Sunday, May 15, 2016

It's Not That Complicated: The Boys - Part 5

The Botkin Sisters have brought us another selection of bizarre quotes from guys they know.  We've got some special mini-sermons to tap today!

Overarching Themes:
We have very definite ideas of how women should comport themselves.  REALLY detailed.
From "Robert, entrepreneur"
"Men wish to be inspired, encouraged, and edified through their conversations with women.  A good man will judge a woman by her conversations, and will even judge her on articulation and vocal control.  A well-mannered woman should be able and eager to carry on conversations about meaningful topics.  They should also be able to speak clearly, articulate their thoughts intelligently, and compile data in logical sequence.  This internal order can only be created by being extremely well-read.  Being well-read and having a well-ordered mind will also help temper a super aggressive, self-absorbed woman." (pg. 166)
  • That's why God put women on Earth - to be highly articulate cheerleaders for pubescent boys.
  • This is the only example I know of where a person used both definitions of "articulate" in a single paragraph.
    • I find it extremely catty that Robert thinks that speech clarity (the first "articulate") is worthy of judgement. 
    • This whole section smacks of paternalism.  If a woman cannot speak clearly, or is "illogical" by Robert's views, then she can be dismissed as unwomanly.
  • I'm flabbergasted by the level of self-importance Robert et al. ooze.  Women should be willing and able to serve up a deeply rigorous conversation on request from a guy.  
From "Edward, media professional":
"The Bible implores us to govern our tongues.  That doesn't mean lock them up or cut them out.  Being silent is not fulfilling the command to edify one another, or the command to "always be ready" to give an answer, a careful defense of the hope within us.  However, nobody is gifted with excellent communication.  Instead, girls should wisely invest in their speaking abilities by wisely investing in what they fill their hearts with.  What fills your heart to overflowing?  Is it literature?  Is it recorded lectures?  Is it memorized Scriptures?  Is it psalms, hymns and spiritual songs?  When a young woman speaks with the "likes"s and "um"s of a valley girl, it's because she has let her heart be filled to overflowing with the speech, mannerisms and verbal cues of other valley girls and valley style celebrities.  Simply cutting off these influences isn't enough to develop excellent speech and communication skills though; instead, you have to purge out the old habits and old mentality through saturating yourself, soaking your heart, in the excellent words and communications of elders, teachers, preachers, feminine role-models and the word of God.
When men hear the valley girl sound, they hear a valley girl heart.  When men hear careful, concise, but excellent speech?  They hear a heart overflowing with care, precision and excellence." (pg. 167)
  • I'm glad Edward brings up the Bible.  The boys in this section have no Biblical basis for their nitpicky personal requirements of women.  This entire book drums home the idea that everything in this book is BIBLICAL - but the boys are completely exempt from supporting their desires for excellent enunciation coupled with the absence of the word "um".
  • This is doubly ironic since the Botkin Children all have a slight Southern twang.  For a native speaker, it's an easy accent to understand.  For non-native speakers found in a universal audience, the words in their recorded lectures could be hard to figure out.  If clear, precise speech is so damn important, the Botkin Children need to get a speech coach immediately.
  • Plus, I suspect Edward has a white-centric view on what the "right" recorded lectures, hymns and spiritual songs are.  I doubt he would respect the verbal styles that are based on traditional African-American sermons and hymns.
From "Rex, reformer":
"It is refreshing to be around a woman who carries herself well.  By well, here's what I mean: a woman who possesses mature dignity, yet who is unpretentious and doesn't put on airs or vaunt herself.  A woman who is self-respecting and modest in her dress and speech.  A woman who does not project a self-centered and self-absorbed posture; who genuinely cares about others and conveys that in her words and deeds.  A woman who builds up, not tears down, others in how she speaks and in what she says.  A woman is stable, but not stubborn; who is sure of her views and can articulate them, yet who displays a humble teachableness.  A woman who can converse freely with men, yet who is sisterly, not forward or sensual, in her communication.  A woman who has a relaxed confidence that puts others at ease.  A woman who is cheerful and content with her current situation.  A woman who fears God and knows in Whom she believes." (pg. 177).
  • Oh, Rex. This woman doesn't exist.  She's a figment of your imagination.  Let me explain:
    • A woman who is old enough to have mature dignity while clearly articulating her solid views IS NOT going to have her mind blown by a theological dilettante like the average Botkin boy-buddy.
    • A woman who is down-to-Earth, happy, content and cares about others will AVOID the impotent kingdoms of wanna-be Christian patriarchs.
    • A woman who is truly self-respecting WILL NOT spend every conversation soothing the strangely fragile egos of men.
Girls should learn about topics that are interesting to guys.  Because we said so.
From "Al, history buff":
"It is selfish for one to engage in conversations that only he or she finds interesting.  I find that both young men and young women do this.  Many young men love it when a young lady finds their conversation interesting.  Likewise, I'm sure young women like it when young men take interest in their conversations.  Young men like to talk to girls who take interest in a wide variety of dominion-related things, such as books, law, war, government, politics, news, technology, hunting, or guns.  Young women who take interest in manly topics always stand out.  I see it happen.  It's a fact. A young man can usually tell when a young woman is truly interested in a topic being discussed, or whether she is merely there to "talk to the boys."  It's the women who are actually interested in the topics that we talk about that we end up talking to." (pg. 169)
  • I'm with Al that sometimes polite societal interactions require enduring a boring conversation for a period of time.
  • I don't see why a girl in CP/QF society should be expected to be conversant on "manly" topics; she's not going to be able to do anything with that knowledge.  
    • The Botkins Sisters are quite clear in "So Much More" that women have no place in governmental affairs so learning much about law, government or politics is just going to frustrate the girl.
    • Women can't be soldiers in BotkinLand.  Plus, war is a huge topic.  Narrow it down before you expect women to be conversant in all military strategy, weaponry and outcomes of every war since the end of the Bible.
    • Women don't make news.   Anna Sofia and Elizabeth throw a sop to other women by occasionally shoehorning a historical figure like Eliza Lucas Pinckney or Harriet More into the book, but  I've never seen or heard a Botkin Man speak of a female historical figure.
    • Nice attempt at squashing a few personal preferences in at the end.  The Bible has no dominion mandate that includes new technology, hunting or guns.  Nice try, though.
  • I love when people use vague anecdotal statements like "I see it happen.  It's a fact" to support their worldview.  Al, buddy, every ends up talking with people who share interests.  That's not a support for girls learning about "dominion".
Once in a blue moon, someone says something useful and generous.
From "Jason, cowboy"
"Sometimes I think that girls are nervous about joining a man's conversation because they don't know what to day, and don't want to seem ignorant.  But a girl doesn't need expert knowledge to have a good conversation.  She just needs to care and be able to ask questions.  A girl might feel like she has nothing to contribute to a conversation about coon hunting, for example, but she can always ask questions like, "Do you skin the coons you shoot?  What's a coon skin worth?"  We won't think she's stupid - we'll think she's smart and interested in things (and interested in others). (pg. 169)
  • I think I'd actually like Jason.   He's a nice change of pace.
    • I think he's really trying to make girls feel more comfortable around guys. 
    • He's the only person in the book who sounds like a real person instead of a section of an essay on CP-approved gender roles.  
    • He also speaks like someone from a working class background instead of the overblown vocabulary dragged in by the rest of the crowd.  
  • I also agree that asking questions is a great idea when a person is in a conversation that they don't know much about the topic.
  • I start laughing every time I read about his "smart" questions.  He's a hell of a lot more generous than I would be.  I grew up in the city and even I knew that there were roughly three categories of hunted animals: 1) pests without usable by-products, 2) fur-bearing animals and 3) meat/game animals.  I knew that racoons fit in the second category, although you can make some good foods out of racoons if you know how to cook them.
Wish I had thought of doing the list like this before :-)
One more post on the boys.....


