My Issue With The Stay at Home Daughters Movement

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I came across a blog this morning that mentioned Stay At Home Daughters…at first, I chuckled. Of course daughters stay at home…until they grow up, right?


After Googling for a few minutes – can I just say that I love the Google app for my ipad? – I found that Stay At Home Daughters is actually a movement. It seems it came about as part of the Quiverfull movement – you know that thing that the famous family with all the kiddos, The Duggars, are a part of. *I want to note that the Duggars do not participate in the Stay at Home Daughters Movement, but that they are supporters of the Quiverfull movement, which is different*

I will stop here and say that the rant part of this post is about to begin.

Before I start the rant, please, let me be clear – I do not dislike religion. I dislike people that use religion in negative ways. Religion is a beautiful thing that can change lives and provide hope and love for people…what I dislike about religion is when it is used to oppress people, when it is used to promote a hateful propaganda – like the subjugation of women.

And with that, let the rant begin.

In a nutshell, the Stay At Home Daughters movement is this:

Instead of growing up, going to college and/or getting a job and living what most would consider to be a normal life, these young women are taught to stay at home, under the authority of their fathers, until their fathers choose a husband for them. They are taught, under the Christian Patriarchy Movement, to forsake education and careers in favor of staying home with their mothers, learning to cook, clean and sew, because those things are seen as Godly.

What. The. *!#%.

And that’s all they ever do. Period. Until their fathers choose a husband for them, and then they get married, and raise their own children in the same manner.

Don’t get me wrong; I absolutely love being married, and I think that marriage and family are wonderful, fulfilling things. But when I hear that girls are forbidden from going to school or getting jobs, and that their entire lives revolve around their fathers – because their fathers are their spiritual leaders – it makes me sick inside. This is where I see religion being used against women, as it has since the beginning of time.

I don’t see any movements where boys are taught that education and career are un-Godly. It seems that they are being encouraged to go out into the world and to pursue successful careers –  I mean, their wives and however many daughters are at home, knitting and candle-making, so they have to earn a sizable income.

Doug Phillips, the San Antonio minister who is the founder of Christian Patriarchy organization, Vision Forum, is quoted as saying,

“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.”

It’s 2011, people. In case these people haven’t noticed, women are equal to men.

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  1. says

    I’m totally all for the father being the spiritual leader of the family. I’m not for daughters being oppressed by their fathers. This “Christian Patriachy” sect needs to lose the “Christian” from their name b/c they are far from it. As for the Duggars, from what I’ve seen and heard on their TVShow, JimBob won’t choose his daughters’ husbands. And a couple of the daughters are volunteer firefighters or at least went through the training. Why would he let them do that if he really was apart of the movement? Also, Michelle is free to do interviews for the show on her own and do things on her own with out JimBob by her side. Lastly, the oldest son, his wife helped him with their used car business before she had their 1st baby. Her father didn’t choose her husband for her.

    I agree, women should be able to choose their path, just like men. But the Bible does call for husbands/fathers to be the spiritual head of the household. Which means they are to take the lead in worship and studying the Bible. It doesn’t mean they are to oppress their wife and children.
    Doug Phillips is not a true Christian if he believes otherwise.

  2. says

    I don’t watch the Duggars, so I am unfamiliar with them – but I didn’t mean that they are part of the SAHD movement, only the Quiverfull movement, which is where this SAHD movement branched out from. I edited the post to make sure it wasn’t reading like that. :)

  3. says

    I know several families that practice raising/training homemakers. I won’t let my daughter make that choice if she wants to live in my home. Sometimes (and she’s just 6), but she’ll say that she just wants to stay at home when she grows up, doesn’t want to go to driving school, so she just wants other people to pay the bills and drive her places. lol
    I have had long discussions with her about all of the career options out there and that not all women are as fortunate as mommy to get to stay at home – but that even Mommy went to college and got a BA, went to massage school and carries a license, went to doula and childbirth educator school and got certified – and I still will work part time if I need to in order to contribute in whatever way is needed to the household.

