Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Stockholm Surgery

evil, quiverfull, stockholm, patriarchy, misogyny, feminism, christianity,
Ah, the Quiverfull movement. As so lovingly propagandized by TLC, it's nothing more than the choice to have lots of kids and be really super niceynicenice all the time.

And then there's the reality of the Quiverfull movement: it's a patriarchy, and like all good patriarchies, it's built on the backs of the very women it oppresses. If every one of the women in the Quiverfull movement woke up one day and said, "Fuck this, my uterus, I'm doing what I want with it", the movement would be dead. It isn't the men who give power to the movement. They're not pushing out baby after baby after baby, risking their lives every time. They're not raising those children, homeschooling them, sewing their clothes, cooking their food and cleaning up after them. It's the women who, day after day, give power to the very movement that denies them power, even power over their own bodies.

Genevieve de Deugd (nee Smith) was "given in marriage" (she didn't get married, she was given, like a toaster) to Peter. Apparently, not thinking independently is harder than I would have thought.

This break was a wonderful thing and has allowed me to concentrate fully on my wifely role. And it has been a necessity and a delight to be able to dedicate all my time and energy to this—my priority. Being a daughter in my father’s home and helping him was predominantly an intellectual and sedentary lifestyle. Being a wife in my husband’s home and helping him involves a lot of manual work and is a very active lifestyle. I’ve had a lot to learn. And on top of this, have gone through a very interesting process: the process of leaving behind my father’s vision and taking onboard my husband’s vision.

Before I was married, much of who I was, what I believed and understood was wrapped up in my father’s vision. Since marrying I’ve undergone a surgery of sorts to replace Dad’s vision with Pete’s.

My loyalties had to undergo a change. I was used to thinking that Dad knew best. Now I needed to learn to think that Pete knows best. I used to do things and invest my time in projects according to what I knew Dad would want me to do. Now I needed to be guided by what Pete wanted me to do. When faced with a problem or an option I couldn’t think, “What would Dad have done in this situation?” Now I had to think, “What would Pete do in this situation?” These were exciting times and difficult as during this state of flux—learning to replace one man’s vision with another—the devil would come around and say, “But what about what you want? What about what you think?”

Poor thing. She had to go from anticipating the thoughts and needs of one man to anticipating the thoughts and needs of a completely different man. Not only that, the devil was causing her to wonder what she'd think, given the opportunity.

The devil.

If a woman thinks her own thoughts, has her own ideas, her own desires, that's evil. Evil, you know, like Hitler.


  1. I am horrified and fascinated by this movement. It's one of those things that you just don't think could happen in America, and these women let it happen to themselves.

  2. What scares me is how her thoughts are not her own, first they concentrated on her father, now on her husband.

    If you've been in an abusive relationship, that should sound very familiar.

  3. Definately. This is a subculture of people creating and fostering abusive relationships. It is just insane. When I read Quiverfull I was shocked at what these women went through, and what they did to themselves to please these men. They give themselves totally over to these men, and they really believe that they have no right to themselves any more. That's insanity.

  4. This is terrifying.

    Other creepy patriarchy websites: Ladies Against Feminism, run by Christian Reconstructionist Jenn Chancey, and Vision Forum Ministries, run by Doug Philips, who is a member of the Constitution Party.

    This is the primary reason why I don't think homeschooling should be legal. They use it to brainwash their kids and isolate them. Freedom of religion is NOT the freedom to oppress women and girls. Women's rights should trump religious rights 100 times out of 100 issues.

  5. I know. I feel so bad for these women and their children. Genevieve was raised to this, homeschooled, never exposed to another viewpoint. And now, with baby after baby on the way, what choices will she really have to get out?

  6. I know a quiver full family. The mom rarely if ever talks, I think the oldest two kids have it the best.

    As for your quote, that lady needs help or she never wants to actually think about life and just wants to be told how to live, but that is not living.

  7. Once a woman has a child with a man, she is a much easier to control. This abusive religious ideology along with the biological fact of female pregnancy imprisons women.

    I can't imagine what it must be like to either be gestating, nursing, or caring for children for my entire reproductive life a la some of these Quiverfull women. There is no way I would fit into that box and I am so grateful to have the choice not to.

  8. How can the guys stand it! It's my idea of a nightmare to have some servile woman constantly trying to please me and meet my every wish and...and...and....... . . sorry, what were we talking about?

    Seriously though, there is something fucked up about these power-trip societies and it's made all the worse when the ones getting exploited are the most vocal supporters.

    Thinks of the dude hung on the wall in the Roman prison cell in Life of Brian; 'wonderful race, the Romans. Wonderful.'

  9. This is making me furious. Seriously furious. Like, wanting to rip the keys off of my laptop and eat them furious. Irrationally furious.

    Because clearly God wouldn't give a fig what the wife would think. He created women to be nothing more than vessels to enact man's will, right? That any woman would think that way, would allow herself to be lobotomized like that...

    If this comment makes no sense, just reread the first paragraph.

  10. Please spread the word about a great site:

    aka No Longer Quivering.

  11. The older brother effect is an observation that the likelihood of a man being gay is proportional to the number of full or uterine brothers he has. In other words, the more sons a woman has already had, the more likely her next one will turn out to be gay. Each older brother appears to increase a man's likelihood of being gay by 28% to 48%.

    Regarding how this relates to QF, it seems likely that many of these families have a son who will be gay. It almost funny how ironic it is that these fundies are stumbling over themselves to increase the number of gay men. But it's even more tragic to think about what these gay boys are going through, seeing what their parents think of homosexuality.

  12. The part I find the most odd is what sort of man finds a woman like that attractive? I occasionally fantasize that my wife might be a bit more submissive, she is anything but. It is however just a fantasy and bears no similarities to what these quiverful men have. My wife may be difficult and stubborn but she is a peer and a friend who is worth interacting with. A woman who just wanted to be dictated to would be less interesting than a good pet, which at least would demand some attention.

  13. "My wife may be difficult and stubborn but she is a peer and a friend who is worth interacting with. A woman who just wanted to be dictated to would be less interesting than a good pet, which at least would demand some attention."

    Good point Ryk. I'm not a man, but I would find it creepy, boring, and a major turnoff if I knew that my partner's life essentially revolved around ME and she had no interests or life outside of us.

  14. I'm difficult to live with in the sense that I don't back down from a fight. In fact, I love debating. Now, if you prove me wrong, I'm the first person to admit it, but I don't allow "cuz I said so" as valid argumentation in my house.

    I showed teh hubby this, wondering what he'd think of someone the exact opposite of me and his exact reaction was "I'd never be able to get a hardon."

    Me: [...]

    TH: I'd never be able to tell if she wanted to fuck or was just making nice to god. with you, there's no making nice. to me, or god.

    me: you're so sweet!

    traditional marriage: we're doin' it rong!

  15. i chime in:
    the entire Quiverfull movement is, to me, like the personification of my worst scariest nightmires.

    i feel so bad for those women, but i feel worst for their daughters...


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