A blog that I quite enjoy visiting and reading is Commandments of Men, authored by Lewis Wells, who describes his blog as an ‘Editorial and commentary on the dark, hyper-fundamentalist side of the Christian faith, including movements such as Patriarchy, Quiverfull, Courtship, neo-conservative Christian Homeschooling, Family Integrated Churches, the Religious Right, and more.’ He uses strong language, but that is because he feels so very strongly about these issues.
Another good reason to visit his blog is the blogroll that appears on the right column under the heading ‘Good Insight Awaits…’ One post that grabbed my attention, which I read and have not been able to stop thinking about is Overcoming Botkin Syndrome’s repost of Gina McGalliard’s article House Proud: The Troubling Rise of the Stay-At-Home Daughters.
“Daughters aren’t to be independent. They’re not to act outside the scope of their father. As long as they’re under the authority of their fathers, fathers have the ability to nullify or not the oaths and the vows. Daughters can’t just go out independently and say, ‘I’m going to marry whoever I want.’ No. The father has the ability to say, ‘No, I’m sorry, that has to be approved by me.’”
There’s a lot of talk in American mainstream media lately about the diminishing role of men—fathers, in particular. Have feminism and reproductive technology made them obsolete? Are breadwinning wives and career-oriented mothers emasculating them?
No such uncertainty exists in the mind of Doug Phillips, the man quoted above. The San Antonio minister is the founder of Vision Forum, a beachhead for what’s known as the Christian Patriarchy Movement, a branch of evangelical Christianity that takes beliefs about men as leaders and women as homemakers to anachronistic extremes. Vision Forum Ministries is, according to its Statements of Doctrine, “committed to affirming the historic faith of Biblical Christianity,” with special attention to the historical faith found in the book of Genesis, when God created Eve as a “helper” to Adam. According to Christian Patriarchy, marriage bonds man (the symbol of Christ) to woman (the symbol of the Church). It’s a model that situates husbands and fathers in a position of absolute power: If a woman disobeys her “master,” whether father or husband, she’s defying God. Thus, women in the Christian Patriarchy Movement aren’t just stay-at-home mothers—they’re stay-at-home daughters as well. And many of them wouldn’t have it any other way.
The stay-at-home-daughters movement, which is promoted by Vision Forum, encourages young girls and single women to forgo college and outside employment in favor of training as “keepers at home” until they marry. Young women pursuing their own ambitions and goals are viewed as selfish and antifamily; marriage is not a choice or one piece of a larger life plan, but the ultimate goal. Stay-at-home daughters spend their days learning “advanced homemaking” skills, such as cooking and sewing, and other skills that at one time were a necessity—knitting, crocheting, soap- and candle-making. A father is considered his daughter’s authority until he transfers control to her husband.
There’s more at the Overcoming Botkin Syndrome site.
One thing I think the author failed to elaborate on is that these stay-at-home daughters (SAHD) are actually ‘in-training’ to be helpmeets to their husbands, a father-approved man who pursues the girl via a ‘biblically-based’ courtship procedure. The husband ideally should have his own home-based business and not be an ’employee’. To be a suitable helpmeet, these daughters are trained in bookkeeping and secretarial skills as well as having her own small side business such as selling craft items. So these daughters wait for a daddy-approved man to come a-courting so they can put all that training into practice.
And they wait.
And they wait.
And they wait.