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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Quiverfulls! I've heard it all now...

72 replies

Skybore · 17/05/2013 11:20

"Campbell believes that many women have forgotten their biological, and for her, God-given function. "He created her with a womb. And in fact that's the most distinguishing characteristic of a woman. In the American Webster's 1928 dictionary, it says that woman is combination of two words: womb and man. She is a womb-man."

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NatashaBee · 17/05/2013 11:26

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Sunnywithshowers · 17/05/2013 11:39

What a hideous description of a woman. A man with a womb. I'm pretty sure the etymology of the word mentioned is absolute bollocks.

StealthOfficialCrispTester · 17/05/2013 11:44

Oh dear me.
I dont really see this as a feminist issue though, more a religious extremism issue. Unless people are actually being convinced that it is the lot of a woman to bear child after child and be the bit player to the 'head of the household'.

Sunnywithshowers · 17/05/2013 11:59

I think it's both types of issue Stealth. Pregnancy may be God-given, but it takes a massive toll on the mother's health and wellbeing. This seems to me another religious reason for men to control women's fertility.

CheesyPoofs · 17/05/2013 12:15

It's totally irresponsible on an environmental and ecological level too.

timetosmile · 17/05/2013 12:20

but there doesn't seem to be an implication that the women featured are coerced in any way? They seem to have bought into it as a cultural choice?
If the women themselves are embracing this philsophy of family life then what's the issue?

Sunnywithshowers · 17/05/2013 12:51

Because, like any religious fundamentalist sect, some women are coerced.

This link and this one are for, and written by, women who have escaped the movement. This one describes some of the brainwashing that these women go through.

StealthOfficialCrispTester · 17/05/2013 13:30

Hmm yes maybe. I suppose my thinking is that this is a minoritt of women and theydoseem have chosen the life

Sunnywithshowers · 17/05/2013 14:08

Is it a free choice, or have they been indoctrinated?

It's certainly a minority of women, but it's still a patriarchal society where men are in charge of everything.

AutumnMadness · 17/05/2013 14:42

Sorry, I am in an ironic mood today. If these people are so determined to do things "how god intended them", why don't they breastfeed their children until the age of 3 or 4? This way, they will not be producing babies on an annual basis. This whole movement seems to be rather about male dominance and obsession with reproduction than following any natural order of things.

Sunnywithshowers · 17/05/2013 15:12

It's a very patriarchal, one-sided interpretation of 'how God intended', methinks. Designed precisely to ensure male dominance...

SconeRhymesWithGone · 17/05/2013 15:23
FairPhyllis · 17/05/2013 19:16

/linguistic tangent/

That is an (inaccurate) folk etymology for 'woman'. 'womb' has a derivation distinct from that of the 'wo-' element in 'woman'. But I was pretty shocked when I checked to see that it is actually in Websters 1928 edition. Guess their lexicographers were not too hot on Old English.

I get fed up of people twisting linguistics to serve their own agendas.

/end of tangent/

SconeRhymesWithGone · 17/05/2013 19:37

I get fed up of people twisting linguistics to serve their own agendas.

I remember being told as a child by a Christian fundamentalist that the etymology of "woman" was that Eve brought "woe" to man. Hmm

FairPhyllis · 17/05/2013 19:38

That one's bollocks too.

NiceTabard · 17/05/2013 20:43

I saw this on the BBC as well.

I was reading parts of it out to my colleagues in amazement.

Now they are not feminists, and I generally try to keep a lid on it for peace and harmony, but this was so ludicrous that there were no dissenting voices Grin

LRDtheFeministDragon · 17/05/2013 21:46

stealth, FWIW, I have a friend who is a lovely, intelligent, talented woman, and who has bought into at least some of this stuff. IMHO it is a huge feminist issue, the more if women are convinced by it than for any other reason.

My friend truly believes that she has a god-given role as a woman, a mother and a wife. So far as I can see she spends much of her life trying to examine how to be better at these roles and how to conform to what she feels God and her husband expect. She is a convert (admittedly, from a not-terribly-open-minded Christian denomination previously). The fact that she isn't being overtly coerced is of course good, but the fact that I see her twisting her life into knots to conform to these standards is appalling.

This is an issue where I really cannot bring myself to give a flying fuck about whether or not someone feels they have 'chosen' this life. If I see someone on a bridge trying to jump off, I don't stand around agonizing about whether or not it's their choice. If I look at someone staying with a partner who hits them, I wouldn't be saying 'well, it's her choice'. I know this isn't the same but I think it's on a continuum. Seeing someone who I know is sane and intelligent beating herself up because she's convinced men and women have different god-given roles and she needs to be a perfect mother by suffering, is horrible to watch.

SconeRhymesWithGone · 17/05/2013 22:12

There is a good exploration of the movement by Kathryn Joyce: Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement.

NiceTabard · 17/05/2013 22:13

The subservient roles in religious groups - what you describe LRD - it seems almost masochistic.

There has been a lot said about subverting sexual tendencies into religious fervour, hasn't there.

NiceTabard · 17/05/2013 22:14

Sorry not sure where I was going with that!

But just that there are surely a range of reasons for this "lifestyle" agreeing with people, IYSWIM.

grimbletart · 17/05/2013 22:14

LRD: I am sure you know your friend well and of course I have no idea about her.

But TBH I really have a problem putting the words "sane, intelligent" and "different god-give roles" in the same sentence. Sad

grimbletart · 17/05/2013 22:16

When I read about women like those on quiverfull (and the examples on the link seem to have been women led, not coerced particularly) I keep wanting to ask them "where the hell is your self-respect?"


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NiceTabard · 17/05/2013 22:19

Thing is if they have been raised to this - or similar as with LRD's friend - it is not a matter of self respect etc, it's just how it is.

We have some closed religious sects around our way and it is exceptional for people to leave.

If people have been brought up with these types of ideas then fundamentally they have been brainwashed.

LRDtheFeministDragon · 17/05/2013 22:21

grimble - me too. This is why I find it difficult.

But she is sane and intelligent. This is why it is so hard to understand. And it wouldn't be ok if only unintelligent or mentally ill women got sucked in, obviously.

I don't think my friend was precisely raised to this. And I know women who certainly weren't raised to this. But we have all grown up in a world where there is a lot of pressure not to be feminist, and where we do all have a constant pressure on us to just give up. I think.

NiceTabard · 17/05/2013 22:22

Even our next door neighbours FGS would be contenders for this sort of thing.

Although not so extreme - they stopped at 3 due to her severe PND. But still they do the whole roles and dressing them and the kids modestly and "physical chastisement" and all the rest of it.

This is part of what bothers me with this - OK only a part out of a whole LOAD of bother - but what about PND, birth injuries, people who are unsuited to it being at home with loads of kids etc. One of the women was doing it even though she knew it was about to kill her FGS. There is NO value placed on the woman's wellbeing, her only function is to reproduce. Really troubling.

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