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Book Review – No Little Women by Aimee Byrd


Book Review – No Little Women by Aimee Byrd

In 2 Timothy 3, Paul warns Timothy that there will be some people who are toxic in their handling of scripture and relationships. He gives Timothy a long list of character traits and says that these people have an appearance of godliness but deny its power. He goes on to say that among these types of people are those who creep into households (implies bad intentions) with the intent of capturing weak women (2 Timothy 3:6). Paul urges Timothy to avoid this type of person. In her new book, No Little Women,  Aimee Byrd takes Paul’s warning and focuses her attention not upon the intruders, but on these “weak women” who are always learning but never arriving at truth. Here Byrd uses a literal meaning of gynaikaria and translates the phrase as  little women.  As Byrd points out, this phrase is meant as a negative term and Paul uses it to emphasize the contemptuous nature of their being taken by false teaching. Paul is speaking bluntly here not because he has a low view of women, but because he understands that women are capable of so much more than these little women demonstrate by being taken captive so easily by those who oppose the truth.

This tendency to fall prey to false teaching is not found exclusively in women; that much is obvious. However, as an author, Byrd has a profound burden for Christian women who have replaced the need for a biblical knowledge of God with any of the myriad of options offered at popular women’s conferences. Many times these are not bad things in themselves, but are being packaged in very poor theology. The sad reality is that the conferences and teachings are hitting on a real need that women have, but rather than pointing the women to Christ and his all-sufficient grace, women are being encouraged to look within themselves to find meaning and fulfillment.

Byrd starts off by establishing the value of women in God’s economy using John McKinley’s rendering of ezer and its substantive, kenegdo as  “necessary ally”. This, I believe, is the better translation since (as Byrd points out) the phrase “suitable helper” has a different connotation today than the text suggests. Not only is it a better translation but gets tot he heart of the male/female distinction — and this is important to understand throughout the rest of the book. Women are not merely helpers as we commonly think of the word today, they are our counterpart and together the totality of the image of God is made manifest within the human race.

Right about now I am confident that some might be getting nervous and are beginning to think that Aimee Byrd and the good folks over at P&R have gone the way of Anne Eggebroten but this is not the case. Keep in mind that this is P&R; one of the more trusted names in Christian publishing. Rather than falling into the complementarianism of Piper or the egalitarianism of Bilezikian,, Byrd takes more of a middle ground insisting that there are roles to be respected in marriage and in church while at the same time insisting that women can and ought to take theological training seriously and that women are not bound to submit to every man. Additionally, Byrd insists (contrary to Piper) that women shouldn’t find their identity in submitting to men.

I am not constantly looking for male leadership in my life. I am a married woman and a member of a church, and I understand the order needed in a household , but male leadership does not define my femininity. I’m not looking to my male neighbors, coworkers or mail carriers to nurture their leadership. This kind of teaching perpetuates a constant authority/submission dynamic between men and women that can be very harmful. And because of it, there have been even stranger applications, such as why it would be okay for a man to ask directions from a housewife in her backyard if he were lost.

This type of clear thinking on the issue is important for us to understand. Nowhere in scripture are we told that a woman must submit to every man and nowhere are we told that men cannot learn from women. Quite frankly, I applaud Byrd’s work here. A wrong view of gender is harmful to women, marriages, the church, and the whole of society and we have seen the results in the myriad of books, conferences, and bible studies targeted at women that have the result of keeping women ignorant of meaningful theology. Byrd does not treat this topic lightly and it is to her glory. Speaking of Christian Best Sellers lists, Byrd says

The best sellers list is often dominated by women authors, which in itself isn’t a bad thing– but just about all the books on the list are filled with theological error. And the ones marketed especially to women appeal to the emotions and sentimentality of the reader while subverting the faithful teaching of scripture.

Byrd places the blame with the women who read them, their churches, the bookstores, and the publishing companies. She doesn’t shy away from naming names either and calls out the women as those who teach error. The answer to all of this Byrd asserts is for churches to minister to every member by word and sacrament. This is how both men and women grow in all faithfulness.

