SMM: Chapter 4—Why Your Daddy Needs You

A Guest Post by Kate

Originally posted Time To Live, Friend.

[alternative title: The One Where they Use the “S” word]

Get ready because this one is a doozy.

“Perhaps the most spiritually foundational chapter in the book is Chapter Four, about your duty of submission. Please pray for a responsive heart before you read it” (7).

In other words, check your natural gut reaction at the door, and if you are balking at our ideas about submission then you must have a rebellious heart against God. Sorry, but since I think it’s good to think critically, I don’t think I’ll be checking my brain or heart at the door for the rest of this book.

“There is one scriptural command for women that stands out…. This is submission…. we are fully aware that ‘submission’ is seen as a dirty word in our generation…” (33)

But don’t worry, submission isn’t a bad thing! “What is there in God’s pattern for authority and submission that is not wonderful, wise, loving, and perfect? We should rejoice in it and make the most of it” (34)!

I don’t know, what is there about submission that’s not wonderful? Maybe just hierarchy and the fact that women are told they shouldn’t think for themselves, but you know, those aren’t huge things and we should just ignore that and rejoice! Besides, thinking for yourself is dangerous, and it’s a good thing that you have your father or husband to do that for you! Otherwise you might come to dangerous conclusions!

After all:

“…God’s design gives each women, whether married or unmarried, a protective head to whom she must submit. As we have said before, a woman’s life will always be tied into a man’s life, whether she is married or not. This is a basic feature of womanhood, and women are to be dependent on men’s protection and leadership. This is how God created it to be” (34, emphasis added).

Okay, so women are always to be dependent on a man. Let’s see where the Botkin sisters take this in relation to daughters:

“God has placed our fathers in a position of authority over us, and to disobey them is to disobey God, unless the two come in direct conflict with one another. A father does not have the authority to make his daughter commit sin, because his authority is limited…” (35, emphasis added).

I’m glad at least that they Botkin sisters acknowledge that not all fathers are perfect and allow an exception for cases of “sin,” but…to disobey your father is to disobey God?

And “disobey” to the Botkins does not just mean doing something your father expressly told you not to do, it means making sure you don’t believe anything different than your father.

Consider the testimony of Ruth,

“One of the ways I show submission to my father is by asking his opinion—Daddy is my God-given authority. I want to honor him by knowing his thoughts and views so that I can properly represent him and be able to understand and articulate what I believe” (35, emphasis added).

Ruth believes that in order to be a God-honoring submissive father, she must parrot her daddy’s beliefs. She believes she cannot have her own convictions about things.

And if that’s not bad enough, she continues: “If he [her father], for instance, has a preference in colors that I wear, I seek to honor him by finding that out and dressing in a way that would please him” (35).

I honestly feel sorry for Ruth. She really believes she cannot have her own opinions because to do so would go against God. And she honestly believes that it is God-honoring to wear clothes that her daddy likes. Now, I don’t know about you, but I find this a little creepy because typically that is something you do for someone you’re romantic with. You know, your husband or significant other thinks you look hot in a certain outfit or color, so you wear that when you’re with him because you want to appear attractive to him.

So Ruth wants to appear attractive to her father? I’m afraid to speculate further.

The Botkin sisters admit that it is hard to submit to your father like this, but doing so means God will bless us: “Actively seeking our fathers’ authority and guidance and instruction can be difficult, especially when the things our fathers want for us are not what we want. But this is the pattern God lays down and our obedience is rewarded with blessings”(36). Once again, it’s do what we say and good things will happen to you.

Kelly struggled with this idea of submission, “I, on the other hand have a tendency towards questioning what he [father] says. ‘Why?’ I want to know. … ‘What if I don’t hold the same conviction you hold in this area?’” (37).

(Me: GO KELLY! THINK! THINK!)

But then:

“Because I was faithful in obeying, even when I didn’t understand, God blessed me with a change of heart. Not only do I obey and honor the commands of my father and mother, the convictions they hold are convictions I hold now! My heart was melted, and God convicted me in those same areas my father had conviction in. Only by the grace of God can I say that the commands of my father and the laws of my mother are in my mind and in my heart all the time” (37).

Or you were just sufficiently brainwashed, but if you want to call it God, go ahead.

Where in the Bible does it say that you have to have the same exact convictions as your parents? And that coming to your own conclusions about things is disobedient?

