It’s Not That Complicated: Part 1 Chapter 3

It’s Not That Complicated: Part 1 Chapter 3 February 22, 2016

itsnotthatcomplicatedby Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide

The title of Chapter Three is “Boys Are People Too: Learning to See Men as God Sees Them.”  I’m pretty sure the Bible makes it clear that humans can’t see anything as God sees, but that’s the least annoying problem in this chapter.

Overarching Themes:

  • There are actually girls who are so sheltered that a Botkins talk leads them to have a major breakthrough.
  • “She was at least twenty and looked like a sensible, practical girl.  “I wanted to thank you for your speech,” she said, referring to a talk we had just given about relationships with boys, “but I especially wanted to thank you for one thing you said that’s going to change my life.  The lights really came on when you said, ‘Boys are people too.’.  I know this sounds dumb, but I had never thought of it like that. It completely blew away my whole approach to relationships.” This girl wasn’t being dumb; she was being honest.  She saw past the “duh” factor of the statement, and realized we were challenging the way she and most girls subliminally think about the other sex.” (pg 31).
    • *Blinks*
    • Reality check: The age at which the majority of females realize that “boys are people too!” is between 11-14 years of age.  The idea that boys are totally mysterious and inscrutable critters is age-appropriate for junior high students.  The way our society at large has dealt with that awkward phase is junior high dances.    I know that conservative religious homeschooling families don’t do dances, but they need to figure some kind of alternative out because learning this at TWENTY FREAKING YEARS OLD is not acceptable.
  • At best, you will be the third most important thing in your husband’s life.  Don’t complain because God made men and women that way.
  • “[Men] can’t be understood in reference to [women] – in fact, it’s more like [women] have to be understood in reference to them.  Because our place in relationship to [men] is not at the center of their universe, but at their side, helping them with what we were both brought into the universe for: work and dominion.  This might be starting to sound terribly unromantic, but bear with us as we examine the orientation of a man’s life in more depth. “(pg 33)
    • The lack of romance is not my main concern; the fact that the Botkins described the human race as the equivalent of worker ants building a new nest site worries me far more.
    • I concede, however, that the description is also unromantic as hell.
  • “Man’s first loyalty and love is supposed to be Christ, and we can never compete with that.  But in the second focal point in a good man’s universe is going to be his calling in Christ, which is work and dominion.  And if we want to be part of a good man’s life, we have to find our right place in this grand (and actually very romantic) adventure that we’re supposed to share. (pg. 34)
    • I had always thought that the first loyalty and love of any Christian was supposed to be God.  Do the Botkins mean that women are excused from placing God first?  They harp on the fact we’re supposed to do that in entire chunks I’ve excluded so far, but maybe that was added by their editor.
    • What does the word “romance” mean to the Botkin sisters?  I’m not seeing anything romantic so far.
  • “The grand romance God wrote for man and woman will be spoiled if the personal fairytale we  insist on writing in our imagination places us as the hero’s reason for living.  God created man to have a dominion-focus, not a woman-focus, and failure to understand that can turn our fairy tale romance into a tragedy. (…) We must realize that we will never be the center of a man’s life; and we will never be happy with the way men – any men – are, until we accept this.  But isn’t it much more romantic to be at his side, sharing his mission?” (pg. 34)
    • Snap.  I just realized why this section seemed oddly familiar and creepy.  The Botkin sisters have independently recreated the character of St. John Rivers from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.  The title character of Jane Eyre falls in love with a man name Rochester whom she cannot marry because his insane wife is still alive.  She runs away to prevent herself from having an affair with him.  Jane meets St. John Rivers and works with him on several projects.  He proposes marriage, not because he loves her, but because he wants her to come to the mission field with him and he can’t bring her unless they are married.  She refuses to marry him because she realizes that she would work herself to death trying to gain his approval – which she could never fully gain.
    • The saddest part to me is the fact that the Botkin sisters have never been the center of any man’s life.  I’m not talking about a boyfriend, lover or husband; they’ve never mattered enough to come first – even for a short time – in the lives of their father or brothers.  That’s heartbreaking.
    • Perhaps “romance” is a synonym for “unrelenting work”.
  • Females are completely unable to differentiate between media and real life; that’s why Mr. Darcy and Edward Cullen have ruined boy-girl relationships due to emotional porn.
  • “We know that it’s important to understand men, and so… we voraciously study them.  By that, we mean we talk to our girlfriends about them.  We read women’s magazines about them.  We daydream about what they’re like.  We watch romantic movies as if they were nature documentaries.  And we read lots and lots of romantic books written by women as if they were field guides.  (…) Then we have a real encounter with a [man] and discover that he’s nothing like Mr. Darcy or Edward Cullen or the prince in Ever After.  He’s not dashing or witty, doesn’t know how to dress and only wants to talk about uprisings in Libya or cloud computing. (pg. 35)
