Friday, August 27, 2010

An Apology for Doing/Saying Nothing

To all the defrauded daughters and sacrificed sons of patriarchal home schools, I apologize for doing and saying nothing on your behalf.

I deeply and sincerely regret not speaking up for you when I had the chance. It might have made no difference in your parents' lives and the way they treated you, but at the very least it would have been one (more?) outside voice validating you as a person. I know how powerful that is, as a suffering child, to have someone say to (or even merely about) your parents "this is wrong!"

As a home school parent and a libertarian, I tend to be live-and-let-live about all strange (to me) doctrines and practices. You want to eat only organic? Fine by me. You can't go out unless you have make-up and high heels? Dress however you feel like dressing. Your dream is to build your own house in and live off the grid? Build away. Diversity is a good thing, I would tell myself. Live and let live.

I had the same cavalier attitude about religion and philosophy, but now that I have seem up close how it destroys lives, I am ashamed of my silent tolerance of religious craziness in the home school community. Yes, I mean the whole "keep women ignorant and pregnant, silent at church and hard-pressed at home, hidden away under Daddy's watchful eye until/unless Daddy can add a new member to the family cult" subculture known as "quiverfull", "biblical patriarchy" or "movement home schoolers".

I regret saying nothing to those parents who were falling under it's spell. In fact I went out of my way to avoid them, to my shame.

I regret every time I saw a women in a head covering and a long dress at a home school meeting and ignored her. I regret not looking to befriend her so she could see a better life in someone else. I might have been able to say, at least once, that the path she was on was a dead end, dangerous, with ravening wolves pretending to be shepherds flanking both sides of the journey.

I regret not whispering in a teen's ear as they passed by me in a vendor hall that YOU DESERVE BETTER.

I regret not standing up in a crowded lecture hall to heckle a speaker promoting this patriarchal garbage. Some one should "speak truth to power"! I regret that it was not me.

An apology is so lame, but at this point, it's all I have to offer. This is probably my last year home schooling, and it's been years since I went to a convention or attended a support group meeting. I am not a voice in the home school community, like Karen Campbell. I have no real personal experience as a daughter of patriarchy, like Hillary McFarland or even as a former parent of patriarchy like Vickye Garrison.

So, if by chance a mom, son or daughter of patriarchy ever lands on my blog, know that I very much regret not doing or saying anything to stop the madness. I should have stood up for you, and I did not. Please check out the above links, and send them to anyone you know still caught in the religious destruction that is the Movement. Maybe some of these kind people will be able to help.

Mea culpa.


  1. I think one of the biggest things to let go of in the fundamentalist mindset is all the guilt. When someone does nearly everything they are told they are supposed to do, then they are made to feel guilty for what they DIDN'T do. You don't seem like someone who hangs too long onto unnecessary guilt, so I won't get into a lecture about how you definitely shouldn't hold onto it in this case.

    BTW, I am SO sorry about my lecture mode lately. I am normally not like this. I have no idea what has gotten into me. But, I kinda like it. I'm going to stick with it for now. Thanks for your patience. ; )

    The apology was sweet, and if it makes a patriarchy sufferer feel better, that's great.

    (Keep forgetting my handle)

  2. LOL I promise not to feel guity for not feeling guilty in response to your comment! =D win/win

  3. There is no telling what just befriending a teen or mother or wispering in their ear like you mentioned, would do for them. The guilt is so much a part of keeping them in bondage, they will feel guilty for even talking or listening to that... but later they'll know how they needed it! Very sweet apology :)

  4. Bravo Shadowspring! Thank you for speaking up and for speaking out. I know that your apology is going to mightily strengthen someone.

    The time (if there ever was one) for quietly praying and waiting is over. It is time to stop tolerating a paradigm that is abusive in and of itself. Have you subscribed to the FREEDOM FOR CHRISTIAN WOMEN Newsletter yet? It's free at ~~Jocelyn