Because being a submissive daughter and not having your own beliefs about anything is an orthodox Christian belief and is essential to being a Christian. Except, not.

[Did the Botkin sisters even write this book or did their father just dictate to them?]

And despite what you may think, this doesn’t end when you reach a certain age. “The proverbs that extol the glory of our parents’ instruction never indicate that it’s just for little children and that girls with ‘good heads on their shoulders’ don’t need it” (38).

[When you get married, of course, you can parrot your husband’s beliefs instead of your fathers, but if you have a good father he’ll pick someone with the same beliefs. ]

Honoring your parents means more than just respecting them:

“Confiding in our fathers (and, of course, our mothers) is another way we can show them honor. When we let our father know our hearts—our struggles, our weaknesses, our hopes and dreams—it encourages them to pay closer attention to the instruction and guidance they give us. Our fathers can better protect us if they know our weaknesses and struggles and can better lead us when they know what direction we want to be going” (39).

Because you can’t just know for yourself what’s best. You have to try to let your father know you better than you know yourself because God only tells HIM what’s best for you. God doesn’t talk to you because you’re a woman and that would be inappropriate. And your father knows God better than you know God because he’s a man!

Now, there are two reasons why it’s hard for me to disagree and write these reviews about this book. First, because they’re so extreme sometimes I just don’t even know where to start. Secondly, it’s hard because they take a good idea and then mangle it beyond recognition. Like for instance, having a good relationship with your parents. Who doesn’t want that? Or seeking advice from your parents. Or letting your parents know your hopes and dreams. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these things.

I am not against seeking the advice of parents. I am also not against having a good relationship with your parents. It’s when they start saying that you’re not allowed to have your own beliefs or your own dreams that I have a problem. Or that only your parents can know the plan for your life. It’s when they’re writing a whole book extrapolating ideas about fathers and daughters from a few verses. It’s when they’re applying verses about husbands and wives tofathers and daughters.

It’s when they are quoting girls saying things like: “The beautiful thing is, that as I begin supporting my father in his God-given ministry, I find that his convictions are becoming my convictions, his passions, my passions” (41) that make me have a big problem with their ideas.

Frankly I find a lot of “biblical” verses in their book, but nothing really “Christian.” You can talk about submission and honor until you’re blue in the face, but you’ve already lost the whole point of Christianity itself when you’ve stopped looking at the person of Jesus and let him fall to the sideline in order to argue for the way to be a “biblical” daughter or a biblical “father.”

I don’t see Jesus saying anywhere, “Daughters you must stay at home and wait for me to speak to your fathers. You are not to leave the home, and your dreams and talents must always be helping your earthly father accomplish his dreams. You are not to think for yourself, you are to let your father decide for you what you should believe. To be a follower of me, you must care only about what your earthly father tells you.”

I actually think he said the opposite.

The Botkins are trying to turn the Christian life into a simple lists of do’s and don’ts, of roles and rules. They are trying to make it “safe” and “easy” by containing God with lines and boxes. And as nice and simple as that may sound, I don’t think that’s how pursuing God is supposed to work. I don’t think it’s supposed to make us feel safer, I think it’s supposed to lead us into more mystery and wonder.

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • ako

    This is totally ridiculous. You have to think whatever your father thinks? Shouldn’t a healthy family bear less of a resemblance of an Orwellian dystopia?

    • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ JarredH

      What I find interesting about this is they say that a father doesn’t have the authority to make his daughter commit sin, yet turn around and say that daughter must accept her father’s beliefs and opinions without question. A daughter cannot refuse to commit a sin her father commands her to commit if she’s not allowed to form her own opinion on whether what her father is commanding actually is sin.

      • Jayn

        I think of that sort of thing as the ‘locked fire escape’. They pay lip service to the possibility of being in a bad or abusive situation by giving and ‘out’, but the rest of their advice ensures you’ll almost certainly never get to the point of be able/needing to use the ‘out’.

      • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ JarredH

        Yeah, that’s pretty much the impression I was getting with this one. And I love your name for it.

  • http://yllommormon.blogspot.com/ aletha

    I think this book would be more accurately titled “How to Be Your Daddy’s Wife-Without All the Icky Sex Stuff”.

    • Ibis3

      Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help but suspect that “How to Be Your Daddy’s Wife” is sufficient.

