A sad and frightening tale at AlterNet today,
Though there are no exact figures for the size of the movement, the number of families that identify as Quiverfull is likely in the thousands to low tens of thousands. Its word-of-mouth growth can be traced back to conservative Protestant critiques of contraception — adherents consider all birth control, even natural family planning (the rhythm method), to be the province of prostitutes — and the growing belief among evangelicals that the decision of mainstream Protestant churches in the 1950s to approve contraception for married couples led directly to the sexual revolution and then Roe v. Wade.
“Our bodies are meant to be a living sacrifice,” write the Hesses. Or, as Mary Pride, in another of the movement’s founding texts, The Way Home: Beyond Feminism, Back to Reality, puts it, “My body is not my own.” This rebuttal of the feminist health text Our Bodies, Ourselves is deliberate. Quiverfull women are more than mothers. They’re domestic warriors in the battle against what they see as forty years of destruction wrought by women’s liberation: contraception, women’s careers, abortion, divorce, homosexuality and child abuse, in that order.
Pride argues that feminism is a religion in its own right, one that is inherently incompatible with Christianity. “Christians have accepted feminists’ ‘moderate’ demands for family planning and careers while rejecting the ‘radical’ side of feminism — meaning lesbianism and abortion,” writes Pride. “What most do not see is that one demand leads to the other. Feminism is a totally self-consistent system aimed at rejecting God’s role for women. Those who adopt any part of its lifestyle can’t help picking up its philosophy.” “Family planning,” Pride argues, “is the mother of abortion. A generation had to be indoctrinated in the ideal of planning children around personal convenience before abortion could be popular.”
In a nutshell the group thinks women should have as many children as they possibly can in an effort to create soldiers for god and overthrow the feminist, heathen, liberal society they so fear.
It is their belief that god will provide. That if women are submissive all good will come to them and their husbands will care for and never leave them.
Oh and no need to take care of this earthly sphere for god has a new home prepared for the faithful.
I wish it were possible to force feed history. It is not that long ago women were submissive regardless if through choice or by law.
Cases of spousal abuse were not less, rape was not less, single mothers were really not less just better hidden.
Yes there is the great romantic novel of how women merely lazed the days away, happily content in her role as mother and wife.
The reality being that any woman of a certain class was trained in certain skills to be a good companion and social climber.
All other women made do as they could working as domestics, laundresses, wet nurses, prostitutes, bar maids, anything that might keep body and soul together.
Children were raised by older children, were taken to orphanages, were abandoned were raised in workhouses and were lost to poverty and disease.
There was nothing romantic about their lives. God sent no armies of angles to comfort the children as their bellies swelled with hunger, no angles comforted mothers trying to provide for their children as their bodies ached from their daily labours. No angles kept the fibers and dust out of the lungs of women working in the mills. God provided no comfort for those women beaten and raped by husbands and who had no recourse for the damage done. God’s priests provided no comfort sending these women home and telling them to be better more submissive wives in order to prevent further abuse.
“My body is not my own.”
A scary thought. A feeling one has when undergoing severe abuse or rape. The only way to deal with is to disassociate
It is interesting to me that these women fear feminism, fear autonomy, fear the right to make their own decisions and fear being left.
It is as if they do not realize that women living under full control of a patriarchy have much more to fear.
The children have much to fear also, being seen as future brood mares of cannon fodder.
Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.