No Little Women is a call for women to grow in discernment by reading books that are faithful to historic Christianity. It’s also a call to churches to embrace a robust women’s ministry which allows women the freedom to pursue academic and biblical excellence rather than brushing them off into the corner with a theologically weak women’s bible study while hoping that they are kept quiet long enough for the men to do the vigorous study. This is a refreshing perspective and one that I have come to appreciate. I wish that all men would know the joy of having late night theological discussions with their wives as I have been able to enjoy with Jami all these years. Men ought not be afraid of an intelligent and capable woman and I can attest to the fact that having a theologically astute wife has caused me to grow and to be stretched in ways that I never would have imagined before encountering her.

So who should read this book? Women for certain.. but also men and especially men who are pastors and elders of their church. I would also commend No Little Women to my sons and certainly to my daughters. I can’t think of a single person who wold not benefit from reading No Little Women and I hope that all the marvelous women in my life have a chance t pick it up and read it.

Where to purchase

Click here to purchase No Little Women: Nurturing Competent Women in the Household of God from (CBD)

Click HERE to search for the lowest price on

Click here to purchase directly from P&R Books

About the Author

No Little WomenAimee Byrd is just an ordinary mom of three who has also been a martial arts student, coffee shop owner, and Bible study teacher. Author of Housewife Theologian, she now blogs about theology and the Christian life and cohosts The Mortification of Spin podcast.






Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from P&R Publishing in exchange for an online review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

37 thoughts on “Book Review – No Little Women by Aimee Byrd

  1. Marie Pizzi

    Yes! Finally a common sense approach to gender!! I wonder if my local Christian bookstore carries it so I can start today. Um, probably not. Okay Amazon Prime 2-day shipping. God’s gift to bibliophiles!

  2. James D.

    I’ve heard that Aimee Byrd is a feminist. Did you find that to be the case?

    • James, I wouldn’t characterize Aimee Byrd as a feminist. Your source got her wrong.

  3. Jeff Olson

    Here’s the problem and you illustrated it in your review. Aimee Byrd has no Biblical authority to oppose men such as Piper. If she has an objection she is to ask her husband at home (1 Corinthians 14:35). If he has a dispute then he should be the one to oppose Piper but keep in mind that he is a proven teacher and a pastor and the fact that others have not opposed him makes me believe he is not in error. I don’t have a problem with her objecting to the women authors. She is probably right to oppose them though I am not sure which women she is opposing. I don’t see scripture telling us that women are to take on this role of teaching unless it is her children or other women but even that should probably be done by faithful men in the church. This is why we have 3 million women marching for obscene feminism and murder. It all starts with questioning authority.

    • Anon

      To jump from respectfully disagreeing to implying that Byrd — a Christian woman who loves Jesus and is taking a step in any direction (God forbid a women should metaphorically move in the Kingdom)– is as good as 3 million women “marching for obscene feminism and murder” (and we’re talking heathens, God-hating, Men-hating, violent, lost, deceived women who are wounded and do not have the Lord) is

      1. A complete fallacy. Because Byrd makes a book that clarifies the role of women, she’s suddenly a murdering feminist? Or worse — she’ll lead a guerrilla attack of secret underground Christian women feminists who hate all thing patriarchy! Please, let’s be real.
      2. Making me wonder what woman hurt you in your past.
      3. Making me wonder where your compassion as a person is.

      “This is why we have 3 million…”

      What is “this?” Byrd’s opinion? Byrd’s revelation? Her voice? If she’s wrong, God will tell her when she faces Him. This isn’t the end of the world.

      If “this,” is questioning authority. Then show me points in the book where she questions Man’s (as leaders of the church and as a husband) and God’s authority.

      I was fine with everything you said, but your implications…that was not cool. That’s borderline personal attack on the actual person that Byrd is, not just her work as an author. You’ve just categorized her with a bunch of horrendous people and you made a pretty gnarly blanket statement (or implied one) about women having their own thoughts, Jeff. She’s a person, too.

      • Well stated Anon…and thank you.

    • Jeff, thank you for stopping by and for offering your opinion on the review. I always welcome dissenting opinions because they help us to sharpen one another. However, personal attacks are totally uncalled for and I insist that if you wish to participate, you keep your comments focused on the content of the review and book (if you have read it). Disagree to your heart’s content, but keep the discussion civil and charitable. Thank you.

