It’s Not That Complicated: Part 5 Chapter 8

It’s Not That Complicated: Part 5 Chapter 8 May 9, 2016

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

All quotes from the book are in blue text

Chapter 8 is nearly over!  Hooray!

We’ve got some truly Botkinesque themes today.  Stop reading if covert incest bothers you.

Overarching Themes:

Women are dumb.  Really dumb.  Like amazingly dumb.  That’s ok because God gave us men to keep us on the straight and narrow!  

“God has ordained authorities in every woman’s life.  For a married woman, it’s her husband.  Interestingly, all six times that the Bible commands women to be in subjection to their husbands, it specifies “to your own husband” – as though woman’s tendency might be to follow after whoever has the most charisma, looks, smarts, or money instead.  The truth is, woman’s created desire to go along with what men want of her can put her in a very vulnerable position when it’s outside of the God-ordained context.  The jurisdictions God set up are a safety net, not a cage.” (pg. 145)
  • The ordained authority in a woman’s life is God according to the Bible.  See Abigail or Mary for details.
  • In my Bible, the two verses I know of that talk about submission of wives to husband use the terms “to your husband”.  I found the term “to your own husband” in KJV.  This leads me to assume that the term “own” is a holdover from older translation methods from Greek to English.  Either way, notice that the verse is about submission to husband – not your father.
  • This is another place where the covert incest perpetrated by Geoffrey Botkin oozes out.  I never would have placed any emphasis on the use of the term “your own husband”.  The Botkin Sisters, however, believe that women are too stupid or naive to determine the actual motives behind a man’s behavior.  Where did they get that idea?  Presumably from their father.
  • The God that the Botkin family believes in is quite stupid Himself.  He creates women with an internal drive to help men.  This drive is SO strong that women will help any man achieve his goals regardless of his relationship to her.  The only safe way to protect these women from their overly hyped up helping drive is to keep them safely tied to an adult male.  (If this sounds familiar, it is.  This is the same description of the imprinting instinct in most birds including  ducklings.  Yes, women are as able to deal in the world as day-old ducklings according to the Botkin Sisters.)  Apparently, the God who created the entire universe couldn’t work out the correct level of drive to help men in women.
Bible interpretation is easy!  

“In His kindness, God also gave daughters a specified male protector, leader, and head: their fathers.  There’s an example of what this looks like in another fascinating law that God gave regarding daughters:

