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In some conservative Biblical Patriarchal circles, young ladies remain at home, sheltered, under the protection of their father. They are generally not allowed to work outside the home or attend college. This is in order to “protect” them from worldly influence. Could this practice be setting up these young ladies for abuse?
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And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;
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I wanted to start off with this Young Turks Video discussing The Christian Patriarchy Movement or Stay-At-Home Daughters movement. The Young Turks appeal to a secular crowd and it’s interesting to see how they analyze it. I think their analysis is quite good. Oh, and the feminism part at the end, if you think those ideas are whacked and there is no way a Christian would say those things, think again and Google search Kevin Swanson. Kevin Swanson is part of this movement, friends with Doug Phillips and he regularly spews rhetoric so vile that the secular media has a heyday with it. Gotta love that kind of “representing Christ.”
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Warning for mild profanity and plenty of snark.
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The above video has good discussion on some of the basics of Patriarchy. However, what happens at a deeper level with the young ladies as they mature into adulthood and beyond?
Although, the young woman involved in the Doug Phillips affair has not been identified, it is commonly known that she was young, probably just 18 years old when the relationship started. The relationship may have lasted 10 years. Ruth left a comment on the previous article that I was so glad to see because it’s been something that I’ve spent time thinking about, too, as far as the long-term effects of living in at home as a stay-at-home daughter.
Some people have suggested that this “affair” (not the “Biblical know” kind of affair, as Phillips was compelled to point out) was not an abusive relationship. I completely disagree because the young ladies who are from these circles are often repressed emotionally, unable to make the kinds of decisions that others outside the Homeschool Movement circle may be able to make much more prudently.
The big question is: do these young ladies even possess the skills to be able to protect themselves in this environment?
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Long time lurker, first time poster. What has brought me here is trying to better understand the young women I’ve come to know personally over the last year who have been severely damaged by biblical patriarchy, spiritual and physical abuse in their religious environments, and yes, autocratic fearful, ignorance based homeschooling. The plural of anecdote is not data of course — I speak only of personal observation and a long life lived. Nevertheless, these young women who have tried to venture out into the world beyond their homeschool patriarchy silos are damaged, not by the world, but by being unprepared to deal with it. They were crippled before they ever left home. It’s not the world of college that devastates them, it’s the lies they were taught before they got there and the enormous cognitive dissonance it creates when the fabric of their childhood unravels.
With all due respect, if these young, dependent, overly sheltered homeschooled young women had been exposed to the women I know who are in college environments, my professor friends and peers, or if they had met the “worldly” young people I know in college themselves or recently graduated, maybe these stay at home girls might have learned about basic things, such as what inappropriate touching is, and words such as “no.” As someone pointed out regarding Phillips’ abused victim, she would have been safer in college than as a stay at home daughter. Keeping her under cover of her father and Phillips didn’t protect her — it groomed her to be an abuse victim. Sending a homeschooled, sheltered son or daughter to college or otherwise out into the world without having ever learned to question authority and think critically would be dangerous and could be devastating but the problem isn’t with the college. It’s the mindset that elevates unquestioning obedience to earthly male authority and teaches her that she’s nothing but a womb waiting to be filled.
I firmly believe that I keep my children “safe” by equipping them with knowledge, skills, and the ability to think critically, by teaching them how to listen, and how to make good decisions for the day when I’m not there.
Lady Lydia responded:
“It’s not the world of college that devastates them, it’s the lies they were taught before they got there.”
Ruth, what lies are you referring to being taught at home? What you describe doesn’t sound like our home or ANY homeschool environment I know. Sounds like major broad brush stereotyping to me.
Ruth followed up with a response to Lady Lydia:
Am I stereotyping, LL? Well, I was writing anecdotally, which I conceded. However, I think examples of what I write are well documented in the spiritual abuse survivor communities and religious progressive blogsphere. As I understand it, dissonance is cited as the reason why there is, apparently, a growing discrepancy between young and old evangelicals/fundamentalists on the issue of LGBTs. Ultimately, once exposed to say, an LGBT person or a liberal feminist, they can’t reconcile what they were taught with the reality of the person they meet and have come to like and respect. This extends to a critical examination of previously accepted factual, historical, scientific, and even Biblical information as well. You see examples of this painful reassessment process over and over in the spiritual abuse survivor communities, as these people present what they were taught, analyze it, and painfully come to realize that they can no longer accept it as true.
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