  • Kit

    This is the part where I sort of feel sorry for them because they have no skills and if they have a change of heart later and become less extreme Christians (or even atheists! :O) they’ll have a really rough time of it. And should they ever, god forbid, get divorced, it’s going to be a giant clusterfsck.

    I’ve read cases in family law like this (albeit a bit less extreme: Christian fundamentalism and spousal abuse at play but evidently not a boatload of children), and it’s one of the few times we’re supposed to apply for a court order giving possession of the matrimonial home to the wife, if only for the time of the proceedings, even if the husband owns it.

    The spousal support orders in this kind of case would be huge. Of course, then the husband won’t pay it (because she shouldn’t have left!). And then, at least in my jurisdiction, enforcement orders will come into play…

    • Composer 99

      I was under the impression the Botkins sisters aren’t yet married.

      Also, in the event they end up shifting to a more mainline form of Christianity, or even become atheist, I would hope that there would be lots of support from their new communities, contacts, and social networks to help them make a new life for themselves.

      It would be hard work, nevertheless.

      • Whirlwitch

        The Botkin sisters are not married. I searched on them to see if I could find their ages, and I found some interesting things:

        When I typed “Botkin sisters” into Google, the first autocomplete suggestion was “Botkin sisters married”. Ditto for searching on each sister’s name. Obviously people want to know if they’re married yet.

        They”re not married, but they have taught a seminar on “Marrying Well”, and give advice about courtship.

        I found an article written from a fundamentalist Christian perspective criticizing them for pushing the idea that it is the destiny of EVERY woman to get married.

        When Anna Sofia was born, her father put his hand on her head and prayed that she would marry young. I understand she’s approaching thirty, which is quite old for marriage in that culture.

        I couldn’t find their ages. They have no Wikipedia articles, which I find strange given Wikipedia’s scope, and no biographies or articles list their birth years. I’m not surprised about this.

        Interesting, no?

      • Composer 99

        They have no Wikipedia articles, which I find strange given Wikipedia’s scope, and no biographies or articles list their birth years.

        That is curious.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        In their book they say they are 15 and 17, and the book came out in 2003.

      • Whirlwitch

        That jives with Anna Sofia having already written a 25th-birthday post on their blog by the time a forum mentioned it in 2011, making her 27 or 28, rather old for her still to be attending purity balls as a dutiful QF daughter who was supposed to be divinely ordained to marry young.

        ETA: I could not find that post, although I did find a post elsewhere about the adult Anna Sofia celebrating a joint birthday in matching dresses with 13-year-old Liberty [Phillips?].

      • Joykins

        getting married and having children would mean separating from their father, and it sounds like this might be traumatic for them, given what they’ve written so far.

  • http://atheistlutheran.blogspot.com/ MargueriteF

    Even if I disagree with my kids, I’m generally happy when they learn to think for themselves, and not just parrot my beliefs. Moreover, my kids have changed my thinking more than once. One of the joys of teenagers is that they tend to embrace more radical modes of thought, and sometimes it’s better for parents to try to share their kids’ way of seeing the world than to try to force their outmoded ideas onto their kids. I try to teach my kids what I think is right, but I’m open to discovering I’m wrong, too. The world changes, and to always embrace your father’s way of thinking is to stand still while the world goes forward.

    • minuteye

      Exactly! Each generation is an opportunity to re-examine prior beliefs, and decide which are worth holding onto and which are worth rejecting. That’s how we move forward.

    • gimpi1

      I think that’s part of what the Bodkins are afraid of, Marguerite. They believe in “timeless truths” not only about faith, but about virtually every aspect of life. The idea that new idea like, for example, gender-equity could be an improvement on bronze-age life is blasphemous. And the idea that society could change for the better, rather than moving backwards to a supposedly-idilic past is heresy.

      Equality, parity and justice just aren’t important. Only the supposedly divinely-inspired hierarchy matters. Remember, they also tend to be in sympathy with the South in the American Civil War.

  • AnotherOne

    Even coming from a very conservative/fundamentalist homeschooled background I find this bizarre (and would have even in my most conservative moments). Granted, our family wasn’t all that patriarchal given that my dad was gone working most of the time, and my mom had a more controlling personality (at least when it came to the kids). But I can’t imagine how bewildered my father would have been if I had asked him what color of clothing I should wear. That’s just creepy. What on earth kind of man has the energy to have so many binding opinions for other people? I mean, if you’re doing the quiverfull thing, you could potentially have half a dozen or more daughters whose lives you’re supposed to micromanage, down to the color of their clothing? Truly crazy, and I would be very scared of any person who actually wanted that kind of power. Even among the conservative patriarchal homeschoolers I knew and know, this is extreme.

