Passionate Housewives Desperate for God
November 28, 2007 4:56 PM   Subscribe

Ladies, submit and enjoy! What does the 21st century biblical model for an adult daughter look like? Have you ever wondered about the damage feminism has visited upon our civilization? Prepare to be enlightened...
posted by zany pita (77 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I wondered how long it would take for someone to find this.

Here is a discussion I have been following for weeks involving the above. These women have some real concerns about these same sites...enough to overload the comments on three different postings on the same.
posted by konolia at 5:01 PM on November 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

Oh, yes, absolutely. Daughters need to stay at home until they get married. It makes it so much easier for the mothers and grandmothers to pester them constantly about how they need to find a husband because "they aren't getting any younger", to monitor their diet "so they don't lose their figure" and can "still attract a man", and so they can ensure above all else that their immaculate and virginal daughters are not exposed to the sinful influence of [insert despised political faction, ethnicity, religion, art form].
posted by Pastabagel at 5:04 PM on November 28, 2007

I see they offer a "Monstrous and Shaky bundle" at the last link. How will we distinguish it from the rest of Christian theology?
posted by Abiezer at 5:04 PM on November 28, 2007 [2 favorites]

Visionary Daughters: Behind the Spinsters
posted by The White Hat at 5:05 PM on November 28, 2007

posted by bigmusic at 5:07 PM on November 28, 2007

Feminism ruined a perfectly good "Offensive" flag.
posted by klangklangston at 5:10 PM on November 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

Those fucking morons in the last link obviously have no clue about John Knox or the very particular political and religious motivations behind his work.
posted by papakwanz at 5:13 PM on November 28, 2007

Anyone notice the bulk of the links go to The Daily Mail? So I'm checking out the link decrying (rightly) the pole dance kit for kids, and the cognitive dissonance from the nearby ads nearly gave me a stroke.
posted by butterstick at 5:13 PM on November 28, 2007

LOLXIANS and feminist outrage? Pass the popcorn: this thread will become a Metafilter parody.
posted by DaShiv at 5:14 PM on November 28, 2007

The timing on this post smells a bit like burning. Intentionally incendiary, perhaps?
posted by Stewriffic at 5:18 PM on November 28, 2007

I've enjoyed submitting, but I always make sure there's a safeword.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:18 PM on November 28, 2007 [10 favorites]

There are more than a few cultures where people are considered abnormal if they DON'T live at home until they get married, though.
posted by miss lynnster at 5:19 PM on November 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

MetaFilter: fodder for those eager to influence.

Ladies Against Feminism isn't a parody site? They willingly chose the acronym "LAF"!? *head explodes*
posted by loquacious at 5:21 PM on November 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

I realize that the right of parents to raise their children as they see fit is taken quite seriously in the U.S. (as part of the Constitutional right to privacy and free exercise of religion), and probably rightly so.

Still, I can't wonder if society has let down the children of fundamentalists down. For some reason, we're comfortable standing by complacently as our most vulnerable are drowned in corrosive lies.
posted by "Tex" Connor and the Wily Roundup Boys at 5:23 PM on November 28, 2007 [5 favorites]

As it is written in the law of the LORD, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord. - Luke 2:23

Sucks to be you, ladies.
posted by cmonkey at 5:26 PM on November 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'm a housewife. I used to homeschool I'm a conservative Christian.

Most of these people really scare me.
posted by konolia at 5:30 PM on November 28, 2007 [11 favorites]

I have never dated anyone who was this religious, but anecdotal reports suggest that if freaky and frequent "action" is your desire, find one of these young women stat.

Next you'll be telling us there's such a thing as "chastity dances" where fathers creepily dance with their daughters in celebration of remaining "daddy's little girl"...
posted by maxwelton at 5:30 PM on November 28, 2007

For some reason, we're comfortable standing by complacently as our most vulnerable are drowned in corrosive lies.

You mean Iraq?
posted by cytherea at 5:31 PM on November 28, 2007 [4 favorites]

What do they need a documentary for? Anybody who wants to know what this is like can just go tour Amish country.
posted by well_balanced at 5:31 PM on November 28, 2007

You mean Iraq?

