Kate and I were friends growing up, until my step outside of our conservative Christian homeschooling community tore us apart. When Kate began to step outside herself, she found my blog and reestablished contact. Kate is now starting a blog of her own, which she has named Time To Live, Friend. Inspired by my reviews of Created To Be His Help Meet, she has decided to review So Much More, by Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin. With her permission, I will be reposting this series here as she posts it, and I encourage you to have a look around her blog as she adds additional content and gets her feet wet blogging. This post, the series introduction, was originally posted here.
When my parents took me and my siblings to homeschool conventions, they usually gave us some money to buy something for ourselves. There were a lot of booths that sold entertaining sciencey doo-hinkys or fun board games, but most of the time I spent my money on a new book.
I think I first came across So Much More in the Vision Forum magazine, because I remember going to the homeschool convention with the intention of buying it. I couldn’t wait to read the book that promised to help me “Discover the practical, biblical solutions for the young woman who wants to do so much more than just ‘survive’.” Finally, a book that would empower me as a woman, stop giving me pat answers, and actually challenge me intellectually!
My expectation, however, was woefully misled. Instead of finding challenging things to think about, the book focused on developing a relationship with your father and the evils of college. I found it boring and idiotic—even though I might have agreed with parts of it at the time, I certainly didn’t see anything wrong with pursuing a higher education.
I finished the book, decided it was a waste of time and money, and promptly forgot about it on my bookshelf for the next 5 years of my life.
Since going to college and rejecting the fundamentalist beliefs about men, women, and relationships I grew up with, however, I have decided to rereadSo Much More because I think a rebuttal needs to be made. I find the ideas in this book so wrong and repugnant, I really can’t stay silent.
As I reread it now, I’m even more disturbed not just by the parts urging daughters that they shouldn’t pursue a higher education and go to college, but by the strange relationship the Botkin sisters encourage between daughters and fathers.
It is my hope that this series encourages those who have already rejected the beliefs and also sparks some questions in those who might still be holding onto these beliefs.
I want daughters raised in this kind of environment to be free to think, question, and leave. To not base their self-worth on guys, to learn that higher education is good and important, and that they can in fact trust themselves.
In my own life journey, I have personally experienced the damage of these kinds of beliefs that told me my entire self-worth was dependent on being a “helpmeet” for a man—either my father or future husband.
It’s because I know how damaging books like So Much More can be, that I want to speak out against it.
I will be blogging through So Much More every Monday. Make sure you come back on Monday to read Part 1: Daughters of the Eternal Father.