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Tag: quiverfull

Alpha women finding love

When I was younger, I used to assume that ridiculous anti-feminist articles like this one were persuasive pieces aimed at feminist women like me. They were scary stories, cautionary tales, intended to undermine my confidence in my own values. Their message was: ladies, I know you think you’re happy pursuing your career and all that, but YOU WILL PAY THE PRICE SOMEDAY WHEN YOU CAN’T FIND LOVE. I laughed at them. How pathetic, how gullible did they think we were? Then there came a time when I started to assume that they were nothing but clickbait, deliberately incendiary nonsense crafted…

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Never a helpmeet Part 8: Why patriarchy?

One thing that has puzzled me since I was a child and watched Phyllis Schlafly seemingly single-handedly defeat the Equal Rights Amendment: why do they do it? Anti-feminists, I mean? I can sort of see why people didn’t want to change in the first place, because people resist change. And I can see why people might take certain patriarchal narratives and behaviors for granted just because it’s never occurred to them to question them. But why would anybody be a deliberate anti-feminist activist? Especially a woman? Why would you decide restoring the patriarchy was the best, most important cause you…

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Never a helpmeet Part 7: Jesus was no patriarch

Christian patriarchy is obviously offensive to feminists, no matter their religion. But it should be just as offensive to Christians, because it’s such a distortion from what Jesus actually taught. It’s as different from basic Christian theology as the teachings of Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses. Yet followers of the patriarchy cult are in the habit of calling themselves merely “Christians,” and accusing those who follow other doctrines of not being Christian enough. I mentioned earlier that patriarchy doctrine regards feminism as woman’s essential, sinful, rebellious nature. Quiverfullers come from the world of evangelical Protestants, and so they don’t technically share the Catholic…

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Never a helpmeet Part 6: Pride and shame

In June, Pride Parade day in Seattle came and went. The parade featured expressions of solidarity with the victims and survivors of the Orlando nightclub shooting. There was one telling moment of juxtaposition: an Episcopalian church marching in the parade, with signs that told everyone they were loved, and free agents moving through the crowd, carrying much taller signs that told everyone they were damned. REPENT OR DIE vs. GOD LOVES YOU AND SO DO WE Internally, the Christian patriarchy cult directs most of its energy toward influencing heterosexual women. However, their doctrine and their political activism oppose equality not only…

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Never a helpmeet Part 4: Patriarchal narratives

As an ex church-goer, living in one of the least church-going parts of the country, it’s easy for me to forget about church as a potential answer to the question “where on earth do people get these bizarre and terrible ideas?” The last time I attended an evangelical church, a couple of years ago, it was Father’s Day, and familiar patriarchal narratives were on display: masculinity defined according to traditional stereotypes involving fishing and not wanting to talk about feelings; essential but vague differences between men and women viewed as a really important characteristic that needed to be frequently remarked…

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Never a helpmeet Part 3: Patriarchy, what happened to it?

So what is patriarchy, anyway? This is an area where the Quiverfull version is, at least, honest, openly declaring itself to be pushing patriarchy and setting itself against feminism. Secular anti-feminists — the informal kind you run into on the Internet, anyway — are in the habit of denying that patriarchy is even a real thing that exists. I don’t know if this is Because they don’t actually know what patriarchy means, Because they want to claim more symbolic territory, by making the conflict not “feminism vs. Patriarchy” but “feminism vs. The default that doesn’t even have a name because…

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Never a helpmeet Part 2: The cult of lifestyle Christianity

The Christian patriarchy has a plan for world domination that involves out-reproducing feminists, liberals, heathens, secular humanists, etc. This plan is very white-America-centric. It also assumes that each subsequent generation has no apostates who leave the faith. Evangelicals typically believe in a literal hell which only their particular version of faith will save people from. This gives evangelical parents an exceptionally strong motivation to try to ensure that their children will remain believers as adults. One major theory that I remember from my own youth appeared to be that children fall away from the faith as teenagers because they are…

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Never a helpmeet Part 1: Selfish

I finished reading Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce (2009). I was looking for additional insight into the kinds of experiences Abby might have had growing up in a family cult based on patriarchy doctrine teachings, such as Quiverfull. The book was informative, but I found reading it to be a weird, triggering experience. I had to keep stopping to process overwhelming feelings of rage, shame, and fear, some of them buried since I was a teenager. My usual narrative of my religious past is pretty simple. I was raised as an evangelical Protestant and remain a…

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