I mean children. The Iraqis, vulnerable as they are, seem to have problems more with being killed than lied to.
posted by "Tex" Connor and the Wily Roundup Boys at 5:33 PM on November 28, 2007

Still, I can't wonder if society has let down the children of fundamentalists down. For some reason, we're comfortable standing by complacently as our most vulnerable are drowned in corrosive lies.

I share your concern but I'd rather have a precedent of not interfering with fundamentalist households so that fundamentalists can't use that as a basis or justification for interfering in my household.
posted by Falconetti at 5:34 PM on November 28, 2007 [5 favorites]

For some reason, we're comfortable standing by complacently as our most vulnerable are drowned in corrosive lies.

You mean that people on the internets aren't pompous asses?
posted by oddman at 5:37 PM on November 28, 2007

You mean that people on the internets aren't pompous asses?

No, that's not what I mean.
posted by "Tex" Connor and the Wily Roundup Boys at 5:44 PM on November 28, 2007

The timing on this post smells a bit like burning.

Indeed. Whose sockpuppet is zany pita?
posted by dersins at 5:45 PM on November 28, 2007

Whose sockpuppet is zany pita?




posted by wendell at 6:13 PM on November 28, 2007

From fpp link: “growing number of young women resolving to stay at home until marriage.”
Yeah, what parmanparman sed. Who can afford leaving home until they get married now anyway?
Seems like the passion that dare not speak it’s name in reverse. Sorta an Electra complex, but with Jesus deflecting the fully sexualized thoughts. Y’know the chastity vows and the daddy/daughter date dance stuff. I’m a pretty gregarious affectionate guy with my family, but that stuff creeps me out. This too. My primary concern, since I can be forceful personality sometimes, is making sure my daughter is strong and independant enough to get out from under me.

The problem isn’t one of values, but economics. The break up of the family isn’t from feminism. Most wives, and husbands, would prefer to have more time with their kids. Hell, if I could be a stay home dad I would. But most people have to have two people working (given they want certain tradeoffs, e.g. good schools for their kids, decent enough home/neighborhood, etc.).

And that “Feminism and Demoralization of the Military” is a load of dung. Even the truths in there are blown wildly out of proportion.
Some of the finest most professional people I’ve served with were women. Of course, every group has it’s dolts. But that just proves the point. I’ve seen some chicken armed bony servicemen in my time and wondered how the hell they were in the job they were in.
(And double fuck Elizabeth Wright (and the Washington Times) for using CNO Mike Boorda’s suicide - for those of you who don’t know he was the CIC for the humanitarian aid to Bosnia and kicked ass through the tailhook scandal - y’know, where zoomies made women suck on pseudo-rhino cocks and pressed their buttcheeks against glass windows shattering them onto people in the pool, sexually assaulting women and such, that tailhook scandal (media didn’t report 1/100th of what happened there). A guy like that who withdrew a positional promotion of an admiral over sexual harrassment allegations...a guy who put the kibosh on tailhookers harrassing women when no one else did (especially Kelso) ...despondant over feminism...uh,huh. Pull the other one, it plays ‘Jingle Bells.’ Bullshit he killed himself.)
posted by Smedleyman at 6:18 PM on November 28, 2007

Stewriffic wrote...
The timing on this post smells a bit like burning. Intentionally incendiary, perhaps?

Poorly done if so. Who would you expect to be taking which sides, here?
posted by tkolar at 6:20 PM on November 28, 2007

I used to live in Alabama and go to a Church of Christ high school (it's complicated). Most of the kids there were k-12 church school and expected to go to church college. I remember the ruminations about why it was especially important for the girls to go to church college, otherwise they wouldn't come back and live a good christian life. I asked a smart one who had come back why she was comfortable with a religion that regarded her as a lesser being; her answer was that she didn't want to upset her parents.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 6:36 PM on November 28, 2007

Will these ladies serve the turkey to their men before they settle down to their own meals?
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 6:38 PM on November 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

From the trailer to the Monstrous Regiment of Women:

Feminism leads to daycare which is really just Marxism and Socialism.


I have come to the conclusion that people in the World truly hate children.
posted by XMLicious at 6:44 PM on November 28, 2007

This is very interesting. Especially considering I'm writing a paper about the history of women in the (paid) workforce for a Women's History class.

