Women are faint copies of men

Libby Anne’s parents always taught her that women and men are equal…sort of.

My parents taught me that men and women were different and had different roles to play, but that men and women and their roles were also equal and of equal worth. The male role is to provide for his family and protect them, to engage in politics and spiritual warfare, to have a career and make the decisions for his family. The female role is to keep the house and home, raise and teach her children, exercise hospitality and offer service to others, and support her husband. I was taught that these two roles are equally important and that men and women were thus different, but equal.

Except that, as she goes on to say, that’s bullshit. Just read Debbi Pearl, author of (I’m not making this up) Created To Be His Helpmeet and Preparing To Be A Helpmeet. Read her article “Learning To Become A Multi-Colored Girl.” [Read more…]

He taught me critical thinking

Another escapee is Libby Anne. She gives a ten-part account of being a good child of Patriarchy and then of being turned around.

The childhood is by no means all horrible, even seen from the outside. Much of it is quite appealing.

I also enjoyed gardening. We always had large gardens, and we children did a great deal of the tending and weeding, sometimes waking at dawn in the summer months to weed before the summer heat. In addition to learning to garden, I found books at a homeschool convention about edible plants and medicinal herbs and set out to teach myself these important skills. I learned that dandelions could be eaten in salads, that plantain was good for mosquito bites, and that raspberry leaves made an excellent tea for pregnant women (such as my mother). I even tried to make flour out of clover. I loved walking through marshy areas or abandoned lots looking for plants that matched the pictures in my books, becoming excited at each new find. I knew that a proper wife should be able to forage for food and prepare herbal remedies, especially if the government collapsed and the country descended into anarchy as we always feared it would.

The proper wife bit and the descent into anarchy bit are a downer, but then that’s apparently what it was like: a mix of patriarchal doctrine and pleasantly industrious rural life.

But the patriarchal doctrine had some thorns even then.

My mother was constantly reading books like Me? Obey Him? as she strove to be a better, more submissive wife. This was difficult for my mother, for she was a very strong woman. I watched her war with herself as she tried to reconcile her strong spirit with the submission she believed in so steadfastly. I watched her cry over it, watched it eat away at her. My father, usually a reasonable man, became quite upset with my mother if he felt she was infringing on his authority. His most common response was to give her the silent treatment, and that was enough. In response, my mother generally first felt indignation and then blamed herself for not submitting enough and resolved again and again to do better. While my parents loved each other dearly, this tension added strain to their relationship, and I could see it.

The sad thing is that it’s an artificial strain, a worked up strain. A reasonable man has no need to think he has an authority that his wife shouldn’t infringe on. If both had thought of each other as partners and equals, they would still have disagreed about things, but without doctrinal anger or resentment or guilt. Nonsense about authority and submission is an extra element. It’s truly sad that people mess themselves up this way. It’s a disaster that they teach their children to do the same.

In addition to teaching me about theology, politics, and current events, my father taught me to think. He taught me critical thinking, and told me never to believe something just because someone says it, but to always question everything and follow truth wherever it leads. He taught me to never trust authority for authority’s sake and to never be afraid of truth. He taught me logic and how to recognize logical fallacies. Of course, the context of all this was learning to rebut worldly ideas and bogus concepts like global warming and evolution.

Not patriarchy or submission or god.

But then Libby Anne went to college…and as so often happens, the doors opened.

I began to have theological and political conversations with a number of non-Christians. I worked hard to show them the perfection of the Bible, the evidence of young earth creationism, the evils of abortion, and the love of God.

Strangely, I found a surprising number of my arguments rebutted by arguments I had never heard before. I was told that there were serious problems with creationism, ethical issues with the Bible, and more affective ways to decrease abortion than banning it. I turned to my resources, my books and websites on creationism, theology, and conservative politics, and I tried again. And again. And again. But some things just didn’t add up. I paused my arguments to do some serious research, and I was astounded by what I found.

An open door.


He knew what God wanted, and what men wanted

Woho, looky here – the opposition looks at Vision Forum.

A former stay-at-home-daughter and now stay-at-home wife and mommy says she wishes she’d gone to college.

All of these books taught that the world was a very dangerous place for a woman. God had designed her to be at home, creating a peaceful haven for her husband and children. The books said that any girl who left her father’s protection and went out into the world to get an education or job would end up sad and alone, because she was not living the life God willed for her.

God wanted us to dare to live differently. His plan for women involved getting back to the family principles the home was founded on. Girls needed to be brought up knowing instinctively how to care for babies and keep house. They needed to be taught to be quiet, submissive, and modest and pure. The only way to do this, was to keep separate from the world. So my parent homeschooled and kept me from doing much of anything outside of our family circle, so that I would never get used to experiences outside the home, and I would learn to be content in my homemaking role.

It sounded so romantic when I was ages 10-13. I was going to be amazing someday! My husband was going to be pleased that I was so good at caring for children and keeping house. I was practicing submission to my father, taking it very seriously whenever he pointed out some behaviour of mine that “would infuriate my husband someday.” He knew what God wanted, and what men wanted. If I wanted to be successful and happy someday, I had to start by pleasing my Daddy.

In other words…….it’s just what it always sounded like: a scheme for making men happy. (It seems like a radically flawed scheme, to me, because the price of all that obedience and submission is living with an idiot. I would think an adult companion, however independent, would be immeasurably better than a kind of animated doll. But the patriarchs don’t seem to see it that way.)

So it’s a scheme for making men happy by training girls to be slaves to the men they marry. It’s a sick little system for obliterating women so that men can use them in any way they feel like.

Sometimes I wished that I had the chance to study more than just cooking, cleaning and sewing, and I did ask my parents if I could take some classes while living at home, but I was reminded that it would only be a waste of time and money to go to college when none of that education would apply in the home. A college atmosphere could take my focus off the Lord, and fill my head with thoughts of career and rebellion. After some begging on my part, Dad said he would permit me to take a few online courses from a very conservative school if I insisted, but it was clear that this was not what he felt was wise. He also said that I had to finish all my high school material first, and that my school work could in no way interfere with my household duties. I was so overwhelmed at the thought of trying to keep both my father and a school happy, that I gave up on the idea of further education.

“Dad” would be a credit to the Taliban.