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Botkinettes' Book Interview/It's Not Complicated MERGED

Marian the Librarian

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Thanksgiving travels have kept me off-line for a few days. To atone for my absence, I've taken one for the FJ team by listening to 30 minutes of Kevin Swanson's (AKA winner of the Ichabod Crane lookalike contest) interview with A-S and EBot, on the subject of (what else??) their latest book. Link is here: generationswithvision.com/Broadcasts/18155

Summary follows:

KS introduces the topic of relationships between "boys and girls," and how they can maintain purity in same. For the most part, the world is "all thumbs at this," and all too often falls into sin. KS plugs the book as a great read, then mispronounces A-S's name.

A-S&E (being interviewed via phone, both sound like they're about 12 years old): The Bible has all the answers re: boy-girl relationships.

KS: What makes relationships complicated?

A-S&E: Our sin nature twists the way we view relationships; also the culture, which says these relationships are romantically charged.

KS: Young men and women turn relationships from Phileo (brother-sister, good) into Eros (bad).

A-S&E: We see flirtation on one hand, and on the other, un-Biblical fear of talking, looking one another in the eye...problem stems from inability to view the other as brother/sister in Christ. Fear also lies in getting hurt, sending the wrong message, leading someone on, what to do, what will people think...

KS: How to overcome fear?

A-S&E: Sin can get in the way! Relationships ARE difficult and trickyl! (Message/logic fail here...) But, they can be used as tools for sanctification.

KS: Was book written mainly for young women?

A-S&E: Yes, they're the only group we're qualified to speak to. But, we hope the young ladies will read the book with their parents and brothers, in order to develop "family policies."

KS: Chapter called "Slaying the Inner Vamp" = how one presents oneself to the opposite gender. Proverbs 7 woman = out to seduce. Also problem of "aesthetic asceticism." (This is never defined.)

A-S&E: This is the kind of woman who wants a man for all the wrong reasons. There is a Proverbs 7 woman (i.e. sin nature) in all females. Every girl/woman wants to be noticed and admired by men; this problem can only be slain by God's grace. But it's really all about the heart.

KS: This is not to say all beauty is off-limits...

A-S&E: God created beauty, it's not inherently evil. But it's how we use beauty, and our attitude toward it. Proverbs 7 speaks to the woman using her beauty and tongue to entrap man, "lurking around," accosting him, grabbing him. This can happen even if we're dressed modestly!

KS: Self-perception can be warped for young ladies. What is proper?

A-S&E: The nature of the heart, and how it has fallen. Homeschooled or not, a girl can have a Proverbs 7 heart just like Jezebel. Kids raised in Christian homes think they are better, but A-S&E try to show them just how wicked and evil they can be. BUT, they also try to send a message of hope to their fallen hearts via the message in scripture.

KS: Are young ladies too much about themselves?

A-S&E: Girls should take the focus off of themselves, and focus on the other person, and how they can serve them.

KS: A young lady comes into church on Sunday, scans the crowd, looking for the guy on the white horse: is this healthy??

A-S&E: We call this "Is he the one?" syndrome. This is a HUGE! HINDRANCE! to having a good relationship with young men. It's seeking a romantic thrill-ride.

KS: Girl shouldn't be looking for "the one," but somehow "the one" will be presented to her.

A-S&E: Our book is about how to prepare, not about what happens once he shows up. It's about the young man's role as initiator. Young woman should not take on job of initiating/seeking, it's not her job. BUT, if the young woman finds a man she knows she could marry...tells story of Audri and Ben - Audri decided Ben was the only man she could imagine herself marrying, but she didn't pursue, entrap, initiate; left it up to Ben.

KS: Should woman make a list re: what kind of person she wants?

A-S&E: Yes, but make sure all characteristics are rooted in scriptures. And, she should have a list equally as long for herself.

KS: A young lady has spent the whole week listening to romantic music, reading romance novels, watching romantic movies, then goes to church on Sunday. How does this affect how she relates to boys?

