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Pre-2008 Posts

The Quiverfull Movement, Hate Speech and Discrimination Against Women as Women

modernmotherlazy.jpg

Modern Mother Worldly was very, very lazy.
All her children drove her crazy.
The Bible told her to spank and train them.
But society said she must never constrain them.
The fruit of rebellion she did now see.
On the day of judgment she will have no plea.
Modern Mother Worldly cast in hell!
Now what becomes of the children of such a ‘Jezebel’!

From the tract entitled, “Perilous Times,” sent to Quiverfull mother Andrea Yates shortly before she killed her five children

I’ve been getting a lot of hits from a new article on Wikipedia on the Quiverfull movement, probably partially in response to a Nightline program on the movement which was shown January 3. I think the Wikipedia article is pretty good. One thing I like about it is that it includes as a “notable Quiverfull Family,” Rusty and Andrea Yates. Quiverfull movement people usually distance themselves from Andrea Yates, who killed her five children after attempting to stone them, dismissing her as a disobedient and ungodly mother, as not a “true Christian,” as mentally ill or otherwise just not a bona fide Quiverfull mom. But my experience is there are more than a few women in the movement who are like Andrea Yates. Unlike her, they haven’t been pushed to their breaking point yet.

Last July Andrea Yates was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the murder of her five children. She was then sent to a mental hospital. After the trial, trial exhibits were uploaded to the internet, and so at last I was able to take a look at the actual teachings of the Yateses’ long-time spiritual leaders, Michael Woroniecki and his wife, Rachel. I knew Woroniecki was an “itinerant” preacher who traveled the world with his family, “preaching the gospel,” but I hadn’t been able to learn much about his actual teachings.

Woroniecki proudly describes himself as a “fire and brimstone” preacher. He believes his family is all that remains of “true Christianity,” comparing himself with Noah, whose family was spared the flood described in the Bible’s book of Genesis. He shares the distinctives of the Quiverfull movement: the reverence for the “fruit of the womb,” i.e., children, for voluntary poverty or “simple living”, homeschooling and Bible literalism. He believes, though, that it is evil and sinful for men to hold regular jobs and for women to be at home with the children while fathers work. He teaches that families are to “trust the Lord” and that fathers should with their wives and children all of the time.

He pastors via letters and other written materials, and this is how he “pastored” the Yates family. The Yates were intimately associated with the Woronieckis. They had given up most of their material possessions and had purchased a bus from the Woronieckis in order to live in it with their three children, as the Wornieckis had previously lived in the bus with their six children. The Yateses didn’t go to any sort of church meeting, believing with Woroniecki that the modern day church has the “Jezebel” spirit and is apostate. Most of the teaching was man to man, Worniecki to Rusty Yates, although once in a while both Michael and Rachel Worniecki sent materials to Andrea Yates, all of it condemning.

witchandwimp.jpg
Graphic from tract entitled “Witch and the Whimp” published by Michael Woroniecki.

In a tract entitled “The Witch and the Whimp” (sic), Woroniecki sets forth his beliefs about women:

The word of God is very sobering when it warns “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is iniquity and adultery. Although rebellion is common to all, the word of God continually emphasizes the particularly destructive power latent in “the contentious woman.” Witchcraft, as seen in the nature of Eve, is the underlying ATTITUDE of contention or insistence to HAVE YOUR WAY. Witchcraft is cooperating with Satanic motivation to manipulate, control and rule…This is the way of the adulterous woman. She eats and wipes her mouth and says, “I have done no wrong.” (Pr. 30:20). God says, “I find more bitter than death the woman WHOSE HEART IS SNARES AND NETS AND HER HANDS ARE CHAINS. Whoever is pleasing to God shall escape from her… You may be married or single, brazen or reserved, striking or simple, a pagan or a Christian but as a daughter of Eve you are born with the nature of a witch. No matter how blatant or subtle, “God is not mocked.”

This tract is primarily written to expose this “spirit of Jezebel” that Jesus says will rule His people in the last days… The woman Jezebel is the paradigm of the ultimate witchcraft which has a religious or “Christian” pretense. .. She is a woman who could even intimidate a mighty man of God… Today the false church is ruled by the “spirit of Jezebel.” Whether it rules through an entire maternal organization… or ndividuals… the goal of seering a conscience is the same. … It can rule through women who have positions of leadership or are simple and ordinary. It rules because of the terrible bankruptcy for courageous men of decisive faith. It rules because the so called pastors and preachers of today are passive whimps (sic) ruled by the underlying domination of their contentious wives. A passive man may entertain a “macho” or charismatic image but his whimpish spirit is clearly seen by his refusal to rebuke the spirit of Jezebel, whether it be trying to rule as a “preacher,” “teacher,” or housewife. (Emphases Worniecki’s, most scripture references removed.)

In the years before Andrea Yates killed her children, she had also been charged with caring for her elderly and ailing father who died in the year before the killings. In this context, then, of back- and spirit-breaking daily caregiving while homeschooling her five young children, with virtually no community of women to support her, she had repeatedly received letters from the Woronieckis, her spiritual leaders, berating her for her spiritual disobedience and failings. She had twice attempted to kill herself.

Shortly before she killed her children, she had received a tract entitled “Perilous Times.” It included the graphic at the top of this post with the associated poem beneath it, “Modern Mother Worldly.” The tract reads in part:

A woman is created to be a “helper”. This does not mean a wife. It means a servant, single or married. if a girl does not know how to be a servant then she is learning how to be a ruler. It’s called witchcraft. My daughters share and teach the gospel. They do not preach. They are completely content to be servants. NO witchy contention to compete with their brothers… The eternity of my children is my accountability while they are children and I would be sending them to hell if I raised them to think according to the standards of this world. …If you REALLY want “the best for your children” then first YOU must get right with God. …Yes it is far easier to just let the systems of the world do your job – EVERYBODY DOES IT – but you are the one who will reap the consequences. …I can not stress how serious this whole thing is. By the time a child is fourteen or fifteen, it’s too late. By this time, the thinking of the world that YOU have taught them, takes over. You feed them with the world’s ways and you reap exactly what you sowed. …God is going to hold you accountable. …The most severe statement Jesus makes in the whole Bible is in regards to how a child is treated (Read Matt. 18:6)! If Jesus makes such an extreme issue out of this how weighty it will surely be on the Day of Judgement! (Emphases the author’s.)