    • Composer 99

      As I see it, there is nothing wrong per se with one’s teenaged or adult children asking for one’s advice or opinions, even on relatively “petty” or insignificant decisions like what colour of clothing to wear.

      Of course, that assumes that such requests are infrequent or occasional and the responses are made plainly nonbinding. In addition, it should be clear that the request/response process is meant to allow the children to make the best decision for themselves, not simply to please their parents/fathers.

      In other words, nothing at all like the way the Botkins want it.

      • AnotherOne

        yeah, I agree. there was just something about the way it was phrased that completely creeped me out.

      • j.lup

        It’s crystal clear that the questions they think adult children should ask their fathers aren’t, ‘What do you think, what do you believe?’ but rather, ‘What should I think, what should I believe?’

  • Mel

    My ongoing annoyance – This is a fine example of smushing the Bible to enforce oddly pseudo-Victorian morals. Where are the damn verses? Why aren’t you quoting them?

    Oh, wait. You can’t. THEY DON”T EXIST. Hell, the submission verses come from parts of the Old Testament and from various letters. Those verses don’t work if your Christian beliefs include that Jesus came to free people from the Law….. if you don’t believe that, then you really need to get moving on your kosher rules. Oh, and most of the verses dealt with husbands and wives. NOT dad/daughter. They don’t come from the Gospel. I seem to remember Jesus saying things about leaving your father and mother and following him. The Apostles didn’t tell Lydia that she needed to get her household under the submission of a man before she could be baptized. They baptized the whole house, then used it as a base of mission trips. I’ve never been able to figure out whose authority Dorcas was under..

    *Growls*

    • Mary C

      This is what bugs me the most, how they just make up stuff about what god wants, and what it means to be godly – then claim they are christian on top of that. With really no biblical backing at all. But lots of people who haven’t been taught strong critical thinking skills will just take what they say at face value, and waste their time and energy trying to meet these twisted standards.

  • Composer 99

    The Botkins are trying to turn the Christian life into a simple lists of do’s and don’ts, of roles and rules. They are trying to make it “safe” and “easy” by containing God with lines and boxes.

    Cargo cult Christianity in a nutshell.

  • wanderer

    Did it bother anyone else that Ruth wants to know her father’s thoughts so that SHE knows what she believes? What in the hell????? Does she understand that she is actually a different person from her father?

    • Alice

      Seriously, WTF. Since they put fathers on the same level as God, I bet they would say that the “dying to self” rule applies.

  • Rachel Heston-Davis

    “Frankly I find a lot of “biblical” verses in their book, but nothing
    really “Christian.” You can talk about submission and honor until you’re
    blue in the face, but you’ve already lost the whole point of
    Christianity itself when you’ve stopped looking at the person of Jesus
    and let him fall to the sideline in order to argue for the way to be a
    “biblical” daughter or a biblical “father.”

    This, this, and so much this. I am consistently baffled when I see the Christian community focusing on tiny sideline issues as if they were major Biblical themes. This sort of thinking runs especially rampant in materials produced for teens (I guess because adults believe that teens need more checks and balances on behavior, so behavior naturally becomes the focus of the materials, rather than an actual study of the person of Jesus).

    Not to mention the fact that they’ve taken a verse about marriage and used it to build AN ENTIRE BOOK on the father/daughter relationship (despite the fact that actual Bible verses about parents usually apply to sons and daughters…but no, let’s not focus on those actual child/parent verses, let’s choose a verse that we WANT to be about dads and daughters and pretend that it is).

  • Gillianren

    I’m going to take a break from my standard rant about fatherless households and instead contemplate something from the other end. Let’s say we’d had a daughter instead of a son. And let’s say that, in ten or fifteen years, our daughter asked her father what he thought she should wear. His answer would be “clothes.” And while I would support her pleasing her father by following his advice on that particular subject . . . .

    • wombat

      My father’s clothing advice was “take a jacket if it might rain, and wear a hat in the sun”. I think that was about the extent he thought about what I wore.

    • Helix Luco

      “… but not in the bath”

  • persephone

    These men are some of the most insecure in the world, because they not only need fulltime cheerleaders, but fulltime worshippers. There is nothing in these books about a woman finding a relationship with God, just how to have a relationship with a man-god.