      I find your application 1st Corinthians 14 quite interesting. Traditionally this has been understood as a passage that regulates our worship on the Lord’s Day when the saints gather. I have to admit, I have never heard this passage applied to all of life and I believe that a careful reading of a text will convince you that it is not the best approach to interpreting the passage. I have read this book and I find it to be thoroughly Orthodox and in keeping with the Westminster Confession and other fine conservative confessions.

      That said, I’m interested in something you wrote because I’m afraid I’m not quite following. Perhaps it’s that I didn’t sleep well or maybe your thoughts are simply more profound than mine. Help me understand what you mean by saying that she “has no biblical authority to oppose such men as Piper”. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around that.

      • Jeff Olson

        Well you’re probably right. I should be more charitable. It’s just that it gets me all wound up to hear women casting off authority! I read 1 Corinthians 14 again and I see what you’re saying. It does seem to be about church services. What I meant by that was that if she corrects a man’s doctrine she is making herself and authority and the Bible says “I suffer not women to teach, nor to have authority over men but must be silent”. Why is it that women think they need to study theology? It’s not in their job description just like other honorable things aren’t in ours. It’s not that they are any less valuable but they just can’t do certain things just like men can’t do certain things.

        • JR Walker

          “Why is it that women think they need to study theology? It’s not in their job description.”
          For real?

          The study of God and His Word is every human being’s job description. Where do you come up with your views and your understanding of the Word?? Sigh.

        • Respectfully, where does this leave widows, single women, divorced women, and wives of unsaved husbands if they can’t study, learn or ask questions without a male authority figure?

          • Mike B

            Sounds likenthe garbage my mom had to put up with for leaving my abusive father, her husband. That is until she joined a reformed church.

        • brian

          Hello Mr. Olson hope you are well, what is your stance on vaccines and antibiotics? What about a better early warning system for tornadoes (something Mr. Piper has written about)? Or maybe the Theory of Relativity or Atomic theory? None of these are written about in the Bible. Some of them could contradict certain aspects of the Bible.

    • Serving Kids in Japan

      I realize that Jeff has stated he no longer plans to comment, but he made a few points that I didn’t want to go unanswered. Even if he’s no longer reading, I hope someone is.

      …keep in mind that [Piper] is a proven teacher and a pastor…

      “Proven”? By whom exactly? Are we talking about the man who stated publicly that women shouldn’t be police officers, or even give road directions to any man, because it will somehow damage his manly sense of authority? The one who said that a wife should allow herself to be “abused for a season” or “smacked around for a night”? A teacher who still can’t bring himself to say anything bad about the bully and misogynist Marc Driscoll? Piper’s not a “proven” anything in my book, and he’s no one worth seeking for counsel regarding marriage or gender relations.

      …and the fact that others have not opposed him makes me believe he is not in error.

      Wrong. Plenty of people are opposing him. You just choose to ignore them because most of them are women. Well, I’m a man, and I think his teachings on gender and marriage are not only nonsense, but also dangerous and a recipe for all kinds of abuse.

      • Hi Serving! So I’m totally new to viewing Piper in this way and while I disagree with Jeff on many levels I also have viewed Piper favorably. If these things are true then I think he needs to be set aside until he comes to Biblical understanding of gender. Can you post some links or sources that validate the positions you attributed to him? I’m not saying you made it up. I don’t know you and I don’t have any reason to doubt you other than my exposure to his other teachings. It would surprise me to be honest but you are not the first person here to mention him in connection with this kind of thinking so I’m starting to lose trust in him. I just want to make sure I can validate it before deciding he’s as dangerous as he sounds. I hope that’s not offensive. It’s not you, it’s my need to see it in his own words before believing accusations.Thank you!!! Did I mention it’s not you? I hate conflict. I’m not trying to start one 🙂

        • Serving Kids in Japan

          Dear Missy,

          Thank you very much for asking. I’m not offended at all that you asked for confirmation. In fact, I’m sorry that didn’t provide them in my initial comment. But when I wrote it, it was already well past my bedtime, and didn’t have much energy for online searching. Also, I’m not sure whether this site will support links in the comments (not all blogs do). I will do my best now, though, to help you out.

          Re: Women as police officers. Aimee Byrd addressed his thoughts on the matter here: (She includes a link to his original post on Desiring God, but it is now conspicuous by its absence.)

