9.13.2013

The Glory Days of Dreadful and other stories

There's been a lot of talk on the interwebs lately about young girls, modesty, chastity, and the like. I don't want to give any link love to the appalling one I read yesterday that attempted to convince homeschooling parents not to send their daughters to college, but here's some of the good stuff:
Me in the glory days of dreadful.
Photo cropped oddly to
protect the innocent.
When I was being homeschooled, there was a lot of negative reinforcement in the communal discussion. Sometimes in flat contradiction of what my parents themselves believed and meant to teach—enthusiastic ideals are always subject to the law of unintended consequences—I learned to be afraid of getting out in the world, of trying to make a life for myself, of my own physical attractiveness; the latter of which, thanks to the heavy emphasis on modesty and separation from the world, very quickly turned into a conviction of my own unattractiveness.

[<= This was the most embarrassing photo I could come up with on short notice. But there was a worse one in a national homeschooling magazine once. :P]

I learned how not to relate to men instead of how to. I learned that my life was designed to revolve around marriage and childbearing; everything else was just stuff to kill time with till The Right One came along. As you can imagine, those two lessons weren't designed to mix well. To this day, I'm nervous and self-conscious around young men, unduly fearful of their dislike and anxious for their praise.

In brutal honesty: I got off easy. Domineering men often gravitate toward submissive, dependent girls. They're easy to control. I've seen it happen.

Homeschooling parents: you're doing good, hard work in the world, and I'm aware that you have enough battles to fight without me giving you a complex. But please, please teach your girls—especially your cautious ones—to find and pursue interests, including interests outside the home. To look for good work to do and to do it confidently. To smile and converse with and befriend boys as well as girls. To hold their heads up and look men in the eyes as equals, choose husbands who respect women, and give those husbands their respect out of choice, not out of instinct and fear. Feminism wouldn't be so popular if there weren't at least some truth to it. This is some of that truth.

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Cute fix! First, the cat picture:

RAWR.

Second: my family has an unbelievable number of baby bunnies all of a sudden, and I couldn't resist grabbing the camera and sharing the love.


Middle set. I love how they sleep in a big jumble like this.

The littlest set. I think this grey/cinnamon coloring is the most beautiful thing.

Here's looking at you, kid.

The oldest set....

...playing in their grass run with an umbrella for shade.

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Music of the week: I'm feeling light and rocky, and I like these young people's a capella arrangement of the Cups song. You know, I never did master that game. Summer staff retreat just wasn't long enough. :)




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Happy weekend!

5 comments:

  1. Maia's got your hand right where she wants it! :)

    Ah, modesty. It seems that humans have a hard time being moderate in things. It seems you either have girls dressed in shapeless burlap bags or girls dressed like Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga. Or undressed like them...

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    Replies
    1. Ha, yeah. We're all prone to running past the bounds of reason with our favorite ideas...

      Poor Miley. What a thing to be noticed for. I didn't see the show, but I saw some pictures, and I'd like to strangle a few choreographers. And the guy she was singing with, except that I really don't care to be in the same room with him.

      Delete
  2. I didn't grow up as a full member of the super conservative/cloistered crowd, but some of my friends did--and they have reproved one of my sisters for initiating chit-chat with the male guests at a party instead of sticking to the girls unless approached by a guy (those guys don't approach, though, lest anyone think they're offering a proposal of courtship).

    On the other hand, I can understand that human nature is reactionary. Seeing the world, it's no wonder that some Christians run screaming toward denim jumpers and Scripture workbooks. It's so hard to stay balanced, isn't it? Perhaps what we need is more bunnies. Bunnies for everyone. Pet them, feed them, photograph them, and be too distracted to notice Miley Cyrus.

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    Replies
    1. they have reproved one of my sisters for initiating chit-chat with the male guests at a party instead of sticking to the girls unless approached by a guy (those guys don't approach, though, lest anyone think they're offering a proposal of courtship)

      Sheesh. Yes--and that sort of restrictiveness is particularly asinine. Teaching a girl that marriage is her goal BUT that modesty is paramount and flirtation is sinful is setting her up for failure. And real misery.

      Quivering Daughters is a good resource for girls trying to find their way out of that spiritual abuse. I didn't think to link it in my post....

      I totally agree with your second paragraph. :)

      Delete
  3. BUNNIES

    I have infinite X infinite thoughts on the modesty thing, but I'm on limited internet access, so. . .

    BUNNIES!!!!!

    oh, and I second the recommendation for Quivering Daughters.

    ReplyDelete

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