Abstract

The article focuses on the Quiverfull movement, which began in the 1980s in the United States. The movement derives its name from Psalm 127, which considers children to be a "heritage from the Lord" and compares them to arrows in a quiver with which believers may face their enemies. Quiverfull members are evangelical Christians who eschew all forms of birth control as interference with God's divine plan. Women, in particular, are encouraged to sacrifice their bodies for unfettered reproduction and to submit to both God and their husbands, who are their earthly masters. Examined are popular media representations of the movement, as well as Quiverfull members' own self-representations, including books, news articles, online articles, blogs, and television shows, to assess Quiverfull's larger cultural significance and analyze the movement in the context of pro-natalism and the backlash against feminism. The article argues that the Quiverfull movement is a community of members who are connected through their belief in gender essentialism, divine control of reproduction, and culture war. However, the article insists that the movement does not represent simply a reactionary impulse—it does not merely desire a return to some simple, mythic past; rather, Quiverfull readily engages with modern culture in order to argue for its worldview. By connecting its movement through modern technology, using the mainstream media to gain credibility by emphasizing common values, and co-opting the rhetoric of feminism, the movement works both within and challenges cultural norms.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2151-7371
Print ISSN
2151-7363
Pages
pp. 47-69
Launched on MUSE
2011-04-29
Open Access
No
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