A-S&E: Jane Austen or Twilight will give a false perspective on men. Romantic = BAD and WRONG. Girls should focus on relationships with their fathers and brothers ("real men"), not romance movies/books. Romance novels = "counterfeit men." Romance novels are never about pure, brother-and-sister-in-Christ relationships.

KS: How do girls get into sticky, complicated relationships?

A-S&E: What we've learned from the years we've spent ministering to young women: they desire to be loved. But they seek that prematurely, and jump in too soon. Also, they're not involving their parents in their friendships/relationships.

KS: "Wow. It's not that complicated." You just need to bring your parents and the entire church congregation into the mix. Then, there's no "pseudo-romantic" relationship. What about emotional purity?

A-S&E: Are our hearts naturally pure to begin with, and do they lose purity points over time? Does having a crush = loss of emotional purity? It's all about our present relationship with God.

KS: Relationships begin at home, between brothers and sisters. How do young ladies cultivate that?

A-S&E: You have to know what it means to have a brother-sister relationship. Home is training ground for all relationships, we've learned via our brothers. Brothers and sisters aren't always naturally close, we've had struggles with our brothers which we've had to overcome. It's all about becoming interested in what the brothers are interested in. God has created them to be MEN. Having brothers = a crash course in men.

KS: Bloviates about his wonderful relationship with his older sister...

A-S&E: Brothers-sisters can reach such depths of closeness...best conversations are about theology, and confessing sin to one another. This has prepared us for relationships with men in general.

KS: Speak to a society where boy-girl relationships are terribly dysfunctional.

A-S&E: Starts with our attitudes toward others, ourselves, and what Bible says about men. It's all about building relationships with the brothers and the parents, confessing sins and bad attitudes to brothers and parents.

KS: It's Christianity 101, kindergarten-level. Plugs book one more time, and WesternConservatory.com.

And that's all, folks. Signing off, and looking forward to an evening of (gasp! pearl-clutch!) ROMANCE with Mr. MtL!!!


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Okay, I have a brother... three! I grew up with two of them (the third is only five now) And yet that did nothing to help me when it came time to start deciding how to handle boys. Heck, I couldnt even ASK my brother something like that, he would have laughed in my face. NOW though he can... but you know what? I don't understand men any better now than I did when I was little. SOME guys I understand because I've been around them forever. But not all guys are the same. My ex boyfriend and my brother are two completely different people. What interests one, does not nessecarily interest the other. And I won't listen to my brother half the time because of it. What might work when a girl approaches my brother may not work on some guy I may like.

So anyways, having brothers did not help me when it came to crushes. I will admit maybe it helped me be able to have guy friends... I actually get along better with guys most of the time... but it hasnt helped me with anything, including the current drama that I have.

That is all.

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a conversation between two internally misogynistic bimbos and a psychopathic pastor who believes that even criminal children deserve the death penalty

I guess that's new.

Glossary notice:

Internalized Misogyny-misogynistic behavior by women themselves.

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Jane Austen = Twilight? No.

And a girl has to be interested in what her brothers (and therefore potential suitors) are interested in? She's not allowed to cultivate her own interests? Oy vey.

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I appreciate the gift of the Robotkin interview, without having to actually listen to them.

Are they regressing? I think they are. I really wish some fundie boy would scale the Botkin brambles to rescue them. I am not one to wish marriage on these poor fundie girls, however, it is the only way some of them are going to get out. Anyone would be better than Daddy.

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Thanks for taking one for the team, MtL.

I hate that they talk like this

God created beauty, it's not inherently evil. But it's how we use beauty, and our attitude toward it. Proverbs 7 speaks to the woman using her beauty and tongue to entrap man, "lurking around," accosting him, grabbing him. This can happen even if we're dressed modestly!

perpetuating such an ancient stereotype. Women as seducers, nothing is the man's fault. Also, they are only qualified to speak to women?

Yet this interview sounds awfully like they are educating KS...

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Are our hearts naturally pure to begin with, and do they lose purity points over time? Does having a crush = loss of emotional purity? It's all about our present relationship with God.

