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Janes Heir

"We Make Reading a Priority" old article

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Janes Heir

As an English major (well, to become one in three weeks) I probably judge people too much by their reading habits. I was rather horrified watching the episode where J'chelle and Jill went to a school to talk about reading and the only book Jill could think of to mention to the kids was Sarah Maxwell's courtship book. Others can worry about the lack of science education in SOTDRT, but I am most disturbed by the lack of literature. (Interestingly, lots of SAHDS are into classics and write their own novels, but none of the Duggar girls are allowed that individuality.) Full disclosure: growing up conservative SDA my biggest act of rebellion was reading Shakespeare.

 

So, here's an old Barnes and Noble piece in which J'chelle claims they read a lot. (Almost typed "breed a lot"). But there's a conspicuous lack of works for the older "children" that would be anything but instruction on how to live a perfect fundie life -- nothing that could introduce ambiguity or require interpretation. Per the course with them, I know, but still makes me mad.

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/ ... a-p/364748

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HarleyQuinn

I think back to when I was a tween/teen and how I loved reading Judy Blume's books, To Kill a Mockingbird, and of course, Harry Potter. It's a shame the Duggars probably don't get to experience those books.

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Letgo

I read the article and did not recognize too many books that Michelle mentioned. I love to read and read to my children when they were young. The authors and books they like are not ones we liked. I doubt the Duggar children, young or old, are allowed to read good books-or fun books. I did not notice The Giver, To Kill a Mockingbird, Where the Red Fern Grows, Hatchet, Little Women, Tom Sawyer, Harry Potter... I could name such a long list of my favorites. But Michelle recommends Summer with the Moodys? I will stick with the Little House books!

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Unimpressed
Coconut Flan

I saw she recommended Sarah Maxwell books and thought there goes any idea of literature.

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pennsatuckey

Of freaking course they've got the S. Truett Cathy success story book-thing on their list.

Lord knows they love their fried chicken.

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Janes Heir

The one I know is "Tiger and Tom and Other Stories for Boys" (the companion book for girls is called " The King's Daughter" so certainly a gender divide.) I guess I'm still pretty Christian, because I'd be willing for my kids to read old-fashioned stories about controlling one's temper, honesty, or helping the elderly. However, I'd be very concerned if teens hadn't advanced to reading that requires more critical thinking and the ability to acknowledge ambiguity.

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artdecades

Of course they only read books that are fundie approved. The Duggars only consume that which already supports their worldview. They don't want to expose themselves to anything that may challenge them or encourage critical thinking.

I was watching an episode earlier from idk what season where Anna was taking Mac to the library, and saying how it was their first time there. Its sad that it was the first time, but I do appreciate that they went to a non-fundie place to get books.

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itsnotmeitsu

It would be nice if they would realize that 99% of the rest of the planet doesn't want to live their lifestyle, and, if they're going to recommend books, recommend ones that swing a little bit more to our side. They didn't even mention the Little House books and they've said the girls like those. I know that they can't go full un-fundie and be like, "Read Shakespeare", but Jesus, the Moody books? I mean would it kill their kids to read books that don't tout their lifestyle. Could they possibly let them read books normal people read and then discuss? Even Anna lets Mac check out normal books from the library.

And it's kind of sad that they think it's great that they let the kids read an hour a day. Come and talk to me when it's two hours a day.

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16strong

I don't think the Duggars would know what a classic novel was if it hit them in the face. To homeschool their kids and not have them read Shakespeare or Angelou or Bradbury is a flat crime. I mean hell, couldn't they at least let them read Irving?

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itsnotmeitsu

Shakespeare--pre-marital sex, witches, killing parental figures, women in positions of power, SASSY women, and fairies, not to mention mixed groups of people, probably Nike as all get out, walking through the forest.

Angelou--incest, broken home

Bradbury--if it's Fahrenheit 451, that is about disobeying the government, you are not supposed to think for yourself. Duggar major no-no

Washington Irving--all about the supernatural, ain't happening

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smallestneal

I can't think of a single thing I read as a child/teen that the Duggars would allow. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Vonnegut, Vance, lots of others all too "sinful" for them for whatever reason. It blows my mind that they won't even let their kids explore anything contrary to their beliefs. It makes it seem like they aren't secure in them, imo. :roll:

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RabbitKM

I wonder if they are allowed to read No, David! Its a book all about a child being told "No." It is actually very funny and a lot of little kids like to read it, which make me think its a hard no for them to read it. Too mainstream.

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EmeraldPickle

I wonder if "Everybody Poops" is allowed during the potty training phase or if that's a no-no based on the fact that no one praises Jesus for allowing such bodily functions to occur.

