I was going to post this as a comment to the 2007 Weblog Awards thread, but decided to go ahead and create a post for it, although I almost hate to for various reasons, including how toxic this information is.
The following excerpts of an essay written by a young woman offer insight into what happens to girls raised in fundamentalist homes, reconstructionist or dominionist (theonomist) Christian homes in particular. The essay offers insights into why these girls think and behave as they do once they become women.
What follows is disturbing and might be triggering to women from this type of background. In fact, what is here might be more disturbing than almost anything you have read so far from the Quiverfull reconstructionist writers. One reason is that it is quite well-written. The young woman who wrote it is clearly highly educated and intelligent. I saw this all the time in my old world, bright young women, completely controlled by their fathers, convinced that this is what they — the daughters — wanted and that it was best for them. My own daughter who is now 31 and who, of all my daughters, spent the most time in this world at my side, sent a link to me in abject revulsion and disgust which included a link to this article. She came across the link looking for a girl who was her friend in our old world and who, she learned, still shares the views of the young woman who wrote this essay. I knew my daughter’s friend’s father as a colleague; I sometimes shared speakers’ platforms with him. He ruled his family with an iron fist and was brutally controlling in ways it would be hard for outsiders to believe. When feminists castigate and mock girls women in these groups, calling them names, stereotypyping them, treating them hatefully, they are failing to take into account what girls and women are subjected to in this world.
The article excerpted below is said to be wildly popular in my old world. Sarah Schlissel, the writer, is in her early 20s.
Daddy’s Girl: Courtship and a Father’s Rights
I’ve been Daddy’s girl from Day One. My first word was “Dada.” I’ve always wanted to do what Daddy was doing, go where Daddy was going, read what Daddy was reading, say what Daddy was saying. We have the same sense of humor, preferences, pet peeves, strengths and weak-nesses–even the same allergies. Little wonder people call me “Daddy’s Little Clone.” I mean, take a look at the picture heading this column! No wonder that, for fairness’ sake, in family votes, our two are counted as one.
But does this exhaust the ways in which I might be reckoned “Daddy’s girl”? Beyond being an X-chromosome donor, may we think of the “-‘s” in “Daddy’s” in the possessive sense, and affirm with legitimacy that Daddy is my owner? That “my heart belongs to Daddy” is certainly true. But do daughters, per se, belong to their Daddies?
The answer to this question will bring us the answer to the propriety of courtship as a model for a daughter’s pre-marriage relationship with a prospective suitor. For the crux of the courtship question is not empirical, but principal. I define courtship as the discovery of a life-partner for a daughter under the direct oversight of the father. Any man seeking to beg, borrow or steal a daughter’s hand without her father’s endorsement is seeking to gain, in unlawful ways, “property” not his own. Daughters are Daddy’s girls in the objective sense, and this particular daughter rejoices in that truth. I am owned by my father. If someone is interested in me, he should see him.
…Yes, it is grating to our ears. However, let’s not dismiss the idea without examining its merits. The Christian worldview, informed by Scripture, functions as our spectacles. Through the Bible, we see the world as it is; and no part of life is exempt from God’s governance. We want to live in accord with his law even if it means living in (uncomfortable) opposition to popular culture. Everyone committed to advancing God’s kingdom must be prepared to live against the norms of unbelief. Culture and custom which begin with God’s word will inescapably conflict with culture which begins with the word of man.
And the word of God teaches that progenitors have certain rights. Let’s use that as our major premise and construct a syllogism. Major premise: The creator of something is sovereign over that which he created. Minor premise: God created all things. Conclusion: God is sovereign over all things. This agrees with Scripture: “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it, for [i.e., because] He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers” (Psalm 24:1). God created it; therefore, he has full authority over it.
Proud independence is no noble goal for a woman, and the spirit which pursues it is no part of a godly girl’s trousseau. Of course, those who exalt independence, denying headship to a husband, will certainly deny it to a father. Thus, they find the idea of courtship offensive. But those who acknowledge that God’s way is right (Luke 7:29, 35) find the idea of “authoritative stewardship” quite pleasant!
Well now, isn’t that the whole issue? We don’t want to feel like we’re owned, because we want to do what we want to do. It’s as simple as that. We know that whoever owns us has authority to determine our comings and goings, and each of us wants to be his own boss. It is thus no wonder that sinners cringe at the concepts involved in courtship.
Simply put: No. As strange as it may sound, in the peculiar relationship of the father and daughter, God, as it were, takes a back seat. God has created a hierarchy such that the daughter is directly answerable to her father, and her father then answers to God. This doubles the father’s responsibilities, because he must account to God for the way he raises his daughter.
So I really am “Daddy’s girl.” And no man can approach me as an independent agent because I am not my own, but belong, until my marriage, to my father. At the time of my marriage, my father gives me away to my husband and there is a lawful change of ownership. At that point and at that point only, I am no longer bound to do my father’s will. Instead, I must answer to my husband. If you read the rest of Numbers 30 you will see that this is the case. Notice that there is no intermediate point between Daddy and Hubby. There is no “limbo land” where the girl is free to gallivant on her own, “discovering herself” as she walks in fields of gold, apart from any defining covenant head, doing whatever she sees fit.
Source: Sarah Faith Schlissel – The Chalcedon Foundation
Above is one of several videos included with an interview with Sarah Schlissel’s father. Again, it might be triggering to those who were part of this world (or still are and cannot find a way out). These men are deadly serious and their influence in society should not be underestimated, including their influence via the children they control from the time of their births.
Note that Steve Schlissel, this father — who taught his daughter that she and all girls are the property of their fathers — “is the Director of Meantime Ministries (an outreach to women who were sexually abused as children). ”