Why do fundies speak in riddles? I can't even grasp the mechanics of their speech.

Are these rhetorical questions, or did they think that vague, inscrutable comment a sufficient explanation? Do they actually believe in 'purity points' or that you could find a straight man who wants his wife to treat him like her brother?

Jane Austen = Twilight? No.


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I listened, for about 5 minutes. I wanted to hear what they sound like since I had never heard them speak before. One of them, whichever one it is that speaks the most, has a really weird voice. She sounds about forty. Her vocal mannerisms are just weird for someone in her mid twenties.

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Uhm, Austen's men are anything BUT romantic. They're usually taskmasters/mentors for their future mates (Northanger Abbey, Emma, Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park) or obliquely on the fringes of a relationship with their intended until Austen wraps it up - and the endings are NOT as happy as AS/EBot might think (Sense & Sensibility, Persuasion). I'm sort of writing my thesis on Austen...ask me anything (but not here)! :D

I do agree with them on one point: they have one spectrum of "flirtation" but the other end of it is the typical fundie attitude of avoidance, side hugging your own parent, etc. being borne of fear. However, their "middle" is far closer to the fundie model than the Proverbs 7 one.

I think the mods need to add "Proverbs 7 Woman (Slut? mod's choice)" to the graduated list of titles. I think that's a hard-earned one...maybe 1000 - 2000 posts?

I also love how they can only write for young women, BUT the book is meant to be taken to your parents as a new "family guide." Gotcha, Geoffy-baby.

eta: My only brother is a drag queen who was wearing my dresses more than I did before he outgrew me; I knew he was gay before I knew what gay was. What was I supposed to learn from him? Makeup tips? :dance:

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How would Anna Sophia and Elizabeth even have a clue what Jane Austen writes? And the Twilight books? NO way.

eta: My only brother is a drag queen who was wearing my dresses more than I did before he outgrew me; I knew he was gay before I knew what gay was. What was I supposed to learn from him? Makeup tips?

Well, see, this is most probably your fault. Did you ever dare to initiate conversations with him? Did you possibly talk about something that interested YOU? Did you make sure that all discussions with him were focused only on theology? Or perhaps you expressed an actual thought or opinion in his presence? Had you been a proper sister, you could have prevented this. You need to go read all the Moody books as penance, and so you can learn correct brother-sister relationship skills.

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My brothers are obsessed with a particular football team (soccer! for Americans :) ) to an amazing degree. So to do what the Botkins recommend I should get the amount of football tattoos they do, have a picture of the stadium the team play at as my screensaver, sign off all my emails with the team logo and motto, spend many hours on internet forums debating formations, player selection and the manager's latest decisions...wouldn't that make me all manly and shit? ;)

Also, I fail to see how *all* women want to attract men with their beauty. What about lesbians? Is this a case of "we do not have them on Planet Botkin"?

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The word "lesbian" appears on page 141 of their book.

Well, I suppose it is nice they recognise the concept ;)

What was the context? If I may ask.

The "we do not have them" thing was me being a complete geek. It's a Newman and Baddiel reference ;) My parents love comedy and let me watch it, even 18 rated, from a young age.

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I grew up with only sisters. Somehow I got married all by myself and am able to raise 2 sons(and 1 girl) with no brothers to help me relate to men. Its magic!

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Marian, jinx! I had the computer to myself last night, and listened to the interview while playing Tri-Peaks. Thus my recall may be a little flawed, but your synopsis helped refresh my reactions.

First and foremost of which is: They need to recall the book immediately and change the title to

It's [even more] complicated [than you thought]!

If this book was written with the dominionist young women aged 12-14 in mind ... well, there might be good news. The girls may just give up and choose the nunnery. Any boys within listening distance will wonder where all the submissive potential partners went, and find wives in the real world. Surprise! I bet most of them would like that.

Second thought: Now we have the Proverbs 7 woman to fret about???? Emulating the Prov. 31 woman - but not emulating her so much that you make your own decisions - isn't enough??!!

I want to think that AS&E are more than what they appear. That they know what's out in the world and that they have a plan to live their lives on their own terms. In brief: That they are just playing along with Daddy and Mommy's silly plans to take over the world.

But I hear an interview like this, and I despair.

Third thought: Kevin Swanson controlled the interview, thus the topic sounds more complicated than it is, than the book makes it to be.

Dismissed the third thought. The book probably makes the subject just as complicated.

Fourth thought: Were I a parent of a young teen girl, I would avoid this book at all costs. Because it really isn't complicated: You set rules, boundaries and limitations on all your children - female and male - and you stick to them. You explain that what they might think is "love" is more likely chemistry and you explain your beliefs on premarital sex (for or against, doesn't matter; you just have to be consistent in what you expect of your children) and go from there.

Last thought: They want "it" to be complicated. Maybe AS&E don't, but Swanson evidently does; doubtless, the book winds up doing just that. Who's going to buy a book if they think they're already on the right path, doing things the sensible and responsible way? who's going to buy a book about a subject that's really pretty simple and straightforward?

Really last thought: No, the Bible does not hold every answer to every question we may have in this life, from how early teens should be taught about the other gender (Swanson doesn't say 'sex', Ha!). It holds the story of how we got where we are, and who Jesus was to save us from here; most importantly, it teaches us about full atonement and grace.

Rules-&-answers book? Oh, it's so much more.*

* Yeah, I meant to do that. ;)

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people who think Jane Austen=Twilight or people who think Jane Austen is a fundie template makes me all kinds of stabby - must be my "sin nature" or my proverbs 7 tendancies

edited to add: thanks for taking one for the team

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Nice analysis, MJB. I would have included more of my own thoughts last night, but transcribing the whole thing left me exhausted, not to mention addled by A-S&E's as-usual convoluted logic and verbiage.

What I found most interesting was their shift in focus from Daddy to Brother(s). I haven't read "So Much More," but based on what I've gleaned from FJ that book's essential message is that it's All About Dad, and a daughter's relationship with him (i.e. he says "jump," and she responds "how high??" - all while trimming his beard). I don't know about this new book, but in the Swanson interview there were just a few references to "parents," as in involving them in all aspects of a daughter's social life. I don't recall hearing the words "dad" or "father" once - it's now All About the Brothers.

Could it be that they've re-focused on the brother-sister relationship because there was so much squicked-out response to the implied incest in the Daddy worship?

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They have it wrong.....filia in ancient greek refers to the love between equals.

Given what we know of fundies, brothers and sisters are NOT equals.

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I find this interview, and their opinion of women, extremely offensive. Everything seems to be geared towards the belief that all women are stupid, sinful sluts, and the only way out is to blindly follow our fathers/brothers. They don't want women to have an opinion or interest of our own, because we are not considered intelligent enough to think about anything but romance.

I'm still amazed that so many women will believe this crap about themselves. And, that they try to push it on the rest of us.


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Could it be that they've re-focused on the brother-sister relationship because there was so much squicked-out response to the implied incest in the Daddy worship?

If yes then my congratulations: It doesn't work.

Maybe they start with the bootlicking just in case they will remain unmarried until DaddyBot dies and they'll have to move into the closet of one of their brothers (and his family) and they want other girls to prepare as well.

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There's a long chapter on gossip, and they say, "When you're the one being gossiped about, don't respond emotionally or immaturely. When we discover that people are making things up behind our backs -- 'I bet they're not allowed to talk to boys.' 'Between Tom, Dick, and Harry, I'm betting Elizabeth marries Harry.' 'What horrible thing do you suppose Anna Sofia did to make her father force her to be single forever?' -- we don't need to let it get to us. This is the sort of thing that can add comedy to our lives."

So they are admitting they cruise Free Jinger and similar sites? They should add their voices to the conversation.

Excellent review, Athena C.

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Sorry, but none of the content reviewed here is what I would call interesting or thought-provoking. Unless the thought being provoked is "Gosh, fundies never fail to act like entitled assholes".

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