‘If a man vows a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word.  He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.  If a woman vows a vow to the LORD and binds herself by a pledge, while in her father’s house in her youth, and her father hears of her vow and of her pledge by which she has bound herself and says nothing to her, then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge by which she has bound herself shall stand.  But if her father opposes her on the day that he hears of it, no vow of hers, no pledge by which she has bound herself shall stand.  And the LORD will forgive her, because her father has opposed her.’ (Num. 30:2-5)
If a man makes a rash vow, the Lord holds him to it, and he has no way out.  Daughters, however were granted an intercessor in the form of their fathers, and married women, in the form of their husbands.  A daughter’s special exemption from being bound to a rash decision is a sign of particular mercy from God – and of why her father’s authority is such a blessing.  Hard as it may be to do sometimes, a girl’s duty to embrace her father’s authority is exactly what protects her from being exploited by other men.” (pg. 145)
  • I don’t think that Numbers 30 is about protecting the poor women from stupid choices; it’s about limiting the timeline that the male authorities in a patriarchial system has to override decisions made by women.
    • If women were absolutely unable to make sensible choices in the absence of men, God/Moses/Israel would have simply outlawed women from making vows or pledges.  The Bible has plenty of forbidden activities already so we know that that option was available.
    • Instead, fathers/husbands who want to reject a vow or pledge made by their female dependents must reject the vow or pledge when they first hear that it has been made.  Presumably, this prevents men from abusing the system by having women make promises then rejecting the promise or vow once the other party has fulfilled their end of the bargain.
  • I thought it odd that the Botkin Sisters allude to the fact that husbands can override the vows of their wives, but fail to cite that passage.  I figured that this was simply an oversight until I read all of Numbers 30.  There are two things that stood out to me:
    • The section on husbands and wives really hammers home the idea of limiting the time line that that the husband can reject the vow.  The timeline idea is referred to SEVEN times between verses 6-15.
    • The Botkin Sisters drive home over and over and over that women are ALWAYS under the authority of men.  ALWAYS.  The problem is that verse 9 states that widowed and divorced women are free to make their own vows without having a male authority that can override their choice.
  • Note the covert incest oozing out again: Men exploit women.  Women can only be protected from exploiting men by male family members.  This is a sick worldview that paints women as victims.  Most men do not exploit women.  Women can protect themselves from men who want to exploit them by using the brains God gave them.
We are really educated young women.  We know lots about literature and music!
“Once upon a time it was considered a great misfortune to be an orphan.  Now, the parentless state is the most desired state – children everywhere are counting the days they can turn 18 so they can join the ranks of Oliver Twist, Peter Pan, and the Pirates of Penzance.” (pg. 145)
  • I haven’t read “Oliver Twist” in decades, but I remember that it was terrifyingly anti-Semitic.  I was in “Oliver!” when I was in high school.  As best I can remember, Oliver Twist bounces from orphanage to unstable parent figure to unstable parent figure.  In the musical, the “best” parents who are around for any time are Fagin (with anti-Semitic slurs removed) who gives the boys food and shelter in return for pickpocketing and Nancy who acts as a mother figure towards Oliver before she’s beaten to death by Bill Sikes.  Remind me which part of this story people are looking forward to be like as adults……
  • Peter Pan is a legitimate reference for people who never want to grow up, but not really a parentless state.  After all, Wendy Darling’s relationship with Peter begins with Wendy being a mother figure to Peter Pan and the Lost Boys.
  • The Pirates of Penzance are adults.  The lead character, Fredric was apprenticed to a pirate when his nursemaid misunderstood his father’s wish.  (His father wanted him apprenticed to a river pilot, not a pirate.)  During the musical itself, however, Fredric is 21 years old, but has only had 4 birthdays because he’s a Leap Day baby.   Either way, it’s not about being parentless.
Our relationship with our dad is completely normal and not an example of covert incest.  
“We know that [our dad] (unlike our girlfriends) probably won’t tell us he knows just how we feel; that our infatuation is reasonable, considering the perfections of the young man; that he remembers one time when he was a young girl and there was this really great guy, etc.  He will not meet us and affirm us where we are.  He will try to take us exactly where we don’t feel like going right now, into the realm of hard facts, data, and reality – where all that glitters isn’t gold, where people can’t just live off of love, where there is a future after the wedding day and where people don’t just live happily ever after.  But this is exactly where we need to go.  (Nothing breaks the spell of a crush like telling your father about it and hearing him bring up the likelihood of abandonment, faithlessness, divorce and penury.)  But hearing what our fathers admire in young men is also important.  We personally find it helpful to talk to our father about the young men we know; letting him know the qualities we particularly appreciate, and hearing his solid, unbiased male perspective.”  (pgs. 152-153).
  • I do think that parents – assuming that they are responsible and have their children’s best interest at heart – may need to discuss their concerns about a relationship where the significant other is narcissistic,  chronically unemployable due to willful problems, seems to have a significant untreated mental illness, or poor compatibility when the relationship is moving towards marriage.  Obviously, parents should bring up concerns about abusive signs regardless of the trajectory of the relationship.  Unfortunately, this is NOT what Geoffrey Botkin did with his daughters.
  • Geoffrey Botkin has systematically created a covert incest relationship with his daughters.  When either of those two poor souls brought up the normal crushes that girls have, he responded by predicting that the guys would be unfaithful and the girls would be in dire poverty.  That’s severely abnormal and very, very sick.
  • Why would he do this?  Geoffrey Botkin has recreated a cult in his own home.  He has convinced his daughters that men are evil, women are too stupid and emotional to see how evil men are and he’s the only person that can protect them.  Anna Sofia and Elizabeth have been systematically crippled in their interactions with men by their father so that Anna Sofia and Elizabeth will be reliant on him forever.


Well, this chapter is over.  The next chapter is much lighter – the Botkin girls teach us how to talk to boys!


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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