Book Review (Kind Of): In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick

So, a piece of info about your blogmistress that probably won’t surprise anyone: I don’t normally buy books without reading reviews of them first, because I don’t want to end up paying money for something that looked good but turned out to be deficient or substandard in some way. I made an exception for In the Heart of the Sea when I found it at the front of Books-a-Million last month, for a few reasons. One, it was a mass-market paperback so it didn’t cost too much; two, Nathaniel Philbrick is a well-known historian with a good reputation; and three, flipping through it, I realized it would give me an opportunity to expand upon a topic I’d already discussed here at Scarlet Letters. And on that note, if you’ve seen the In the Heart of the Sea movie that was recently made, you’re probably wondering what a book about whaling and survival at sea has to do with the usual fare here (Christian gender issues and patriocentricity). Continue reading

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So Much More, p. 107-131 – Part 3: The Laborer Is Worthy of His Wages

“A&E” refers to Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, authors of So Much More. I chose the abbreviation to save space and time.

Before I wrap up chapter 9, I’d like to comment on a bit of a strange theme I’m seeing emerging from A&E: their seemingly elitist attitude toward wage earners. I first noticed this because they seem bizarrely fond of the terms “wage slave” and “wage slavery” (which Doug Phillips has also used): Continue reading

So Much More, p. 107-131 – Part 2: Weeds and Widows

“A&E” refers to Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, authors of So Much More. I chose the abbreviation to save space and time.

After the last post about how women shouldn’t have careers outside the home, it makes sense to examine exactly how A&E envision women obtaining daily necessities – by always being attached to a man and allowing him to provide for her:

Biblically, the duty to provide is given to the man. As we read in Genesis 3, because of Adam’s sin, God cursed the ground so that it would be hard for Adam to provide for his family. … Nowhere in Scripture does it even hint that a woman has a duty to provide for herself. Even in a worst-case scenario, our Heavenly Father has arranged for masculine protection for needy women.

I’ve covered before how A&E’s definition of “provision” is broad enough to include many activites regularly done by women, but is still somehow restricted to men only. Continue reading

So Much More, p. 95-105 – Part 4: American Girls

“A&E” refers to Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, authors of So Much More. I chose the abbreviation to save space and time.

At the end of chapter 8, A&E have a go at history:

When the first brave wives came with their husbands to the shores of Plymouth in 1620, they brought character and the customs of Christendom with them. Unfortunately, most modern history books give inaccurate depictions of women from this time, and often focus entirely on the “feminists before their time” who did little or nothing to build up their society, and often had little cultural significance.

I can’t help but nitpick here and point out that the Pilgrim wives on board the Mayflower were not the first married English women to reach North America. They were preceded (by nearly 40 years) by Eleanor White Dare, mother of Virginia Dare, the first English child born in North America and a member of the famous “Lost Colony” of Roanoke. This doesn’t affect any arguments about Christendom, of course, since we’re still talking about English women from the same general time period; but I still find it annoying, even though it’s only obliquely relevant to the actual issue here: A&E glossing over things about history and portraying early American women as pretty darn close to perfect and/or superhuman: Continue reading

So Much More, p. 63-74 – Part 3: Is Patriocentricity, Misandry?

“A&E” refers to Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, authors of So Much More. I chose the abbreviation to save space and time.

[Content warning for sexual abuse and racial slurs.]

This rant post has been stewing, brewing and in general rattling around in my brain for a long time now – in fact, long before I started reviewing So Much More. At first I was going to write it separately, and started a few times, but all those attempts failed miserably. (I also discovered that I suck at what I call “rageblogging,” which I guess is actually a good thing for me – and Scarlet Letters – in the long run.) But now, finally, in chapter 6, A&E have given me an excuse to just make this post part of a series like I normally do: Continue reading

So Much More, p. 63-74 – Part 2: Wake Up, Neo!

“A&E” refers to Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, authors of So Much More. I chose the abbreviation to save space and time.

Since we might as well start this post with a bit of comic relief, this video reflects my general feelings about conspiracy theories. (Apologies for a swear or two and for “retarded.”)

Aside from the point mentioned in the video – that most conspiracy theories are too vast to be pulled off in the real world – they have some other characteristic weak spots that tend to render them unlikely or just downright impossible. Two that come immediately to mind are 1) that conspiracy theories often rely solely on secret conferences, conversations, etc. that the conspiracy theorist cannot confirm actually happened and did not personally witness; and 2) that most conspiracy theories are extremely selective in the information they present, and ignore other information that disproves the theory. I’ll (mostly) be dealing with #2 today, because the view of history that A&E present in Chapter 6 of So Much More has all the hallmarks of this problem, and then some. Continue reading

So Much More, p. 33-51 – Part 1: Asking the Right Questions

After receiving complaints from readers that they did not know who “A&E” was referring to, each So Much More post will now include a note at the top clarifying this information. “A&E” refers to Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, authors of So Much More. I chose the abbreviation to save space and time.

A few weeks ago, I questioned whether Michael Farris had really, as claimed by others, “strawmanned” patriarchy in his white paper “A Line in the Sand.” At the end of that post, I stated that I was confused and that A&E seemed to be logically contradicting themselves. Then in a second post, I covered some more of A&E’s statements about gender relations, in which they seemed to be saying that all women should submit to all men.

Well, today I am pleased to announce that I don’t have to use the word “seem” anymore (at least not about this). That’s because, in chapter 4 of So Much More, A&E finally lay out all the details of their gender bureaucracy in a clear way. Continue reading