Shortly after receiving this tract, Andrea Yates killed her children. She told a jail psychiatrist, “It was the seventh deadly sin. My children weren’t righteous. They stumbled because I was evil. The way I was raising them they could never be saved. They were doomed to perish in the fires of hell.” One of her requests was that her head be shaved because she believed that on the flesh of her scalp, she must have born the “mark of the beast,” condemning her to eternity in hell for her failures as a wife, a mother, and a person.

The language of these materials which the Yateses believed were “scriptural” were more than just words, they were and are powerfully destructive and, I believe, they rise to the level of hate speech which ought to be legally prohibited, as other kinds of hate speech are legally prohibited. To declare, as Woronieki does, that women are born “with the nature of a witch,” “witches” being understood to be evil and wicked in all the ways he describes, is hate speech, just as other kinds of hate speech are hate speech and ought to be treated as hate speech under the law, as discriminatory and sexist in the same way slurs against other marginalized groups, ethnicities and religious communities are treated. For the purposes of this post, these words must be understood to have had the power to drive Andrea Yates over the edge, particularly given her isolation, the burdens of her life, and her struggles with mental illness.

How is it that men like Michael Woroniecki simply walk away from the devastation they have wrought in the lives of women and children? This is a man who at one point in his “ministry” was arrested after he followed a woman, a stranger, for two blocks, berating her to tears; his actions were not restricted to hate speech in tracts and pamphlets and letters. Who knows how many women have suffered at his hands in similar fashion?

How is it that Rusty Yates walks away from the devastation he wrought in the lives of his wife and his children? He divorced Andrea, remarried a few days before Andrea’s trial last July, then sped off with his new wife in a red Corvette. Rusty Yates was the one person who knew what Andrea was reading, what she was thinking and hearing about God, women, about herself, as woman doomed to hell. He was the one person who knew the burdens under which she was laboring day after back-breaking day, who knew what she was going through. He knew exactly what was in the materials being sent to his family, and yet he did nothing as he watched Andrea descend into what must have been unbearable torment, believing that not only was she doomed to hell, she was dooming her children to hell as well, yet she was bound, as a woman, by the religious beliefs imposed on her, to continue to bear children, whom she believed she would continue to doom to hell.

How is it that any of the patriarchs simply walk away from the grave and deadly damage that they have caused and continue to cause in the lives of women they call “Jezebel,” women like me, women like Mary Jackson, women like Andrea Yates, and our children? How many more Andrea Yateses will we have, how many more children will be harmed, before we begin to hold men like these accountable, at a bare minimum, for discriminating against women because they are women, for terrorizing women because they are women? Take a look at those tracts, those words written about women; why are they not legally prohibited as hateful and discriminatory, in the same way similar materials about any other group would be prohibited if they were widely and publicly circulated, and in particular, if they were causing real harm in the lives of real women and children?

Link, link, link

Heart

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Discussion

43 thoughts on “The Quiverfull Movement, Hate Speech and Discrimination Against Women as Women

  1. Heart, thank you so much for this powerful testimony. I had heard a bit about the Andrea Yates case but had no idea that she had been subjected to this kind of brainwashing. It is no aberration, as you point out, but rather an extreme manifestation of the patriarchal system we all live under.

    You are amazing to have survived that life and all the hostility when you left. Thanks for being an inspiring “contentious woman” who refuses to be silenced.

    Posted by roamaround | January 15, 2007, 4:12 am
  2. Thanks, roamaround, much appreciated. Honestly– this kind of material widely circulated about any group but women qua women would be viewed as discriminatory/harrassing/hate speech, you know? It’s frustrating to me, because often when someone writes about the Religious Right or the Quiverfull movement, they write as though the women are situated similarly with the men in the movement when they are not; in fact, they are a subjugated and oppressed people group– even when they are fronting for the group.

    WordPress trackbacks/pings aren’t working right now, so I’m going to post a couple of links and click on them, let them know this post is here.

    Thanks again, roamaround!

    http://www.thenewhomemaker.com/quiverfullconvicted
    http://www.thiswomanswork.com/2002/07/31/negative-test-and-andrea-yates/
    http://www.karisable.com/andreayates.htm

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 15, 2007, 4:22 am
  3. Heart, this is a powerful post. Thank you.

    One thing, though: “hate speech” is generally not legally prohibited in the United States because of the First Amendment. Nor should it be. As much as I deplore this kind of misogynist propaganda, legal restrictions on speech are the kind of weapons that always end up in the hands of the bad guys. There are plenty of right-wingers who already characterize feminist discourse as “hate speech” and if given half the chance would be more than happy to shut us down.

    Posted by Violet Socks | January 15, 2007, 2:08 pm
  4. First – Heart, you are an amazing journalist, a gifted writer. Thank you so much for this blog, I learn so much here. This essay is particularly powerful.

    Second – I had NO IDEA this was what led up to the killing of the Yates children. No idea. Granted, I never pay a whole lot of attention to these sorts of stories aside from recognizing the inherent tragedy in it all and I always figured that there was more to the story than Andrea Yates simply being some sort of “monster” or “psychopath,” but I never thought for a moment that Yates was under this amount of duress and torment. It makes it so much more heart-breaking.

    Only in a world where women are truly, completely, and utterly hated can men vilify women for simply being women, drive women to hate ourselves so much we cannot see straight, and then convince us and the rest of the world we’re solely responsible for any and all transgressions. Woroneicki used “witchcraft” imagery and language to terrorize Andrea Yates; I suppose it’s apropos that the state Texas sought the death penalty. I’m sure those who lamented the fact that lethal injection has replaced burning at the stake were legion.

    Posted by Sassafras | January 15, 2007, 2:21 pm
  5. Rock on, Sass, and thanks! I knew, gut level, that this was what was going on with Andrea Yates and her family, just based on the little I saw and read, but the trial exhibits clinched it for me. And yes re the way Texas sought the death penalty: kill the witches! :::rage:::

    Dr. Violet Socks, thanks! While hate speech is not directly forbidden in the U.S., it is indirectly forbidden in that the use of certain words can form the basis for harrassment and defamation claims of various kinds, especially in schools and universities and in the workplace. Also, the state of California, as I understand, directly outlaws certain kinds of hate speech.

    Some European countries outlaw hate speech, and in particular, denial of the Holocaust.

    My own view is, if speech is used to harm someone, that person ought to be able to seek redress in the court systems and to be compensated for the harm done to her. I think this certainly ought to be so for Andrea Yates! I think she ought to be able to sue the bejeebers out of Michael Woroniecki and put his ass severely in the poorhouse for the duration, no more churning out of this kind of literature, which has so devastated her.

