Friday, May 13, 2016

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

I'm going to try a different format for the boys this time.  Since the quotes are arranged thematically, I'm going to present them this way instead of by author.

Chapter Eight has the fewest quotes of the whole book.  There are exactly two quotes about how girl's relationship with her father makes her a potential romantic partner.

According to "Rex, reformer"
"In my observation, the young women who have the most balanced perspective on guy relationships, and who maintain good deportment before men, are women who are at peace with who their father is; they are also relaxed, confident, and content with who they are as a daughter in his household.  Young women who get clear and biblically sound affirmation (fenced by loving guidance and discipline) don't usually flaunt themselves to gain the attention of men or shrink in fear in their presence; they are comfortable in their own skin simply doing what they're supposed to do.  They act stably and responsibly, neither striving to prove themselves "worthy" in front of men nor shrinking from their obligations as a well-adjusted women in a man's world." (pg. 139)
  • This paragraph is a great example of setting vague guidelines so that men and women are free to judge other people without guilt or shame.  There is no recognized societal guidelines for "good deportment" in front of men.  
  • Rex sounds like the type of guy who enforces the "gatekeeper" model of female sexuality.  After all, good girls don't attract men while acting stable and responsible.  At the same time, good girls are willing able to be the blank sounding boards that men need to spout off their deep knowledge and theological insights.
  • These stories make me wistful for the guys I hung out with during high school.  There was none of this silly purity nonsense.  If I liked a guy or he liked me, we flirted and hung out.  If there was no romantic leanings, we'd just hang out.  My opinion was valued because of my intelligence and friendliness rather than being denigrated because I was a woman.  The guys were perfectly OK with me telling them that their ideas sucked when they did; how else would we learn or become friends?
According to "Joseph, webmaster"
"When I'm choosing friends (guys or girls), one of the first things I look at is their relationship with their parents.  You can learn so much about a girl's general attitude and character from how she talks about her parents to her friends: Is she respectful of their rules, or dismissive? Does she make belittling comments about how "old fashioned" they are, or does she talk about them with reverence? As a young man who is trying to become more respectful of my own parents, I have to take seriously the warning in 1 Corinthians 15:33 that "Bad company ruins good morals," and stay away from girls who have a contagious mocking spirit.  One red flag that I try to watch for when I'm in a conversation with a girl and one of her parents walks by - does she suddenly stiffen up, and become less comfortable? Does she try to quickly change the subject of the conversation? If her relationship with her parent's is not loving or close, that's a good sign for me to run." (pg. 140)
  • Joseph's general advice is alright; the devil is in the details.  
    • Being around someone who is dismissive and makes belittling statements is unpleasant and not a good relationship basis.
    • The larger red flag that Joseph completely overlooks is why the girl stiffens up and rapidly changes the topic of conversation when a parent appears.  That's not a normal reaction for a teenager who finds their parents annoying.  It's a normal response, however, in an abusive relationship.  I'm not saying that a girl being nervous is enough for a CPS call, but she needs a friend all the more at this point.
  • Another problem: This cannot work among adults.  Since adults meet other adults outside of the view of their parents, trying to suss out the parental-child relationship is silly.
Chapter Nine has 13 separate quotes from the boys.  Apparently the boys are more than willing to give their opinions about how girls should interact with them.

Overarching theme: Determining if girls are flirting or just being friendly isn't based on an objective standard; the standard is a subjective one determined by each guy.
From "Paul, missionary":
"The opposite of flirting is not shunning, it is being friendly.  As far as what is flirting and what is friendliness, it honestly comes down to where your heart is.  Do you love your brother in Christ, wanting what's best for him out of your interaction, not what's most gratifying to you? A good rule of thumb is, "If you wouldn't talk that way to your blood brother, don't talk that way to a boy who isn't." Also, ask your dad and brothers to observe you around guys; they'll be able to tell if anything your do is flirtatious." (pg. 159) 
  • I call Paul as a Botkin Boy.  My reason is the fact that women are apparently too daft to figure out if they are flirting on their own, that adult women (like mothers) have no role in watching daughter's' behaviors, and that fathers and brothers are always the best and most impartial judge of female behaviors.
  • I'm completely over this obsession with protecting men from flirty girls.  If Christian Patriarchy is really about male leaders who are ordained by God, then women shouldn't be able to mess them up so badly by fluttering an eyelash or a teasing comment.
From "James, producer":
"It is sad to say, but I know dozens of otherwise godly, upstanding girls who the guys won't have anything to do with because the girls have developed a reputation of being needy, clingy, and emotionally unstable.  Guys avoid these kind of girls with the same revulsion that girls avoid the lecherous man who stares at every girl he encounters.  The root problem is the same in both those examples - neither has learned how to master their emotions or their thoughts - to "take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." (pg. 163)

  • Does James ever wonder what the girls think about those judgy guys?
  • Presumably, Anna Sofia and Elizabeth are sampling guys who run in the same CP/QF circles that they do; I can't imagine that they are allowed to talk freely with men who aren't.  With that assumption, I can't figure out how any guy got to know any girl well enough to decide that she's needy, clingy or emotionally unstable.  In this book, talk between genders is supposed to be stilted and educational; I can't imagine that "What do you think of Pastor Blah Blah's sermon on the Book of James" causes girls to start screaming or crying mid-conversation.

