Joy, a frequent blogger and second generation homeschooler, reported on her experience at the Home Educators Association of Virginia Conference that was held recently in Richmond. She attended the session presented by Elizabeth and Anna Sophia Botkin, the Vision Forum affiliated “Visionary Daughters.” Read some of this content, originally posted on the True Womanhood blog, detailing some of the cries of “heresy” in response to the Vision Forum message. You can link there to read more about her experiences and read some of the content presented by the Botkin Sisters.
The Vision Forum booth was large, but moved very very little product. (Unfortunately, the catalogs flew like hotcakes!). The Western Conservatory booth was painfully, painfully, abandoned and empty for large time periods during the whole convention. (It was stuck in an obscure back corner) Poor Geoffery Botkin was stuck at the booth for long periods of time alone with no one to talk to, except for an occasional Anna Sofia and Elizabeth adoring fan inquiring as to where they were…I think they may have sold 50 movies/dvd’s the whole convention. And from what I could tell, they were bought by people who already ascribed to the NCFIC credo (judging by the long skirts and hair coverings, etc.)- although I am in no way making a blanket stereotype here. I merely stating what I observed.
Particularly on Saturday, people were going out of their way to avoid the Vision Forum booth (it was pretty obvious, being right near the front), giving it a wide berth. The guy (in tie and jacket, of course) was trying to hand out catalogs, and I would say two couples out of every five (couples or family groups) flat out refused to take the catalog. One man went so far as to fuss at the man for having the heretical “stuff” there. [his words] Again too, if you stood near the Vision Forum or American Vision booths (which are much linked in consumer’s minds, even though one professes not to have anything to do with the other) the conversations you would hear were interesting…I think “kooky” or “legalistic” were most often used as descriptors. Most of the women using those kind of terms were often discussing Vision Forum’s position on women in the home. Often, when I would hear things in favor of VF, the speakers almost always turned out to be clearly VF leaning (again with the long skirts and head coverings).
To put it another way, there weren’t many “outsiders” that were easily fooled.
And in reference to the Botkin Daughters' Presentation:
But before I actually get into what they said…I thought I’d fill you in on some of the reactions. In a room filled to standing room only (the workshop was actually closed due to space/fire code constraints) I would say that 10-15 people walked out in anger. Most of them were mothers practically dragging their daughters out. I would say another 20-50 stayed through the speech, but were very upset and angered by what they had heard. (My husband, by twist of fate, got stuck outside, and shared what he heard and saw during the speech and immediately afterward- I was stuck inside.) James said he heard “heresy” from 9 out of the 10 people who walked out (before the speech was over). Of that first wave of people who left quickly as soon as the doors were opened…there was a lot of anger/confusion.
More on the cultural irrelevance and patriocentric paranoia:
There were a few women (and a man) near me that immediately struck up a conversation with me as soon as it was ended. One of the questions was basically like my own to you gals back in the day: “I know something is wrong here, but I can’t quite figure out why”. I discussed in *brief* detail our concerns regarding the Botkins and NCFIC and Doug Phillips; pointed them to this blog and Karen’s and Molly’s and Cindy’s (at least, all the blog url’s I could remember off the top of my head).
My husband stated after hearing them that he finally (although he had always understood) realized why I couldn’t let the whole thing rest, why it was keeping me awake at night (the topics discussed here at TW). He was the one who was adamant I get these speech notes posted this morning…He’s so incredibly angry. As a father of a daughter, he said he realized that he needed to ‘contend for the faith’ because he doesn’t want Lorelei getting into this mess when she is older.
most of the first wave of people that left the speech after it was over were angry about the egotism (their description of a ‘normal day’ really bugged people) and hubris. They may not have been angry about the theological differences so much as they were angry, as johanna-from-england so aptly said, that young girls were telling them what to do.