When Other Daughters And Sons of Patriarchy Are Trapped

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 1.17.21 PM

HA note: The following is reprinted with permission from Lana Hope’s blog Wide Open Ground. It was originally published on August 25, 2013.

With all the ex-conservative homeschooler blogs out there nowdays, people may be under the impression that homeschool fundamentalism has viritually disappeared among homeschool alumni. To be sure, this Christian movement among homeschool graduates is dying a very slow and painful death. But it is so far from over.

I have so many friends still trapped in the ideology that I constantly feel the tension with old friends and old hangouts. 

Here’s just a few  very recent encounters I had with a few graduates.


Story 1

The first story comes from a young girl Charis who writes of the “single homeschool girl dilemma.” After a gap year a few years too long, she had planned to finally attend college this year and “finally get away” and finally “not be responsible for anyone” (read: not be responsible for siblings, family, etc). But instead earlier this year she met Mr. Right and is now engaged.

She says she is mourning, not because she does not love her fiance (she does), but because she will never know what it’s like not to be responsible for anyone. She will never know what it’s like to be on her own. Now, she says, instead of being under her father’s authority, he will “transfer” that authority to her new husband.

I know a lot of people get married young, but keep in mind this girl will never get to live on her own, ever, not even for a year. And also, marriage in a quiverfull ideology has no “you” (as Vckyie Garrison over at No Longer Quivering says, “there is no you in quivering”). It’s only responsiblity and submission. There is no space to become your own individual thinker.

Charis is right. If she does not leave the house first, she will never get out.

Story 2

In a parenting discussion, Elizabeth writes that her parents let her color during church even when she was nine years old. She says this has damaged her relationship with God up until this day because she learned to tune out God, rather than listen to his prompting. So she says that even a one year old should be made to sit still during church, listen to the commands of their parents, and follow the instructions.

And I think of her children in the future, picking up the broken pieces.

Story 3

Andrew says that if his children come out gay, he will kick them out on the streets.  He will do this because a heart of rebellion is a bad influence to other siblings.


Because I was once one of these people (except the putting gay kids out on the street part — I never went that far), I identify with their pain. I struggle with words to help, waiting patiently for them to break free. Breaking free is not easy because then they will likely face their families and communities looking down upon them. I have always said that in a way, I wish I could turn back the tables and just be content in my submissive role; it would be easier and less shameful.

But then I look at the great big world, and remember why I left.

6 thoughts on “When Other Daughters And Sons of Patriarchy Are Trapped

  1. Lois Manning (@lmanningok) September 9, 2013 / 2:35 pm

    Keep that excellent last thought at the ready, Lana. When things get confusing or scary, as they sometimes will, reach out to the people close to you for help and comfort. And don’t give up: The great big world enables you to develop into an independent adult, ready to explore life, bumpy roads and all. Welcome.


  2. lanamhobbs September 9, 2013 / 4:56 pm

    this is peripheral to the point, but there’s a great site called meetup that helps you find where people with similar interests meet up 🙂 i have managed to find a local group of Freethinkers that welcomed me with open arms. It hurts to leave the old group and before this is over, i might lose everyone except my husband (but i might not). i’ve already lost a lot of friends…. but i have some new friends who like me for who i am and not for how well i toe the line, and it is awesome.


  3. Ricker September 10, 2013 / 4:48 am

    The problem with many people is that their identity is so connected to their beliefs and the lies that they live that they cannot conceive of changing them. I’ve met far too many religious people that when confronted with evidence of their error, they resort to either denying the validity of the facts I’ve presented or simply state that everyone is free to believe what they want, like believing gravity doesn’t exist will somehow make it go away.


  4. karenloethen September 10, 2013 / 6:30 am

    Lana, I’m curious as to why you must go back and read there? It must be so painful!
    I guess you are keeping an eye on loved ones…


    • Lana September 11, 2013 / 2:06 pm

      Because I have a lot of good friends who are questioning things, because some people are fun to debate, and because in many ways I understand those still trapped more than I understand those who were never in it in teh first place.


  5. Holly September 12, 2013 / 12:46 pm

    Why will Charis never get the chance to live on her own? I went from living with mom to living with my husband to living on my own after the divorce. It may have been delayed but I finally did get my chance to live alone.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s