Crime statistics among the Amish people seem low, but if you dig a little deeper, it’s usually because the crimes aren’t reported or the community deal with the problem. One major issue is sexual abuse and r*pe. The punishments for these crimes can be pretty tame, with men finding themselves barred from church activities for a few weeks if they r*pe someone. This deterrent is the same as the punishment for anyone cish women mostly goes unnoticed. From a fear of being shunned, to being told it’s god’s will, there are only a handful of rare cases where the Amish community seek help from the police.
If you can just about get to grips with imagining life as an Amish person and going without some of your favourite home comforts, try imagining a life without selfies. I know, it’s just plain wrong, right? You won’t catch an Amish woman posing for a selfie, belfie, hot dog legs on the beach, I woke up like this or any other of the myriad of Instagrammable moments because they are just not down with photos full stop. Believing a photo is a ‘graven image’ – meaning it makes the subject essentially an idol – it’s against their beliefs. Some will agree to candid photos as long as the images aren’t posed for. With celebrities, popes, astronauts, presidents and even animals all getting some serious selfie exposure on Twitter, just how long will it be before the Amish post some serious horse ‘n’ cart selfies? We’re here for it when they do.
Amish women probably want to keep this one under wraps, because no one wants to admit they married their cousin, right? But this isn’t really an incest fetish thing amongst the community, though there are some seriously disturbing accounts of Amish abuse – more on that later in our list. No, inbreeding is just a result of the Amish communities being relatively small. What’s more, they don’t actively recruit outsiders to join their way of life. Often they don’t really know who is related to who and even if there’s a suspicion of ancestry, they opt for potential incest over DNA tests as the tests are said to be against ‘God’s will’. Let’s not be quick to judge. Johnny Knoxville totally owned his ancestral incestuous past and he’s ok.. right? If your family tree doesn’t branch, maybe it’s best to just pick a partner from another community?
All Amish kids quit school after the 8th grade. Educated within the community, they have little access to knowledge beyond that which the community deems appropriate. The lack of schooling makes it difficult for Amish women in particular to ever leave their communities and find work. While Amish men choose a trade when they finish school, Amish women become housewives or help their moms with the household chores. The education up to the 8th grade includes crafts which will be useful to the community. The Amish believe they need simple minds so they can lead simple lives and that higher education will encourage ideas that challenge Christian values.
So we already know from our lists that drugs and alcohol are creeping into Amish communities. But did you know that every Amish teen gets free reign to experiment when they hit 16? Amish parents either turn a blind eye or encourage their kids to indulge in the rite of passage known as Rumspringa. Amish youngsters get to go experience technology, drinking and all the fun trappings of youth culture so they know what they are missing out on. A surprising number of kids return to their communities after Rumspringa – around 80-90%. ish way of life is more appealing than we realize?