I couldn't imagine my life without free reign of a public library. I was allowed to read pretty much any book I wanted growing up. I always asked for books or gift cards to book stores for my birthday and Christmas. I was taught critical thinking skills to separate fact from fiction and was given the ability to make a decision about the contents of the book. I mourn for their loss.

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RabbitKM
I wonder if "Everybody Poops" is allowed during the potty training phase or if that's a no-no based on the fact that no one praises Jesus for allowing such bodily functions to occur.

I couldn't imagine my life without free reign of a public library. I was allowed to read pretty much any book I wanted growing up. I always asked for books or gift cards to book stores for my birthday and Christmas. I was taught critical thinking skills to separate fact from fiction and was given the ability to make a decision about the contents of the book. I mourn for their loss.

OMG I used to LOVE "Everybody Poops"!!!!!! I used to giggle and giggle and giggle. I too read quite voraciously as a child, staying up dangerously late to read books.

It's crazy that the Jspawn probably did not have to read many of the books that most of us were required to read in school, because of course, SOTDRT does not have such requirements. Books that we all probably consider classics and must reads might not even ring a bell in their heads. I definitely do not think the older ones would care to read all those books we had to read in high school. (I would be SOO curious to read any essays about such books!)

I wonder if they even read Dr. Seuss??

Ugh I hope they do get to read some books. Maybe Pride and Prejudice or East of Eden were on their lists?? Those seem to mirror some of their morals, right?

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neuroticcat

I bet its pretty heavily censored. I remember reading the Maxwell's description of how they didn't read any talking-animals books because it's not Real Life and no fantasy for the same reason. No magic or anything like that. Basically nonfiction and fundie-approved moral/religious tales. It was horrifying.

I have the feeling the Duggars aren't that censoring, mainly because I think they aren't that obsessive or analytical. The Maxwells seem to be overthinkers, whereas the Duggars seem to be all about pragmatic skills. So I bet they had their kids read ATI approved books growing up with a select few classics.

It's only in the latest episodes that we even see books on bookshelves in their house. Maybe they were storing them under the beds before or something, but there were no books out ever in most of the early episodes. I remember when they were moving from one of the rental houses to the others they did box up a few shelves of books, but I think thats about it.

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JellyHope
I bet its pretty heavily censored. I remember reading the Maxwell's description of how they didn't read any talking-animals books because it's not Real Life and no fantasy for the same reason. No magic or anything like that. Basically nonfiction and fundie-approved moral/religious tales. It was horrifying.

I have the feeling the Duggars aren't that censoring, mainly because I think they aren't that obsessive or analytical. The Maxwells seem to be overthinkers, whereas the Duggars seem to be all about pragmatic skills. So I bet they had their kids read ATI approved books growing up with a select few classics.

It's only in the latest episodes that we even see books on bookshelves in their house. Maybe they were storing them under the beds before or something, but there were no books out ever in most of the early episodes. I remember when they were moving from one of the rental houses to the others they did box up a few shelves of books, but I think thats about it.

I think they absolutely ARE that censoring. In more than 1 of the books they wrote, they've talked about no magic, witches, etc.

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JellyHope
Of course they only read books that are fundie approved. The Duggars only consume that which already supports their worldview. They don't want to expose themselves to anything that may challenge them or encourage critical thinking.

I was watching an episode earlier from idk what season where Anna was taking Mac to the library, and saying how it was their first time there. Its sad that it was the first time, but I do appreciate that they went to a non-fundie place to get books.

I seriously doubt Anna lets Mack just pick out whichever book she wants. And I'm guessing they only went to the library that day at the urging of the network, because TLC thought it'd be a good storyline.

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neuroticcat

I think they absolutely ARE that censoring. In more than 1 of the books they wrote, they've talked about no magic, witches, etc.

Oh, I totally agree with you that they would never allow anything magic or even Christian fantasy like Narnia. And I do think they censor. I just don't think they sit down and have a thought out process for why we censor/why we don't. I think part of it is that the Duggars don't seem to value the intellect at all and also don't come across as intelligent. To me, the Maxwells by comparison are in the thinking camp in fundiedom, because they seem to have some efforts at critical thought - even if it does derail into strange territory. My guess is for the Duggars it's whatever ATI says and they don't overanalyze or really stress the lack of reading real books.

