by Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide
All quotes from the book in blue text.
In addition to questionable dialogue, this chapter feels like the Botkin Sisters were trying to expand the book from where all the topics were naturally spent to some unspecified length.
In other words, this chapter is pretty much a repeat of Chapters 6 + 7. There is one new topic – and it pissed me off – but the Botkin Sisters view on female intelligence wasn’t an actual surprise.
Being a good girl depends solely on how men perceive your actions. Good girls should be available for sisterly interactions instantly and on demand.
“According to our brothers, they do appreciate it when:
- A girl seems comfortable and at ease.
- A girl talks to them in the same spirit that their sisters do.
- A girl is a good conversationalist, is well educated, and has interesting things to say. (Able to speak intelligently on subjects that will be of general interest to a mixed audience – e.g., topics other than sewing, clothes, chick flicks, fad diets, themselves, etc.)
- A girl has a genuine interest in things of God, and an eagerness to speak of them and discuss them.” (pg. 160)
- I think this list is applicable for both genders. I do prefer have conversations with relaxed guys who are well educated and interesting.
- Remember the fact that women are supposed to know about topics of interest for mixed audiences. The boys don’t seem to have gotten the message.
- Do guys REALLY prefer girls to treat them like sisters instead of peers or potential romantic partners? I don’t believe that is a universal truth.
“They do not appreciate it when:
- A girl seems excessively self-conscious and distracted by the fact that AN ELIGIBLE YOUNG MAN IS TALKING TO HER!
- A girl exhibits leech-like behavior – stalking, sidling, clutching, clinging, cooing, gushing – however flattering it was intended to be.
- A girl demonstrates a Deliberate Shunning of Young Men, complete with avoiding eye contact and hiding behind human shields. A young man who’s (sic) worked to maintain his integrity and reputation regarding women feels understandably hurt to be treated like the enemy and not trusted.
- A girl seems to have a hypersensitive view of her own purity (“Our glances met! I must wash my eyes out with soap!”) or of her threat to his purity (” For him to receive the full deadly flash of my dazzling smile would probably blind him. I shall save my smiles for my husband.”)
- A girl seems self-conscious about how she looks to boys – adjusting her pose, her hair, her speech, her IQ, her personality when a certain guy walks into the room.
- A girl is aggressively over-friendly. (pg. 161)
- There is a real problem in asking only your siblings about what guys want in relationships. This is confirmation bias. Isaac, David, Ben, Lucas and Noah have grown up in the same sheltered household. All of the Botkin Children have received extensive training in gender role expectations by their parents so I would be extremely surprised if the boys were sharing different ideas than the girls.
- Notice that half of the “not appreciated” list means that a girl who is not interested in the guy is being rude since she’s “shunning”, “hypersensitive about purity” or “excessively self-conscious”.
- The other half sounds more like catty comments made by jealous girls than what I would expect out of guys.
- I’ve never heard my teenage or young adult male students using the words “sidling, clutching, clinging, cooing or gushing” about a girl.
- For me, I’m often more self-conscious about other women think about how I look than what guys think. Pretty sure that “aggressively over-friendly” is a barb that the Botkin Sisters throw around at girls who are interested in guys openly.
“But how friendly is over-friendly? One of our brothers once told us that a girl can never show too much of the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – Gal. 5:22-23). He said that a girl never hurt a young man by being too much of any of these things to him. Naturally, if a girl singles out just one young man on which to lavish her kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, etc., people will be justified in suspecting she’s after something. “(pg. 161)
- Huh? Girls can never show too much of the fruits of the Holy Spirit unless she shows too much of the fruits of the Holy Spirit to one guy. Whatever. Who edited this book?
Situations are exactly the same!
“You don’t need to worry (unless you do): the right and wrong kinds of taking initiative look quite different.
Picture this: You (Cinderella) are in a crowded ballroom, chatting with some duchess or other, when you spot him – HIM himself! – across the room, talking to someone. You leave your conversation, and weave your way through the crowd until you are finally close enough to grab his hand, gaze deeply into his eyes, and say, “Hello….I’m Cinderella…”
Now picture this: You’re standing in line to get some punch, and you realize that the person right in front of you is the bashful prince, looking awkwardly down at his shoes and wondering if he ought to say something. You swallow your own nervousness, extend your hand, and say, “Hello, I’m Cinderella….”
In this second scenario, you have said the same thing, but done a completely different thing – and proved yourself a completely different kind of scullery maid. And if you’ve been equally friendly to the Grand Duke, the Queen Mother, the head cook, the old vizier, the fiddlers three, the knave of hearts, and the footman, no one will have a case of the vapors if you extend your hand to the prince.” (pg. 165)
- What’s the difference between the two? Well….
- The Prince isn’t acting the same. He’s being far more confident in the first scenario. In that case, Cinderella gets the Prince’s attention by being confident and assertive. In the second scenario, the Prince is shy and withdrawn. A bold approach may send him running for the hills, so Cinderella went for a more relaxed approach.
- Imagine for a moment Cinderella 2 behaving the same way in situation 1. In my opinion, walking up to a guy at a ball and reaching out for a handshake feels gauche.
- I just realized that the Botkin Sisters probably have no life experience with formal dances and that is depressing.
- In scenario two, Cinderella can read Prince Charming’s mind. How else would she know that he wants to talk to her when he’s staring at his shoes?
- The last paragraph makes my teeth grind. Yes, being friendly and open to everyone is considered good form for members of the middle class in the USA. Pull this same behavior in a rigid class system or in other socioeconomic groups and your behavior is considered crass at best.
This post got longer than I planned, so I am going to divide this into two posts. Next post: The Botkin Sisters talk about women’s intelligence!
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.
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