I am officially really creeped out by this. Have you heard about the Stay at Home Daughters movement? The product of ultra-conservative, patriarchal religious groups, the idea behind SAHD is that, you guessed it, a daughter never leaves home! She just moves from her father’s house to her husband’s house! What? No chastity belt? Well, who needs one when you never get an education and spend your life worshiping your patriarchal figure (be it your father or your husband)?
This deserves its own circle of hell.
There is a very good and in-depth profile of this movement in Bitch, in which Doug Phillips, the founder of the Vision Forum (aka Christian Patriarchy Movement central), says:
“Daughters aren’t to be independent. They’re not to act outside the scope of their father. As long as they’re under the authority of their fathers, fathers have the ability to nullify or not the oaths and the vows. Daughters can’t just go out independently and say, ‘I’m going to marry whoever I want.’ No. The father has the ability to say, ‘No, I’m sorry, that has to be approved by me.’”
This makes purity balls look like a tea parties. After all, that’s only about virginity. This is the whole life-span of a woman! Jokes aside, these are born of the same idea — that women cannot control their own virginity, their own destiny. Indeed, I think it’s safe to assume that the architects of these sorts of paradigms believe women cannot be trusted with intellect, either. I would not be surprised if the majority of families that practice SAHD do not teach their girls to read.
As horrified as I am at this, I wonder if there is a certain portion of the mainstream population who find this secretly comforting. When I was pregnant, I was surprised at how often people would tell me they hoped I had a boy “because boys are easier.” Why? Because you don’t have to worry about them getting pregnant! (So does that mean that we more or less openly advertise that young men who impregnate young women have no culpability? The sperm is never to blame, only the egg?)
And this is the same latent fear that we have about teaching medically accurate, age-appropriate sex education. Right? If we educate them, they will do it! You fools! They already do it! (Or, as my husband likes to say, “Because NOT teaching sex ed to cats works so well.)
Beyond the feminist outrage over this kind of overt misogyny is my anger about people perverting religion to serve their own terrorism. Because locking girls up in a life of ignorance and servitude is a kind of abuse and that’s a form of terrorism. I believe in God. And it offends me to my core when people corrupt the teachings of Christ to serve their own selfish, and un-Christlike, agendas.
The whole thing just sickens me.
This originally appeared on The Sin City Siren.