Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cry Poe! and Loose the Skeptics of . . . Um . . .

So, anyway, I wish what I am about to present to you is the work of a Poe. Unfortunately, the woman who wrote this is utterly sincere, and that makes me sad.

If you are unfamiliar with the SAHD movement, quite simply, it is a fundy movement to make sure that their daughters never, ever see, much less take advantage of, the opportunities the evil feminists have given them. The girls are homeschooled, heavily sheltered in every way, and then, when they reach legal adulthood, they remain at home, heavily sheltered in every way. They never get a job or go to college or date. They never watch an unapproved TV show, see an unapproved movie or talk to anyone outside their restricted little world. They never hear another opinion besides their parents' and the pastor's, and then they are married to someone they barely know and inflict this upon the next generation of girls.

At the time of my high school graduation in 2006, one of the first reasons I chose not to pursue college was that my interests had always been in real estate and I did not need a degree since I had already completed real estate school and received the credentials I needed to work as a real estate broker.

Ultimately though, the primary reason was that my greatest desire was to be a wife committed to furthering my husband's vision and a mother devoted to raising and teaching my children. It was obvious that the best training for this lifelong occupation could be obtained among my family in my own home and not among my peers in an institution. Although I did not consciously choose to avoid college specifically for this reason, it seems it could have been a great diversion if I had invested four years primarily in the pursuit of academics and autonomy.

Of course she has no vision of her own to further, and knowledge and independence would simply get in the way of slavish devotion to a man she's never met. Notice that she doesn't state she wanted to further one specific man's vision, just any man's vision. That's sad. It means that to her, any man's goals are more important than her own. Every man in the world is more qualified to tell her what to do with her life than she is.

She lists the many advantages of staying home, which mostly include cooking, cleaning and caring for her younger siblings, and then we get this bit of heartbreaking honesty:

Furthermore, the independent spirit that would have likely grown in me had I been living hours away from my family has been kept in check since I have lived under my father's authority. I trust that this will make the transfer of authority from my father to my husband an easier task than if I had been accustomed to exclusively running my own life.

Well, yes, having once been free, it would hard to be a slave again. I agree. That an argument for freedom, however, not against it.


  1. Wow. That's heartbreakingly disturbing on every level. I mean, what do you say to someone who's been imprisoned and wants to be?

    And what do you say to the monster who inflicts this upon women just for being women?

  2. This seems to connect with the whole very creepy fundamentalist analogy between fathers to daughters and husbands to wives. Yeah, that's screwed up.

    Minor nitpick: I'm not sure that the fact that the experience of independence would make it hard to be not independent later is actually an argument in either direction. Once one has started using cocaine one rarely wants to stop. That an experience is addictive isn't by itself an argument for that experience in general. I don't think that analogy holds in this case, but it requires more thought about why they are different.

    Incidentally, how do you manage to find all this creepy junk?

  3. You should see my google reader. It's an ulcer waiting to happen.

  4. I'm actually kinda curious; being brought up with these beliefs, is this a farm thing? I live in a city state and you'd never see anything like this happen here so this strikes me as really really odd and surreal.

  5. It is so very sad. I just can't imagine what life is like for a woman who has been raised without a sense of independence and self-sufficiency. What happens if the husband is abusive? What happens if he has health problems and is unable to work and she has no experience of the world and little education?

    The thing that is saddest of all is that clearly she sees that there is another life for women out there and appears consigned to the limits of her present life. It really reads as if she is resigned and not truly embracing that lifestyle. Why else would she be blogging about it? Clearly writing is her only expression of freedom and independence. I guess until the day her father or husband discover they don't like her writing. Then only thinking will be left to her...

  6. Anonymous: these types do tend to live on what they call "homesteads", which are what I would consider a farm lite, having spent several years in Indiana (where real farming happens.) This may be deliberate, because as you note, it would be fairly hard to completely shelter someone in Manhattan, or it may be that the sort of people likely to engage in SAHD are also the same sort of people likely to be attracted to homesteading. (Correlation not equaling causation.)

  7. The thing that is saddest of all is that clearly she sees that there is another life for women out there and appears consigned to the limits of her present life.

    It does smack of rationalization. That bit where she says that she could have gone to college, but her heart was really in something that didn't need it. Yeah.

    Those are totally the words of someone who is completely happy with her life...

  8. That was just scary. The woman sees herself akin to property to be transferred from her father to her husband.

  9. I just died a little inside.

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  11. What I don't understand is these home-schooling moms with little to no education think they can teach better than several people who go to higher education for at least their Bachelor Degree ever could. This screams of arrogance to me.

  12. and results in terrifying blog posts including words such as "smorgasbord" and "fictional" as a NOUN.

  13. That is so sad. That poor woman.

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  15. That poor poor girl.

    Crap like this makes me wish the world worked like El Goonish Shive, and that's a really messed up statement. (Seriously, be warned: that comic is weird). But I would definately use a TF Gun on everyone in this girls family and leave them as the opposite gender for a few days to give them time to think about things.

  16. and results in terrifying blog posts including words such as "smorgasbord" and "fictional" as a NOUN.

    smörgåsbord is a perfectly valid word. In Sweden

    She probably has some Swedish ancestors.


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