So Much More, p. 95-105 – Part 1: Pretty in Pink

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

Chapter 8 of So Much More is different from the preceding chapters in one important way: a good portion of it was not, in fact, written by A&E. Instead, most of it is taken up by the story of Rebekah, a self-described “former tomboy” who embraced stay-at-home daughterhood (SAHD). Rebekah’s is the most extensive SAHD practitioner testimony so far in the book, and conveys most of the actual information about what A&E think about “feminine strength.” Continue reading

So Much More, p. 75-93 – Part 4: The Botkin Collective

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

I have concluded, after reading chapter 7, that A&E have what can only be deemed an excessive focus on the group at the expense of the individual. To some extent I already knew this, but in this chapter the full ramifications of their view are made all too clear. Continue reading

So Much More, p. 53-62 – Part 3: Winning Is Everything

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

If you’re familiar with debates surrounding headship and submission within marriage, you’ve almost certainly read 1 Peter 3:1-6:

Wives, likewise be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward – arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel – rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good are not afraid with any terror.

No matter what your views on headship and submission, one thing is plain: that this passage is about marriage and married couples. Continue reading

So Much More, p. 33-51 – Part 4: The Pleasantville Priesthood

“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 beginning of chapter 4, A&E write:

Before we get into submission, we should let the reader know that we are fully aware that “submission” is seen as a dirty word to our generation, especially when connected with pejoratives like “hyper-patriarchal tyranny.” The Church at large is made very uncomfortable by these passages, because they seem to violate our fallen sense of what’s “right” and “fair.” The few Christians who recognize that this command does actually appear in the Bible and therefore needs to be obeyed, tend to be ashamed and apologetic of the fact. Why is this? What is there in God’s pattern for authority and submission that is not wonderful, wise, loving, and perfect? We should rejoice in it and make the most of it!

After reading this, I thought to myself that A&E might as well wear a big neon sign on their heads, reading “I AM 100% CLUELESS ABOUT ABUSE IN THE CHURCH.” Continue reading

So Much More, p. 33-51 – Part 3: Father Knows Best

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

So I said last time that I was going to devote at least one post to the abusive relationship dynamics held up as positive in chapter 4. Well, as expected, there’s going to be more than one post. I’ll begin this first one by giving some necessary background information that’s related to something I explored in a previous post on stay-at-home daughterhood (SAHD) – an unhealthy breakdown of boundaries between fathers and daughters. This has been explored at length at the site Overcoming Botkin Syndrome (see here for their explanation of the term “Botkin Syndrome”). 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

So Much More, p. 23-32 – Part 1: A Tale of Two Snakes

IMPORTANT ADDENDUM (11/8/14): A&E fully explain their concept of submission and how it relates to gender in chapter 4. Please read this post for the entire picture.


“If red touches yellow, it can kill a fellow. If red touches black, it’s okay for Jack.”

This is the rhyme I learned as a child to tell the difference between the eastern coral snake and the scarlet kingsnake. It was never of much practical use to me, since the eastern coral snake lives in the South and I live in Connecticut, but it’s good to know anyway for one simple reason: the eastern coral snake has powerful neurotoxic venom, while the scarlet kingsnake is harmless. Thus, it’s important to be able to tell the two species apart quickly should you encounter one of them in the woods. Continue reading

So Much More, p. 15-22 – Part 3: Of Straw Men and Submission

IMPORTANT ADDENDUM (11/8/14): A&E fully explain their concept of submission and how it relates to gender in chapter 4. Please read this post for the entire picture.


You may remember a few weeks ago that Michael Farris, chairman of Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), published a white paper entitled “A Line in the Sand,” in which he rejected and condemned so-called “Biblical patriarchy.” This caused a big dustup in the homeschool community, for a variety of reasons that I don’t have room to cover in this post (see here at Love Joy Feminism for a summary). Today, I want to explore only one of the concepts that was widely discussed in the fallout from Farris’ paper: the question of whether patriocentricity teaches that all women must submit to all men. Continue reading

Sleeping Beauty and the Five Questions, Part 2: Joseph, John and Guinevere (TBB)

The “TBB” in the name of this post means that it is part of The Big Box series. If you’re new to Scarlet Letters, read the introductory post to see what The Big Box is all about.

All right, readers – Hester’s finally finished banging her head against her desk. And I hope you’ve finished that cup of coffee, because you wouldn’t want to risk spraying hot beverage out your nose when you see what Vision Forum put on the cover of Sleeping Beauty and the Five Questions. Thankfully whoever designed the cover was kind enough to tell us the name of the painting they used, Edmund Blair Leighton’s The Accolade. Here’s the original. Continue reading

Sleeping Beauty and the Five Questions, Part 1: Blurring the Lines (TBB)

The “TBB” in the name of this post means that it is part of The Big Box series. If you’re new to Scarlet Letters, read the introductory post to see what The Big Box is all about.

Imagine for a moment that you are trapped in an old, drafty and apparently uninhabited castle. Since you cannot get out, your only option is to continue downstairs, toward the dungeons and all sorts of other unpleasant places. You know from the start, in your gut, that something is wrong with the place: it makes your hair stand on end, and after a while dark, eerie figures begin to appear in distant doorways and then mysteriously vanish before you can investigate further. But you try to keep your spirits up, and hope against hope that maybe things will get better and you can find a way out. Soon, however, comes that inevitable turning point – the moment you realize that not only are things not going to get better, they are about to get much, much worse. Continue reading