Again from "James"
"There's a difference between being approachable and available.  Guys appreciate a girl who is easily approachable - one who can interact and hold a substantive conversation.  We don't, however, appreciate a girl who is eager to show that she is available.  Even the most dense guy can usually tell when a girl is after attention, or when her heart isn't right towards him or towards guys in general.  It comes through in everything she does: The way she carries herself, her words, her tone, her gaze, and her dress.  The issue, however, isn't her actions or her dress,  The real issue is her heart." (pg. 165)

  • I think I'm starting to get the mindset.  Girls should be asexual, non-romantic automatons who are willing to interact with any man who comes there way with deep, spiritual conversations that let the boy feel like a real man.  
  • The sheer amount of judgement being passed during every second of interaction with girls is staggering.  I can't imagine how James is able to have an intelligent conversation with a woman if he is simultaneously deciding how her posture, gaze, dress, tone and word choice shows her heart.
    • Oh, snap.  I just realized I assumed James talks to girls.  Silly me; James is probably as much of a bitter wallflower as Anna Sofia and Elizabeth were toward Sheila when they were girls.  It's so much easier to negatively judge women when they are talking to the more social, less judgmental men and leaving you all by your lonesome self.
  • As  I read this book, I'm understanding why CP/QF families need to guard against outsiders. If their kids met the sheer number of people that the average American kid meets between school, a sports team or two and another social activity (church, music etc.), the kids would realize how absurd the assumption that you can read a heart through things like dress and posture.  Most kids realize how false that idea is by the end of junior high.

From "Timothy, shepherd"
"What sort of behavior is appropriate mostly comes down to your heart motivations.  Intense conversations, hugs, exuberant smiles, or whatever will see totally appropriate and comfortable to a guy if the girl's attitude is pure; but if it's not, this "exact same behavior" is scary.  I don't know how, but we can smell it.  You usually can't fool a guy you're trying to catch unless he's already blinded by sin (especially various kinds of selfishness, like lust of the eyes).  But that's not even what you should worry about.  What you really need to remember is that you can't fool God, and he sees every motivation.  (pg. 166)

  • Timothy is really into the term "lust of the eyes".  I think he's used it in every quote so far.
  • I imagine - although James, Timothy et al. are missing this - that the "girl's attitude" is highly correlated with the guy's intentions or attraction towards her.  
    • If Timmy-boy is struggling with lust, every girl is going to have a deeply impure nature according to Timmy.  
    • Timmy is ready to get married and wants to court Janey soon.  He's loving those pure-hearted hugs, smiles and conversations because Janey's so pure at heart!
    • Timmy is ready to get married and wants to court Janey soon.  Too bad Janey's not that into him.  Tricia is into Timmy, though, but Timmy is hating those hugs, smiles and conversations because clearly Tricia's heart is not pure.

Total Quote Count by pseudonym:

Chas - 1
David - 1
Edward - 1
Jack - 2
James - 5
Joseph-1
Paul - 6
Philip - 1
Rex - 2
Robert - 3
Timothy - 4

Hmm....James, Paul and Timothy seem to be pulling into the lead.  Next post is more quotes from da boys.

5 comments:

  1. The advice from Joseph to me is ridiculous. When I was young, the last thing on my mind when I met someone is "gee, I wonder how this person's relationship is with their parents?" What even is that?
    I just enjoyed being with them, if they were fun and we "clicked", then I wanted to hang out more, if not, then you know, being around them in groups was fine but I probably wasn't going to go out of my way.
    Never in a million years did I choose a friend or not choose a friend because of how good or awful their relationship with their parents was.

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    1. Yeah, it was never on my radar for friends. It was on my radar for guys I dated, but mainly in a "How crazy of in-laws do I want?" standpoint.

      I did have one relationship where the parent/son interaction should have been a red flag, but not because he was disrespectful. The family had deeply dysfunctional interactions between all the members. Often, one person was the scapegoat and the remainder of the family was shunning or trying to reconcile the scapegoat to the rest of the family. In that case, the fact that the boyfriend thought that that kind of interaction was totally normal should have been a red flag.

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  2. First of all, what the hell is a "reformer"? That's not a real job.
    Second, why did Rex have to throw in that "it's a man's world"? Jesus Christ what a douche. -Allison the Great aka Double Dukes

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    1. Rex is a douche. He's not quoted very often, but it's always self-important and puerile.

      The Botkin Family believes that they (and some other CP/QF patriarchs) are reviving the Protestant Reformation from Calvin to the Pilgrims to the Botkines. I've been listening to their free podcasts - while doing vigorous exercise to keep my sanity - and they are all about the fact they are "reformers"

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    2. Yeah, they think they're the pilgrims/Founding Fathers from the way they talk. They think that they're going to be the families that bring about a Reconstructionist government here in the USA. *eyeroll

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