  1. My question is: what's the point of having the guy's profession included? Is that there to make it more believable that he is a real person? I don't see what being "history buff" or "reformer" has to do with their input.
    Also, I'd like to know what they mean by reformer. And if that's his profession, how does he actually make an income from that? Is he a Reformer-For-Hire? (You need something reformed? I'm your guy....)
    Same with History Buff. How is this a job?
    Also, to be honest, I doubt that the guy who says he's a producer is actually making a living from that as well.

    1. I have no clue. I had the same questions. I'm curious if "Timothy, Shepherd" is an actual shepherd or if it is a metaphor for a pastoral duty. I also wonder if "Jason, cowboy" is actually a dairy farmer; most dairy consider themselves farmers and get snippy if you call them a cowboy. (I learned that useful snippet from my husband when I called him "my cowboy" once when we were dating.)

    2. haha Yes. Is he a cowboy, as in, works on an actual dude ranch? Does the rodeo circuit? Somehow I feel like any of those things would be too "worldly" for the Botkins crowd.
      If they are using "Cowboy" as a title because he wears cowboy boots and likes country music, I think a lot of real cowboys would have an issue with that.
      And same question as you had about Shepherd as well.

  2. "A woman who is down-to-Earth, happy, content and cares about others will AVOID the impotent kingdoms of wanna-be Christian patriarchs.
    A woman who is truly self-respecting WILL NOT spend every conversation soothing the strangely fragile egos of men."

    Truth! CPM does not attract confident, intelligent women. They look for broken women that they can control.

    Moving on to Al, history buff (they mean unemployed and unemployable since he has no skills and he is a buff in David Barton history, which is basically fan fiction)

    There's so much garbage in his quote! You're right, what's the point in learning about all these "manly" things when women aren't allowed to partake in these professions anyway? Wouldn't that be seen as flirtations to learn about these things only so one can talk to guys? Do the guys learn about sewing and whatever girly gender role shit the Botkin girls have to do in order to talk to them? I think not. These men have the mentality that says that "women should do everything they can to cater to ME, but I don't have to nothing for them, because bible". It's a crock of shit.
    As a tomboy who has no interest in said girly gender role sphere, it would be incredibly insulting to have to learn about all those things (war, politics, law, government, etc) and not be allowed to anything with that knowledge besides use it to talk to boys. What a waste, and slap in the face!
    -Allison the Great aka Double Dukes

    1. I didn't realize you had changed your handle! I like it.

      Yeah, I'd be pissed off if the main reason a guy liked me was that I could act as a semi-informed foil on "war" instead of being actually interested in my views...or the fact I may well know more about the topic than him.

  3. "So Much More" (in my eyes, the most ironic title in the world, since the book literally has lists of restrictions for what girls can do) was put in my hands to read and learn from at thirteen. Since then my family has had some big changes (such as switching from a Reformed Baptist to a Catholic Church), but the Botkins definitely left a scar on my teenage life. To be honest, it does me good to hear you criticize their book to death, and I have read and wholeheartedly agreed with all your posts so far. Keep them coming :).