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Amish: Out of Order


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Did anybody see this show on National Geographic last night? This week's episode dealt with a 16-year-old girl who wants to convert to be Amish. It reminded me of the discussion we had here of people romanticizing the Amish. The girl reminded me of when I was young. When I was having trouble fitting in, I was convinced that moving to another country would be the answer to my problems. Surely, people would appreciate me there! It would be like an adventure.

 

She said that in a community where everyone dresses the same, she wouldn't have as much pressure to try to fit in. At that point, I wanted to give her a hard shake. In communities where everyone is supposed to be the same, there is even MORE pressure to fit in. There are Ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities where you are declared a deviant for not using the same brand of baby sling as everyone else!

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Did anybody see this show on National Geographic last night? This week's episode dealt with a 16-year-old girl who wants to convert to be Amish. It reminded me of the discussion we had here of people romanticizing the Amish. The girl reminded me of when I was young. When I was having trouble fitting in, I was convinced that moving to another country would be the answer to my problems. Surely, people would appreciate me there! It would be like an adventure.

She said that in a community where everyone dresses the same, she wouldn't have as much pressure to try to fit in. At that point, I wanted to give her a hard shake. In communities where everyone is supposed to be the same, there is even MORE pressure to fit in. There are Ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities where you are declared a deviant for not using the same brand of baby sling as everyone else!

ARRRGGHGHGHGH! Really? like REALLY? She needs to work more on HERSELF and appreciating who she is and liking herself and having a strong sense of identity before she starts worrying about whether she'll fit into a community.

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Did anybody see this show on National Geographic last night? This week's episode dealt with a 16-year-old girl who wants to convert to be Amish. It reminded me of the discussion we had here of people romanticizing the Amish. The girl reminded me of when I was young. When I was having trouble fitting in, I was convinced that moving to another country would be the answer to my problems. Surely, people would appreciate me there! It would be like an adventure.

She said that in a community where everyone dresses the same, she wouldn't have as much pressure to try to fit in. At that point, I wanted to give her a hard shake. In communities where everyone is supposed to be the same, there is even MORE pressure to fit in. There are Ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities where you are declared a deviant for not using the same brand of baby sling as everyone else!

I think it just means that the choice is taken from her. Fitting in socially in high school means choosing the right clothes at the right time. Here she'll have to follow ordnung and that's the end of her thought process...

I hope they will make her wait until 18 though, so that she has some time to grow up on her own. I wonder though how the girl who had a blog is doing

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The thing is, when everybody in a community "dresses the same," that usually means, "appears to dress the same, to people outside that community." Within the community, people are more aware of tiny differences, and the importance of these differences is magnified.

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From what was on the show, it seemed her main draw to the Amish was that she came from an unstable family and she liked that the Amish prize family above all else. She had a shred of doubt when she found out some communities would make her give up seeing her family after becoming Amish, but that made her determined to find a community that wouldn't make her do that.

Has anybody read the book Lovingkindess by Anne Roiphe? It's about a staunch feminist who becomes horrified when her daughter, who had previously been very unstable, suddenly finds happiness by joining an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. Clearly, there are people out there who are happier when living a lifestyle with greater structure, but there has to be a way to do that without sacrificing individual rights and safety.

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Blimey, I hope Brandy didn't see this. She'll be up and moving her entire family to an Amish community before you can say flip flop.

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That 16 year old girl on the show last night looked very familiar. Could she be one of the teen bloggers discussed here who wants to be Amish? Her teeth and just the way she talked about it all had a ring of familiarity. Mose did say he would try to find her a less strict Amish community/home. He also said she needed to learn German before he would find her such a place, so there is still hope she can't learn the German.

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For some people, I think the appeal of that sort of life, or fundie life, is that it takes away a lot of personal uncertainty. Life is easier when someone else tells you what to think and what to do. For a person who may never fully mature intellectually, due to neurological issues, it may even be a positive. It provides structure and direction. the problems come, of course, when it's forced on people who don't need it.

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I was surprised he thought she would be able to make it in the Amish community. She didn't come across to me like she would. She didn't know how to cook, had all of her cleaning done by her mom. She seems very child-like still, while girls that age in the Amish community are living the exact lifestyle of their mothers.

Other than that, I love the accent of Amish people.

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That 16 year old girl on the show last night looked very familiar. Could she be one of the teen bloggers discussed here who wants to be Amish?

I know exactly who you're talking about - I used to follow that blog. My link for it doesn't work anymore and googling isn't finding a new location. It was called "Journey to the Amish"

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There are Ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities where you are declared a deviant for not using the same brand of baby sling as everyone else

good lord where did you hear about that? that's crazysauce.

I was reading an interview with an ex-orthodox woman and she said that since women feel that they have no power in their society they will often pick apart other women or rat them out to men for the smallest infraction

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That 16 year old girl on the show last night looked very familiar. Could she be one of the teen bloggers discussed here who wants to be Amish? Her teeth and just the way she talked about it all had a ring of familiarity. Mose did say he would try to find her a less strict Amish community/home. He also said she needed to learn German before he would find her such a place, so there is still hope she can't learn the German.

Ha! I had close Amish friends when I was a little kid, and the habits of speech I picked up from them made it difficult when I studied modern High German later in life. Because Pennsylvania Dutch is primarily spoken, not written, it's going to be tough for her to pick up on the language without interacting with a community that speaks it. Perhaps that's the point - if she's in the community enough to learn the language, her romanticized notions are likely to be challenged by the realities of daily life.

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I know exactly who you're talking about - I used to follow that blog. My link for it doesn't work anymore and googling isn't finding a new location. It was called "Journey to the Amish"

I thought she was about to turn 18 last summer though...

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I thought she was about to turn 18 last summer though...

The blogger's name is Katie ans she turned 18 last year, so it's not her.

She closed the blog in August when she went to join the Amish, and I guess removed it once she was no longer there to monitor or respond to comments.

I had her email address, but I assume she is not using email anymore either.

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For some people, I think the appeal of that sort of life, or fundie life, is that it takes away a lot of personal uncertainty. Life is easier when someone else tells you what to think and what to do. For a person who may never fully mature intellectually, due to neurological issues, it may even be a positive. It provides structure and direction. the problems come, of course, when it's forced on people who don't need it.

Very much agreed.

I really want to see this now, is it up anywhere on the Internet? Or on Netflix maybe?

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Wow! The show was really excellent. I have it on my DVR to record all of it. Seems this ex-Amish is helping young men get out and has a half-way house. I only saw 10 minutes of it until we had to switch to the Giants game but even my DS was fascinated and he hates National Geographic. They had a guy on there who converted to Mennonite and he crashed their barbecue and said that they were all going to hell--just got out because they wanted to drink and smoke marijuana.

Honestly, it would be really great if they put together a show like this for ex-QF.

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The thing is, when everybody in a community "dresses the same," that usually means, "appears to dress the same, to people outside that community." Within the community, people are more aware of tiny differences, and the importance of these differences is magnified.

The vast majority of things that could be used to elevate people above others, or could lead to it, right on down to plain buttons, are not allowed. Clothing designs and fabrics are all things everyone in the community could obtain. There is a strong importance placed on not looking down on others for these things. In some ways, it could be nice living in what amounts to a uniform, not having to worry about picking the right clothing, or hair style, or makeup, but on the other, if you don't like the style, tough.

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