    The tracts this guy produced include not only hate speech but hateful imagery, i.e., the image of the “witch” basically lynching a man, invoking the spectre, as Sass suggested, of the Burning Times. I think this is akin, for example, to setting crosses on fire to target black people, something the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled is not protected “speech.”

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 15, 2007, 2:50 pm
  6. Another example that comes to mind: some of the guys who publish this sort of stuff have, for example, already gotten smacked down for having published “Wanted” photos of doctors and health professionals who perform abortions, and then X-ing them out when the doctors had actually been murdered. Planned Parenthood sued them and won a gigantic judgment against them which has been upheld in the higher courts, so far, not sure if it’s gone all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    We don’t have absolute protections on hate speech in the U.S., in other words, even though hate speech is not forbidden outright.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 15, 2007, 2:54 pm
  7. Sass you are right. When you look at the body of work here, done without “support” staff (or a six digit salary typically paid the re-arrangers of press releases) and compare it to what passes for journalism in the mainstream media or even the lefty male blogs, both so puffed up with their importance, you just have to shake your head.

    I am rather unfamiliar with this story, since I believe it happened between the time I stopped having tv, newspapers, magazines, and then discovering feminist blogs, but yes, vaguely recall the name, feeling sickened, another woman victim. But I had no idea.

    Thank you Heart.

    Posted by Pony | January 15, 2007, 3:34 pm
  8. Hey, I hope someone writes about the horrible things that Mary Pride did to you, Heart, on the Mary Pride wikipedia entry.

    Posted by ElizabethAnne | January 15, 2007, 4:40 pm
  9. I am particularly fascinated with the fact that Yates had all of this medical / psychiatric treatment, and yet apparently, nobody figured out what was going on in her life / what might be literally driving her to the brink / off the edge.

    Posted by profacero | January 15, 2007, 10:13 pm
  10. ***I am particularly fascinated with the fact that Yates had all of this medical / psychiatric treatment, and yet apparently, nobody figured out what was going on in her life / what might be literally driving her to the brink / off the edge.***

    Oh but don’t you know? Psychiatric symptoms are solely *biological* in origin.

    Posted by Branjor | January 16, 2007, 3:17 am
  11. I’d hold Rusty Yates more responsible than anyone else. There are all sorts of sick and twisted ideas that get published, but that doesn’t have much of an impact until someone follows. And Rusty Yates made that choice and brainwashed Andrea Yates and eventually drove her insane. In the end, he’s the most responsible for that. I’m generally opposed to hate speech laws, but I do favor hate crimes laws and I support something along the lines of the MacKinnon-Dworkin ordinance for a civil remedy against pornographers who harm people in the making of pornography.

    Posted by Metal Prophet | January 16, 2007, 3:41 am
  12. Wasn’t it Morris Dees who successfully had much of the literature of neo-nazi groups in the U.S. categorized as “hate speech” and therefore unlawful in that they directly contributed to the murders of several men and women of color in the 80s and 90s?

    If I recall correctly, the outcome of designating something “hate speech” was not that it was prohibited by law, per se, but that the producers of such literature could be held criminally (?) liable if it could be proved that the literature or media contributed to a hate crime.

    Posted by Sassafras | January 16, 2007, 3:04 pm
  13. I am particularly fascinated with the fact that Yates had all of this medical / psychiatric treatment, and yet apparently, nobody figured out what was going on in her life / what might be literally driving her to the brink / off the edge.

    They did know. Andrea’s doctor explicitly told Andrea & Rusty that to have any more children would be dangerous. She’d had problems before the last baby. Now, her medical care was negligent in other ways, but the warning was given. The problem is, Rusty didn’t care. He wanted another baby, so to hell with Andrea’s health.

    Posted by spottedele | January 16, 2007, 6:36 pm
  14. Back when Andrea killed her children, Time Magazine did an extensive article on what led up to the killings and the Woroneckis were prominently featured in that article. I read it online, I don’t know if it is still accessable. Those tracts, however, are news to me and though not surprising, they graphically portray the kind of “teaching” Andrea was subject to. Brainwashing indeed.

    When I heard of Andrea’s situation and background, I found myself identifying so very strongly with her. I, too, had suffered severe postpartum depression. I, too, had labored under both internal and external pressures to be the “right” kind of mother, a weight I was unable to bear without breaking. I have four children and by Quiverfull measure that is nothing, but given who I am that was either three or four too many children for me. I learned too late that I am probably not suited to motherhood, and yet feel driven and compelled to excel and be the best damn mother I am capable of being. I take this responsibility to my children very excruciatingly seriously, some may say I take on too much, and so did Andrea. She believed her actions, her mothering, was solely responsible for her children’s eternal destination.

    As one who battles cycles of depression and finds mothering to be a challenge on so many levels, my identification with Andrea Yates is not about me saying I’m just as “bad” as her, because I don’t see her as bad at all. I see her as a woman who was broken under the weight of dmaging expectations, mental illness, and a male supremacist system that demanded she subjugate herself and view herself as demonically influenced and influencing to others.

    I know what it is like to consider one’s death to be a blessing to one’s children. I also know what it is like to consider that one should never have had children and they’d be better off not here if they have to have me as their mom. Granted, these kinds of thoughts may spring from that deep pit of depression and may not reflect the reality, but they are, in a sense, A reality I have lived. That Andrea lived a reality much more stark and painful breaks my heart. She didn’t have to, but it was shoved down her throat.

    I know, I am rambling on about this, but something about this woman, this case, this whole awful, tragic situation resonates so deeply inside me. I could have been her? Maybe…..maybe.

    Posted by Ginny | January 16, 2007, 10:44 pm
  15. I looked it up in the Time archives. Here’s the original story:

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1001706,00.html

    Posted by Ginny | January 16, 2007, 10:49 pm
  16. Good point Sassafras on the hate speech issue.

    Posted by profacero | January 17, 2007, 3:58 am
  17. I read some of the Time story. I just got so fed up with Rusty I couldn’t go on. Maybe another day. Grrrrrr.

    Posted by Pony | January 17, 2007, 4:03 am
  18. Hate speech/hate crimes law is complicated, and it’s been a long time since I debated anybody about these, so I am not up to speed. :P In general, my understanding is, it’s up to the states to legislate against hate speech/hate crimes. When there is a challenge in a state, of course, as to the constitutionality of its laws, ultimately appeals might reach the U.S. Supreme Court and so legal precedents are established which affect legislation in all of the states.