          Re: Domestic abuse. You can hear Piper talking about it in his own words:

          Re: Marc Driscoll. Piper was interviewed at a church in Canada, and asked for his thoughts on the implosion of Mars Hill. Professor Throckmorton has the video here on his blog:

          I hope that’s enough for a start. Please feel free to express your own thoughts on Piper’s teachings. Thanks again.

          • Ew ew ew! Did he just say that the woman endures being smacked around?!!! I think im going to throw up. I mean yeah, we should take it to the church but how many times have we seen a church fail to discipline a man for abuse? I’m not advocating for divorce but if a man is smacking his woman she needs to flee not endure!

  4. Doug B.

    I’m not so sure it’s that she is a feminist as much as we don’t like when a woman one-ups us on truth. Get over it Jeff. Truth is truth no matter who points it out. Piper has had issues with doctrine for a while. Just because he puts out a few good things a year doesn’t mean that the hundreds of other stuff he advocates is good.

    • Hello Doug and thank you for commenting. Please remember to keep comments civil and charitable. I’m specifically referring to the comment telling Jeff to get over it. By and large I agree with what you said but ask that we display patience and tolerance of other views. In case it needs to be said, tolerance does not in any way mean acceptance of the other position or even validating it. I simply mean to allow contrary positions but debate them vigorously. Thank you!

  5. Lenette

    When I was a young married woman I was taught that women cannot be priests and that I am sanctified in my marriage through the sacrament of marriage among others. This was not all good teaching but it left me wondering what my role was. There were plenty of ministries for me to involve myself in but none that really met my fancy. Now that I am saved and in a reformed church I’m hearing that I have tremendous value but should not venture out and teach what God has taught me. I think this is wrong too. There has to be a middle ground where like Priscilla I am able to teach without shame and yet do not dishonor the order God established. None of those ladies books except a few rare gems are worth their salt. I’m not impressed with Joyce Meyers or Beth Moore or any of the other ones who giggle like girls and fill their books with nonsense and fluff. I need deep theology. So I read the men. And Aimee Byrd and a few others.

    • Lynette, I always appreciate hearing from you. Always! I believe there is not only a middle ground, but more importantly a middle ground that is thoroughly biblical. Aimee Byrd is walking that ground and it is something to behold. Keep reading. You always bless me.

  6. Jeff Olson

    The problem isn’t that she is marching with those horrible people but that she is acting as leaven and in so doing she is spreading the filth of her leaven to otherwise good women. It just takes a little to contaminate and that’s what she is doing. What I’m saying is that she will lead a generation of girls to become the ones who join such events.She says that she is not looking for male leadership in her life but she should be.She is commanded to! What happens if her husband dies? Who will teach her truth from error if she has already rejected all the other men? She says male leadership does not define her femininity. Then what does? Her own fanciful imagination? How far will that get her? Not very. God calls women to submit to men and that’s the whole summer of it. She acts as though that was never written. Look, I’m not trying to be a pig this is for their protection. Maybe I should buy the book and review it myself.

    • Hello again Jeff, It looks like this comment was posted before I replied to your last one so I won’t repeat the guidelines.

      I’m quite certain that Aimee Byrd is not leaven. Now of course, if you demonstrate from a biblical argument that she is teaching false doctrine then you have every right to compare her teaching to leaven. I don’t think you have succeeded in that just yet.

      As in my last reply to you, I’m having a difficult time following your reasoning. You seem to be saying that women (all women) must submit to men (all men) AND find their feminine identity in subjecting their minds to all men. Maybe I am misunderstanding you. If so, please help me understand (again…lack of sleep, low caffeine consumption — my mind isn’t that sharp right now). Of that is what you are saying maybe you can tell me what you mean by that.

      One ore thing, help me understand what you mean by women submitting to all men is for their protection. I mean, surely you make exceptions right? I’m trying to wrap my mind around what that might actually look like.

      • Jeff Olson

        Well leaven may have been too strong. But she is teaching young women that they can rebel against God’s order and neglect the beauty of their role by taking on the man’s role! Yes I think all women should submit themselves to all men. Male leadership is God’s design for the world. I’ve been a Christian for most of my life but have just recently discovered the truth about gender once I started attending a IFB church here in town and this makes sense if you loom at it Biblically! God protects women by placing them under the covering of men. It’s for their good.