  4. says

    First of all, I am jealous that you have a horse. LOL
    Second, I am so happy to hear from the perspective of a Christian teenage girl who wants more out of life than to learn how to make a candle! :)
    I hope all of your dreams are realized, because you seem very hardworking and determined. Oh, and your family sounds wonderful!

    • says

      LOL! Well, I waited a LONG time to have that horse! 😀

      And thanks for your well wishes! Yes, I am very determined. And yes, my family is wonderful. Yes, we get on each others nerves, but we all love each other anyways! But I think all families are liked that! 😉

  5. says

    Ok, first off let me just say that not ALL stay at home daughters are like this. Some are yes, but most daughters CHOOSE this. I realize that this is a very touchy subject, but here’s my take….

    I’m still in high school. And I’m not saying this to boast, I’m just saying it to prove a point. Unlike most teenagers who sit around doing nothing, I have five jobs that PAY. I pay for my own clothing, my own electronics, my horse, and my own cosmetics. My parents don’t. I realize that isn’t a option for some girls, but for me it is. I work from home and I also work at trade shows and stuff.

    I’m homeschooled, I’m also a Christian, and I’m also the oldest of 8 kids. Do I hate it? No. Somedays it’s hard, especially since I’m several years older then the kids. I don’t do all of the work in our family, everyone including the little kids helps out around the house and farm. It’s a part of life. My mom can’t do everything, so we help out! I lead a busy life! I don’t SIT at home knitting! Just ask my friends! 😀 😀 😀

    And let me just say, my father will NOT be picking out my husband. Ultimately my parents and I both agree that it is MY choice if/when/who I marry. Not my parents. Sure, they will be giving their blessing on the marriage, but it’s a choice that I have to make. However, my dad WILL be helping me get rid of all the creepy dudes and he’ll kick em to the curb for me! Like he’s doing now! Dating isn’t on my agenda at the moment! School is!!!!! 😉

    My plans? I plan on being a writer/photographer/journalist. I hope to have a successful photography studio and to write on the side. I also plan on taking college courses after high school. I’m looking forward to living a great life! Whether or not I get married. Some people may say I sound “sinful” or rebellious, but I don’t WANT to sit around and do nothing! I plan on living a fun, full life! And who knows? I might even find prince charming along the way! 😀

    Will I be moving out at 18? No, I don’t plan on it. I see NOTHING wrong with staying at home. To be brutally honest, I actually don’t think my family could manage without me if I moved out! I help out ALOT with their various businesses and they wouldn’t survive. 😀

    I don’t stay at home and candle make or knit. I do school, I WORK, I ride my horse, I help out with our farm, I sew, I talk to my friends, I spend WAY to much time on the computer/listening to my iPod, and e-mailing/fb chatting with friends! I’m your typical teenager. I just have a few different ideas then most…… I life a FULL and BUSY life! I don’t sit at home! Like I said, just ask my friends! 😉

    I’m still young. I’m only a teenager, and I can’t speak for ALL girls, but I know that for me, I don’t hate my life or hate that I’m being homeschooled and living at home. I don’t have my entire life planned out, but I do know that I plan on living a wonderful life. I’m perfectly happy being homeschooled and not being out on my own. That will come I’m sure!

    I’m not being brainwashed into doing this. I’m CHOOSING it. I’m not being forced too. I know SO many stay at home daughters who live full and busy lives. And you know what? They are HAPPY! I don’t agree with everything that Doug Phillips says, but I’ve met his daughters and friends of mine met the Dugger girls and they couldn’t be happier. I understand that some parents force religion and stuff down their kids throats, but my parents don’t. I’m choosing not to date till I’m 18, I’m CHOOSING not to wear mini-skirts or tube dresses, I’m CHOOSING not to move out when I’m 18. I’m CHOOSING my life. My parents aren’t forcing me. My parents are actually pretty cool compared to some families! They aren’t as strict as some either. I’m thankful for them.

    Ok, I’ll shut up! 😀 That’s just my take……

  6. says

    Ummm….what? Seriously? This is some serious crazy talk. And, what about the people that have um for lack of a better word, crappy dads? If he picked somebody for me and made me stay home and be oppressed, oh, dear God!