    There is good information about this on the Anti-Defamation League website, including a chart where you can get an idea of what is prohibited in each state. Here is a good article about Morris Dees’s Southern Poverty Law Center work against hate groups/hate crimes, and thanks for that reminder, Sass.

    Something very disturbing: If you go here, you can click on a chart which compares state hate crimes statutory provisions. Only 29 states have legislation specifically addressing gender-based hate crimes. By contrast, most of the states have legislation specifically covering race, sexual orientation and disability-based hate crimes.

    You have to wonder how long it will be before men who target women, as they do all of the time, for hate crimes, will be understood to be haters, you know? How long will woman-hating men’s groups be understood to be as unacceptable and destructive as racist, anti-semitic, homophobic/lesbophobic groups are understood to be?

    Ginny, yeah. :( I sure hear you. I feel the same way about Andrea Yates. Everything about what happened to her is wrong, wrong, wrong, it is STILL wrong, it is all wrong.

    Heart

    Posted by Heart | January 17, 2007, 4:56 am
  19. I wanted to say, too, and I think I did say this, but for clarity, that I am with Metal Prophet. I completely oppose censorship, for many reasons, one of which is, laws against censorship would be used against women, especially lesbian feminists/radical feminists. But I heartily support and endorse laws which would allow those targeted for hate crimes,including women targeted by misogynist men, targeted in misogynist pornography, including women exploited in misogynist pornography, to bring civil suits against those men for the harm done to them.

    Go Metal Prophet. Pass that bar exam. Make pro-feminist waves. :)

    Heart

    Posted by Heart | January 17, 2007, 4:59 am
  20. I mean, honestly. What would be the public response to tracts or publications featuring any other oppressed/marginalized group as a “witch” dangling a member of their oppressor group on a leash, as in the graphic in my post? Not to mention the bigotry and prejudice against wicca/wiccans.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 17, 2007, 5:14 am
  21. Hi Heart,

    Because as usual, it is *males* who get to decide who is and isn’t oppressed.

    Do we need any more evidence that male supremacy is the basis of all oppressions?

    Any more evidence that “anti-oppression” movements are the concept-tions of males in the patriarchy? That they exist to distract from the fact that oppression is just the modus operandi of the patriarchy? To, in fact, keep the whole thing in motion and spinning on endlessly.

    Mary S.

    Posted by Mary Sunshine | January 17, 2007, 10:25 am
  22. That poor woman. I didn’t know she was in the Quiverfull movement. What a huge amount of stress to be under! I feel so badly for her. The more she ‘recovers’ the more she will be aware of what she did. Even though she was not in her right mind, it will still be a horrific amount of guilt.

    I grew up as an Independent Baptist. We were ‘out there’ but these tracts are even more so. My mom always said that God is to be ‘the opener and closer of wombs’ but I never knew that it was an actual movement. Having been part of the Religious Right, and continually dealing with the aftermath, and with my family, I know that the ideal of total female submission to God, the husband, or the father is very strong and very reinforced. (It’s surely gotten me into a lot of trouble.) Yates’ and her children’s death was her only way out, if the state wouldn’t LOCK HER UP AND KEEP HER until she was better, in order to protect a vulnerable adult.

    Posted by Harpy | January 18, 2007, 1:06 am
  23. Heart, were you also raised in the Religious Right, or did you get pulled into it in your marriage?

    Posted by Harpy | January 19, 2007, 7:45 pm
  24. Hey, Harpy. I have a sort of convoluted background. My parents were nominal, non-church-going Christians when I was a kid growing up. They were liberal Democrats then. I went to the local church or sometimes to church with relatives. When I was 11 or 12 started going to a Baptist church (American, now the most liberal kind of Baptist church) and walked the aisle there (got “saved”) and was more or less active in church until I left home and went to the U.W. at 16. After I left for college, my parents “got saved” and began their journey into conservative Christianity. I, meanwhile, left Christianity behind while I was in school and all the way up until my second marriage. After the birth of my fourth child in 1978, my mother-in-law came to visit (my second ex’s mother). I had a bad, abusive marriage and was afraid of another divorce. My mil got us to take her to an Assembly of God church nearby. She was a “charismatic Catholic.” The charismatic movement was in full swing at the time. At that meeting, my ex, who had been raised Roman Catholic, “got saved,” “got filled with the spirit,” and finally was baptized. I went along with this in large part because I thought maybe all my struggles with abuse and battering, etc., were a punishment for my having “backslid” and been wild as a young woman (which is what all the Christians in my life told me, of course.) And in part because I feared another divorce and hoped God would change my husband, change me, fix our marriage, something, anything. And I knew if I went into fundie religion, the people in my life would stop worrying about how wild and out of control I was and would rest, feeling I was safely back in the church. And I also knew I would have support as a mother and wife in the church; I’d have women’s community, something I really needed then as a working mom of four small kids, the oldest five years old.

    So, that’s what happened. Over the years, I got more and more deeply involved in Bible literalism and ultimately ended up in the house church movement.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 19, 2007, 8:48 pm
  25. “And I also knew I would have support as a mother and wife in the church; I’d have women’s community, something I really needed then as a working mom of four small kids, the oldest five years old.”

    Definitely true. If you don’t know what’s going wrong in your life, or why, religious extremes are tempting. Anything that seems to have a guarantee and a support network is tempting. I am trying to get away from the abuse/exploitation cycle myself. Maybe I will just never date again! But it also gets replicated in friendships and employment.

    My mom’s family has always been fundamentalist; we even have a preacher in our family. I was raised an independent Baptist (no radio, no liquor, no dancing) but have gotten less and less involved and am finally coming back to possibly considering myself somewhat a Christian (in a very general and pantheistic way).

    Always interesting to meet others who have been in the far right. You are also in Wisconsin? Bizarre. I’m glad things are better for you.

    Posted by Harpy | January 19, 2007, 9:29 pm
  26. Yeah, Harpy. The further away I get from religion, the more I see the way for so many people, it is medication, a way to escape from themselves, from being alone with themselves, from their problems, a way to avoid making hard decisions. Then again, I think the workplace sort of functions that way, too! In both places, people can leave their problems behind and submerge themselves in an alternate reality where people are on their best behavior, generally courteous, the environment is very structured and controlled. Very creepy when you think about it, and the more deeply you think about it.

