Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Your Daughters are Hot... Can I Have One?

Amanda posted about the whole purity movement, and linked to a Marie Claire article called "Father Knows Best".

I started reading the article before I read Amanda's post, and, as it turns out, both of us were gobsmacked by the same part:

For the next seven years, Lauren avoided boys altogether. Then, in February of 2006, the Wilsons paid a visit to the Air Force Academy, which Lauren's brother Colten was considering attending. Accompanying the family on the tour was 23-year-old Brett Black, a blondehaired cadet. Lauren had met him before through church, but "from that moment on," Lauren sighs, "I was just, like, head over heels."

She returned home that evening and asked God if Brett was the one for her. "I set aside 40 days to really pray hard and ask for direction," she remembers. Meanwhile Brett also decided that Lauren and her two teenage sisters were "gorgeous." The idea of a permanent commitment entered his mind.

"I thought, Am I crazy? I'm graduating in three months and possibly moving away," he says. "But I could see myself marrying one of those girls!"


I had to let that sink in for a minute or two, because I was just so completely floored. I thought "I can't possibly have read that correctly." But, no... She's completely gaga over this guy, and he's thinking "Man, those girls are hot! I could marry a girl like that!" Now, I'm sorry, but if you're looking at a girl and her two sisters and you're thinking that they're gorgeous and you'd love to marry one of them... any of them... well, I have serious doubts about how much you're really invested in them as people. They might very well be beautiful, but that's not really the best basis for a lasting relationship.

I love that, when he asks her father if he can court his daughters, he's not even sure he mentioned which one. "'I'd like to start a relationship with one of your daughters.' He thinks he specified Lauren." He thinks. Lovely.

So, they start to court. Seven weeks later, Brett asks Lauren's father if they can get married. Seven weeks. That's less than two months, for those of you keeping track. Lauren's father, who gave his permission, says "Brett doesn't know anything about Lauren. So I can help them be a success."

Call me old fashioned or crazy or whatever, but, my general feeling is this: If you don't know anything about someone... you damn well shouldn't get married. And when your idea of "emotionally hot" and "intense" questions are things like "What's the saddest thing that's ever happened to you" or "what's the hardest thing you've been through" I think you've got a seriously stunted conception of what constitutes "intense." Hell, I've seen more emotionally involved questions on a job interview, and these are the questions she's asking to decide if she wants to marry the guy?

The whole thing is just horrifying. From the way that Randy clearly sees his daughter as a posession to be given to a man, to the way that Lauren sees her major worth as being a piece of someone else... Oh, and the part where, on their wedding night, she washes his feet because her "spiritual gift is serving" and she "wanted to show Brett, 'I'm here to love you, follow you, and serve you.'" Yeah, it's horrifying... and sad.

It's definitely worth reading the original article (it'll probably have your jaw dropping in utter disbelief), and some of the author's reactions are pretty awesome.


baby221 said...

*shudders* I'm so glad I got out of that culture when I did. I had a lot of Chrisfic books growing up, given to me by well-meaning adults, and they reflect the same kind of "women are worthless without men" mentality ... It's just so degrading -- emotionally, spiritually -- I honestly don't understand why any woman would want to be part of it. I mean yes, it's nice to feel secure in your lot in life, but at the expense of your dignity and humanity? No thanks.

Kristen said...

I'm going to join in with baby221's shutters and raise a nauseated. When I was reading the part in the original article about this woman washing her husband's feet, I started shaking...I had almost forgotten that rubbish.

Gag. Thank Zeus I got the hell out of that culture.

It's hard to believe that there are people in this country still trapped in the women-as-useful-household-objects mindset. I think I need to go lie down now.

Anonymous said...
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Nique said...

This kind of thing is so, so, so depressing. It's just so sad that this young woman is totally on board with being treated as an object.
The part that struck me most was when the father was marrying them he hesitated and said "as soon as I do this next part, I lose control". Yes, his daughter was an object for him to control and now that he has given her away to another man, this other man will now control her. She is there to serve him.
Also fucked up is the letter he wrote his son-in-law where he basically tells the dude to control his daughter and treat her like a servant. Fuuuuucked up!

I am sooo fucking glad I was raised by liberal atheists. (Not that atheists can't be assholes but at least they don't excuse their behaviour by saying it's God's will)

EG said...

For some reason, the part I can't get out of my head is the part where the guy decides that hey, he could marry one of those girls. He can't even tell them apart yet, but he's decided he could spend his life with one of them--any one. That pretty much gives the game away--these people actually don't see women as individual human beings. Just interchangeable bodies.