No Longer Quivering is a blog by several women who've escaped the Quivering movement... fundamental Christian groups that emphasize good old fashion family values, submissive women, courtship, and no birth control. Your role in life is to have as many kids as you possibly can because each and every one is a blessing from God.
From a religious standpoint, I think it's easy to see why the philosophy doesn't make much sense. God blessed us with fire to keep us warm, but that doesn't mean you're supposed to burn your whole damn house down. Right?
The reason I love the blog is because it points out logistical reasons why it's a bad idea. In today's world we watch TV specials about the Duggar family, with their 19 (soon to be 20!) smiling kids keeping the house clean and loving each other. Hell, that show almost made me think it'd be fun to live in a house with 20 kids. Of course, the Duggars had several very fortunate real estate deals early on so they're not living in extreme poverty like many of Quivering families who believe in shunning public assistance and living in isolated areas so no one questions their beliefs. But you see how it could work out.
NLQ brings up some very good questions about these huge families. The oldest children, especially the girls, are effectively turned into teen moms, often well before their teens. You have to ask your six-year-old to watch the baby while you homeschool your 8-year-old, that sort of thing.
Then there's your husband, whose unchecked authority leaves him without a partner. The blog is filled with stories of abuse. Husbands are told by their churches that their authority comes directly from God, and every inclination they have is a spiritual truth. One of the authors' husbands felt "called" to visit a pretty young exchange student in Brazil. Others just felt justified in beating their wives.
No matter what, the fundamentalist's message to these women is that they need to be more submissive, less questioning... that's the cure for all your marriage woes. Except it's not. And that's why the writers are careful to point out we can't say "well it works great unless you marry a total jerk." Vyckie Garrison has a brilliant entry about the patriarchy trap, and how it turns potentially healthy marriages into disasters by preying on men's securities and disabling wives at the brain.
I also loved Vyckie's entry about wanting to be that perfect Christian family instead of the freak show you grew up in, but why it's not all it's cracked up to be. Having a crazy, sinful family might make you envy another seemingly perfect one, and want that disciplined lifestyle you see in rigid churches. But when your crazy family is real, and honest, and part of you, you have more to gain from embracing it.
And finally, this will sound random, but you should definitely read Tess Willoughby's response to anti-feminists who criticized the movie "Tangled" as being unchristian:
I think I understand where the offense is coming from. There’s a sequence in which Rapunzel sings through a hilarious litany of about a dozen boring “womanly arts” and wonders aloud when her life will begin. We can’t have that. What could be scarier than grown young women who are bored with homemaking and want lives in the outside world, and cute young men who love them and would gladly die to help them reach their full potential? I suppose a Christian animated adventure would have had Rapunzel simply make candles and paint and read her three books until she died in captivity.
It's been a very enlightening set of stories, and they point out some important things about the happy matchy-clothes images quiverful Christian families, I'm learning more about the anti-feminist movement (from former anti-feminists!). So I keep going back.