The concept of True Womanhood and the idea that a woman is morally superior and better able to create a home that is a haven for her man is quite old.

What a number of people seem to miss is that women throughout history worked outside the home. A number of women owned shops, inns, worked as domestic servants, and quite a few worked in the fields. The idea that a woman should not work outside the home is an ideal that is typically only able to be practiced in the middle and upper classes. Poor women and slaves didn't have the luxury of not working. Granted the numbers of women working outside the home has increased dramatically in the last century or so, but it's not like no women ever worked outside the home.

Heck a number of the women who promoted the ideas of True Womanhood worked outside the home as writers and lecturers.

Personally, it creeps me the hell out. But I'm a godless feminist. ;)
posted by teleri025 at 6:51 PM on November 28, 2007 [5 favorites]

These sites seriously trip me out. It's similar to the feeling I get when I watch Mad Men - deeply uncomfortable and fascinated all at once.
posted by rtha at 6:52 PM on November 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

The idea that a woman should not work outside the home is an ideal that is typically only able to be practiced in the middle and upper classes. Poor women and slaves didn't have the luxury of not working.

but they're bad mannered heathens anyway - let's just concern ourselves with the elect and warm our hands in heaven as hoi polloi burn in hell
posted by pyramid termite at 7:02 PM on November 28, 2007

This essay from the first link broke my heart.
posted by jrossi4r at 7:12 PM on November 28, 2007

Anybody who wants to know what this is like can just go tour Amish country.

The kind of contemporary conservative Christianity in the links from the post don't bear very much resemblance to Amish life, as far as I can detect.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:19 PM on November 28, 2007

konolia: I'm very good friends with a very devout evangelical (though he would cringe at that term, or any other you would care to offer) christian. His view about the place of women is not quite identical to those espoused in the links above, but very close over all.

As I (an atheist) understand it his position here is that god has ordained one primary purpose for mankind - to glorify god. There are gender specific guidelines for what actions on the part of followers achieve this end of "glorification" (a definition of which I've never heard).

Now, I'm pretty biblically ignorant, but in conversations with my friend he was able to quote and explain in context his interpretation of dozens of passages supporting this idea. He reads ancient greek (and has pretty excellent latin abilities too) and takes an active interest in disputed translations. Point being, I think he's sincere and well supported in his beliefs.

At the same time, I couldn't find his beliefs more nonsensical - being the secular humanist heathen. The thing is, I can see (from his philosophical axioms) how his views make sense. I agree with views closer to yours though (and thats good, I commend you for it!). I'm glad there are moderate christians out there, because I'd rather live in a society filled with them than hardcore biblical literalists (no offence to my xtian pals, but they'd drive me nuts if they were the majority).

The thing is, the moderate Christian view doesn't make any sense to me.

Where is there any scriptural support for the notion that women aren't the weaker sex, to serve god though their husbands? Is all of this just being read too literally? I honestly want to know, because it would give me some hope for the world if it's major religions weren't as reprehensible as they seem to modern eyes.
posted by phrontist at 7:23 PM on November 28, 2007

Well, phrontist, a lot of scholars believe that some of Paul's letters may not have been transmitted as he wrote them, and that some of the "weaker sex" business may have been added later on by people with a certain agenda to push.

Bart Ehrman's various works touch on this.
posted by padraigin at 7:28 PM on November 28, 2007

Is Ladies Against Feminism related to Ladies Against Women?
posted by homunculus at 7:31 PM on November 28, 2007

phrontist, I do believe that the Bible teaches that a wife submits to HER OWN husband. I simply happen to believe that these groups go way beyond Scripture and try to cast as Biblical things that are actually only their own strongly held convictions.

