I really have to get this rant off my chest. Please note that I’m not attempting to judge the Ludys for who and what they really are, I don’t know them so I can’t say; but I do judge them for the picture they show to the community.
The Ludys. The perfect couple within the home school/courtship movement. While they teach fundamentalist values and views, they still seem so “normal”, so “perfect”, so… everything a girl could ever want.
I grew up with the Ludy’s books. I used to be a HUGE fan of them, all of them, especially Leslie’s books on beauty and femininity.
While most people consider Eric the bold one with the harsh sermons, I tend to disagree. Eric might be just as crazy as Leslie, but Leslie is the one with the most dangerous message.
Her “hobby” of sorts is to pick on other women, specifically women with children, who don’t do as awesome as she does. In pretty much every book I remember reading, she comes up with a story of how she met a married woman who ‘was shattering her childhood dreams of the perfect marriage and family’ (not an exact quote). For example a woman who looked very ‘messy’. We do not learn what “messy” means by Leslie’s standards. On all the pictures we see of Leslie, she is perfectly styled. Perfect hair, perfect make up (yes girls, sorry to shatter your dreams now, Leslie ALWAYS wears make up), perfect dress and style. Maybe she has a good sense for it, maybe she has a stylist. Either way, not everyone is that lucky to have one of those two, or even both. We learn about that messy woman that she looks tired, her hair looks tangled, and her clothes look kind of… well, messy. That might just be that this woman has a different type of hair that’s hard to control, that she doesn’t like make up and that she hasn’t as good of a sense for clothes as Leslie does. But rigid old Leslie’s comment stands there, on its little throne, judging every woman who can’t be the way she is for whatever reason. And of course, that’s one of Leslie’s secrets for the perfect marriage. Be like Leslie, and your husband will treat you like the queen you are. If you want to convince yourself, I beg you to read an article in the July/August 2011 issue of her online magazine (the newest one with the red cover). The article starts on page 86, it’s called “Mothering with dignity”. You can find her magazine at setapartgirl dot com. I refuse to link directly to her.
Another thing that she loves to pick on (see aforementioned article) is the houses of people. Leslie seems to be a very clean woman, because so far I haven’t read a word of praise in her books or magazines about other people’s houses. Nothing seems to meet her standard. She picks on the messiness of the house, the interior, the furniture, everything. And she doesn’t stop there – she seems to never get enough of telling people just how great she’s at decorating and how much better her family runs when everything is tidy, clean and beautifully decorated. Again, she shows that she simply has an eye for style, but that’s not what I’m criticizing. It’s the fact that she actually has the money to do as she pleases with her house. She has the space, the money to buy beautiful things, the style. Not everyone has that. But by her judgement, these people aren’t to be accepting, they are just a negative example for a christian family. They don’t live what christianity means. She never fails to put people down when they don’t meet her standard of living.
Growing up as a girl, I wanted to be like Leslie. Well styled in my pretty white picket fence home with my awesome “warrior-poet”. She seemed like everything she did was because of Christ, because that’s where her energy came from. And growing up in a house with 14 people, I also knew that something was wrong with us. We didn’t have the money to decorate much, or paint walls, or buy pretty beddings. My mom didn’t wear beautiful clothes and perfect make up. Home school wasn’t heaven on earth with peaceful children. Much of the opposite is true. I wondered why we weren’t like the Ludys. And I’m glad to tell everybody that I now know why we never were like them: Because the Ludys, especially Leslie, is so obsessed with the picture she’ll see of herself in the christian community. She obsesses over details nobody would blame her for. She has a natural gift for style and beauty, and that’s fine, but she uses it against people who don’t have it. She puts everyone down who doesn’t reach her standard for a “christian” wife and mother.
Leslie’s standards are far beyond what is possible for a family with 6 plus kids. I’m sorry to be so harsh, but Leslie has only four kids. I have raised more than that before I was 18. If I had only four, my house might never be messy as well. I might have the time to style myself as well. But not everyone is made for that and I firmly believe there are people who are pushed to their limits by one or two kids. That’s fine too, until the Leslies of this world come along and judge everything you thought was ok in your life into oblivion.
At the end of the day, Leslie is nothing but a overperfectionist woman, something that reminds me of a OCD, with which she tortures everyone who can’t be like her. And I despise her for telling growing girls that they have to be just what she is up to a point where girl entirely lose themselves in the process. Where nothing but a mechanical shell is left, trying to achieve a standard set by her highness and goddess Leslie, and not by Jesus. Legalist anybody?