    • phantomreader42

      Well, they make their god in their own image, so it’s not really a surprise that both they and their god are insecure, abusive narcissists…

    • TLC

      Wow. It’s a good thing that before I came here at the end of a very long work day, I was laughing at stuff from “The Onion” and I’m now having a cocktail. Otherwise, I don’t think I could handle this.

      You have hit on something that has bugged me for a looooooong time. You’re right: this submission crap completely absolves these women from anything they do wrong — unless, of course, they fail to submit to their fathers or husbands. Just think about when they stand before the Lord after they die, and He asks what they did with their lives. They will be completely incapable of answering, because there won’t be a man there thinking for them!

      Maybe we can do an intervention and show these women the parable of the talents, and what happened to the servant who buried his. There is so much potential being shut down by this line of thinking!

  • Scott__F

    Funny how all the “blessings” a woman receives from submitting to her father boil down to being better able to submit to her father.

    • http://yllommormon.blogspot.com/ aletha

      Sounds more like “blessings” to the father than to the daughter.

  • dj_pomegranate

    So … if you’re a dude in this culture, you’ll (almost certainly) get a lovely wifey-wife to take care of your every need and submit to your every whim. And even better, if you’re a dude who has sex with his wife and she gives birth to a daughter, you get another wifey-wife to take care of your every need and submit to your every whim. Literally all you have to do if you are a dude is show up! (And have sex, which, WIN-WIN, amirite?!) The women do all the work: childbirth, submission, introspection, worrying about everyone’s appearances, cooking and cleaning for your enormous family, changing their opinions when needed, respecting and admiring you even when they don’t want to and you might not deserve it … You do not need to change your opinions, or think about other people, or consider any other perspectives, or actually do anything to deserve respect, or anything hard like that. You just get to hang out, let everyone know what you think at all times, go to work once in a while, and, most importantly, be a male.

    • j.lup

      Well, the men do have a part to play: Bringing in an income, being the at-home religious authority, switching babies to train them to be quiet and docile. This may be an ideal arrangement for egomaniacs, control freaks, and abusers, but it’s got to be rather unpleasant for men who don’t want to have to be responsible for making their wives’ and their daughters’ minds up for them, men who don’t want a submissive and simpering wife, men who don’t want to hit their children, men who’d like to be recognized as human and fallible. It’s gotta be hell for a man who wants a partner instead of a helpmeet and either no children or just one or two instead of having to sire a quiver-full of arrow-spawn.

      • dj_pomegranate

        Seriously. It’s just begging men to be unreasonable egomaniacs. (Every time I read one of these summaries, I feel an overwhelming rush of gratitude for mr. pomegranate, who has no interest in turning me into a “helpmeet.”)

      • gimpi1

        Seconded. Mr. Gimpi would run screaming if I asked him what I should think. And we both try to help each other. Perverse, I know.

      • Joykins

        I think you’ve put your finger on the kind of men who are and are not attracted to this…lifestyle.

  • sylvia_rachel

    “If he [her father], for instance, has a preference in colors that I
    wear, I seek to honor him by finding that out and dressing in a way
    that would please him” (35).

    Ew. Ewewewewewwwww.

    So very much ICK.

    • Mishellie

      I know. Maybe he can tell her about his preference for short hemlines and low vnecks as well, then they’d fit perfectly into a “taboo: incest” story on literotica!

  • BobaFuct

    I wonder what color Jesus told his daughters to wear….

  • Nebuladancer

    SMM: So Much More. Again.

    • Whirlwitch

      Didn’t notice that until you pointed it out. Yep, still needs fixing, but it might be better to mention it at Sarah’s blog than here.

  • Katherine A.

    This is pic is what this reminded me of. The thing that bothers me most is that the daughters need to became extensions of their fathers rather than be who they are. It’s sad that the daughters have to kill that makes them who they are to keep their fathers happy. If they ever feel that they want to be their own person they will think of it as the devil tempting them.

    • Pam

      Great picture! And you know, if God wanted women to be mindless automatons, he should have made us flesh robots. But given we have brains, I’m damn well going to use mine.

