As the day goes on, Salon's lead story right now is an interview by Jenny Kutner with homeschool survivor Nicholas Ducote about Christian fundamentalism and "rape culture." Ducote, who has helped set up the Homeschoolers Anonymous blog to enable other survivors of homeschooling to share their stories and network, was homeschooled in Louisiana by a right-wing evangelical mother who was heavily into the worldview of Bill Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute.
ATI plays a key role in the Duggar story both because the Duggars have constantly promoted this group, and also because, when Josh Duggars' parents claim that they sent him away for therapy after discovering his repeated molestation of his sisters, they sent him to a Gothard outfit, Institute of Basic Life Principles, in Little Rock.
As Ashley Feinberg has reported for Gawker, Gothard actually ran IBLP until he was forced to resign in 2014 after 34 allegations of sexual abuse of women were made against him. At her Love, Joy, and Feminism site, Libby Anne, who is also a survivor of right-wing evangelical homeschooling, provides a very good rundown of what Gothard and ATI teach about issues of sexual abuse — and how they place a heavy emphasis on the purported responsibility of children and women who are sexually abused for somehow eliciting their abuse, while they give a big free pass to the men and boys who perpetrate such abuse.
In the Salon article linked at the head of this posting, Jenny Kutner asks Nicholas Ducote,
I want to talk also about sexual assault and what you learned about that [i.e., as you were being homeschooled]. What other things did you learn about the secular world and Christian patriarchy? And what else were you taught about sex and sexuality?
To which he replies,
So, the ideal is that you are not even supposed to–if you are a teenager–I'm not even supposed to have a crush on you. If I have a crush on you, I am giving you a literal piece of my heart, and the more pieces of my heart I give to girls before I marry, the less of my heart I will have to give to my wife. This is where they have such extreme ideas about purity and about abstinence. Their big word is "lust." When you have a sexual thought in your brain, you are lusting after someone. They say that if you think about something three times it's just as bad as doing it. If you think about sex, it results in this rush of testosterone. So it goes like this: Immodest women cause rushes of testosterone in men and cause them to irresistibly assault–either sexually or violently–women. All the blame is put on the women and how they dress. There is very little responsibility put on men to just not rape women. That’s kind of their ethics going into it. It’s kind of infiltrated mainstream Christianity.
To which Jenny Kutner responds,
I would say mainstream culture, also. That is exactly what we talk about when we talk about rape culture.
And then Nicholas Ducote says,
It's literal rape culture.
"Christian patriarchy" teaches people that immodest women cause rushes of testosterone in men and cause them to irresistibly assault. All the blame is put on the women and how they dress. There is very little responsibility put on men to just not rape women.
It's literal rape culture.
And it has kind of infiltrated mainstream Christianity, this patriarchal ideology that transfers blame to women and children who are sexually violated by men and boys, while exonerating men and boys.
This article is directly germane in the strongest way possible to the conversation we began today with my first posting, is it not?
The photo of Nicholas Ducote is from the Homeschoolers Anoymous website.