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SAHD blogs - the new form of newsletters/journals?


LucySnowe

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Over in a discussion about the Dear Abby for SAHDs, mlady asked:

Do all these SAHD blogs poping up just appeal to other SAHD bloggers? I don't get the appeal or the need for so many. This isn't a JOB but I get the feeling they see it as such, which makes the whole not having a "real job" thing even more weird. You can be a SAHD while working and impacting the world in a positive way can you not? Sitting at home just is a waste of life IMO. Unless they are all so backwards from homeschooling they couldn't get/keep a real job if they tried. I have no clue.

There's a homeschooled fundie I've been in casual internet contact with for many years, and she used to edit a Young Christian Maiden-type magazine - a photocopied-at-Kinkos sort of deal. She gave it up before she met her now-husband, but she married in her late twenties, so I think she was running it well into her twenties - at least eight years. She had a few hundred subscribers; this wasn't a fly-by-night idea for her local homeschool group.

I remember her once commenting that there were a *lot* of these in the homeschool movement for a while, all edited/run by young women. And YLCF also started in this way - there was a club of two cousins, but then when this expanded, there were newsletters.

Teenaged girls have different ways to create identity, but when you're fundie and homeschooled, this has to be done within pretty narrow lines. So I suspect that, at least in part, the blogs are taking the outreach role previously taken by hand-photocopied journals. It's also a way to channel creativity and energy and entrepreneurship into something that's approved of, and of course it isn't a 'job' because you can do it at home and give it up when your Shining Prince comes a-knocking on Daddy's door. Calling them 'ministries' helps them to be seen as 'promoting my Christian faith and bringing other young women to Jesus' rather than 'personal self-expression'.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?

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I think there's definitely an element of that. When I was still in the fundie reformed world, I was a bit of an outlier because I wasn't homeschooled (our church was huge at the time and dominated the small locality's school board so all of the lucky residents of my county got education that was somewhat fundie-approved - story for another day). However, we had some homeschoolers in church and the folks 2-3 years behind me on down were almost all homeschooled.

The SAHD movement was still very much a fringe thing at the time (1990s) but a lot of the young women, to show off their proper fundie-dom, were into email loops online and as time went on, I saw those loops evolve into blog "ministries." Part of it is a young fundie women's community builder but part of it is really to show off these women for prospective suitors.

One thing that I think most folks don't realize is that the fundiest of the fundie are a bit out of step even within their own conservative churches, so their main hope of marriage or of parent-approved community is going to lie outside their own home churches. After all, the average fundie family, even the more middle-class/upper-middle class ones, may homeschool but they're not all speakers and activists. For instance, I don't know either of the Chanceys directly but I know some folks who knew Jennie Chancey back in her early 20s and from what I know, she comes from a conservative church and even in that environment, her family is even more conservative than what would be the norm in that group.

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This is really interesting, since zines were one of the big things for feminists during the riot grrl period. It makes sense, in a way, that somewhat uncommon/isolated opinions use these means to communicate and build solidarity but I still find it interesting. Given how isolated fundies, especially SAHDs, often are, I imagine these communities help combat loneliness.

I also think this would appeal to SAHDs/SAHMs given the amount of freaking crafting that goes with those communities. I decided to try and make a scrapbook for my study abroad once and, damn, ALL those blogs seem to be SAHMs. e-crafting and ezines seem to be a logical continuation of these ideas. They can be, in fact, cheaper than traditional means, since there isn't any photocopying and mailing involved and finding free webhosting is simple

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