    I have a sort of soft spot for independent Baptists. One of the most beloved women of my whole entire life was and still is an independent Baptist. She is brilliant, she has multiple doctorates, she is an amazing speaker and writer, she is still entirely beautiful to me, though gosh, I guess she is in her 80s now. I first met her in the church I went to when I was 11 and had a gynormous crush on her. Our paths diverged for years, but we connected again many years later when I started homeschooling my kids and saw her on television, talking about her homeschooling program. We were best friends, she was my mentor, I lived for her monthly visits and our long, animated, amazing talks. That’s something women often get in the church that it’s hard to get other places; in the church older women are revered as mentors and wise women, younger women become their spiritual daughters and best friends. That does exist to some extent in wicca, goddess religion, or at least it seems to though I have only observed it a little bit and more from a distance than anything (Michfest being the exception– Michfest is as close to heaven as any heaven I’ve ever longed for! In or out of church! But it’s only one week!) Anyway, she had to participate in my excommunication; her beliefs and obligations compelled her, and even if they had not, even though she was the family matriarch with mutiple Ph.Ds, even though her business supported the family, though she was a truly brilliant woman, she “submitted” herself to her asshole, and I do mean, arrogant asshole, son, the pastor of her church. If he didn’t agree with some decision she made, he overruled it and she submitted to him. It was preposterous, really– she, the brilliant, elegant, amazingly articulate educator, submitted to the arrogant punk asshole of a preacher boy who never knew his ass from a hole in the ground a day in his life.

    My whole family is conservative Christians now, my sisters, my brothers, my mom and dad, most of my extended family. Most of them are fundies with heart, but fundies nevertheless. My mom and dad are Bush Republicans and subscribe to Rush Limbaugh’s publication. So frustrating! My mother, the one-time free spirit who taught me so much, despite our love-hate relationship, my mom, who voted for McGovern, who composted before anybody knew what it was, gardened organically, painted, sculpted, planted the most amazing, amazing gardens, sang semi-professionally, organized the first foodbank in our area when I was young, later organized soup suppers for poor people. My brother is a pastor and all my family, brothers and sisters, go to his church. My sister’s husband is a pastor. My sister heads up a ministry to young people. My cousin is a pastor. My dad is an elder in my brother’s church. I love them, I understand, I am the black sheep, it’s all good, ain’t nuttin going to change now and I don’t look for it to, just try to connect with my mom and my sisters any way I can.

    Dang, I’m going on and on! I must feel like talking about this.

    After I was excommunicated, when I sued the Religious Right, the friend I’ve described who I have had a crush on since I was 11 years old, testified against me. The defense sort of offered her up in a really sick, disgusting way, she was caught in the middle, and so she testified. But in the middle of her testimony against me, she stopped and said, looking directly into my eyes all the while, “I want this on the record. This is for the record. I love Cheryl. And I will always love Cheryl.” I loved and admired her for that. She gave me what she could give, and all that she could give, as a woman who had cut her deal under male heterosupremacy. I completely understood. It’s just that now I miss her so goddamn much sometimes and would do anything to be close to her again, to just see her, talk to her again– anything but return to fundamentalist Christianity. That I can’t do. So men and their patriarchal religion win, you know. They trump. They divide woman against woman. I hate them, and it, for that.

    There’s something compelling about the independent baptist way. There is all of this structure, plenty of denial and self-medicating, a ready-made alternative universe where people can be all kinds of things they can’t be in the real universe, four part harmony, nice fiddles, lovely gospel music, great food, endless potlucks. There is family, there are friends, there are people who will have your back. For people going through real difficulty, this is hard to resist.

    And I agree– after we leave these highly structured alternative universes, we sometimes get the urge to try and replicate them, including in relationships. We miss the intensity, the charge, we miss the (apparent) connections. I’ve come to not trust these intense, charged feelings, though– even though they tempt me at times. I think they come from a not-good place, which is another good discussion for another day.

    I am in the Pacific Northwest, actually, though I did live in Hudson, Wisconsin for a while in 1996, after I’d been excommunicated, in a lovely rented home on the St. Croix river. It was a time of incredible healing for me, and it was also a time of real immersion in feminism.

    Nice connecting with you, Harpy. It’s always good to connect with feminist women who get what it’s like to have been a conservative Christian.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 20, 2007, 6:09 am
  27. Wow, Heart, I enjoyed your story about your religious travels. You do think reflectively and write well. I feel sad for you about your mentor friend. What pain for you to have her testify against you. I will pray for you that you reconnect again sometime. And that healing would take place. I pray for her that she will see her sin against charity in the choices she made at those important crossroads in her life.

    Posted by Eliza | January 21, 2007, 7:01 am
  28. “The Witch and the Whimp” sounds nasty, chauvinistic, and downright evil, reading the quote of it. YEESH. And not learning how to be a slave being witchcraft?! That’s insane.

    It’s hard to believe that women actually allow themselves to become funDIEs.

    Posted by Mich | January 27, 2007, 10:35 am
  29. Yeah, Mich. Remember, the guy who wrote this tract is quite the extremist, even for Bible literalists, then again, he’s far from alone, he’s just more up front in what he says about women than most are. Some of the most powerful white dudes in the Full Quiver movement routinely, publicly denounce women as “jezebels” and frequently elaborate on that theme in their writings. They just have money and access to computers and web people so their stuff doesn’t look quite so bizarre.

    In general, women become fundamentalists because they believe God wants them to. They are spiritual women who are seeking an encounter with God, they long for community, as most of us do. They don’t realize what is in store for them because it’s never obvious in the beginning. Everybody is really nice to them then and there are all the smiling faces at church on Sunday and all the, “praise God, sister,” and “Hallelujah, brother,” all of these very impressive trappings which are attractive to women who are seekers. Once you’re in, though, things change, your whole life changes, and it is really hard to get out.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 27, 2007, 4:41 pm
  30. No kidding, Heart.

    Where else these days are women hearing the words “welcome sister” from a bunch of smiling faces, and being embraced, just for showing up?

    This is so sad. And scary.

    My mother got sucked into one of those new age meditation cults that way.

    I think it’s called “love bombing”.

    Then there are the cult-deprogramming groups which just on the face of it sound even scarier to me!

    I wasn’t kidding recently when I quipped that the First Law of Female Survival is “Don’t get sucked in”. This unfortunately applies to women’s & “feminist” groups, too. Heh. I’ve been enjoying reading Amy’s blog on that subject.

    Mary

    Posted by Mary Sunshine | January 27, 2007, 5:04 pm
  31. I have just found this site today and have truly been challenged. I agree with you, Heart, in much that you say about women who get caught up in the fundamental, independent baptist beliefs. I’ve been one myself for much, much too long.

