Sadly, I know “her skirt was too short” really is interpreted as “she’s sexually available” in a lot of cases. I’d argue that that’s the expectation that needs recalibrating…)

  • Mayara

    I love you.

  • madame

    My eyes are not blind to a man’s body, even when he’s fully clothed. Well fitting jeans set off a nice male bottom too! I think men should start dressing more biblically and go back to wearing robes to conceal the shape of their bodies and quit defrauding all the poor women around them. (snort)

  • madame

    My eyes are not blind to a man’s body, even when he’s fully clothed. Well fitting jeans set off a nice male bottom too! I think men should start dressing more biblically and go back to wearing robes to conceal the shape of their bodies and quit defrauding all the poor women around them. Nuff said.

  • madame

    ooops! sorry for the double post!

  • Sarah

    Nope. That simply isn’t the definition of “defraud”. If you can make a case that “stirring up desires in someone else that can’t be righteously fulfilled” is in some way keeping that person from what is rightfully his/hers, then make it. Don’t just redefine words.

  • I hate that they have hijacked the word ‘Defraud’ and tried to connect it to QF modesty beliefs. Sorry, some guy popping a boner from looking at your ankle is not defrauding him of anything. You’re not promising him a roll in the hay by showing your ankle or other body part.

  • The wide use of the word “defraud” tell me comes from higher up than Michelle Duggar. Does Gothard teach it, or perhaps Vision Forum?

  • Ellen

    Honestly, just how immature are “Quiverfull” or evangelical men? Is this a problem because they don’t see women as people, just sex objects?

  • “For us the definition of the word defrauding is to stir up desires in someone else that cannot be righteously fulfilled.”

    I seem to recall the commandment being “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife,” not “Thou shalt not do anything that might possibly cause thy neighbor to covet thee.” That may be partly because the culture that part of the Bible was written for would never have assumed that a woman would be the one reading it, but even so, the onus is clearly on the man with the untoward desires, not the woman they’re directed at.

  • I sometimes like to dress immodestly, usually when I’m feeling a bit hyper. What I’m offering is an opportunity to take a look, and since that’s what everyone’s getting there’s absolutely no defrauding going on. When I smile at a stranger who smiles back, we both feel seen and safe and more relaxed. A smile isn’t a promise to become someone’s most intimate confidante.

    Similarly, when I flash cleavage and someone compliments me on it, we’re boosting one another’s sexual confidence. That’s it. I’m showing them something they like and they tell me they like it. The exchange is complete. No genital intercourse required, no defrauding.

    I sometimes go naked swimming when the local Urban Naturist club rents an entire university athletic facility on a Saturday night. (This is not at all like dressing immodestly! Completely different!) There are families with little kids, some excited college kids, a lot of mature folk of both sexes and a lot of cruisy gay men of all ages. There are a couple of gay men who go who are so obese they have no visible external genitalia. They get naked, sit on a bench and watch naked people do laps in the pool, then get dressed and go home. I think it’s kind of sweet. This is a way to look and be looked at for who one is without setting oneself up for rejection the way going to a bathhouse would. It’s a way of walking around an athletic facility and having a sense of belonging without being excluded because bathing suits aren’t made in one’s size. Anyway, one of the reasons people go to naturist activities is that they like to look, and that’s exactly what they get to do. No defrauding!

    There is an exception to the happy ideal of people who like to be looked at happily exchanging with people who like to look. There are bitter, angry people who hugely resent seeing the goods on display because they know they will never have them. They are the undatable with poor social skills. Being attractive and confident around these folks is like waving cookies around in front of a starving person with their jaw wired shut. (Cleavage and miniskirt not required.) I have mixed feelings about these people. On the one hand, why taunt people with poor social skills? Their lives are difficult enough alsready. On the other hand, they troll the internet telling women they are fat and ugly and threaten violence when you don’t respond to their catcalls on the street. I see no ethical requirement to attempt to placate the actively antisocial. 

    One problem is, they seem to resent unattractive people too. If you downplay your gender and your lo0ks they will attack you for not being to their taste. If you play them up, they will attack you for not being available to them. These folks are potentially dangerous. Depending on the culture you live in, it might be prudent to present dowdily and not smile at people so that when one of these folks assaults you, you won’t be blamed for having asked for it. Probably also prudent to be married to a man, so that these resentful, undatable, unmarriagable types will step back from you out of respect for your husband even though they have no respect for you.

    But this is a question of prudence, not ethics. Even more prudent would be to leave for a place where women are respected so you won’t be blamed and so you can ask for help of anyone if you need it.

  • You will adore Golda Meir!

    “When Israel was experiencing an epidemic of violent rapes and someone at a cabinet meeting suggested women be put under curfew until the rapists were caught, Meir shot back, “Men are committing the rapes. Let them be put under curfew.” ”

  • I used to go to the nude spas in Germany and swim or sit in the hot tub. There’s not a thing in this world ‘erotic’ about it, it’s just part of the culture there and they pay about as much attention to each other as you pay to trees or clouds. Very natural.