    I enjoyed working when I was young, and paying for what I wanted….parents don’t have rights to do this to their ADULT children.

  7. says

    Oh man…You probably handled it better than I would have.

    I hadn’t heard of this particular movement, but in FB stalking my ex-sister-in-law, she’s part of this thing called ‘Raising Homemakers’ whose mission statement is ‘Raising Homemakers is dedicated to inspiring, teaching and blessing mothers who have an interest in raising their daughter(s) in godliness and preparing them in the arts of homemaking to the glory of God’.

    Let me tell you, I went ballistic. I’m not saying that being a homemaker isn’t something that one can desire to be. I might be a feminist, but I’m not one of the ones that think women must go to college and must be working outside the home and whatever. If you choose not to go to college, that’s fine. Do I think all women should be educated? Hell yes. But I also believe in giving people the choice to do what they want, what they’re passionate about. By raising your 8 year old daughter in this way (but not your 3 year old son) you are effectively conveying the message that it is only OK to be a homemaker, and that is what she should aspire to be when she becomes an adult. Yes, let’s make more women dependent on their husbands like this person is, so even though he’s an ass and a complete douche, she couldn’t leave even if she wanted to because she has no career and nothing to support her or her kids otherwise. That bothers me. Mind you, I’m a shitty homemaker, but I know it. I never wanted to be one. I can cook decently for the most part, but don’t expect gourmet meals from me. I’m planning on making enough to hire a housekeeper because I despise cleaning. And IF! I have kids, I could not be a stay-at-home mom even if my life depended on it. But I realize that at least. My parents never forced me to choose one career or another, and in fact, they supported me whole-heartedly through each major change I made in college. They never made me feel like I was throwing away my potential by deciding to get my BS in Criminal Justice and go into law enforcement. They didn’t make me feel like a failure because I sucked at being a housewife because they knew I never wanted that to be my life. They didn’t influence me to go one way or another unless I was seriously screwing my life up and that’s what I feel is wrong with this movement. Why deny higher education to one gender or another because you believe that your God thinks this is right? Times have changed, dammit. We no longer live in a society where this is acceptable. Women are smart and brilliant and can think for themselves. By telling your daughters that they can’t be trusted to make their own decisions you’re effectively crushing any future they might have had. You’ve now made them your slaves, and then later on, their husband’s slave.

    I suppose, there could go the cure to cancer or some shit too. Who knows what these girls are truly capable of, except themselves?

  8. Sarah H. says

    I think it is sad that the SAHD movement is defined by the few families that FORCE their daughters to stay at home. I am 21 and have chosen to stay at home. I have a great job and I’m an author, I have an older sister who is married and has a home business, I have one sister who focuses her time on homemaking and another younger sister who is planning on going to collage, while living at home. This is the SAHD movement I know and love; the one that doesn’t force a girl to go to collage just because it is the normal thing to do.

    I have met some families like you describe, so I am not saying that they aren’t out there. However, most of the families that are a part of the SAHD movement that I know, the girls WANT to stay at home.

    I hope you don’t mind me sharing my thoughts. If you do, feel free to delete this comment.

    • says

      I am happy to hear from someone involved in this movement that isn’t like the families I read about! I love it that you are given the opportunity to pursue your dreams -whatever they may be. When I read that these daughters were prohibited from going to school, it terrified me! I am so relived to hear that that is not the case for every family. Thank you for sharing! :)

  9. says

    I’m a Christian and I’ve never heard of this movement, never even heard of that sect. This is NOT something that my family will be participating in.

  10. says

    wow, I think I am sheltered, I have never seen or heard of this. i could never imagine my girls staying at home after high school. In fact my 18 yr old daughter will be joining the Navy as soon as she graduates in May.

    • says

      I just cringe when I hear about young women being denied an education. I can understand if they WANT to be homemakers, but requiring that they only learn those skills…it just makes me so sad.

  11. Blair says

    Totally agree with you. We are living in the 21st century. This only helps reinforce The antiquated idea that women are nothing without a husband

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