    I have always been a spiritual person and, due to looking for the safety and community that abounds in many of the conservative Christian churches, eagerly embraced the teachings of submission to men and pastors. As the years passed and my children grew (yes, i homeschooled them both and read quite a bit of Mary Pride and subscribed to her magazine a long time ago) and as I grew more and more bitter about the subservient role I was expected to play, I began to question my beliefs.

    It has turned into quite a journey at this point. I went back to college and then on to graduate school to earn my masters degree. I am still a Christian but struggle with anger towards God for allowing me to become all twisted in my personal beliefs. My husband, even though he now gives lip service to my personal freedom, still believes he’s “letting” me work outside the home and dislikes it when I try to discuss my workday with him. As you can see, I’m still struggling to determine who I am, where I am going, what is important to me, and what is not.

    Anyway, I really just wanted to thank you for your honesty about your own journey. It could not have been easy, but, for those of us still trying to find a meaningful way out of bondage, it gives hope.

    Macs Grandy

    Posted by macs grandy | January 28, 2007, 8:32 pm
  32. Hi Heart:

    I only came to know a little bit about you, and this was inadvertently, as I searched the words: “Quiverfull hypocricy” one day,on a search engine and came across your site. You see, I am a mom of 7 (ages 22 through 5), NOT Quiverfull, but your average, every day strong woman, independent thinker, something that the Quiverfull (or those that aspire to be Quiverfull, even though they have NO CLUE what it really is) despise… find threatening, as they don’t want their little world disrupted with anyone or anything that doesn’t flow with their brainwashing.

    Going back about 8 years ago, I joined some Large Family boards on the net. At that time, I had just had my sixth child, wanted to “fellowship” (as in friendship) with other moms who also had a larger than average family. At first, I felt that the people were nice people; the longer I stayed, the more vocal and militant some of the posters became, and the boards took a whole different tone. Then there was the separation between plain old large families and “MEGA-FAMILIES”! People who were not as fanatic left, others were bullied off the boards, some were called trolls, and if anyone had different views (read: independent) they were clearly not welcomed. This goes on to this day.

    People like the Duggars (who are expecting their 17th child now) are glorified, worshipped, put on a pedestal as though they are some sort of deity. The Duggar size family is the goal; forget the fact that some of these “Quiverfull” women almost bleed to death during birth or after birth, have dangerous chronic conditions such as high BP or diabetes; forget all of that. If God didn’t want you to have more (and more) children, he wouldn’t have made you pregnant in the first place. I love that sort of logic…yet it goes on everyday.

    What I find interesting is that some women on the large family boards have male members in their family read their posts on the boards “to check up on them”. One women has her husband, father-in-law, and father, all reading the board she posts on; she is supposedly “afraid” of them reading her posts, and reading her e-mails. Hello! McFly, is anyone in there? I could go on and on, but I doubt that there is anything that I could possibly say or mention that you don’t already know, or haven’t been through yourself. I feel sorry the most for the children that endure the kind of hardship inflicted on them; hardship from emotional to physical.

    Maybe, Heart, more and more women (as they reach the bottom of the pit that they’re in) will read some of what you’ve gone through in their life, will identify themselves in the context, and a spark of something will be lit in them. I get the feeling that the spark of independence, of being a free-thinker has been long extinguished in some of these women; very sad, because I truly do not think that a loving God that has created all of us equally intended for this type of patriarchal dominated world that some find themselves in.

    The sad part is that some of these women are their own worst enemies; if they would change, even if a little bit of something in them changed, their whole life could change.

    I guess my main point is that thank goodness there is someone out there that has enough courage and guts to speak out about things that are not talked about, yet are true. Perhaps some already know, but are too afraid to admit that they know, so they go on living day to day, denying the truth to even themselves. Hopefully, they will come to their senses and take back their own life…and not follow the path of Andrea Yates. I did not know Andrea’s story (as described above in detail), but in my ownself, I figured as much, although I was not sure. I am truly sad for the children, what they went through in their final moments of life. I hope that those that find themselves in similiar (or close to similiar) situations as Andrea Yates, WAKE UP and smell the coffee, before it’s too late.

    Thank you for listening and reading.

    Posted by Goca | February 7, 2007, 4:01 pm
  33. Thanks for your great, intelligent post, Goca. I love to read writings like yours which so evidence the brilliance of so many women with large families (who are far too often disparaged in various ways as I’m sure you know.) Of course, then we go looking for support where we can find it and end up around the kind of people you mention. :/

    I had your experience in a way. When Mary Pride wrote her book, I was pregnant with my sixth child (now almost 22) and the full quiver movement was still far in the future. A woman at church asked me why I had six kids, wondering if it was because of beliefs like Mary Pride’s. Kind of like you say, it really wasn’t. I was an old hippie, an old tree-hugger crunchy granola, I have always been very much connected with the earth and everything earthen, and I bore all those children because I wanted to. I loved pregnancy, loved childbirth, loved the babies, loved breastfeeding, loved it all. And yes, found it all very difficult, but only because of the anti-mother, anti-child way the world is set up. When the “let the lord plan your family” movement caught on, I was grateful for the support and the fact that I was able to, for a while, carve out space for myself with all of my alternative, unpopular, socially unacceptable, but entirely revolutionary behaviors. But then all that happened happened, including the kinds of things you describe there in your comment, lots of really horrible things. I’ll never forget one of my columnists in my old publishing days writing to me to tell me about a young woman she knew who was 21. The woman had been told from childhood she could not bear children because of her heart problems. She got married and “left it to the Lord,” and got pregnant and she and her husband decided to “trust God.” She died in childbirth at home. What was really horrible was, my columnist asked me not to tell anybody — the husband and family, all in Bill Gothard’s program — didn’t want anybody to know. Which is very typical of these folks. Don’t talk about the women who die in childbirth. Or the ones who attempt V-bacs against all odds. Don’t get me wrong, I am totally supportive of V-bacs for most women who have had c-sections, but sometimes it isn’t a good thing, as when, for one woman I know, her uterus ruptured along an old c-section scar and she nearly died, had to have blood transfusions and then return to her large family with a newborn. They don’t talk about abuse, about the way men in the movement extort sex from their wives in various ways, about the emotional/verbal/physical abuse. My heart goes out to the women whose husbands/fathers/pastors/elders/sons are reading their posts and e-mails! Been there for sure, done that, in spades, and that is the creepiest, most horrifying, scary thing, for these men who are supposedly your “covering” and “protection” and who theoretically “love” you to be your terrorizers, which is what they really are so often.