If you look at that link I posted way upthread and read some of the discussions you will see that there are a lot of very conservative Christian women who are very upset with these particular groups, and in my opinion, with cause.
posted by konolia at 7:37 PM on November 28, 2007

Oh, and phrontist, if you look at what the cultural norms were concerning women back in Biblical days, Paul-and particularly Jesus-were blazing feminists themselves. They treated women with way more dignity and honor than the surrounding culture did. There is a parallel with how the subject of slavery was treated-as a given (in order not to bring the Gospel into cultural disrepute) yet hints that the institution was NOT the ultimate will of God.
posted by konolia at 7:41 PM on November 28, 2007

This site is run by someone from the church my family attends, and that I grew up in.
Jesus H. Christ.
posted by 235w103 at 7:43 PM on November 28, 2007

Whenever I hear women complain about how men treat them, or don't treat them, or how they're too priviledged or not priviledged enough, I tell them, "Hey it could be worse! Be thankful you weren't born in the comic books!" Women in reality have it easy.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:43 PM on November 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

My understanding is that Jesus was seriously transgressing social norms by talking to women outside his family and even having female students. I've read this sort of thing. So Jesus did pretty well by the standards of old school judiaic beliefs. But there is still a huge gap between that and what moderate christians today seem to think is okay for women. As an example, men on metafilter are lorded over by a woman (*gasp*). That would be a serious problem, no? Is that okay - biblically speaking - for a christian to participate in a community in which woman has usurped authority over man?
posted by phrontist at 7:54 PM on November 28, 2007

Thanks for posting the link to the threads on the other board, konolia. It's been really interesting and enlightening for me to read through the comments over there.
posted by mosessis at 8:14 PM on November 28, 2007

phrontist- If you read the scriptures with the assumption that every detail was meant to be normative for all time, I don't see how you can avoid something liked the linked sites. Those folks think you can't be Biblical without replicating (in some key ways) the culture the generated the Bible. To really follow Jesus requires adopting the family structures of ancient Palestine. Of course, no one really does that consistently, although a lot of people think that they do.

If you read the scriptures and focus not so much on how the specifics played out back then, but rather on what basis the writers are reasoning, you notice some pretty progressive foundations being laid. Eph 5:21 says "submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." That's the axiom that comes before the specifics that follow, and it's revolutionary in the ancient context that men would ever be called upon to submit to women, much less that the would accept mutual submission as the guiding principle of their marriage. Gal 3:28 says that in Christ there is not "male and female." There's really good reason to see that as a quick allusion to Genesis 1--the divisions present in the Creation account are being undone in Christ. In 1 Cor 7 Paul tells both husbands and wives that they are to be responsive to each other sexually. Wives have a right to expect that their sexual needs will be met.

Yeah, there's a lot of patriarchialism in the texts, but also a running thread that looks like Jesus and the apostles expected that a new set of principles would take hold in the church. Given the standards around them, this is really unexpected--as is Jesus' willingness to be financially supported by women (Luke 8:2) and to accept female followers. In John's account, Mary Magdelene is the first to see him after the resurrection. There are really quite a few building blocks to construct an egalitarian theology from.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:20 PM on November 28, 2007 [3 favorites]

Is that okay - biblically speaking - for a christian to participate in a community in which woman has usurped authority over man?

I think the key problem in that text is that someone has usurped authority. We don't know what Paul would have said if the authority had been freely given. Unless jessamyn lead some kind of coup to overthrow mathowie and grasp the reins of power for her own nefarious purposes (which would be kind of cool) I don't think there's even an analogous situation to contemplate. It's amazing to me how many people seem to read that verse as saying I don't permit a woman to have authority, and miss the implications of usurp.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:25 PM on November 28, 2007

biblically speaking - for a christian to participate in a community in which woman has usurped authority over man?

Doesn't apply here, this being a secular joint.

Not to mention that, in the scripture you are alluding to, the word "man" can be translated "husband" and "woman", "wife", which would in that case, again, be referring to a marriage relationship.

Speaking of women in the Bible, I remember one time asking God why only men got to be disciples. Imagine my shock when He prompted me to go back and read a few passages more carefully-where I then noticed that the Bible clearly states there were women following HIm as well-listing some of them by name. And THEY were the ones bankrolling Jesus' ministry!
posted by konolia at 8:52 PM on November 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

What on earth does having kids have to do with having a "Biblical worldview"? Women in our church used to preach to my mother about how self-centered and ungodly it was of her to only have (and only want) one child. I like to think she responded by describing in graphic detail the hemorrhaging, the near death experience, and the uterus-rippin' good time she had birthing me, but she probably just swallowed her outrage and thanked them for their prayers.

...and then made them all a batch of fetus-shaped cupcakes.

