Creepy Christian Patriarchy Movement Shackles Daughters to Their Fathers and Homes
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The number of these blogs and their followers may be surprising to mainstream women, who would likely find the tenets the bloggers live by disturbingly retrograde, if not just plain disturbing. For instance, stay-at-home daughterhood means, among other things, subsuming one’s own identity into the family unit. The Botkin sisters write in So Much More that loving your parents means agreeing with all their opinions. “When your parents have your heart you will truly ‘delight in their ways,’” write the sisters in one blog post. “You will love what they love, hate what they hate, and desire their approval and company and even ‘think thoughts after them.’”
The Botkin sisters aim to validate living a life of confinement with staunch, if unfounded, opinions and beliefs regarding college. “College campuses have become dangerous places of anxiety, wasted years, mental defilement and moral derangement,” they write. Although neither of the sisters has attended college, they also claim universities are hotbeds of Marxism that forbid a free exchange of ideas and seek to indoctrinate students in leftist thinking. Elsewhere, they quote a document from the pro-patriarchy website Fathers for Life that states that the “prime purposes of feminism are to establish a lesbian-socialist republic and to dismantle the family unit,” echoing Pat Robertson’s notorious statement that feminism is a “socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.”
Learning critical thinking and immersion in a diversity of viewpoints and opinions -- a chief goal of the college experience -- seems to be what the Botkin sisters truly fear. Well, that and Satan -- the sisters use the age-old image of women as helpless to resist temptation as another argument against a college education: “Recall that Satan targeted a woman first, too. God’s enemies have recognized that women are not only the weaker vessels, and consequently more easily led, but they are incredibly influential over their husbands (think of Eve again) and children, and they make excellent and loyal helpers ,” claim the sisters [italics theirs]. The story of one misled college attendee, the providentially named Evangeline, is instructive. A homeschool graduate attending a Christian college away from home, Evangeline recalls, “I will never forget the night I sat on my bed reading [ So Much More ] until 4 in the morning, weeping over it.” She continues, “My heart had ached for a protected mission, a biblically sound mission, an ancient mission. And here it was! What joy! What relief! I was not designed to be an independent woman, but rather a part of a man’s life, a helper.”
But not all stay-at-home daughters accept their lot so unquestioningly. A young New Zealander named Genevieve, profiled on the Botkin sisters’ blog, decided to live at home until marriage after trading in her dreams of becoming her country’s first female prime minister for ambitions to become a Christian homeschooling wife and mother. Now the author of the Isaacharican Daughters newsletter, Genevieve exemplifies how young women in this lifestyle are encouraged to subsume their own thoughts and identities into those of whichever male figure in their lives currently acts as the authority. In writing about the process of swapping her father’s “vision” for her new husband’s, she notes that a woman having independent thoughts is evidence of Satan gumming up the works.
My loyalties have had to undergo a change. I was used to thinking 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 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?” [Italics hers.]