Tuesday, September 3, 2013
The Stepford Daughters
When Bill Gothard announced the new EXCEL program, a kind of fundamentalist finishing school for girls, at his newly-obtained training center in Dallas, Texas, I had no interest in attending.
Pay to learn about nutrition, stain removal, window treatments, sewing, and scripture memory? I spent more time on those at home than I cared to. More importantly, I was close to my brothers and at 19 years old couldn't imagine anything more dreadful than being locked in an aged Texas hotel for two months studying home economics in the exclusive company of females.
While I did end up visiting the Dallas Training Center in April of 1995, it was for a very different IBLP event (another story!) and the men far outnumbered the women. We did walk in the park, walk downtown to church, and marvel at the old southern furnishings and antique elevator. I was exceedingly grateful not to be stuck there for an eight-week program.
Last week, I came across this article from the Dallas Observer in which journalist Julie Lyons describes exactly what I missed. Here are the highlights: