Preparing For Young Marriage and Not Marrying – Left on the Shelf

Preparing For Young Marriage and Not Marrying – Left on the Shelf February 10, 2018

Ladies Against Feminism and Chalcedon have been pushing that bedrock idea in Quiverfull that girls are to get married as soon as possible after completion of homeschooling. No college, no higher education of any sort. Marry, have babies. But in the meantime learn how to be a housewife. Newsflash: It’s just not that hard to learn how to cook and clean. But it seems like many are still not marrying.

Chalcedon has a humble brag article titled ‘You’re Gonna What?’ concerning a young lady crowing to the crowd that she’s leaving school to prepare for marriage and that the listeners were pretty horrified, even in their church group.

I guess the author does not mind leaving her daughter without the necessary money-making skills that college might provide, essentially sentencing her daughter and future grandchildren to poverty if something happens to this as of yet imaginary husband. Seems short-sided to not consider that while waiting it might benefit her daughter to have something no one can take from her – an education.

That’s if this Godly Prince Charming ever shows up. Too many times we’ve seen families where the father rejects ever possible suitor as not good enough, keeping the unmarried daughters in his household as unpaid household help for many years.

There’s nothing wrong with being married or not married. There’s no law that demands you marry. It’s just not for everyone and there’s no shame in deciding not to marry. The problem in Quiverfull seems to be that you’re required to marry, but given zero say over the who and when while being isolated from situations and people that might lead to marriage.

Lately I’ve been wondering what has happened to the Botkin sisters, Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin. They’d not married, another year has passed without a Godly suitor anywhere on the horizon. They haven’t updated their website, written and published a new book, or tried to teach another online course on making yourselves beautiful enough to catch a man. Not even any blogging in nearly a year now.

I did see this from nearly a year ago where the ladies pondered waiting in a piece titled ‘Should I Keep Preparing For Marriage, or is it Time to Start Preparing For a Single Life’ :

The Botkin sisters go on to explain that you’re focusing too much on getting married and not a relationship with the Lord or advancing the kingdom, largely useless advice. What they should do, and advise their followers is to get daddy out of the picture, leave, but then again these are women without education or marketable skills so leaving the home to have a genuine life of their own choosing and finding someone to love is impossible. Just like their fathers planned it.

It has to be enormously frustrating to be told your sole role and purpose in life is to marry and have babies, yet to be held by from doing exactly that thing.


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Mel

    Oh, heavens. Look, the world is filled with women who are confident in their roles as wifes and mothers – and who have more than a 12th grade education. To do the actual work that Jesus called us to do – feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, care for the sick, care for the imprisioned, and bury the dead – require at least a bit of post-secondary education. The entry level work can be acheived through things as simple as a CNA certification – but there is always a shortage of people who are willing and able to work with the hurting and down-trodden in society.

    What does that have to do with being a wife and mother? Plenty. For most of us, we can balance being a new wife and having a vibrant ministry calling. It’s harder when you have little ones at home – but they grow up pretty quick. Part of raising the next generation of Christians is teaching them to help others and little ones quickly grow into the age where they can help out.

  • Mary Hannah bates

    The Botkins are not the first blog/writings that I have read in the last few years that show that Prince Charming is NOT showing up for stay at home daughters.

    I am assuming that there are equal boys to girls being taught that women belong uneducated and at home. So why are the boys not stepping up and claiming their personal helpmeet? Could it be that at the last moment the boys and or their families see what such a risk they are taking for their sons and grandchildren by getting one of these women?

    God or no god, in the divorce courts, these boys will be raked over the coals where as two financially, equally yoked people marry, divorce court is not so rough. Maybe this is not going to work out for the masses of the evangelicals like they thought.

  • lady_black

    The more a woman does with herself, the better her chances are of meeting “Prince Charming.” In spite of what they think, an ambitious man isn’t generally looking for a maid, chef and broodmare who is incapable of doing anything else, and unwilling to adjust to the changes life brings.
    Words fail me when searching for the proper term for a man who IS looking for such a woman. But that definitely isn’t “Prince Charming.”

  • yulaffin

    Steve and Teri Maxwell’s daughters are in the same boat as the Botkins – raised to be wives and mothers but no prospects in sight. Sarah, the oldest at 36 (?) is probably past her “expiration date” according to QF but there may still be hope for Anna and Mary, maybe. Depends on Steve, I guess.

  • SAO

    These girls are told to prepare for their roles as homemaker and mother, but the truth is that those roles are easy to assume. The result is that their ‘preparation’ is just the absence of learning other skills, skills that will give them a purpose in life if wife and SAHM doesn’t work out.

    This is why people don’t think much of girls who claim they are preparing to be wives and mothers (with no fiance or baby in sight) — it boils down to doing not much at all.

    I learned to change a diaper in the hospital after my first child was born. My husband learned to sort laundry when his tighty-whities came out dingy from a load with jeans in it. He learned to cook from cookbooks. As for cleaning, if you see dirt, clean until it is gone. On the job training works.

    On the other hand, having a successful marriage usually requires some skills at dealing with other people. Most of the CPM ‘preparation’ for marriage does not include ever getting outside the bubble and learning that there is an immense range of ideas and opinions out there and no one is going to 100% agree with every one of yours.

  • SAO

    Women who have no skills and aspirations beyond wife and SAHM are burdens that a man who marries them will carry for life. I’m sure plenty of men in the circles where these girls are know other men who are stuck. As Meatloaf sang, they said they’d “love you ’til the end of time, now I’m waiting for the end of time, so I can end my time with you.”

    When you add in the onerous courting process, designed to show the man more about his future father-in-law’s theology than his future wife’s character, no wonder few step up.

  • Mary Hannah bates

    https://www.titus2.com/about-the-maxwells.html
    They might want to update their photos if Sarah is 36ish.

  • Mel

    That’s a fairly recent photo of Sarah on the blog page. She’s still young looking.

  • Mel

    I don’t see any of the Maxwell girls marrying. Steve managed to tank Joseph’s first engagement a week before the wedding – so that says a lot about how badly he behaves. I wish I had screen-capped the original post from when the Maxwells announced John and Chelsy’s engagement. The first one was one of the least gracious posts I’ve ever seen and pretty much whined that Chelsy’s family had already announced the engagement on their blog so the Maxwells did so grudgingly. The current announcement has been touched up by Sarah (after Steve posted a bitchy one). https://blog.titus2.com/2017/10/18/john-maxwell-and-chelsy-bontrager-are-engaged/

  • Mel

    I think the issue is two-fold. First, supporting a wife and a potentially massive family on a single income with minimal education is hard to start with – so a lot of CP/QF guys will take a long time to look like decent marriage prospects if a family is concerned about keeping their daughters and grandkids out of poverty.

    Second, SAHD who have been socially and educationally isolated are often boring as hell. Who would you want to spend your lives with?
    *Using the Maxwell clan as an example – the family doesn’t read anything except the Bible and a handful of carefully selected “Great Christian” biographies, they don’t watch TV, movies, plays or sports of any kind, they have an 8th grade or less education in English and science and a 10th grade education in social studies, and their main activities are 1) trying to convert people, 2) spending time with other family members and 3) working in family businesses. The entire family lives within 0.7 miles of each other.
    *The Botkin Sisters have been told that they are exceptionally well educated – but one of the sisters can barely write at a high school level and the other sister routinely drops literary references that sound cultured – unless the other person is familiar with the actual work.
    *I watched the older Duggar girls in the first season of “Counting On” while I was recovering from a head injury that slowed my mental processes down a lot. Even then, the show was boring. Let’s watch Joy frost cupcakes! Let’s watch 4 or 5 people place recessed lighting in a bedroom – badly! The older girls go on a girls’ weekend away to a lodge for a spa day – except that the spa treatments are self-done in the way I remember doing them with cousins when we were 10! I tried to watch one once I was back on my feet and made it about 5 minutes in before I had to change the channel.

  • Julia Childress

    It’s not like they have to learn to churn butter, slaughter a hog, weave cloth, chop wood, and all those things that our foremothers had to master to run a household. Seriously. Preparing to be a wife and mother after being raised QF should not even be a thing.

  • Mary Hannah bates

    Oh look at the little gem I found today. Lets all learn it, sing along together, and take our rightful place as submissives shall we?
    http://nogreaterjoy.org/blogs/wp-content/themes/created-biddlebug/images/a-help-meet-to-him.mp3

  • Julia Childress

    In my experience, the attrition rate for males is higher than females because they are allowed more freedom and some quickly figure out that they don’t want to follow QF as strictly as their parents. I know several, one of my BILs included, who insisted on using birth control and who wanted his wife to attend at least some college classes.

  • persephone

    The women in the Bible they’re basing their lives on had to learn a lot of skills that these young women don’t, as well as a lot of extra time spent doing things that are now often handled by mass manufacturers or modern appliances.

    When I was a kid, most of our family holidays were camping (ask me how much I love room service now!), I was in Girl Scouts, went to summer camp a couple of times, and took a forestry class in high school that included building a basic survival kit. A lot of what I learned are things that would have applied to someone living in the Bronze or early Iron Ages: cooking over an open fire–which I built–, food storage, living with only a fireplace or wood stove for heat AND cooking in a cabin, etc. When we lived out in a very rural area, we kept a half acre vegetable garden, raised our own beef and rabbits, had chickens for eggs, even had a milk cow for a while (my parents had become Jehovah’s Witnesses and went a little overboard on self-sufficiency since Armageddon was due any minute). I helped my dad work on the cars, learned to drive a nail and use some power tools. We would glean local orchards for fruit. My mom even made cheese and soap.

    Those are updated versions of what the women in the Bible would have had to learn. Ten to one, none of these SAHDs has done a tenth of that. They’re raised to be arm candy, with some basic cooking and cleaning skills, and condemned to a desolate future.

  • persephone

    Honestly, not being a parent really slows down the appearance of aging.

  • Nea

    Watching the Botkin girls attempt to sound cultured is as amusing as any comedy show, really? “I know thus about Shakespeare! Aren’t I so edumacated!” Child, I not only knew that for years, I know all the dirty bits your father never told you.

  • persephone

    There’s kind of an interesting corollary with young fundamentalist Muslim men. Many of the suicide bombers and jihadists are in their early 20s, when they would normally be marrying and starting their families. Then, it’s not clear from studies as to the reasons, although there are several possibilities, they suddenly turn uber religious and join the extremists. The suggested possibilities are: fear of taking on the responsibility of a family and a locked in future they may not want; family arranging marriages without giving the couple any say; a limited pool of women due to polygyny. CPM/QF follows a lot of that.

    It’s got to be a wakeup call for the fundamentalists of all ranks when they realize that they’re just considered tools by their religion, their family, and their community, to pop out babies to expand the population of same.

  • persephone

    Oh, yeah, I’ve chopped wood, churned butter (well, put cream in a big jar and shook it until butter formed), made our jams, jellies, pickles, fruit butter, as well as canning vegetables. I did not learn to weave cloth, although I know that basics from a little weaving set I got as a kid. I also learned to knit and crochet. I would like to learn how to tan hides, you know, actually work through the process.

  • Carstonio

    No one has any business imposing roles and purposes on individuals, whether it’s another person, a family, an ideology, a religion, a culture or a society. The idea of such roles being issued at birth like Social Security numbers is particularly unjust, since no one asks to be born into a sexual identity.

  • Anonyme

    Where do these people get the idea that the world ridicules women choosing to become a wife and mother? My parents, though conservative Catholics, didn’t try to limit the educational opportunities and life choices to strict gender roles or theology, and I took several classes at a community college where my friends and classmates were completely different from my family. Not once did I ever hear this supposed liberal agenda of mocking women who don’t go into higher education and/or careers and I have rarely, if ever, seen it in society or media either. If anything, society is still pushing the idea that women are happiest as mothers and are the only ones capable of taking care of children (judging by advertisements for food, household supplies, and child care items).

    (Remotely related rant: One of my most hated commercials recently is for a remote home monitoring system. It starts out with a father assuring his wife he can take care of their babies. So what does the mom do as soon as she meets up with friends? She pulls up the nursery camera on her phone to check in on Daddy…).

  • Saraquill

    I spent years preparing to be a wife. It involved lots of texts, phone calls and other conversations with my then boyfriend about our long term goals and our thoughts on tidiness and other home management issues. We spent many trips together where we played at keeping house. After our engagement, we cohabitated for an in-depth practice run.

    During all this, I earned to Master’s degrees, job hunted, had internships and eventually long term employment. Being cloistered and single would have made marriage prep pointless.

  • B.E. Miller

    Yeah, I’ve heard that chasing after kids attempting to run out into traffic will give you gray hair and wrinkles real fast.

  • B.E. Miller

    No updates on their blog in a year? I’m hoping they’re okay. (Maybe they really did leave Daddy’s house, and are both too busy working for livin’ to still blog. Or maybe Daddy had passwords to their blogs, and they can’t log in anymore.)

  • Mel

    Truthfully, all of the Botkin Family members are horrible about updating blogs. The Botkin Sister posted 4 posts last year to herald the second edition of “It’s Not That Complicated” then sunk back into the abyss. They had no posts at all in 2016 and two in 2015. Their parents are not any better through Western Conservatory – Geoffrey’s updated two posts in 2017, two posts in 2016, and six in 2015. The “About” section is missing Isaac’s wife and a few grandkids. Elizabeth was doing public posts on FB for her parents’ blogs as of Christmas and updated her profile photo. She’s lovely – but she’s lost that look of being super-young. Anna Sofia was completely off of FB publically between 2014 and fall/winter of 2017 – but she was sending similar posts as Elizabeth. No pictures of Anna Sofia later than 2014 that I can find.

  • Mel

    Oh, Lord. Most of the Botkin Brothers support themselves by working at a CNC weapons accessory business they started known as “T. Rex Arms”. (I must admit; I do like the name.) They LOVE the appendix carry – which works as long as you don’t shoot off your genitals or into your femoral artery. They either have an great sense of humor or no sense of irony because they now sell a tourniquet as well!

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    I looked at Elizabeth’s Facebook too. (In my defense, I’m having a sick day.) She is very pretty of course, but I think she actually looks older than she is—32 or 33 at most if she’s the elder? I think it’s the make-up and possible eyebrow sculpting? It’s this sort of harsh, primped up Southern Belle look that seems to popular among evangelical women. I don’t think it does many people favors. (I hate being catty but here I am doing it.)

    Who knows what they’re doing now but I hope it’s having a good hard think and planning their next move

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Very true about having skills related to relating to others but, also, you learn how to be in a committed relationship by being in one. You learn among the way. Nothing can really prepare you for it. There’s no such thing as “learning how to be a wife”—or a husband. Learn how to be a good, kind, considerate person and if you get married, thst’s A good foundation and the rest is a process. And you don’t need to forgo all other pursuits to learn how to be a good person. Actual life experience can actually help with that.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Well, some of these families actually are really into homesteading and they do have some impressive skills in that area that they may well teach to daughters. Not that these skills have much mass commercial value but they are probably useful for cottage industries—or as a basis for writing ebooks about “natural” or “simple” living, which seems to be a huge thing among a certain set. They market these things to other fundamentalist Christians who are inclined to want to patronize other fundamentalist Christian business, it seems—they are all part of each other’s captive market. And, in practice, it might bring in quite a bit of extra needed income for these families. It certainly seems like a lot of crunchy, homesteading fundie mommy bloggers are always trying to sell something through their blogs. So daughters might be learning this stuff for necessity—to quietly support the polite fiction that the men are the providers without going outside their feminine roles.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    The young men tend to be out in the world more and have far more choices. They can still meet plenty of conservative Christian women who, even if working and more “worldly” in general, are desirous or willing of becoming a “keeper of the home” after marriage or at least children. And they may be on board with the lots-of-children, homeschooling thing too. But meanwhile, they’ve had more normal lives and have been able to meet these men in a more organic way. There’s no need for young men to go find a SAHD. They are in the world and there are women there and, despite propaganda, many of them are ideologically similar to them or close enough.

    As for the parents of the young men, it’s unclear to me if they even see a SAHD as a preferable match but, even if they do, in most families, parents seem to have less control over their sons than their daughters in practice. If Son brings home a Christian woman he wants to marry, even if she hasn’t been Botkin trained, there’s a lot less they can do about it. And since he, as the man, is expected to lead anyway, if the wife is slightly more liberal than the family, it’s less concerning. As long as she understands that she has to submit.

    I mean really, how much material has been published directing men to look for SAHDs in the Botkin mold? It’s not clear this is actually a demand that exists. The whole movement seems more of a way to give isolated teenage girls and young women some sense of purpose and also a way for fathers to maintain power over their daughters.

  • SAO

    True, but experience living with other people, like your college roommate, or negotiating friendships help. Some of the SAHDs don’t even have much experience with that.

  • Aimee Shulman

    I am so, so sorry for the Botkin sisters. They’ve been trained since birth to obsess over the idea of marriage and babies and housewifery, and their father has PREVENTED them from ever realizing those dreams that he FORCED on them. They’re both very pretty women, who have had time a plenty to learn the housekeeping arts, and there’s no doubt that they would have been able to fairly easily find husbands among their father’s followers had they been permitted. I’m dead sure there were guys who wanted to “court” them starting when they were probably still in their teens, but I’m also dead sure that their father deliberately chose to refuse every guy who ever showed interest. Isn’t he the one who grossly talks about how daughters exist to fulfill their fathers’ “need” for attention from pretty young things after his wife gets old and ugly?

    I cannot and will not believe that there was never even one guy interested in either sister who fit the bill to make her a decent husband by the standards of their subculture. They are (were?) practically celebrities in their circle. If there’ve never been suitors who got to the point of actually talking to Elizabeth or Anna Sophia about their interest, it’s because their father forbade those young men from doing so. It’s a very creepy and cruel thing he’s done to them, forbidding them to have any kind of actual career or life outside of worshiping him while continually carrot-on-a-stick-ing them about the future they might have and knowing full well he was going to deny it to them. I’m willing to believe that at first, he might not have intended to do this, but at this point there is no way it is not intentional.

  • SAO

    I suspect plenty more women put in a lot of effort for very little return than those who bring in quite a bit of needed income.

  • Aimee Shulman

    People don’t typically ridicule girls who want to be stay home moms, and none of the people that were mentioned in that article excerpt were doing so. The author just chose to interpret it that way. What they were actually skeptical about, as any person with a modicum of common sense would be, was the fact that the daughter was deliberately being prevented from developing any skills that would allow her to take care of herself and her children should the need arise. Because, you know, being able to take care of oneself is for MEN ONLY, apparently, by these people’s lights. Of course, that’s the whole point; making women artificially helpless in any non-domestic setting enforces the submission that these types want. Oh, and they were probably also disapproving of the fact that the daughter had been trained to believe that education was undesirable for a girl.

    My grandmother was left a widow in the 1970s with 4 kids under 10 when my grandfather was killed in a road accident. She had never expected that to happen, but the fact that she had worked as a secretary before marrying meant that she was able to get a job and keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. If she’d grown up being trained to think of nothing but domestic skills (which btw she had/has in spades AS WELL as being capable of holding down a job!) she and the kids would have ended up homeless. But grandma grew up poor, so she didn’t have the dubious luxury of being raised to be the hothouse pet of some future owner.

    Also, my mother homeschooled 4 kids K-12 and is the queen of housekeepers, whose cooking is of such quality that she actually does paid catering gigs sometimes now that we’re all out of the house. Guess what, she went to college and also worked for a couple years before marrying and having kids. Somehow, she still managed to learn to wash dishes and change diapers along the way. In fact, her college education is exactly what made her GOOD at homeschooling. Almost like having studied beyond the merest basics makes you a better teacher. Funny how that works. There are few things that worry me more, as a former homeschooler, than homeschool families which train their daughters to believe both that they MUST homeschool their own kids and that they MUST NOT go to college.

  • persephone

    Very much a version of the current administration’s women members.

  • persephone

    I think it’s partly emotional incest and partly human trophys for the dad. He shows off the lovely daughters he has raised so perfectly, and totally controls their emotional connections with any male outside the immediate family. Daddy is never going to share.

  • Anonyme

    No title? Let’s call it “The Indentured Servitude Song”!

  • Mel

    Elizabeth is the younger sister and is around age 30, I think. My two-cents is that she has that really dark hair with light skin and eyes combination that is stunning as long as she keeps rosy cheeks. I don’t know if she decided to go for a more muted make-up palette choice or the lighting for the picture is off but she looks more tired than I remember seeing her look.

  • Oh my God, what’s that?

  • Now I am grateful for my parents. They were an European version of fundigelical, but not stupid. They made sure all of us kids studied and got a degree.

  • Samantha Vimes

    They could prepare to be mothers in an actually practical way. There’s a major called “Early Childhood Education”. If they plan to homeschool, a Liberal Arts major is fairly standard for elementary school teachers. They could become pediatric nurses.
    Or if they see themselves as more the kind of wife who is precious above rubies, they could take business courses so they can manage the household and their own side business.
    Someone else brought up, by implication, social work as a good Christian choice for education and career.

    There are lots of ways these young women could be encouraged to be better prepared for the roles they want to fill. But their parents don’t want capable daughters.

  • SAO

    The young men who are having doubts about the mega-family, high-poverty lifestyle won’t pick a SAHD. The young men who are into the whole thing might prefer someone who doesn’t have a father who knows the one, “right” answer to everything. The SAHDs are, however, attractive to the kinds of sociopaths for whom isolated and submissive are desirable. The Larry Solomons and Turpins of the world.

    The Duggar girls got married because 1) they are very pretty, 2) they were on TV so the men could feel like they knew them before courtship, 3) they were stars, bringing fame and money into their marriages.

  • SAO

    The great thing about the market means you can spend your time doing stuff you are good at and like and sell those goods to buy the rest. Many of the traditional women’s skills produce goods where decent alternatives exist for far less than you can produce them. You might be able to make a silk skirt for less than you can buy it for, but you can buy a wardrobe at the Old Navy sales rack for less than you can sew one. And even the Ingalls never wove cloth, something that takes a tremendous amount of time, and space and produces a very rustic result.

  • Mary Hannah bates

    Wasn’t that fun? Lets sing that first part again to reinforce it. “I can meet all my husbands needs”. Okay altos, you are kind of weak there in the back. Sopranos, not so much vigor. Lets try it again with more emphasis on the word “can”.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Lol, there is no way these people could handle social work. You have to deal with all sorts of Undesirables and respect their right to self-determination instead of trying to control them because you know “what’s best” for them. You can’t even proselytize! (Maaaajor ethics violation, oops.) Homeschooling is designed to shelter kids from the kinds of people you might have to provide service to as a social worker. Also, you kinda have to talk about race and oppression and other dirty liberal things.

    I shudder to think of these people in my field, with the kind of power over others that being a social worker can provide.

  • Aibrean

    Okay, I come from a different culture and environment (Irish Catholic), so a hell of a lot of this is completely alien to me, but I get the impression that a lot of the quiverfull/ Christian Patriarchy people don’t value education much beyond knowing what’s needed to interpret the bible even for boys, so, since women must submit, be silent etc., the lack of education is explicable – appalling, abusive, stupid, short-sighted etc., but explicable.

    Other fundamentalists manage to function with a completely different attitude to female education. The motivation and practical results may not be great, but at least girls can develop other skills, aspects of their personalities and so on.

    As an example of what I am talking about, the BBC showed a series of documentaries last autumn called ‘Extreme Wives’. I only saw the second, about Haredi Jews in Jerusalem. The main focus was on one family with 15 children, and the presenter spent some time talking to one of the daughters, who was about 20, dreaming of marriage and children like her parents and older siblings but also planning a career as, IIRC, a dentist (something in the medico-scientific field requiring lots of education). And this was presented as completely normal. I can imagine Jim Bob Duggar’s head exploding at the very idea

  • And despite all the criticism that can be levelled at Islam and how its teachings work in practice, there is a high value attached to education, even for girls.

    That came up in a conversation on Twitter! Background: I grew up in a non-Quiverfull fundamentalist church (still patriarchal, and pretty insular), and education was highly discouraged, for both men and women. College was basically forbidden, for it was preached against from the pulpit. I was even told by a parishioner that going to college was “rebellion”, which is a very heinous crime in Fundamentalism. They also discouraged marriage, and almost (but not completely) forbade it, since they had so many rules it made getting married difficult, if not impossible. (They also discouraged having kids, for they thought Jesus would return any day.)

    Anyway, one day on Twitter someone with a Muslim name asked me about a Malcolm X quote in my pinned tweet, and why, considering I’m a Christian, it means so much to me. The quote is about how, after Malcolm X returned from his haj to Mecca, he had friends who were Muslims, Christians, Jews, atheists, and agnostics; Communists, socialists, and capitalists; liberals and conservatives; black and white.

    I explained that, at my old church, they thought anyone who doesn’t agree with them is an agent or a dupe of the Illuminati, and I mentioned their hostility to college, and how they thought college was an atheist-producing machine. My Muslim interlocutor was surprised, and said that even conservative Muslims don’t oppose college, and told me that, as a professor, to ask him if I ever need help. (I am now attending college in my 30’s, working on my undergrad.)

  • Sometimes they won’t even want men to be able to take care of themselves! (I know this from experience.)

    Re: college prepared for homeschooling

    I a currently taking educational psychology in college, and I can see how the theories learned will make one a better teacher.

    There are few things that worry me more, as a former homeschooler, than homeschool families which train their daughters to believe both that they MUST homeschool their own kids and that they MUST NOT go to college.

    Maybe that’s what they want: to raise slaves. At my old church, homeschooling was pushed, but my mom has deduced that for most of my peers, they only did the minimum, and, at least for a number of boys, they got recruited to work at 15, and spent years working long hours for less than minimum wage. (Many worked for an electrician at church. I, though older, got drafted as well; we got lectured and accused of being ungrateful SOBs who had life handed to us on a silver platter, and advantages others didn’t have, but didn’t appreciate it.)

    As for education, my mom made sure I got a decent education. (I think that was partly cultural, with my mom’s being African-American, and wanting me to be prepared and to have some of the hurdles that black people face removed.) My mom was a single mom, so a lady at church took care of my schooling and the schooling of another boy from a single-parent home. (I think that the lady’s daughter benefited from my being there, getting the overflow of the benefits from having my mom fight for me.) Sadly, I was unable to go to college at 18, though my mom wanted me to. But, now, in my 30’s, I have been able to go, am thriving, and my family fully supports me. (My mom left that church as well.)

  • I regret that I have but one upvote to give this comment, for it deserves 10,000!

    This notion is one thing that made me sympathetic towards feminism.

  • Here is something that I find amusing, as someone mixed race: a whole bunch of white people seem to think that black culture doesn’t value education, but, all those spewing ideas like in this post are white. I was raised by a black mom in a white Fundamentalist church. The reason I am in college in my 30’s was because the powers that be at church (all white people) opposed college. My mom *wanted* me to go. (She explained that African-Americans want their kids [both sons and daughters] to go to college, to reduce the effect of the disadvantages black people face in American society. In fact, my mom told me that when her cousin married straight out if high school and didn’t go to college, her family was not happy.)

  • smrnda

    I’m kind of suspicious of any successful man looking for a woman who has no real skills for a partner. My worry is that the reason he’s doing that is women who have the option of living independently wouldn’t have anything to do with him, so he’s hoping to take advantage of someone’s economic desperation.

  • zizania

    I’ve done all that (including tanning hides), as well as milking cows and goats, harnessing and driving a team of horses, baking bread, and splitting cedar shakes. When I was in school, I had absolutely no interest in becoming a secretary, but my mother insisted that I take typing. And, you know, I supported myself for quite a few years that way. As the saying goes, life is what happens while you’re making other plans.

  • smrnda

    Plenty of women who went to college, got degrees and had careers end up doing just find as wives and mothers. It does take some skill to work with young kids, but doing some kind of volunteer work or just reading one of those ‘what to expect birth to 5’ books will mean a new baby won’t be a total surprise.

  • SAO

    Many Muslim countries have high unemployment and each age cohort is larger than the last. Thus, every year more men enter the workforce than retire from it. The men can’t marry without jobs that will support a family and they can’t find work. The Tunisian fruit seller who sparked the Arab Spring was 26 and was struggling to make a living. He lived with his mother. He had little hope of marriage because he couldn’t support a family. He sparked a huge revolt that overthrew the leaders in Egypt, Tunisia and sparked civil unrest in other countries.

    ISIS promises men brides. They coerce the women in areas they’ve captured to marry men who come from all over. Often, the men get to be married for a year or so then have to do a suicide mission. There are enough poor men with no hope of getting married to take the deal.

    I look up the population pyramids of all countries with civil unrest from unemployment. It’s grim. In the 60s, people thought overpopulation would destroy the planet. Now, there’s huge concern about immigration and global warming, but neither the right nor the left has connected the dots and thought if the world had fewer people maybe there would be enough jobs for them in their home countries and fewer humans to burn wood or coal and drive cars.

  • lady_black

    It’s no coincidence that I think the same thing, and both of us are probably right. He isn’t looking for a partner. He’s looking for someone he can manipulate and abuse.

  • Aloha

    I’m a wife and mother … and you know how I got prepared for it? Just living life!
    I got prepared to appreciate my husband by dating and knowing jerks.
    I got prepared to manage conflict by getting into conflicts with friends, co-workers, and the occasion stranger.
    I got prepared to cook by watching my friends cook while we chatted.
    I got prepared to raise kids through all of the above, plus my formal education, plus working with kids in numerous settings.
    I got prepared to manage money by managing (and mis-managing) mine over the years.

    And beyond that, I had an adventuresome life with some bit of career success.
    How can you prepare yourself for life by avoiding life in the meantime?

  • lady_black

    Parenthood is mostly on-the-job training.
    I mean, it’s not terribly daunting to figure out how to bathe, diaper, dress and feed a baby, even if you have never done it. Other things are more challenging. What works for one child doesn’t work for the next. Different learning styles. Different motivational techniques.

  • lady_black

    As an atheist, I was also inspired by the life of Malcolm X. A self-educated man who eventually even figured out that the religion he embraced was conning him, and turned away from it after his hajj, which probably resulted in his assassination.
    Simply because a person differs in belief from us doesn’t mean they have nothing to teach us. Malcolm X had a lot of good things to teach society.

  • lady_black

    I couldn’t go to college at age 18 either. That’s a function of the way student aid is figured for those 25 and under. So… I ended up going later, unhampered by questions of family income. It’s never too late. Good luck in your studies.

  • Aloha

    It was super-daunting to me! All those aspects of baby care threw me for a loop. However, I think it’s mostly because I had no hands-on experience, since I was never around babies too much. And probably all new parents just have to learn by being dropped into the frying pan.

  • yulaffin

    I have a feeling Chelsy is going to mess with Steve’s ability to control everything his family does. She may be fundie but she (and her family) like to have fun!

  • Julia Childress

    Especially when you are raised in the QF environment where everyone woman you have ever known does exactly the same job – wife and mother, and you probably spent plenty of time taking care of your siblings and your father.

  • lady_black

    I don’t think that should happen. I don’t mean occasionally pitching in with younger siblings. Children shouldn’t be tasked with caring for other children on a regular basis, unless they are doing it for pay.

  • Julia Childress

    I know. It’s very unfair, especially for the girls who are forced into becoming little mothers to their siblings. That’s why I’m glad that the duggar daughters seem to be having mostly boys. If they don’t have any older girls to press into service, maybe they will have fewer children. Exactly what happened to one of my QF sisters. Five boys in seven years and that was it. Her husband said that was enough.

  • lady_black

    Well, I babysat as a teen, but no infants. It really wasn’t that hard to figure out. Washing anyone else is just like washing yourself. Diapers aren’t complicated, nor is holding a baby bottle.

  • lady_black

    He couldn’t produce any built-in slave labor? GOOD!

  • Julia Childress

    So true. My sister had to have emergency surgery and her husband had to try to work, help her in the hospital and then home incapacitated, and take care of the five boys who ranged in from 9 months to seven years. He realised what an impossible job QF moms have, and he decided that Gothard and his ilk are nuts, and they left the movement. Now they’re regular Methodists and their kids go to public school. I call that small a victory over the insanity.

  • NikkiofAmystika

    This alto is kind of weak here in the back because the song sucks.

  • Quinsha

    Tell me about it. I tried to go to community college with the help of student aid, and they wanted a copy of my parent’s income tax form to prove that I was not a dependent on it. Problem was, I had run away from home at the age of 18 and I had gone no-contact.

  • Allison the Great

    It’s funny how this subculture keeps going on and on about how True Christians ™ must rise up and take over government, culture, science, etc., but they disapprove of acquiring the skills to do so. True, some of these people will let their children go to college, but not many. At the colleges that are approved by the True Christian ™ culture, they are not gaining the skills necessary to achieve their lofty goals. While they would argue that they have the guys who are allowed to go out and win the culture wars, they fail to realize that they can’t do what they want to be if they are being educated by the women in their lives who were never allowed to be educated as they should be in order to be good teachers.

  • Allison the Great

    I’m glad that you got to go! As others have said, it’s never too late! I started at 26, then a year later had to drop out for health issues (I had an eye disease that later led to me getting corneal transplants in both eyes, so reading was difficult for a while) and now I’m back. I am about to get my Associate degree.

  • Allison the Great

    Larry Soloman would probably admit to this.

  • Nea

    “Hothouse pet” is an extremely kind way of phrasing it. The evangelical/stay at home daughter thing outright expresses that women must put out sexually (regardless of feelings, interest, or even health) with a smile at all times, while the man must “provide.”

    There’s a name for exchanging sexual favors for cash, and it ain’t “hot house pet.”

  • Nea

    Maybe that’s what they want: to raise slaves.

    No “maybe” about it.

  • Nea

    Of course it’s intentional. The daughters were, for a while, more famous than Daddy, but Daddy gets to preen in their fame and take all of their earnings.

    The problem is, of course, the wheels always come off the trolley. The famously unmarried Botkin advice gets more and more risible every year, and now the precious pamperlings are becoming a drag on the family coffers instead of the breadwinners.

  • Nea

    Considering that all of the Duggar fiances ended up working for Jim-Bob, I’m willing to bet that the one and only reason any Duggar girl got married was because the men had hopes of riding the TLC gravy train themselves.

  • Nea

    Children shouldn’t be tasked with caring for other children on a regular basis, period. Pinch-hitting a night or two for mid-to-late teens is one thing, but under 13 and full time? They need to be kids themselves!

  • Mary Hannah bates

    You mean it doesn’t bring you joy? Hmm, maybe we should invite the men to sing it with us. What kind of man would even want a woman who sings this kind of shite?

  • Annerdr

    I don’t know who it is that would think black culture doesn’t value education. Every single black woman I know has multiple degrees. Statistically, black women are the most educated group in America. https://www.theroot.com/black-women-now-the-most-educated-group-in-us-1790855540

  • Almost a chimp

    Ye gods, that group photo! How much plaid does one family need? It looks like an explosion on Walton Mountain.

  • Jennny

    Have you seen Zsu’s latest post? Pic of child who looks 10 at the most, wearing homemade sling with newborn baby number 10 in it? It really frightened me…no support for the baby’s head and a pale small girl carrying a heavy weight. Zsu said the baby needs to be held 24/7 so I guess she has to pass him round like a parcel or she’d get nothing done, Lord and Master Stevie does nothing to help with wimin’s work. Oh wait, this isn’t child abuse, this is a wonderful education for the girl-child, it’s teaching her all the life skills she needs in order to have babies galore herself. My heart goes out to those female kids – the boys can be boys, but the females must learn to be baby machines and slaves to the menfolk.

  • Mel

    Also – as far as we know, Jim Bob is not terribly picky about the guys as long as they won’t publically embarass the Duggars. Jill and Jinger’s husbands had 1) a college education and 2) income respectively prior to marriage – even though college education and professional sports are not ATI approved. Jessa and Joy, on the other hand, are on a fast train to poverty since their husbands are of ATI stock – young, enthusastic, and completely unskilled.

  • Mel

    The kid holding the baby is Rebecca – who is 9. I worry about using a ring sling – or any sling – with a baby that young even if an adult is wearing the sling; there are lots of ways to have a baby suffocate in a sling. The dangers get worse when it’s being used by a child.

    Zsu is really easy to understand. She has four kids she likes: Solomon, Issac, Miriam, and Boaz. She has six kids who she is stuck raising: John, Rebecca, Anna, Stephen, Chloe and Peter. After losing Jachim, I don’t know if she’ll ever like any babies born after Boaz; even in more sane families having a pregnancy that results in a living twin and a dead twin can lead to complicated greiving. Zsu doesn’t have any of the supports that most people have like an OB, a trained physician, a licensed counselor or even an untrained-in-counseling pastor to lend an impartial ear; she’s just got Steven – and he’s really self-absorbed.

  • lady_black

    No baby needs to be held 24/7. And a ten year old should never be wearing a baby sling.

  • Nea

    That’s because the marriage mart slammed shut on all the Duggars the moment Josh was outed, making the TV show and the talking tours dry up. Now that marrying a Duggar is no longer a ticket to riches and fame – yet might be a ticket to jail for failing to protect a child from a known repeat molester – nobody with even the slightest chance of making it on the outside of the cult would want to go near them.

  • Lily Erickson

    Honestly I wonder what these people think singles who live independently do. Like, I am a single woman who lives alone. I also am the one who does the cooking (always healthy and occasionally delicious), cleans the house, does the laundry, does small repairs around the house, runs the errands, ect. I also went to college and have a full-time job, NONE of which prevented my from learning any of those “domestic” skills. That’s how most young, single people live. I didn’t need to stay at home with my mom and dad after I turned 18 just to learn how to scrub pots and pans.
    Unless you are living on a farm or some sort of survivalist cult the skills required to keep a household going haven’t been a full-time job since the industrial revolution, as evidenced by the numerous women who’ve managed to do both just fine.

  • SAO

    I read that TLC pays about 30K to 50K/show. Weddings and wedding preparations are good for most of a season. That’s $660,000 to 1.1M. Plus there are a number of exclusives in gossip magazines — those have to be at least $10K. For a million bucks, I bet lots of CPM patriarchs would find their daughters’ suitors acceptable.

  • Mel

    I agree. I lived on my own from when I first landed a full-time teaching job through when I married. My parents had taught me everything I needed to live on my own as well as some fun extras like gardening, crocheting, canning and carpentry. Heck, my college chemistry classes and microbiology class were great for housekeeping! I can explain in nauseating detail why buying cleaners with antibiotics in it was a waste of time compared to using basic Lysol (hint: the name came from its ability to “lyse all” cells) or a 1:10 bleach solution. I revived the “art” of using a dial pressure canner to can vegetables, meats and beans and felt quite confident thanks to being comfortable with the ideal gas law. I also learned how to make cheese and can propigate my own cultures because aseptic technique is aseptic technique is aseptic technique.

  • MuttsRule

    Never trust homeschoolers who can’t spell Chelsea.

  • Poster Girl

    She looks mid 30s to me in that picture, and as persephone pointed out, NOT being a parent tends to help with looking young (no yo-yo weight from multiple pregnancies, being able to sleep through the night, not having to run around after children, etc.).

  • Poster Girl

    I think this is spot on.

    I’m thinking of one of the first fundies I encountered online, “Mom of 9.” Loads of links on her page about how God’s purpose for women wasn’t even to be the best mother and housekeeper, but to be there for her man. Truly sickening stuff. And big on the courtship instead of dating. And even HER kids weren’t SAHDs. One girl, along with two of the boys, even got to go off to some fundie college and met spouses there; the others all had or have jobs. One even joined a *gasp* contemporary church and now wears pants!

    I just think the stay-at-home-daughter movement is the most extreme of the extremists. Even if you think women shouldn’t consider anything but to be a housewife and mother, you can send your daughters to Hyles Anderson College where they can get a “degree” in Marriage and Motherhood. You can send them to Bob Jones, Pensacola, Golden State, or any other number of unaccredited IFB schools where they can get a “degree” in something like “speech” or “missionary wife.” At least they’ll be in a position to meet potential spouses and maybe get some exposure to some basic business or liberal arts skills.

  • Jennny

    Not just suffocate, I shudder as I imagine Rebecca knocking the baby’s unsupported head against a door or something…or dropping him. Zsu said she was being ‘supervised’ which is impossible every minute of the day surely…
    (I used slings for my 3 babies 35 yrs ago when they were barely known about in the UK. I was once at a bus stop when an older woman came over to me laughing and said her DH had noticed me with baby on my front. He’d said to her..’Bit weird, there’s woman over there with a doll or teddy or something strapped onto her chest!’)

  • Dr Sarah

    These women also have almost no way out of marriages that go wrong. I’ve no doubt that girl thinks now that divorce is something that happens to other people… but what’s going to happen if her husband is actually abusive?

    It’s hard enough to face the choice between divorce and staying with an abusive partner, or between single motherhood and letting your children grow up thinking that abuse is the norm for relationships because that’s all they’ve seen as they were growing up. But it’s significantly less hard if you at least know that you can support yourself and your children if you do leave an abusive spouse. Everybody should have that option available.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Interesting analysis. How have you picked up that she only likes those 4 kids?

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    I think you’re talking about different groups here. Some fundamentalists just want to win back society in a demographic war, by just having as many children as possible. It’s pure numbers to them. The people who want fundamentalists to take over government, science, education etc. tend to be a different group and they do want to educate their kids—that’s what Patrick Henry College is all about and other places like it. I think the difference is often one of class. The latter group tends to be more well-heeled, more invested in maintaining the status and prestige of being upper or middle class. They want careers and they want to challenge “the world” on their turf.

    Of course it doesn’t break down perfectly. The Botkins seem like they come from a pretty upper middle-class background and they’ve severely undereducated their children. But they don’t seem to know that. The Botkin sisters seem to fancy themselves quite cultured and erudite, like the “accomplished” ladies of earlier eras.

  • persephone

    My mother told me to learn how to type, so I always had a skill to fall back on. And I have. I typed fast enough to work in law, and combining the typing with the knowledge I have of computers has served me well.

  • persephone

    Fewer people means a stronger working class. That’s why the right wing is encouraging raising the birth rate. After the Black Death swept through in the 14th century, it gave the remaining workers leverage with their employers. The right wing loves having too many poor people, desperate for any work, at any rate.

  • SAO

    I struggle to credit the right wing with that much planning and foresight. I think they just want America to stay white. I read it’s projected to be 20% foreign born and 30% Hispanic by 2050. I doubt those immigrants are all coming from Norway or its neighbors.

  • texassa

    Aspiring to be a spouse and parent are fine goals. Aspiring to let someone else support you throughout life is not. Adults – and adolescents on their way to adulthood – ought to be planning and preparing to become sufficient. That is the true mark of adulthood.

  • texassa

    Or what if you meet and marry prince charming yet he doesn’t make enough money to support the lifestyle you desire? There is no reason grown, capable women should be exiling themselves from the workforce and earning money of their own.

  • persephone

    A congressman literally stood up and said that abortion and birth control need to end because we need more workers being born. Republicans were fine with BC and abortion for decades, but as they’ve lost voters, they’ve had to alter their appeals to bring in the RWNJs, and they can’t do it by saying we need more white folks, but they can do it by saying “don’t kill the babies.”

    They’re pushed for the ICE insanity.

    One congressman literally said that the under age 12 kids working the fields liked having jobs instead of going to school.

    McConnell is smart as hell. He’s also evil beyond measure. Do not discount anything that is going on as just happenstance.

  • Adrian

    Seems short-sided to not consider that while waiting it might benefit her daughter to have something no one can take from her – an education.

    Why can I just imagine that woman dismissing that advice as “short-sighted is just what not-Gawdly people call trusting in the Lard”?

    For people who supposedly revere their god, they sure do love taking him for granted and treating him like an ATM-slash-good-fortune-dispenser.

    On a side note, as a gamer, the name “Botkin” strikes me as extraordinarily fitting: they sure sound like they’re related to (god)bots.

  • Adrian

    Words fail me when searching for the proper term for a man who IS looking for such a woman. But that definitely isn’t “Prince Charming.”

    How about “creepy, entitled patriarchal asshole”?

  • Adrian

    The racist morons who equate “black” with “ghetto thug”, would be my guess.

  • Annerdr

    Well, yeah, them. I avoid them.

  • Adrian

    That has also been the experience of both my mother (as a teacher in Switzerland) and my neighbours who volunteer at a refugees center where they befriended many Syrians and Afghani families: they know just how valuable an education is, and they want their kids to have the best one they can get.

    Of course, it probably helps that these are the people who had to flee their country because of ISIS and/or the Talibans. Here in France, the obscurantist kind of Islam is mostly found in the suburbs (that’s projects/council estates) among the poor and disaffected/embittered second or third generation descendants of Muslim immigrants: basically, they use a simplistic form of Islam as an outlet for their economic and social frustrations and their feeling of rootlessness and alienation.

  • SAO

    Frankly, the whole GOP is evil. The best that can be said for some of them is that they are so deliberately ignorant that they don’t realize the extent to which their policies are damaging.

    I used to wonder how countries become basket cases. America has stronger institutions that have been around a lot longer than those of many countries but we’re basically experiencing the same process.

  • Mimc

    I would say that my experiences in college and at work have made me a better wife. I learned some good skills during that time some of them have application outside the field of computer science.

  • Mimc

    “insecure” at the very least. I had a boyfriend who was not cool with me getting a BS while he was getting a A&P certificate (aircraft mechanic). The fact that I was probably going to make more money than he was was a huge problem for him. I learned from that relationship that there is a minimum level of confidence I’m willing to accept in a partner. That is high enough they won’t try to sabotage me.

  • Mimc

    So many dirty bits in Shakespeare. I had a high school teacher that liked to point all of them out. It was a fun class. I’m was surprised when I saw articles on homeschool blogs suggesting reading Shakespeare with kids as young as 7.

  • Mimc

    Can anyone name a time when women (who weren’t wealthy) didn’t work between the end of their educations and their weddings? If I remember correctly many were milkmaid, nannies, nurses, school teachers, and seamstresses before starting their own families. The author of that little snippet doesn’t seem to understand people’s confusion. They aren’t confused about her wanting to get married they are confused by what preparing to get married even means if it doesn’t involve any education or earning any money.

  • lady_black

    I would only accept supportive in a partner.

  • Morgan Lefaye

    Maybe their dad is using them for sexual attention as well.

  • Morgan Lefaye

    Maybe Daddy’s a pedophile or Mommy thinks he is…

  • Morgan Lefaye

    Congratulations!

  • Morgan Lefaye

    My old neighbor was a retired history professor. According to a textbook he wrote, white slaveowners in the south would marry their first cousins. The black slaves refused to do that. I think those racist morons are the product of too much cousin-lovin.

  • Morgan Lefaye

    I’m white. I’m also looking forward to the day when whites become a minority in America, because too many of us vote for arseholes like Trump. Blacks and Hispanics tend to vote progressive, which is better for me, since I am a disabled woman married to another disabled woman.

  • Allison the Great

    Thank you!

  • Mimc

    Oh definitely, that’s why didn’t marry that one.

  • B.E. Miller

    Like Rebekah Pearl Anast, who used to have an online herb shop, where she sold herbs and such to help support the family. She was growing these herbs, harvesting them, and drying them herself. That’s a lot of labor, and I’m not sure how much she actually made at it.

  • B.E. Miller

    Thinking of their religious beliefs makes me think that might be a ‘feature’ rather than a bug. These women are isolated, and don’t have much experience dealing with other people, so it’s easier for the predatory men of this culture to manipulate them after marriage.

  • B.E. Miller

    In this culture, it’s a feature, not a bug.

  • Poster Girl

    The whole myth of women not work is pretty much a myth, period. The only time we’ve really had SAHMs is the immediate post-WWII era. Maybe you could extend that back a few generations to include the roughly 100 years between the industrial revolution and second-wave feminism. Before that time, neither men nor women of the upper classes worked before or after marriage, and both men and women in the lower classes did, before and after marriage– as servants, cooks, farmers, wet nurses, nannies, etc. My grandmothers (both lower middle class in the 1930s and 40s) worked, one as a cab driver and one as a bookkeeper.

  • Lonewolf

    I forgot my Bluetooth speaker was still connected to my phone and in the other room, so my fiance was a little freaked out at the unexpected creepy music. It was excellent. Lol