    Many women have left this movement and continue to leave, although at great cost. I have worked with women who have had emotional breakdowns and have been institutionalized, who have had to try to make it on their own with no employment background, no references (because all their references turned against them when they left), 6-12 children to take care of and exes who refused to pay child support and were protected in that by church men. Nevertheless, they’ve gotten free, some have gone back to school, some have remarried happily, creative, strong, resourceful women just as I’m betting you are, as I know I am, too. There are lots of us who have been in this movement who weren’t eaten allive by it in the end. I’ve always got my antennae out for women who are getting ready to leave.

    Of course, as you say, many never will. They won’t be able to find a way out, they will get old, they will be sick, they won’t be able to risk it. If I’m ever in a position to do it, one day I’ll make a place for women like this and their children to get free, to make new lives for themselves.

    Thanks for your good words, again, Goca.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 7, 2007, 6:25 pm
  34. Dear Heart,

    Thank you for your very thought-provoking response post. I appreciate very much the time that you took to put it together and share so that we may all learn. Some of the things written are very painful to read, but more painful to the women (and families, including children) who endure such things; from losing their mother to death, to emotional and physical breakdowns, to experiencing abuse in various forms; all very, very sad. It must be very hard for the children that are raised in these conditions to break free of all the brainwashing and indoctrination during their fomative years of youth and break this cycle. And the women that get caught up in a movement that represses a human soul and spirit, I feel for them. Heart, bless you, for helping others. I know that you are making a difference in the lives of others, a profound difference.:)

    I was born into “feminism” due to my own upbringing and family history. My grandmother, back in Europe, during WWII was a registered nurse with a formal education, which was something that not many people possessed at the time, much less women. She was a mother to 9 children (6 of whom survived to adulthood), raised them by herself (the older children helped with the younger kids. My grandfather could not help as he was a soldier, was then captured and put in a concentration camp, ended up coming to the U.S. afterwards. Due to her own life situation, my grandmother was a “feminist”, had her own strong mind and will, and through her own education and strength; was able to raise the kids without having to go out and beg, or depend on someone else for the survival of her kids. My grandmother was a very strong Christian, but not ever do I remember her talking about the patriarchal view of the world. She was faithful to Christ, but certainly not to dogma created by men. I think there are many women as strong as my grandmother, in the past and in the present; it’s too bad that “feminism” has gotten a bad rap as of late. However, Heart, I do believe that life has a way of balancing things, as nature always strives for equilibrium.

    Thank you for sharing a little bit about yourself; I like the “crunchy”, hippie, “crunchy” stuff! I hope that your children are all doing well! :) I can see how easy it would be to fall prey to wolves dressed in sheep clothing as one searches for validation, approval, love, and social support – we all seek it. Like you said, that’s when the horrible things start happening and the web gets more tangled…I don’t know all the things that you went through to get to the point of where you’re at today; but I perhaps Neitze’s, “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger”! rings true for you, Heart. I have found this to be the case for me…as life has certainly resembled a roller coaster! :)

    I have been very fortunate in the regard that I have been married for a long time to a very sweet, kind, and loving man; who is truly the love of my life and a wonderful friend and partner. This is a welcome contrast to the beginning of my life growing up with my aunt and uncle, along with mom and brother.

    Heart, thanks for sharing your story, I know that I will get to know you better and your work better as time goes on. I just want to tell you that I know that you have been an inspiration to many women, just as you are to me. I wish you much happiness, health, love, and unlimited abundance, today and always.:) And so it is. :)

    Posted by Goca | February 7, 2007, 11:49 pm
  35. Thanks for linking to TheNewHomemaker.com’s article on the quiverfull movement. We were careful not to either praise or condemn it, since there are women of many different religious persuasions at TNH, but personally it haunts me.

    Posted by lynsa | August 5, 2007, 6:53 pm
  36. While the Quiverfull movement people usually distance themselves from Andrea Yates, others have argued that she has simply taken their teachings to their natural conclusions and embraced their teachings with her life.

    Rather than risk her children being doomed to an eternity in hell, she took their lives before they could be corrupted by a sinful world. She sacrificed her own life and immortal soul so that they could have an eternity in heaven. Is their anything more christian, more jesus- like than her own selfless sacrifice.

    I doubt you could get too many fundies though, to recognize that this is the natural conclusion of their twisted teachings.

    Aside from the gratuitous male bashing in the comments section, it was a very interesting post.

    Posted by Kevin | September 12, 2007, 1:02 am
  37. ***– From the tract entitled, “Perilous Times,” sent to Quiverfull mother Andrea Yates shortly before she killed her five children**

    Omgoodness, this breaks my heart.

    Posted by Hazel | September 17, 2007, 8:31 pm
  38. Somebody posted aways up about “where else will you find smiling faces welcoming women when they walk in the door…” something to that effect.

    This is indeed a creepy aspect of cults. It’s why women and men join them, and as Heart said earlier, no one willingly joins a “cult” they join an organization they really believe in.

    I suppose a great danger to lesbians would be if the world became “too” welcoming. Our independence comes I think from the fact that people reject us everywhere all the time.

    Just when I think women have such a wonderful life, I then read about Andrea Yates… I didn’t know about Quiverful until I came across this blog, and I didn’t know Yates was connected to this group.

    Interesting.

    We are not a very welcoming culture in many ways, and the Internet has actually made it harder for people to know what to do socially.

    I see this in young lesbians, the shocking pornographic minds, the vulgar language, and a strange inability to know how to converse about even simple ideas, let along complex ones.

    So Quiver cults and their false sense of welcome for women are a danger. Even polygamy is presented as an alternative lifestyle on Oprah!

    You should have seen the multiple wives of a self-satisfied patriarch on Oprah just last week! It kind of freaked me out.

    As a radical lesbian feminist you develop a very different brain pattern, you become very detached from the world in so many ways.

    It is a great joy to read these posts, and I have to have a good laugh over a man who said that despite the “gratuitous attacks on men…” he liked the post overall.

    This just made me laugh. Lesbians do like to make fun of men, and torment them. We do like to get into a good verbal slug fest with them many times.

    I know I enjoy a good fight with my enemies, and I enjoy the downfall of arrogant men. I know I know it’s a sad trait, but perhaps a form of recreation.

    Straight men do make good comic characters on the world stage, and straight women’s devotion to these oafs of patriarchy is just too much to comprehend.

    But women do get out and have a kind of political awakening, something cracks. One woman escaped a polygamous community when she became sick, and in a hospital bed had a chance to think.

