Cosmopolitan: Why were the Duggars made famous in the first place? | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Cosmopolitan: Why were the Duggars made famous in the first place?

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 10:45 AM

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Article by Jill Flilpovic in Cosmpolitian raises this question amid ongoing reporting on the Jim Bob Duggar family:

The country is rightly upset about the Josh Duggar molestation reports. But where was that concern when we were giving such a huge platform to a disturbingly misogynistic  family?

Filipovic suggests that the Duggars' depiction as moral exemplars was always dubious, given their professed beliefs, particularly on Christian patriarchy and the role of women in the family.

On this, Filipovic terms to Arkansas Times' contributor and author Kathryn Joyce, who's been in Arkansas for a month working on our project examining the state child welfare system.

"There's an emphasis on sex as a woman's obligation to her husband and also to God," Kathryn Joyce, author of Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement told "Any sort of previous experience or even fantasizing or masturbation is infidelity against either your current husband or your future husband. Anything that would make a woman feel more independent in that realm and would separate sexuality from her marriage, even in ways that a lot of people would consider very healthy and very normal, are seen as things that would make her too independent, and that wouldn't be good."

In other words, they're extreme misogynists. But treating women like second-class citizens and breeding machines wasn't just A-OK for TLC and just about every Republican presidential contender, but part and parcel to the family's "morality." In a civilized society where women are considered equal players, families like the Duggars would be marginalized. In our actual society, the Duggers were applauded, invited to political events, handed checks to star in a reality television show, and covered extensively and often glowingly by celebrity media. What is wrong with us?

I'd hope that, whatever comes of the Duggar matter and their TV show, we wouldn't have to endure them again as credible voices of what is moral and what is not when it comes to equal treatment of gay people under the law. I'd guess I'll be disappointed.

To date, the Republican power structure has been  silent about Rep. Justin Harris, Josh Duggar, Jim Bob Duggar, Michelle Duggar, and local judges and prosecutors and state employees who've, if not enabled harmful acts toward children or protected offenders, stood silently by. EXCEPT those like Bart Hester, Jon Woods, Mike Huckabee, Nate Bell and many others who leap reflexively to the defense of any and all Republicans, ignoring sometimes even self-admitted damaging acts done to children. Move along, nothing to see here, they say. That, again, is why we think the child welfare system deserves a deeper look, difficult though it is on account of official secrecy laws that protect offenders as much — and sometimes more — than victims.

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