        Let me ask YOU a question now. Why do you never capitalize Biblical? I see you do correctly capitalize Bible but why not Biblical. That’s the beginning of the end when you drop all authority in Scripture!

        • Jeff, for simplicity I am going to respond to both threads in one comment. You referenced 1 Timothy 2:12 but I want to make one small distinction that makes a big difference in how you understand the passage. You (mis)quoted the verse by saying, “I suffer not WOMEN to teach, nor to have authority over MEN but must be silent” in actuality, it says “I do not permit A WOMAN to teach or to exercise authority over A MAN” (ESV). The difference may seem insignificant at first but at the very least it changes the meaning from all men have authority over all women to “a woman” and “a man”. Now what this means exactly warrants further study but at minimum I want to establish that the text does not teach that all women must submit to all men.

          Regarding your question about why women “think they need to study theology” I think the answer is plain. In a very real sense we are all theologians. We all have thoughts on God and systematize these thoughts into a coherent picture of who we think God is. Because of this we can say that we all have a theology of some sort and this includes men and women both. I would argue that women must study theology because if they have a theology anyway (just like men have a theology) then why not make every effort to make it GOOD theology?

          Regarding your question for me, it’s quite simple: I don’t capitalize ‘biblical’ because it is an adjective and adjectives are not capitalized. Nouns are capitalized and only subset of nouns known as proper nouns. For our purposes, Bible is a proper noun because we use it to refer to specific scriptures.

        • Mike B

          You have made statements regarding how her teaching will lead women to murder, perversion, and other vile acts. Yet, the “truths” you espouse lead to the degradation, abuse, and rape of women that we see in fundementalist muslim countries. I can’t see hiw you reconcile your thoughts with the Word of the one true God.

    • Anon

      “What happens if her husband dies? Who will teach her truth from error? What defines her femininity?”

      Oh, I dunno, maybe her Savior Jesus Christ? Who she has a relationship with? Who she intimately learns from and seeks and understands is her Father and her Husband?

      “She says male leadership does not define her femininity. Then what does? Her own fanciful imagination?”

      God obviously gave women their femininity — they didn’t just create it out of thing air. Also, rude, much? God Himself is gentle and mothering, as well as a heavenly Father and King.

      Your points are starting to put men on some kind of pedestal. Careful that you don’t worship men/males just like you’re expecting women to. Careful about deep rooted heart issues clouding mindsets. There are plenty of very strong female roles in the Bible. Women aren’t helpless, mindless, stupid slaves like you’re implying. And if that’s what you think, then please say it explicitly for everyone to read so we can all understand.

      Please be a great example of a man. Women do not think men are weak pigs. Women do not think men are not worth submitting to. Women WANT to see their husbands and their brothers rise up in the humble, meek Christ-driven authority that makes them great leaders and worth following wholeheartedly. Men and women are partners, created to become one and work together. A pounding, dictator-like fist of a male to his wife is not working together just as much as a woman pooh-poohing her husbands opinion and putting him down is not working together. This is a 3-fold team work: Jesus, Husband, Wife.

      Do I believe the husband makes the final decision and leads? Absolutely! Women LOVE that! They love strong leaders that listen and ponder on their thoughts and then steer the ship while keeping his eyes on the Lord. (There’s a difference between a leader and a boss, remember that). Does that mean he slams down a gavel and tell his wife she’s small and stupid and can’t think for herself? No. My goodness, no. That’s a broken relationship — not a relationship living up the potential God has given it in order to glorify Him to the fullest.

      There’s submission with respect and selfless love, and then there’s forced submission by crushing one’s spirit and will to be a person.

      Mankind submits to Jesus because He loves us purely and in a Holy way. There is a safety and security in submitting to Him. Yes, women should submit to their husbands, but it is called for the husbands to love their wives. The way you’re talking isn’t love; the way you’re talking would make any women question authority because it is obviously not rooted in unconditional, selfless love (that Jesus would show) but it is love rooted in a LOVE FOR power over somebody. That’s called control and manipulation — and that is a slippery slope. Jesus probably understands that if He didn’t love us in the way that He does, we would probably have some serious reservations about submitting and giving our lives to him. But His love is pure and it cannot be questioned. Be like Jesus and strive to make your love unquestionable, too. That goes for not only women, but for all of your brothers and sisters in Christ. I’d suggest really seeking Christ about this.