    • Remember two things: romance books are written by women AND men don’t need to be dashing, witty, well-dressed or capable of conversations that interest both parties.  The Botkin sisters forget both these statements as soon as they are written.
  • “Jane Austen’s actual hero in Pride and Prejudice is a decent fellow – up-standing, shy, steady and somewhat bland – but with nice trimmings: tall, dark, handsome, mysterious and insanely rich. He’s a blank enough character that we can superimpose our favorite qualities onto him.(…)” (pg. 36).
    • I question if the Botkins have read Pride and Prejudice.  This quote describes a character from the novel – but it’s not Mr. Darcy.   Austen’s Darcy has far more set personality characteristics.  He’s shy, but he also has a biting way with words.  He’s proud enough that he manages to insult Elizabeth Bennett during his first proposal.  He acts to protect his younger sister and Elizabeth’s sister when she behaves badly.
    • On the other hand, the description given by the Botkin sisters sound a lot like Mr. Bingly – the secondary romantic lead who falls for Elizabeth’s sister Jane.  I haven’t met many women who really like the idea of marrying Mr. Bingly.
  • “It’s called emotional porn (…) When women plug their emotional caverns with chick flicks and chick lit, they become dissatisfied with the real men they know because they can’t measure up to the guys from The Notebook, or Pride and Prejudice or Walk to Remember (sic)(pg. 37 – quoted from Alison Harris’ article “Beating Darcy Down” in Kritik Magazine (4/15/2008)).
    • First, the men in Pride and Prejudice have plenty of flaws.
      • Elizabeth’s father can’t support or control his daughters.
      • Mr. Bingly can’t make decisions without Mr. Darcy.
      • Darcy’s want to protect his own family’s reputation allows a ne’er-do-well named Wickham to elope with Lydia Bennet. Plus, he often comes off as an entitled jerk – even to his friends.
      • Mr. Collins is a stuffed shirt parson who can’t stop bragging about his rich patroness.
    • Second, The Notebook and A Walk to Remember were written by Nicholas Sparks who is…..a man.
      • In terms of men “not living up to” these books:
        • A Walk to Remember is based on the romance between Nicholas Sparks’ sister and her husband.
        • I’ve known plenty of couples who married young and remained married even as one person slipped away due to Alzheimer’s.  I bet some of the women were even initially in love with someone else.  This crazy, impossible situation is the rough summary of The Notebook.
  • “In many ways, Twilight’s Edward Cullen was the modern reincarnation of Mr. Darcy. (…) The sparkling new Mr. Cullen is superhumanly handsome, brilliant, strong, rich, romantic, and most of all, superhumanly capable of unconditional love.” (pg 37)
    • I must confess: I haven’t read Twilight or watched the movie, but my high school students who did seemed as capable of finding boyfriends as the girls who didn’t.
  • The strange undertone of actually wanting someone like Mr. Darcy, any Nicholas Spark’s hero, Edward Cullen…..
  • “Ultimately, [romantic media heros] must also take on a different role, because real men are not all about what we wish they were all about….Us! As Edward tells Bella in Twilight, “You are my life now.” (pg. 38)
  • I don’t think it’s a bad – or unnatural – thing to want to be the most important person in ONE other person’s life.
  • “Of course, it’s not effeminate for a man to be polished, servant-hearted, handsome or sensitive to another’s feelings; (….)” (pg. 38)
  • I skipped the three pages of explaining how all of the men in chick media are actually women in men’s bodies.  (It was boring and repetitive as hell.)
  • The discordant part is that the Botkin sisters can’t bring themselves to say that women should prefer overtly masculine men.  They never write pages of how great the rough hands of a farm laborer are or how women should appreciate a man with grease under his fingers.  They don’t talk about  learning about NASCAR, taxidermy, chewing tobacco, tricked-out pickup trucks, stained plaid shirts or Civil War Reenactments – conversations I have had with men in my local community.  No, their men are refined men who talk about “uprisings in Libya and cloud computing” (p. 35), taxonomic definitions of dinosaurs (p. 62), the history of Egypt (p. 64), music composition (p. 66), and building businesses (pg. 69).
Wow….the Botkin Girls have a lot to learn.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Mel is a science teacher who works with at-risk teens and lives on a dairy farm with her husband. She blogs at When Cows and Kids Collide She is also an very valuable source of scientific information for us here at NLQ. Mel is also blessed with the ability to look at the issues of Quiverfull with a rational mind and break them down to their most basic of elements.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Stay in touch! Like No Longer Quivering on Facebook:

If this is your first time visiting NLQ please read our Welcome page and our Comment Policy!

Copyright notice: If you use any content from NLQ, including any of our research or Quoting Quiverfull quotes, please give us credit and a link back to this site. All original content is owned by No Longer Quivering and Patheos.com

Read our hate mail at Jerks 4 Jesus

Comments open below

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon


Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!