The chapter title is "Slaying the Inner Vamp: When the Female of the Species is More Deadly Than the Male."
Really, the title is emblematic of the problem with this entire chapter: Words have meaning. Assuming for a minute that women have an "inner vamp", women are far less deadly than men in every category involving human deaths. Women commit fewer murders, commit suicide less frequently and are involved at much lower levels in military operations.
That leads smoothly into the first theme:
Bible interpretation is NOT our strong point.
The Botkin Sisters start the chapter with an overview of Proverbs 7. I've never actually read Proverbs 7, but after skimming it, the message of the chapter is very clear: Don't commit adultery. The Botkin Sisters, on the other hand, spin out 3 pages of reflection on this topic - although the reflection condenses quite a bit if you remove quotes from other sections of the Book of Proverbs about adulterous women. I'm not including the quotations and will mark the sections by [quote]. As always, the italics and bolding in the quotes is from the original.
" Say to wisdom, "You are my sister," and call insight your intimate friend, to keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words.
When we think of the attributes of a bad woman, we usually think of immodest clothing or fluttering eyelashes or suggestive body language. Proverbs mentions all of these, but the weapon it warns against the most - by far - is none other than her tongue. [paragraph of quotes]
Girls who virtuously restrict their coquetry to their words rather than their appearance or body language - whether flattering or taunting - don't tend to call themselves flirts. "I wasn't making eyes at him, was I?" But who are they fooling? They've kept their biggest asset, the deadliest weapon in the Forbidden Woman's arsenal. They're just using their words to do what they know they're not supposed to do with their eyelashes." (pg. 95)
- The Biblical "Forbidden Woman" from Proverbs 7 is a married adulteress - a woman who is knowingly violating one of the Ten Commandments. The Botkin Sisters' "Forbidden Woman" is a girl who flirts. That's absurd on the face.
- None of the Bible quotes supports that women aren't supposed to flirt.
"...I have seen among the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense...
If we tend to be drawn to young men lacking in sense, if we gravitate towards the groups of "the simple", we might need to examine our reasons why. Is it because they're "more fun" than the old serious people? Because we think can get away with more? Do we fit in better?" (pgs. 95-96)
- Notice how the Botkin Sisters shift the meaning of "a young man lacking in sense" - a singular foolish man - to groups of young men lacking in sense to a group condemnation of "fun" compared to "old serious people".
- Ideally the answers to why a young woman or teenager is hanging out with other young adults including males are "Yes, my age cohort is more fun.", "Yes, I can get away with more with other teens" and "Yes, honestly, I fit in better with people of my own stage of life than older people in different stages of life."
- The Botkin Clan has never fully explained the Biblical basis for their disdain for fun. There are a handful of quotes in the Letters of the New Testament that condemn frivolity - but that's more an issue with living life solely for fun while leaving people who need help out in the cold. That's a huge leap to get to "Teens should sit with the real adults and never go off on their own to goof around."
"And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute,
By her clothing, she's associating with streetwalkers - whatever they looked like in her day. Her clothing distinguishes her." (pg. 96)
- Yes, the Botkin Sisters use this portion to justify their screed on modesty in a few pages.
- The Botkin Sisters insist that they aren't - nay, can't - write a book for married women because they themselves have not married yet. And yet, they are completely oblivious to the problems with applying a chapter of Proverbs that is about the dangers of a MARRIED woman committing ADULTERY to the dress and behavior of unmarried women interacting with single men.
"wily of heart.
This is no care-free, fun-loving floozy with a heart of gold. And despite the caricatures in the movies, no such thing exists. Though this woman presents herself to the young man as warm and loving, as many such floozies do, her interest is herself; her motivation is self-gratification; her goal is conquest." (pg. 96)
- I have no idea what movies the Botkin Sisters are referencing about "floozy" behavior. It sounds a bit like "It's a Wonderful Life" - but not entirely.
- The Proverbs 7 Woman never tries to portray herself as warm OR loving. She portrays herself as a prostitute and as available since her husband will be gone for a month.
In the next post, we'll finish the Proverbs chapter.