(I wish.)
posted by katillathehun at 8:58 PM on November 28, 2007

All those chicks from the "Monstrous Women" video are first against the wall!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 9:06 PM on November 28, 2007

Konolia, you might be interested in the Acts of Paul and Thecla if you're not already familiar with them. Female disciples indeed.

The Wikipedia entry is low on analysis, but I find the premise that the excision of this text from the beginning of Paul as an explanation for it's abrupt beginning to be interesting.

The Harlot by the Side of the Road has a lot of the close reading of several biblical texts leading to several surprising revelation like the one you describe yourself making, and is one of the best books I've ever read.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:15 PM on November 28, 2007

That's hot.
posted by Bovine Love at 9:15 PM on November 28, 2007

Monstrous Regiment of Women is a great band name. I totally want the t-shirt.
posted by ottereroticist at 10:23 PM on November 28, 2007

konolia, thank you for the link to those discussions; they are very articulate and very interesting.

I read the first essay, the introduction, on the Visionary Daughters site, and thought judging by its content, its author would have been considered a radical in the 19th century. Just a comment on passing time and cultural values...
posted by jokeefe at 10:26 PM on November 28, 2007

Earlier today I was discussing the term "Christianist" in a seminar on the practice of Christian ministry. Something about the tone in their voice communicates the conviction which they have sewn into their complete and total surrender. Their battle is quite over. It is profoundly and impossibly sad.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:33 PM on November 28, 2007

I won't lie. This is what I thought of.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:13 PM on November 28, 2007

phrontist said The thing is, the moderate Christian view doesn't make any sense to me.

Insistence on scriptural supremacy is a relatively recent development in Christianity; on the long arc of history, identification with the person of Jesus has been the more definitive thing for Christians. Scripture and issues of theology were historically of much more interest to scholars and political powers than to the individual Christian.

In post-Reformation Europe, one of the significant advantages that the dominant importance of scripture served for some schismatic sects was to separate the faith itself from political power, to some degree.

Here and now in the U.S., given that the separation of faith from political power is more of a responsibility of the secular realm, maybe in the faith of some Christians there's been a relaxation of the need to always undergird doctrine with scripture and that's a factor in the politically moderate Christian position that puzzles you.

It was a fun theory to come up with, anyways. Maybe on the other hand the moderate Christians you know all happen to be of the Catholic-Episcopalian-Lutheran bent. I can't tell, either, they all look the same to me.
posted by XMLicious at 12:13 AM on November 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

I don't understand how in the eyes of these folks the only way of serving God is by being a homemaker. I guess the idea of nuns -women that refuse to have children or submit to a husband- would be terrifying to these ladies.
posted by wilky at 12:29 AM on November 29, 2007

wilky, I think the mere whiff of anything nun (which smells strongly of Papist leanings) like would be anathema to these women.

These videos disturb me quite a bit. I can't consider myself a feminist, since I don't really know what that term fully encompasses. However, I don't like the monolithic approach to the ideal Christian women that these websites encourage. My personal belief is that women should be free to decide what they want to do with their lives, be it homemaker or CEO, without being judged for it.

And that's one of the reasons why those videos bother me so much: I agree that a wife that chooses to be a homemaker should not be looked down upon or disdained by any aspect of societies. These women are just as important and valuable as one who decides to become a doctor or a lawyer! At the same time, women shouldn't be restricted to homemaking.

There are all sorts of ways to serve God. I'm starting to think that the only real hard and fast rule is "do unto others as you would do unto me."

That means husbands should to submit to wives too! Though I don't think that term really fits into the modern world.

posted by Mister Cheese at 12:43 AM on November 29, 2007

Mister Cheese, one of the things I find so amusing about the videos is that while one can argue that they are preaching a very restricted role for women, the documentaries all feature women who are not restricted as the mouthpieces for... restriction.

Phyllis Schlafly has six kids and certainly worked outside her home, publishing and touring and leading the fight against the ERA. F. Carolyn Graglia is a lawyer who gave up law practice to raise her kids... and write. Sharon Adams is a working professor. All of the women featured distinguished themselves and became mouthpieces for this video by virtue of doing things other than home making.

The Monstrous! video I find enraging not primarily because of the beliefs or position of the film makers or the women interviewed, but because of the lies being told to support the position. The abortion clinic lady is insane, and the "socialist/communist state childcare" lunatic possibly even more so.

