In the past few months since Hillary McFarland’s book Quivering Daughters: Hope and Healing for the Daughters of Patriarchy was published, there has been surprisingly little discussion in the blog world or on websites where the patriocentrists typically gather. Early on, Stacy McDonald posted her nonreview of a book she hadn’t yet read. Following Stacy’s leadership, Kevin Swanson recorded a podcast renouncing the book which he obviously had not read either, making ridiculous charges such as “Hillary hates capitalism” and other such typical Swanson goofiness. I have been waiting for a serious review of this book from a patriarch wife and it looks like I needn’t wait any longer. In fact, not only is there a complete, not to mention extremely wordy and caustic review by Stacy McDonald, but there is also an entire website now given to refuting Hillary’s book! And not only can you read the opinions of Stacy at this site but also those of a few die hard patriarch wife friends, too.
However, the most interesting and telling response to Hillary from this camp is the survey that McDonald has sent out, as I understand it, to women who have left their patriocentric homes. A copy was sent to me by one of these women and I find it fascinating. It is unclear to me who actually received these, how they were targeted, when they were mailed out, and for what purpose. Take a look:
I am sending this letter to you because I am aware of your transition away from home. I do not know any of the details of why you left home, and I certainly do not presume to know anything about you or your family, or who was “more” at fault.
It is my sincere hope that by interviewing you, and other young women in your situation, we the Christian homeschooling community can begin to understand and deal with some of the real issues in our midst. In addition, perhaps we can be a bridge in the process of reconciliation.
If you are willing to answer the following questions, but you would prefer to remain anonymous, your name will be kept completely confidential. If you would rather be interviewed by phone, please reply with a phone number and the best time to talk. Thank you so much for considering my request.
1. How old are you and how long have you been living away from your family?
2. What were the circumstances of your departure?
3. Are you married? Did your parents approve of your marriage?
4. Do you have any significant, unresolved conflicts with your parents? Are you on speaking terms?
5. Do you have any children? If so, what are their ages?
6. What kind of church did you attend growing up? Was your church part of a denomination? If so, which one?
7. Would you say that your father was accountable to the authority of the local church?
8. Was your family involved in the community life of your church?
9. Would you say your mother or your father was the stronger leader in your home?
10. How many children were in your family? What number are you in age order?
11. Were you and your siblings required to help with chores? How do you feel this helped or harmed your work ethic?
12. Would you say that either of your parents was abusive? If so, how?
13. In what ways did your parents show you affection?
14. When you were upset, how did you share your feelings with your parents?
15. In what ways (if any) do you disagree theologically with your parents? When did this begin?
16. In what ways (if any) did you disagree with the lifestyle your parents lived? When did this begin?
17. Did you have a mentor or friend who helped you find a new place to live?
18. What type of church do you now attend? How is it different from the church you attended with your family?
19. Are you under any sort of official church discipline?
20. In your mind, what would it take to reconcile with your parents?
21. What are you willing to do to reconcile with your parents?
22. Did your family have close friendships outside of the family?
23. Did you parents/church teach you that salvation is in faith in Christ alone?
24. Did your family laugh and enjoy being together?
25. Have you ever read Quivering Daughters? If so, what did you think of it?
By His Grace,
It never ceases to amaze me how truly small this woman’s world must be and the lengths she will go to to prop up her paradigm, not to mention her book sales. Which brings me to another thought I had about her book review. She had no qualms whatsoever in interviewing Hillary’s sister and then putting the young woman’s thoughts on her new blog and also on a book review for Amazon without first consulting Hillary or allowing her to respond to the girl’s charges. And by the way, this is the same woman who has demanded, under threat of a lawsuit, that comments about the personal lives of her own family as related to her parenting philosophy be removed from my blog. I am truly in awe.