  • Howl

    I was curious about how many Botkin kids there are and discovered that there are 7 kids total (5 boys, two girls, all adults), but only two (boys) are married. The Web site advertising the Botkin family Webinar on educating kids is here
    http://visionarydaughters.com/2013/07/a-new-botkin-family-webinar

    Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a full family photo, including Mom Botkin (!). Of the two sisters (Anna Sophia and Elizabeth), one is clinging to dad’s shoulder and the other faces the camera straight on, arms by her side — perhaps a secretly independent person.

    Just seems odd in the context of Christian conservatism and the emphasis on marriage that this does not seem to be a marrying family.

    • Whirlwitch

      I’ll give you a copy of what I replied above about trying to find out their ages:

      When I typed “Botkin sisters” into Google, the first autocomplete
      suggestion was “Botkin sisters married”. Ditto for searching on each
      sister’s name. Obviously people want to know if they’re married yet.

      They”re not married, but they have taught a seminar on “Marrying Well”, and give advice about courtship.

      I found an article written from a fundamentalist Christian
      perspective criticizing them for pushing the idea that it is the destiny
      of EVERY woman to get married.

      When Anna Sofia was born, her father put his hand on her head and
      prayed that she would marry young. I understand she’s approaching
      thirty, which is quite old for marriage in that culture.

      I couldn’t find their ages. They have no Wikipedia articles, which I
      find strange given Wikipedia’s scope, and no biographies or articles
      list their birth years. I’m not surprised about this.

      Reading between the lines, the Botkin family is trying to conceal the fact that their daughters are not adhering to the marriage script they push by concealing just how long they’ve been of marriageable age but single and without any prospects. How long before no new photos of them appear?

      Also, from that picture you posted? I have to say Mom Botkin looks frankly adorable. And she wouldn’t look out of place at the Pagan/New Age hippie commune in my area. :)

  • Val

    Everything about this is so frustrating. You can’t force that kind of relationship. My daughter is seven and she likes to sit in her daddy’s lap and tell him all kinds of stuff – I want her to do it because she loves him and wants to, not because she “must”. And neither my husband nor myself would ever think that her reason for existing is to serve him and submit so fully that she’s not even allowed to think for herself! Good gravy, I’m pretty sure he’d be angry at the mere suggestion – it goes so completely against the way we raise our children. They aren’t here to serve us (although it’s good for them to help out around the house), and while obedience is good we don’t want to raise them to “be” something…we want them to think for themselves, to ask the hard questions, to make their own choices and be their own people. I’m a Christian and hubby is an atheist, and neither of us want to push either of those things on our kids. It has to be their choice. There is an innate lack of respect for the daughter as an individual in the Botkin sisters’ universe and it’s alarming. It also places a huge burden on their father, who has the unfortunate task of “leading” grown women who insist on infantilizing themselves to the point where he has to regurgitate their thoughts for them like a mama bird regurgitating food into the mouths of her chicks. It’s ridiculous and no man should have to do that for an adult child.

    Also, it’s seriously cute when our little girl wears her “daddy’s girl” tee shirt…but she’s little. A teenage girl wanting her father to pick out what colours she wears…? Holy crap. Red flags. Red flags everywhere.

    This is a very alarming book. Keep it coming.

    • NeaDods

      To be fair, I doubt it was the *girls* who insisted on being infantilized. This is just another step in the creepy “I’m more in control of my family and idolized than YOU!” chest-beating going on between Mr. Botkin, Mr. Pearl, and other fundie men.

  • Pam

    If I’d ever tried this mindless sycophant stuff with my dad he’d have thought me certifiably insane. I do, in fact, take after my father a lot, we have the same stubbornly independent personality with fiercely knowledge-hungry minds and more than our fair share of intellectual arrogance (and these ‘masculine’ traits are things he inherited from his mother) and we do agree on most things. But if I was just doing what he did because I thought I was meant to act like a mindless drone he’d have told me to stop being a moron – and quite rightly so! In fact, the only time I can think of where I did make a decision to be dutiful to his desires above my own thoughts was studying physics in my last two years of school. I barely passed, so that wasn’t exactly a successful decision.
    And really, I just don’t know how this sort of approach would be satisfying for either the father or the daughter – neither gets to be their own person. Surely it’d be creepy for the father and breed resentment in the daughter? Unless and until the lobotomy-through-learned-behaviour takes effect, I guess, and breeds a Stockholm Syndrome-like interdependence. And then it just gets to a whole new level of creepy.

  • Theo Darling

    Uh, if submission is so awesome, why would you have to “make the most of it”?


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