    • Bunny

      Did God make a mistake when He personified wisdom as a woman? Did God make a mistake when Priscilla along with her husband corrected Apollos? Was Paul in error when he commended many women at the end of his letters for furthering the Kingdom of God?

      The Bible does NOT teach all women to submit to all men. That is false teaching and God is not pleased with it. As to the claim that women do not need to study theology-I seem to remember that Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen the good part by sitting at His feet to listen to His teaching (a role that in that society was limited to MEN) instead of being relegated to the kitchen.

      Jeff, I recommend you examine your motives. If you truly want to glorify God in what you believe, you need to be clear on what God teaches instead of what you assume He teaches. Sounds like you may have been the victim of unsound teaching yourself. God gladly gives wisdom to any one who asks Him, so I am quite certain if you truly seek the truth He will make sure you find it.

    • The Bible will teach her, and all women, truth from error. Men are not our ultimate authority, the word of God is!

  7. Heinrich

    I read her book on housewife theologian. It was good. Actually it was very good. I expect nothing less from this book.

  8. Ryan

    Okay I’m going to weigh in here. I haven’t read this book yet. I’m going to as soon as the FedEx person gets his rear in gear and drops it off. I have to say, I’m excited to read this! Like Aaron, I’m a teaching elder in a small congregation in Oregon. People here readily embrace feminism. What I’m hearing is NOT feminism. It is solid biblical teaching. Is it okay for men to learn from women? Of course! Is it okay for men to learn about God from women? Yup! Aaron mentioned at the end of his review that he has a wife who readily talks about theology with him and it’s a joy for him. I haven’t met Jami yet but I believe him. Has he learned from Jami? I believe so. My marriage is similar. We talk about God constantly and sometimes I think she learns from me but I know I am constantly learning from her. This is by design. Jeff if you are married I exhort you to listen to your wife!

    By the way, I have known Aaron for over a decade now and when he starts asking questions watch out! He’s fully of trickery. Not the bad kind. I mean the Columbo/Socrates/Yoda kind. A mutual friend of ours used to call him Socrates because he’s always asking questions to make you see the folly of what you said rather than making statements. I asked him why once and he said something like if you make a statement you bear the burden of proof and I’m too tired to bear the burden 🙂 He also said that asking questions forces the other person to think about what they mean and how they came to form their beliefs. So I hope I’m not giving away any secrets Aaron but keep asking questions. Your questions led me to the Reformed faith. Questions are powerful!

    The book. Yes. I bought it early this morning and it isn’t here yet. I’m about to call FedEx to see what’s taking so long. I want to read this book!

  9. Brian

    This book was an excellent read! As a man, I’m ashamed of the ignorance being spewed by so many of my gender. The patriarchy nonsense being taught in a lot of churches is causing great harm to the cause of Christ. Let’s put an end to Neanderthal theology!

  10. Jeff Olson

    This is going to be my final comment on this post. I’m attracted to this site because of the quality of the books reviewed but I can’t keep having a conversation that is going nowhere. The bottom line is if a woman teaches a man she is crossing the line. Since there is no way to know who will read the book the possibility exists that a man can shamefully put himself under a woman’s authority and teaching. I asked this question a while ago to Michael Bunker who is a top quality reformed theologian and his response was straight forward and simple. A woman should not say anything that could potentially lead to teaching except to say I am a sovereign grace,baptist,agrarian, separatist, Bible believing Christian and then point them in the direction of her husband or another man if they have more questions. Now I’m not as much sold of the agrarian part which is what kept us from joining them but the rest is right I think. It’s not that agrarianism is wrong but we just didn’t see it as essential Christianity where the others are. So that is my final answer so to speak. This book should not have been written because it is teaching and men will be taught by it as we have already seen in this post. Go ahead and rip me apart if you want.

    • Bunny

      No one wants to rip you apart. We are pointing out to you that someone has taught you an incorrect understanding of scripture. Don’t take our word for it; ask God to make it plain to you and He will!

      • Well put Bunny. Thank you!

      • Bunny, please don’t identify whether you are male or female. 😉

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