I was reading some background on what led Vyckie, of No Longer Quivering to the Quiverfull movement when I came across something that really tied into a conversation I was having with my friend A yesterday about Twilight.
The Quiverfull movement is a Christian Fundamentalist movement that encourages families to have as many children as God allows. They also stress patriarchal divisions in the household and homeschooling.
Vyckie and her husband, who were already fundamentalist, attended a "Bold Christian Living" seminar by Jonathan Lindvall:
"...he was quite radical ~ going so far as to explain that he did not allow his wife and daughters to leave the home unless they were accompanied by himself or one of his sons ~ and he also would not let his girls have driver's licenses because he wanted to protect them from the possibility of having to serve on jury duty which might entail their being forced to listen to all the sordid details of the lawbreakers' sin and debauchery. Interestingly, at the time ~ Lindvall's isolation and control of his wife and daughters did not come across as abusive at all ~ he seemed genuinely loving ~ protective and considerate ~ hearing him speak inspired me to wish I had such a strong, decisive, capable husband to take care of me and my children."
This was so reminiscent of the Bella-Edward dynamic that I couldn't help myself. Every time something like this popped up in Twilight, I had to set the book down for a moment and encourage myself. So I was especially shocked when A hadn't seemed to notice the damaging relational undertones to the situation. She didn't pick up on the underlying potential for abuse, and that really confused me. Maybe I'm more sentitive to the precursers for abuse, and maybe that's why I've never ended up in an abusive relationship.
Growing up in a small, conservative, rural town, it seems like a lot of people I know have endured at least moderate abuse of some form or another, and I've always felt so greatful that I've avoided this particular pitfall.
It really makes me wonder, are certain people more able to naturally detect abusive patterns, or is this something that can be learned? Shouldn't we be teaching teenagers these patterns? Whether it does any good or not, I really hope to use Bella and Edward as a teaching tool for the teenagers in our house.
I'm determined that if it's a learned skill, then these children will learn it now, before they set their own patterns for life.