(My favourite, though, is the cadet. I love how the fact women are sexually assaulted by their military cohorts in armed forces training becomes an argument for why women shouldn't be in the armed forces. Yeah, that's the way to fix that problem...)
posted by DarlingBri at 1:57 AM on November 29, 2007

I've always wondered why, if God intended women to be subservient, "he" didn't make women stupider or more incompetent than men, to make that process easier. I realize that many people believe either that women are, in fact, stupider than men, or that the choice of submission is the challenge that God poses to women on purpose. But it's just really always seemed nonsensical to me. Assuming that God made us, why would he want half the population to limit the scope of their talents by never leaving the home sphere? (Note: my best friend is a stay-at-home mom, and I honor her choice, and I mean no denigration to those who make that choice. But it's a choice.)

The films seem very sad, really. I also wondered how these people approach the inconsistencies in the bible. After all, didn't Jesus honor Mary above Martha because she did not limit herself to home things, but went out to share the word of God?
posted by miss tea at 4:38 AM on November 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

A friend of mine used to date an opus dei affiliated young woman in Spain. He dubbed her the "sewing machine". She used to look at her watch when they kissed each other in order not to pass the time limit beyond which the kiss was to become a "sin". They never went further than a few gently caresses on their private parts. He's been an homosexual for some years now.
posted by nicolin at 5:41 AM on November 29, 2007

This essay from the first link broke my heart.

That essay pissed me off. This woman's mother quit school at 16 and ended up raising five kids mostly alone, since her husband was in the military. The husband ends up being violently abusive, so she leaves him and gets herself a PhD WHILE RAISING FIVE KIDS and her daughter writes that she "doesn't have a solution" to her mother or her views?

Fuck you, you ungrateful little shit. Your mother is a goddamned hero.
posted by papercake at 6:27 AM on November 29, 2007 [5 favorites]

My views are unorthodox. No one should be surprised. I'm a gay Christian. Woohoo! I don't know much at all about this man/woman thing. But in male relationships, I found it worked best when one partner accepts the other as a leader. How else do you break a deadlock?

I've been the follower, it worked very well, then he died. I grew older and wiser. Now I'm the leader. It works very well, and has lasted 11 years. We balance things out nicely, but he accepts that I'm the boss. I accept certain limitations (and put them in there myself, for our mutual benefit, seeing as I'm the leader, I get to do that).

My sister was a stay-at-home mother in the years before I was settled. I envied her life a lot. She spent her days caring for the people she loved, and she enjoyed it. She raised 2 kids and got them both through university, and one through grad school, now she's a grandma.

But those are my own observations. Christianity, especially in the States, has gotten to be a business and political game. It really gets ugly! Christ has been lost from much of this. Instead, it has become all about preachers controlling people, using all the old formulas from the first preist of whatever chunk of rock was named a god.

No one should be surprised that you find this group touting an extreme view about women. Anything to get money in the pocket of the preacher, and keep his flock of sheeple in check, while assuring his flock they are better than the next bunch of sheeple.
posted by Goofyy at 6:59 AM on November 29, 2007

All is vanity, this is just LARPing taken to an extreme.
posted by Max Power at 7:49 AM on November 29, 2007 [2 favorites]

That's interesting, Goofyy. I am straight, married to a "boss", and that has been very difficult--all of my adult life prior to being married I would select relationships where a sort of Quakerish consensus process was the norm.

When we were dating, and the dominant tendency began to emerge, I would actually laugh, thinking it was all a huge joke, that no one actually conducts relationships like that.

I am happy, on balance, but I still chafe (9 years into it!) at the boss thing. Apparently, it works well for others.
posted by everichon at 8:17 AM on November 29, 2007

From a link on one of the sites:

A blog is a dangerous thing. A woman can write anything, anywhere, going from house to house taking her “prayer requests” or other noble causes in the name of good intentions, and wreak destruction in other people’s lives, ruining reputations, and causing division among the brethren, with the click of a mouse.


