Tuesday, May 24, 2016

It's Not That Complicated: The Boys - Part 6

There are just a handful of quotes left from the Boys in Chapter Nine.  What I can't get over is how similar each of the guys' complaints about women is.

Overarching Themes:
What's good for the gander is unacceptable for the goose.....
From "Jack, inventor"
"I once had a long, tedious conversation with a girl who essentially introduced herself as the kind of person who read the dictionary from cover to cover, presumably because she thought this incredible feat made her seem intelligent.  When I admitted that I had never read through an entire reference book, she simultaneously bragged and lamented that guys didn't like talking to her because they thought she was "too smart".
She must have noticed my increasing discomfort, because she pointed out that she was smarter than me, and asked why that bothered me.  I found it difficult to politely explain that her intelligence was not what was bothering me.  Looking back, I think she probably was smarter than me, but that didn't stop her from doing dumb things, like bragging about reading dictionaries cover-to-cover or trying to bully guys into feeling guilty about not liking her.
Given half a choice, I'd much rather spend time with people who are smarter than I am.  Dumber people are far less stimulating, far less educational, and way harder to find.  Without exception, the guys that I know will actively pursue girls who are smart, will probably put up with girls who think that they are smart, and run away from girls who define themselves as smart." (pg. 171)

  • Jack thinks this anecdote makes him seem superior to a woman.  Actually, this anecdote makes him seem trite, self-important and socially impotent in one fell swoop.  Ironically, the two words I use to describe this quote are long and tedious.
  • The Botkin Sisters have harped on - and will continue to harp on - the importance of edifying and enlightening men in conversations.  When that's the stated goal of all conversations, why shouldn't a girl lead off by explaining that she's read an entire dictionary?  Perhaps the girl was attempting to tell Jack that he needed to broaden his vocabulary or that Jack uses words in an inappropriate way.
  • Notice that Jack never thought of changing the topic.  I know that silently judging people takes a lot of mental effort, but most people would have simply introduced a new topic like hunting small game.
  • The last sentence is a strange shade of Michael Pearl.  The ideally intelligent woman according to James is smart, but neither thinks of herself as smart nor defines herself as smart.  Good luck finding that, James.
  • Corollary: How many intelligent women would want to be around James?

From "Chas, networking guru"
"Sarcasm in a woman is particularly unattractive, even to sarcastic men.  The idea of spending the rest of my life in a house with a sarcastic woman is enough to drive me to take vows of lifelong celibacy. Proverbs talks about that, actually." (pg. 175)

  • Sarcastic men are unattractive as well, Chas.  Sarcasm is a backhanded indirect form of anger. 
  • I cannot find Chas' verse in Proverbs about sarcasm and women so the Botkin Sisters should have done a better job editing their quotations for accuracy.

This is speaking hypothetically since I've never actually been around a girl....
From "Jack, inventor",
"There are many different levels of flirtation, but most guys are frustrated than flattered by conversations that exist only to be flirtatious.  It's like the female equivalent of pickup lines, or the kind of baby talk that people lapse into when around kittens - seemingly fun, then pointless, and ultimately irritating to the target.  When girls want to talk to me, but will only talk about superficial things, it's obvious that they only have a superficial interest in me.  If simply "talking to a guy" seems to be more important to a girl than actually communicating with a fellow human being, it's hard not to jump to conclusion about her motivation and maturity." (pg. 175)
  • Signs that you have never flirted with another person include believing that there are "levels" of flirtation.
  • Not everyone wants to have a deep conversation every moment of the day.  Not every woman is deeply interested in every man.  Expecting every woman to be willing and able to jump into a deep, meaningful conversation on your terms is extremely self-centered and not Christian.
  • The level of self-importance in these quotes is breathtaking.  Jack - along with many of his fellow boys - cannot conceptualize that a topic that is important to a girl may seem superficial to him.  Honestly, based on the limited exposure I've had to the Botkin Family through their books and their atrocious podcasts, I think their interest in history, art and religion is extremely superficial in spite of the sheer amount of time and energy that they claim to spend on it.

From "Robert, entrepreneur"
"Without taking the reins on a conversation, women can be very influential in its direction just by the nature of the women they are.  A woman whose identity is firmly rooted in every word of God, who can't discuss any topic without looking through a lens of biblical conviction, will have a tremendous influence on the nature of a conversation, without even thinking about it.  I've watched conversations amongst chums turn almost 180 degrees, simply because an honorable woman stepped near the group to politely listen in.  Good men, even just decent men, will raise themselves to the level of identity of the young woman in the conversation.
Every interaction inspires either good or bad works.  Even if it's "shunning".  Sisters, brothers, girls and guys, even parents, look on at the actions of young men and women in a community, and have their convictions shaken or awakened by what they see. There is no such things as being invisible, and inspiring no works at all.  To not encourage, is to discourage." (pg. 176)
  • If men are the God-ordained spiritual leaders of humanity AND the CP/QF folk are the reborn spiritual prophets of the Reformation, men's topics of conversation should be lofty, educational and edifying regardless of who is present in the room.
  • Notice, yet again, the passive nature of women.  A woman listens.  A woman parrots Biblical truth.  Women shun bad ideas and works.  Women in BotkinLand never speak, lead or reprove.  How dull.
  • Even Rob-Bob manages to find a new way to shame women for failing to be a cheerleader since NOT ENCOURAGING => DISCOURAGING.  Sorry, dude, in real-life there is the neutral option.
In the next post wins my favorite/most insane moment in the whole book.....


  1. All of these sound like they don't really like women or think that we're actually people. We're necessary for babies and house-cleaning but not much else.

    I thought of boys as other to an extent when I was a teenager, but I grew out of it after a few years. Sounds like these guys aren't remotely interested in even trying to get past that.

  2. Ok, a few things:
    A) who says "chums"? Is this someone from the 1950's?
    B) again with the titles. What is a "networking guru" and how does one actually make a living at that, pray tell?
    C) ironically, it seems like in this book the Botkins ladies have actually taken something that isn't that complicated (just being yourself if you're a woman) and turned it into something incredibly complicated (being the exactly right type of woman in their view, but not too much, but just enough, a little to the left, not quite right, a little quieter, now you're too quiet, but smart and yet not, and on and on).

  3. If these quotes are anything to go by, Christian Patriarchy men are not only self-important and sexist, but dull.

  4. Whaaat? But sarcasm is my second favourite form of humor after satire. Now I'll never get a Botkin gal. Not that I care... lol

  5. Which of their podcasts have you heard?

    1. I've downloaded and listened to all of the free ones on the Western Conservatory and Botkin Sisters websites. I don't remember the exact titles of all of them, but I think I remember "Good girls and Bad Boys", "It's Not About Staying Home", "Why the second-generation of homeschoolers fail miserably at doing what their parents decided they should do before they were born" (ok, I know that's not the title, but you get the idea :-) ), and "An hour of listening to the Botkin Read the Bible about Honoring One's Parents."

  6. Haha! Thanks, duly noted :)