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A Gentle Reality Check for the Daughters of Patriarchy

As I shared on facebook, I've wanted to address this topic for a long time. But while chatting with my friend Darcy, I realized that she was the perfect one to write about it instead. I'm including a teaser clip below, but please click the following link to view the article in its entirety. I couldn't be more thankful or proud of Darcy for this and truly believe that this reality check is sorely needed in the world of Biblical Patriarchy. 

Darcy writes:
My husband's a trucker. I'm "alone" from about Sunday afternoon to Friday afternoon every week during the summer. I have to fend for myself and three kids. I sleep alone, a gun nearby, knowing there may come a night I'll have to use it (and trust me, I can use it better than most men I know). I have to make all the decisions on how to run my house alone. I have to be mature and interact with the world around me (including men and atheists *gasp*) alone. I have to be discerning all by myself, able to judge right and wrong, wise and foolish. If I break down on the side of the road, my husband isn't there to "protect" or rescue me. I have to deal with it as if I were single. I have to be strong and capable and mature and independent every single day. My husband leaves every week depending on me to be all these things and more. If I had an emergency, it could be 12+ hours before my husband could get to me. He didn't need a girl who needed to be coddled, needed someone to make decisions for her, needed to be "led" and guided in daily interactions like a child. He needed a mature woman who could handle an imperfect life. And it's a darn good thing that I didn't spend my growing up years thinking I needed a man to handle my life or come between me and the big bad world. I had to learn how to be a functioning part of society and take care of myself and others. My family's well-being depends on this.

I know girls who weren’t allowed to go grocery shopping, in a safe small town, without their dad or big brother for “protection”. They weren’t allowed to go anywhere without a man, for that matter. Their view of the Big Bad Men in the world they needed to be protected from has grown into a paranoia. They’re scared of their own shadows. They think all men are out to rape them or take advantage of them. And they truly believe they are gullible, weak, and cannot handle life on their own, because that's the line they've been fed all their lives. It's become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
As my friend, Christi, said in comment to this idea:

"This is exactly what patriarchy wants us to believe, that women are weak-minded things incapable of avoiding dangerous situation. I lived alone ...and I never found myself in a compromising position. And how would a predator know whether a woman lived at home with her parents, or with her husband, or lived "alone" (with roommates)?

And while we're talking about this, why don't people realize that homemakers are some of the most "alone" and vulnerable women out there? You seem to not realize that married young women have to do the exact same things that young women who are away at college have to do, and more. I have to go out and do my shopping alone, just like a college girl would (though I imagine that college girls get to carpool together). What's more, I'm even at home alone. I'm pretty sure that I'd really be better protected on a college campus since I'm alone during the day (and night, since my husband works until 11 PM) and have often had to interact with strange men, sometimes even inside my house, while my husband is at work. Apartment maintenance men, internet guy, phone guy, UPS man, door-to-door salesmen, etc. Oh, and it's usually my job to take our car in for repairs and oil changes. Car repairmen are actually pretty nice, or maybe it depends on where you go (which again, is simply a matter of making an intelligence choice).

I mean no disrespect to my husband when I say this but, he's really not here a lot to protect me because he's busy working a full-time job in addition to being a full-time student. My marriage license doesn't really afford me any more physical protection than I had when I was single."
 Please view On Women and Protection to read more! 

Recovering Grace: A Gothard Generation Shines Light on the Teachings of IBLP and ATI

Introducing a new site that may be of interest to some Quivering Daughters readers:

You Have a Story

My strategy to survive was to appease the soldiers and to make friends with them. I thought, if only we could make friends with these soldiers, then we would survive. 
But porters can die at any time. For example, if a soldier got angry and just shot me with his gun, nothing would happen to him. I would just die, like a chicken or a rat. To Tanintharyi Division, they send 500 porters every year. Of the 500, only 72 porters make it back to the prison. If you survive, you survive.
I was a porter for nearly six months.
~ Lai Pa, 34-year-old man from Burma. Source: How to Use Stories to Change the World.
by Hillary McFarland

Everybody has a story. Sometimes it's buried so deep we forget we have something to say. We wonder who would want to listen? And often it's so painful that reliving our stories through the telling process is such an overwhelming prospect that we squash it into oblivion.

Stories are like sculptures. They must be chiseled slowly, carefully. Creating art from a sprawling array of experiences takes time. And yet, this can be powerful. Redemptive. And part of a personal healing journey.

My book features many stories from women who share their experiences of setting out like Abraham into a land they do not know, a life they do not know. It's a tremendous act of faith to follow the prompting of God and leave all they've known behind, but these women are brave. Courageous. And I am deeply inspired by them. They are my heroes. And I continue to hear from others who do the same ... who leave all to take up their cross and follow God into the wilderness despite extreme physical and emotional hardship, rejection from their families, and the comfort of what they've always known. It is scary to walk by faith! It is agonizing to endure accusations, knowing that your act of godly obedience reaps judgments of rebellion, of feminism, of apostasy and worse from those you love the most.

It is in this pain, in this becoming, in this life journey, we find your story.

Finding Healing from Disillusionment | Guest Post

by Elizabeth Wyse Cook

What do you do when someone you trust breaks that trust?  When you find out that they are a hypocrite?  When you finally realize that all the little things that didn’t quite make sense before, now make perfect sense, but in the opposite way you had hoped? 

I don’t know about you, but I felt lost.  Disoriented.  And hurt – deeply hurt. I totally believed the leader of the organization I was a part of.  Why wouldn’t I?  My parents believed a lot of what he said.  What he said sounded logical.  He seemed to have things all figured out.  He claimed to have answers that no one else did to very common problems that people face.  And his “answers” seemed to work.  If they didn’t, it must be my fault, not his.  I must not be doing it right.  I must not be committed enough.  I just need to keep trying, and then it will work.

Disillusioned Pictures, Images and Photos

I worshiped him, really.  Of course, I would have denied any such thing.  Everyone knows that you only worship God, not people, even really outstanding leaders.  But in reality, I worshiped him.  I believed every word.  I believed the stories he told of the wonderful things God was doing through him and the organization.  I wanted so much to be a part of those wonderful things!

Some things didn’t quite stack up, though.  Why did the board of directors change frequently?  Sometimes it was just one or two leaving and being replaced.  Other times it was almost everyone on the board.  Much later, I learned that the leader, according to the organization’s bylaws, can never be fired.  So, while he claims to be accountable to the board, he really is accountable to absolutely no one. If one of the men on the board disagrees with the leader too much, the leader has been known to be sure they leave the board at the end of their one year term.

To Change a World | Guest Post

by Melanie Anderson

Sunset Park is a little piece of fairytale on the coast of one of the Great Lakes, about twenty or so minutes from where I live.  It looks like just a hill with the lake in the distance until you are a couple feet from the edge and realize you are standing at the top of a wall of rock falling to the thin rocky beach below.  It is one of my favorite places to go to.  It feels like, for a brief period of time, I can actually step into a fairytale world, or at least the Atlantic coast.  I could sit on the edge of one of the crags or stand on the beach below for hours, watching the sun's journey towards the western horizon and thinking.  Because the whole atmosphere is very conducive for thinking.

 On a recent visit to Sunset Park, I decided to watch the sunset alone from the beach at the foot of the crags.  It's a rocky climb down, but if you just find the right place, it's not to steep.  I climbed down to the edge of the water and sat on a log that had, some time back, tumbled down from the height above.  I watched the waves rushing towards my feet and then falling back again into the vast expanse of water, which, at our point in the lake, looks like it could go on forever to the edge of the world.

As I sat there at the edge of the water, my mind deep in thought, I realized what I want to do with my life.