Feminist Amish Reject Patriarchy, Satire From Juan Lacayo

By Juan Lacayo|March 11, 2018Student Writing|

Feminist Amish Reject Patriarchy

 

An uncommon sight occurred in the hamlet of Treadwell, PA last month, when a group of three young Amish women were spotted window shopping on the boardwalk of the newly gentrified Lovall District. Passersby noticed them gazing confusedly through an Apple store window, while one person noted that one of the young ladies asked them why all the customers seemed more interested in the “glowing, picture boxes” rather than securing a bushel of apples the store’s sign promised.

What’s News caught up with one of the ladies when this reporter was at the town’s local adult store, Meat Shoppe. Susanna Stoltzfus, 19, told What’s News that she and her sisters had not intended to “defile their innocence by entering that blasphemous place”, but once inside they felt “committed to a mission.”

“Upon entering that Godless place, my sisters and I recoiled at the bedlam contained within: men and women of all ages ogling over carnal idols; licentious depictions of God’s children on the walls, in their glowing boxes, even some of the women displayed their corporeal ‘goods’ to the lecherous patrons. But I’ll never forget seeing our fallen sister, Mary Martha, and the look on her face when she saw we three convened in a huddle of shock and disgust.”

Susanna described her face as one of “knowing satisfaction” and what would result from this chance encounter would shake the nearby Amish communities to their core. Susanna described the change of heart that she experienced after seeing the look of “pure bliss” on Mary Martha’s face.

“She looked at me the way a wolf looks at cornered prey, and I felt deep inside of me a yearning to be eaten up!”

She and the other ladies returned to their village of Cartwright with the mutton they purchased, forever changed. On the wagon ride home, Susanna described to her sisters the feeling that welled up when she made eye contact with Mary Martha – who know goes by Lagertha – and they related that they too felt a stirring from within. In the days following this encounter, Susanna and her sisters described a vague yet intense feeling of restless dissatisfaction with their lives.

The unrest couldn’t have come at a worse time for the small agrarian community that relies on the compliance of all its members not only to eke out a living, but also to maintain their way of life. A village elder commenting on condition of anonymity remarked that,

 

“The devil, or one of his minions, resides within Susanna and her kin ever since that fateful visit to the Godforsaken town of Treadwell. Our community has survived the fearsome acts of God, famine, and even the Industrial Revolution, but nothing has threatened this community more than the insidious monster known as feminism!”

The monster he spoke of was responsible for several sit-ins and strikes by the women of the community intended to raise awareness to the plights they have awoken to. Typically women of this village are supposed to stay within the bounds of the village, tending to the children and the household duties expected of a woman, however the hard times brought on by the early frost had other plans for Cartwright.

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Susanna remembered of her reunion with Lagertha,

“She asked me if I ever pleasured myself. Of course I told her that I took great pleasure in reading the Scriptures, but she dismissed that ‘folly’ and put a finger to my lips, shushing me. She said, ‘No, I mean the way your husband does.’”

Susanna assured Lagertha that her marriage to her husband Jacob was not and would not be imperiled by impure thoughts such as these, but admittedly the thought of autoerotic stimulation never crossed her mind.

“The elders and pastors never make mention of the needs of the individual,” Susanna explained, “ because our needs are base, while the needs of the community and the desires of God are to be exalted.”

Lagertha surreptitiously sent Susanna home with a souvenir: a sex toy and a copy of “Sexual Politics.” At first, Susanna admitted, she considered discarding the contraband in a nearby dumpster. Before her sisters could discover her with it. But the thought of the stirring deep within her body delayed that reaction long enough for her sisters to see the bundle that their former kin sent home with her.

The wagon ride home was full of hushed and giddy conversation. Susanna showed the phallic figurine to her sisters to mixed reactions: horror and disgust, timid interest, and outright enthusiasm. Her older sister Hannah took hold of the toy and examined it closely before concluding that she had a solution for  the community’s economic woes.

Once back in Cartwright, the ladies sequestered themselves in Hannah’s home to discuss the novel business idea that Hannah devised: handmade sex toys.

“Our most numerous crop is corn, which we use as feed for our [live]stock, and the surplus of which we sell on the market to surrounding farms. There is much waste with the feed corn, and nobody is buying corncob pipes and toys like they once did,” Hannah explained.

Her husband made corn cob pipes in the past, but as of late the cobs have been relegated to the compost pile. When she saw the artificial phallus that Susanna brought home with her she knew immediately what could be done with the surplus cobs and she even knew of a market in which to sell them.

Thus in the weeks following the visit to Treadwell, more and more women from the surrounding Amish communities flocked to Cartwright for “sewing circles” in which they could spend money learning about the art of autoerotic stimulation and the freedom from the patriarchy that it could provide. These retreats also sewed seeds of discontent among women thirsty for a feminist ideology in which they could all partake that they didn’t know they needed.