    There is something passive about women — they just shrug and go “oh well” when men insult them in public. Or another hetero favorite of mine: “Oh boys will be boys, giggle giggle…”
    Rapists will be rapists …giggle giggle. So cool to let them off the hook because we fear taking them on.

    Even men know haw bad other men are, and create shows like “To Catch a Preditor.” Now wouldn’t that have been a great lesbian feminist show?

    So women and freedom is a very hard thing, and some women are surrounded by fundamentalists.

    Perhaps my parents mixed marriage made “one true faith” not a social reality. We actually thought fundamentalism was intellectual laziness.

    I often don’t know what cows women to such a degree that half the population doesn’t just rise up one day.

    Even in college, women would fret about rape on campus or having “male” escorts take them home late at night from the libarary.
    When I mentioned that gangs of women could get baseball bats and go after men who dared to show their faces on campus after our “Curfew” for them, they were truly shocked.
    ‘That would end rape or assault on campus, just give the men a curfew and let the women own the night on campus,” I once advocated to a women’s studies class. Shock, silence, a scared man sitting in the seat in front of mine, hee hee tisk tisk giggle giggle, you know the straight woman shuffle!
    Too in your face, too confrontational, too warlike, too male-identified, too this too that! That’s me I’m just TOO TOO!!!

    Young radical lesbian that I was then, the thought of cracking those frat boy’s heads was just a delightful concept. I guess in some way, I long for the day when women will say WE HAVE HAD enough. I’ve never been a pacifist, so violence against my oppressor doesn’t upset me.

    Women tisk tisking in fear or acting like sister-wives in polygamy with their dulled out faces as the patriarch smiles all congeniality, should make all women sick. Now that REALLY upsets me!

    Fundamentalism is about the oppression of the female soul, it is about s & M — the overt domination of men over women. It is about women longing for love in all the wrong places.

    It is about a peculiar form of brainwashing becoming increasingly more common in the U.S. now.

    I’ve watched women play step and fetch-it with men since I was very young. It makes me sick oftentimes to watch straight women when men come into the room. I can’t take it, and I try to stay in single gender events as much as possible — either all men or all women. I can’t bear to see the hee hee giggle giggle shuffle shuffle yes massah man you’s the king sort of behavior that straight women turn on all the time.

    If only they could see this on You Tube. Does it ever end?

    Oy vey… cults, having a million babies, poverty, conformity, female false debility…. can’t take it I tell you, I just can’t take it!

    Posted by Satsuma | November 1, 2007, 12:02 am
  39. Satsuma you’re beginning to get on my last nerve, kind of like some men. This may be blog for radical feminists and radical lesbian feminists, but it’s not a het women hating blog.

    Posted by Sis | November 1, 2007, 1:17 am
  40. It’s really valuable, and necessary, to be able to analyze heterosexuality as radical feminists, whether or not we are het.

    We can only do that successfully if we steer entirely clear of scapegoating.

    Posted by Mary Sunshine | November 1, 2007, 2:42 am
  41. And I’m going to stop now and watch Marian Bridge, a story about a family in Cape Breton but I wanted to comment on something you mentioned in one thread or the other and that is something about straight women disliking feminists, but I think you might consider some of that could just be disliking an unnecessarily abrasive person who treats them with the same contempt and disdain the worst of the patriarchy flings at them.

    It could just be you.

    Posted by Sis | November 1, 2007, 2:58 am
  42. Yes, radical lesbian feminists are supposed to get on your last nerve. Yes, we get annoyed at the slowness of straight women to break out of cages.

    Straight women go on and on about “I’m not a feminist but…” and then they hold every ideal that feminism is. If men read this stuff, they really would think women had no logic at all.

    I’m not talking to these women at all, they are publically afraid of “labeling” themselves feminists. Afraid of the right wing, afraid of the changed political climate, just plain afraid I think.
    Women say this sort of thing all the time. I can overhear them say these things to placate a boyfriend, for example. io rarely waste my time talking politics with straight women these days. They just exhaust me! You get tired. You long for the big leagues, and you get tired of feminism 101, or lesbian rights 101. It’s like getting stuck at the “children’s table” at Thanksgiving. Sorry about this comparison, but it’s how I feel.

    Radical lesbian feminism is about a critque of straight female existence. We’re the outsiders wondering why you do the things you do. We have a radical lesbian feminist critque of men and laws as well.

    It is our duty to be the vangard of the revolution, because oppression under patriarchy begins in the home. Oppression of women in its worst instances is about what women suffer at the hands of men who “claim” to love them.

    My enemies can strive in the world because some woman takes care of them! Women often don’t know what their husbands make, what they really do for a living, or who they associate with.

    Women often don’t want to know in heterosexual relationships.

    Yes, Sis I’ll get on your last nerve, you better believe it. You may or may not agree with me, but you’ll have to come up with a pretty good line of logic to justify a world heterosexual women often settle for.

    They have been afraid of feminists like me for decades. They were afraid when we opened the very first rape crisis center in a small country — the very center straight women came to after their husbands beat the hell out them, and after their husbands raped them. Yes, husbands. Abusive husbands. The kind of men women support and care for.

    Mary Daly, a radical lesbian feminist, helped millions of women break free from oppressive religions, and straight women hated her in the late 70s, and were threatened by her.

    Straight women will get annoyed at radical lesbian feminists because we are so tough and driven. We are not nice, and don’t aspire to be. But we do aspire to ideas and honest discussion.

    I don’t dole out pablum for the masses of women out there. I’m not in the health care field, and my job is to kick women’s butts into saving, investing, getting their job acts together and not setting themselves up for poverty. It is my mission to do this, and I will do it. You won’t like these words, but they are what radical lesbian feminists have been saying for decades.

    We write the most powerful books, and you read them a few decades after you have escaped some patriarchal nightmare.

    I predict that we will get our due in herstory, but we didn’t make our mark on the world by placating the delicate sensibilities of straight women that’s for sure.

    I don’t do that. Nice is not a word I like at all. I think it stinks of servitude!

    I hope that this blog maintains its high degree of toughness.

    You may be right that the best feminist commentary can be found here. I don’t know, put it’s pretty damn good to me.

    Sis you have a tendency toward self pity. I want you to dare share some of your insights into what you love about life. Dare to write in more depth. Dare to raise the bar of your Internet conversation. Just dare!

    Posted by Satsuma | November 1, 2007, 5:04 am

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The Farm at Huge Creek, Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, The Feminist Hullaballoo

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Afia Walking Tree

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