My daughter Anna has a blog on which she infrequently writes some lovely prose. Last week, two women whom we have never heard of left comments which went into moderation. Both flattered Anna for her writing and warned her of the nefarious teachings of the “patriarchal” people linked in her sidebar, people whom we know and consider friends. Such hit-and-run tactics are part of a behavior known on the internet as “trolling,” <>

Look out, bloggers! You're DANGEROUS! With just the click of a mouse, you can DESTROY EVERYTHING!

I specialized in medieval Germanic religious history in college -- in particular, the role of women in the conversion of the Saxon tribes (dork alert!). Lemme tell you, these women weren't exactly shrinking violets. These abbesses & the nuns with them went out to the German equivalent of a Wild West frontier town and succeeded -- using commerce and slightly more gentle coercion -- where DER SACHSENSCHLÄCHTER ("slayer of Saxons") Charlemagne failed. They were tough, tough ladies. I think they would find this sort of thing absofrickinglutely hilarious.

Well, you know, after they recovered from the freakout of being transported about a thousand years ahead in time.
posted by at 9:00 AM on November 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

Fuck you, you ungrateful little shit. Your mother is a goddamned hero.

Absolutely. My heart broke for the mom who's got a deluded, ungrateful daughter who downplays her accomplishments by saying things like:

Fast forward twelve years. The three children have become five and her husband has turned out to be a wife-beater. Tough spot.

Oh yes, a tough spot indeed. No education, five kids and an abusive spouse? Why that might even qualify as a bit of a pickle.
posted by jrossi4r at 9:24 AM on November 29, 2007

[bliblical depictions of slavery were 'glossed over'] in order not to bring the Gospel into cultural disrepute

Thereby legitmating human bondage for millenia? In the name of marketing?! Jesus Christ, those are some warped priorities.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:37 AM on November 29, 2007

I know, I know: "legitimating." So stone me.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:38 AM on November 29, 2007

Well, joe lisboa, at the time, if Christianity had tried to hit it head on, it would have had the whole society come down on it totally. Instead the approach was taken to change hearts instead.

Check out the book of Philemon.
posted by konolia at 11:12 AM on November 29, 2007

Philemon? The epistle in which Paul urges Philemon to take back his runaway slave without punishing him too much because the slave has converted to Christianity? That Philemon?
posted by dersins at 11:36 AM on November 29, 2007

Read it again, a little more slowly this time. Paul is broadly hinting to him that he really needs to free Philemon and let him come back to help Paul.
posted by konolia at 11:45 AM on November 29, 2007

It's nice (and convenient) to think so, isn't it?
posted by dersins at 11:50 AM on November 29, 2007

Yes, I have to say that I'm in awe of the Feminist Mom described in the article. That woman deserves an award - some great honour. As much as I respect talent in sports or the arts, she is really the sort of person honours lists should be about.

I don't really understand her daughter's point, though - seems she just described the best thing that feminism ever did - give women some of the opportunities that men just took for granted. (I don't think feminism made her mom what she is - I'm a feminist, but a total slacker. Her mom was/is just an amazing person.)
posted by jb at 4:38 PM on November 29, 2007

The Dominionist 'returning daughters' movement ideally provides cheap labour, for housework, work in the parents' 'ministries' and for raising and homeschooling all of the other children their parents will be blessed with. And they get to save on college tuition. This is how these people can afford to have such large families on one income (plus of course whatever the delightfully entrepreneurial daughters can bring in without detracting from their time spent on father and family).

maxwelton, I was reminded of the purity balls as well, and find this whole insistence on focussing on the father weird and skeevy. What if your father is an idiot? Are you supposed to blindly worship him anyway?

And I'm not sure who such a documentary is being marketed to - to the young women? What if their father doesn't want to live that way? Or the family can't afford to? There's the potential there to create huge resentment against the father, and undermining his authority (contrary to the movement's aim) by making the daughter feel she is spritually superior for wanting to follow "THE Biblical way". Ugh.
posted by goo at 4:45 PM on November 29, 2007

Which is better: An idiot man with daughters who despise him, or an idiot man whose daughters respect him? It strikes me that, no matter what, we'll always have our share of idiot fathers. But the ones with kids who respect them will be a lot less dangerous than the ones made to feel like crap. (Of course, there are also the ones that would be dangerous no matter what)
posted by Goofyy at 9:27 PM on November 30, 2007

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