One member commented,

“Never before had we considered how fettered we were to our Masters or how good liberating ourselves from their tyranny could feel.” When asked what the most dramatic change was since their introduction to sexual liberation was she replied, “It was one thing to become the master of our own bodies, but the most striking change was how empty that felt without mastery over our destinies.”

Eventually, the men of the Cartwright and the surrounding communities began to suspect these sewing circles as the cause of the tensions mounting within their households. As women became more secretive about how they spent their free time and as the well-oiled machine of the patriarchy ground to a halt, men began following their wives to combat the demon that had taken hold of their women.

The wheels seemed to fall off the women’s revolution when several women, including Susanna and her sisters, were independently discovered in the throes of pleasure with their vegetal lovers. These blasphemous acts were condemned by the husbands of Cartwright and were forbidden by the Elders. Susanna and Hannah pleaded with the men, explaining the economic boon the new industry brought to Cartwright. They pointed to the profits that they earned with their enterprise and argued for equal representation at the Elders’ table. Their demands: the right to self-determination and, a review of the roles of community members and how they are assigned.

Unwilling to give in to their demands, the elders decided instead to exile the worst offenders among the women, namely Susanna and her sisters. Rather than stopping the movement in its tracks, it was bolstered by the “closemindedness of the decision.” Word of their exile spread like wildfire in the surrounding communities and the Stotlzfus women found support from the women of Cartwright and temporary sanctuary in the households of sympathetic women of other communities, who in turn found themselves exiled with the “visiting heretics.”

“Our sisters in the surrounding communities fear and admired our cause, knew intuitively that it was just, and acted under the guidance of the Consciences. That was how so many acted against the wishes of their husbands, despite knowing the consequences of making their sympathies known,” Hannah commented.

As the number of exiled women grew, it became obvious that they could not remain itinerant feminists. As well, they longed to return to some semblance of their former lives. And it was this adherence to the simplicity of their way of life combined with the new way of thinking that bridged the gap between them and the older generations of women. Soon all the women and some of the children of the communities banded together in a show of solidarity and established their own sect, one in which everyone was free to choose who and what to devote their surplus energies to so long as the needs of the community were met.

“It feels good to know that I can choose to be a schoolmarm or a carpenter or even a Preacher of the Good Word,” an anonymous community member asserted, “It helps me to feel more connected to Jesus Christ himself by doing the things He did, and spreading His Word, and even by interpreting that Word in a way that feels more compassionate and in line with how He would’ve wanted.”

The traditionalists in the affected communities dismissed this movement as “temporary lunacy,” much like the “witch problem in Old Salem.” When pressed for comment about their rising numbers, one elder replied that “the Word of God is Law, and the offenders will face Judgment soon enough.” He went on to say that Divine Intervention would awaken those enchanted by the Devil’s treachery, and that eventually the women would have to return to their men.

The newly established feminist community, Joan’s Landing, is a women’s only community, however women are free to come and go, and to marry as they please on the condition that no mixed cohabitation occurs. The reason for this is to firmly establish their new ideology and to keep it from being undermined by outsiders looking to reinvigorate the old ways among their community members. And Joan’s Landing has flourished as the young folk in the nearby communities accept the new way espoused by the Stotlzfus sisters and their followers. The pivotal difference: men and women work side-by-side in the fields as well as the schoolhouse, all because the newfound abundance and freedom created by a centuries-old, misunderstood commodity.

Sales of the corn cob adult toys, and the newest offerings from the Fem-amish community are available at www.cornsensualsects.org

This has been a work of Satire

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Juan Lacayo

About Juan Lacayo

It’s difficult to describe my academic path because I haven’t figured out how to merge my interests into a degree program. I’m currently enrolled in the Multimedia Studies program in the hopes that I can gain the skills to cobble together a career with a Vice News or Radiolab type of organization as a storyteller. My interests include: music (jazz, electronic, hip hop, etc.), cinema, reading deviant or counterculture literature, comedy, social justice, and attempting to understand cultural and individual idiosyncrasies. My passions include: writing fiction, riding and working on bikes, and capturing the world through the “Juan” filter. I’m one of the lead bakers with Blue Star Donuts, which means that I have my hands in just about everything on the production side of the operation. On any given day, I could be making the dough, rolling out and cutting doughnuts, frying and finishing doughnuts, or making the magical potions that comprise our glazes, garnishes, and fillings. This type of position suits me, as I fancy myself a Jack-of-all-Trades, and I like to keep busy. Whatever I’m involved in, I like to have a hand in as many things as my expertise will allow. I love learning new things.