Who says what?

Novelist, mother, minister, and yoga teacher muses on books, babies, motherhood, and what matters with reverent humor.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Go Feminist Amish

There's a little known sect of the Amish called the Radical Feminist Amish.

They have one member.


And this is a call for new members. Anyone out there want to join?

When my family visited the Old Order Amish in Pennsylvania a few years ago, I picked up the best book on the Amish I've read to date: The Riddle of Amish Culture. The book is a fascinating exploration of the choices modern Amish people make in order to maintain the form of their life.

I loved the book so much, and it resonated so strongly with me, that I HAD TO STOP READING IT because I got so depressed that I cannot be Amish!

I suppose you think this makes me slightly crazy...and maybe it does, but let's consider that the Amish are not merely "old-fashioned" people. They are people make conscious decisions about HOW they want to live in this mixed-up, fast-paced, digital universe.

I'm reading a parenting book now, The Hurried Child, that touches on some of the same issues: our lust for speed, the pressure-cooker of achievement, success at what cost to our innocence?

So, maybe I am crazy because I think little girls shouldn't wear lipstick and childhood should be saved from the violence of the media (the only reason you don't think it's violent is because you ARE IMMUNE after watching one zillion images of people hitting/killing/destroying one another). If you can sit in front of the nightly news and eat pie, then you are officially desensitized.

All of us are making choices about how we live. The cool thing about the Amish is the incredible thought, prayer, and meditation that goes into the preservation of their traditions. It's not easy to be different in a world where sameness is a sign of success--but, hey, you gotta be who you are! Even if you're a feminist Amish on the inside!

Notice how I am wearing an apron while outside on an Easter egg hunt! Such Amish fashion! (okay, minus the pink color and the length and the shoes....)


  1. Chasidic Jews have a similar effect on me. Except I *could* become one if I REALLY wanted to...Nice to see you and your brood at the park the other day :)

  2. I feel the same way about the Chasidic community, actually, and I'm not even Jewish! (Although I was made a honorary member of the Chai Society of Yale University while I was there at the Divinity School on account of being, you know, nearly Jewish!)