In contrast, I've seen some fundie homeschooling families that really put out the image that they are all about reading good literature and at least throw out the idea of achieving high educational potential. Even Vision Forum was sort of angling toward that with their World Civilization Tour or whatever. Whereas the Duggars seemed to not even notice the lack of books in their house/schoolroom until Season 8 or something. It reminds me of the nods toward healthy eating that came a few years into fame when they realized: Oh, eating only canned food might not be the best and it looks bad.

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smallestneal
I bet its pretty heavily censored. I remember reading the Maxwell's description of how they didn't read any talking-animals books because it's not Real Life and no fantasy for the same reason. No magic or anything like that. Basically nonfiction and fundie-approved moral/religious tales. It was horrifying.

The Duggars don't disallow those, do they?

I seem to remember them referencing watching Bambi (even though it's a movie, it still falls in that category).

I'm pretty sure Charlotte's Web is/was banned from a lot of libraries/schools in the south because talking animals were an "affront to God" or something.

edited because html

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alba

OMG I used to LOVE "Everybody Poops"!!!!!! I used to giggle and giggle and giggle. I too read quite voraciously as a child, staying up dangerously late to read books.

It's crazy that the Jspawn probably did not have to read many of the books that most of us were required to read in school, because of course, SOTDRT does not have such requirements. Books that we all probably consider classics and must reads might not even ring a bell in their heads. I definitely do not think the older ones would care to read all those books we had to read in high school. (I would be SOO curious to read any essays about such books!)

I wonder if they even read Dr. Seuss??

Ugh I hope they do get to read some books. Maybe Pride and Prejudice or East of Eden were on their lists?? Those seem to mirror some of their morals, right?

I've not read East of Eden, but I'd disagree that Pride and Prejudice mirrors fundie morals. I mean, the world it's set in does, but like all of Austen's work it's critical of that world. I really hate how fundies appropriate Austen as some kind of paragon of their values, when in fact her books criticise those very values. Fanny in Mansfield Park is the SAHD (well, unfavoured niece) who chooses her spouse herself, rather than based on her father figure's recommendations, and he is horrified when she fails to marry the man he thinks she ought to. Jane in Emma is, until she marries, stuck as a governess as it's the only option for her to earn a living, and it's described as a rather grim living (again, rather like being an SAHD). Catherine in Northanger Abbey has romantic notions (Miss Raquel reminds me rather vividly of Catherine) and the entire book is about her realising how stupid and childish those are. Elinor in Sense and Sensibility criticises how men get to choose their partners but women can only accept or decline. And as for Pride and Prejudice, Lydia and Wickham are a cautionary tale for any who think they should marry the first person they're attracted to, or that policing sexuality is good for anyone involved (Wickham's practically forced to marry Lydia so that any of her sisters have a hope in hell of being financially stable); Elizabeth's friend Charlotte Lucas marries the only man who asks her because, at 27, she has no other hope (said man, by the way, had a rather funny-yet-creepy scene in which he proposed to Elizabeth and believed her refusal to be modesty, not outright disdain); and the most memorable couple, Elizabeth and Darcy, only fall for each other after having the opportunity to spend time together and get to know one another. The common theme here is that these books portray fundie-type social situations and values, which were common in Austen's era, and show how fucked up they are.

Sorry, pet peeve of mine. Did I mention I did my dissertation on Austen? :lol:

Sidenote: Some scholars do maintain that Austen was socially conservative, and in a way she was, but my perspective is that she shows women finding agency in a world that is set against them, rather than having women fight openly against their constraints.

ETA: Given the number of fundies who *do* read Austen, and the fact that neither Dim Bulb nor J'Uterus is particularly known for intelligence or critical thinking, I think your point still stands, as I'd have thought if either of them was remotely interested in their children reading they'd have asked around for recommendations or something and decided Austen was a good fit.

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Rainytown

I couldn't survive without books. All kinds of books. I write them, too.

I feel sincere pity for the Duggar children because their parents claim to allow "reading" but won't let them decide on their own what they'd like to read. What a barren, sad existence.

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Alye

I've not read East of Eden, but I'd disagree that Pride and Prejudice mirrors fundie morals. I mean, the world it's set in does, but like all of Austen's work it's critical of that world. I really hate how fundies appropriate Austen as some kind of paragon of their values, when in fact her books criticise those very values. Fanny in Mansfield Park is the SAHD (well, unfavoured niece) who chooses her spouse herself, rather than based on her father figure's recommendations, and he is horrified when she fails to marry the man he thinks she ought to. Jane in Emma is, until she marries, stuck as a governess as it's the only option for her to earn a living, and it's described as a rather grim living (again, rather like being an SAHD). Catherine in Northanger Abbey has romantic notions (Miss Raquel reminds me rather vividly of Catherine) and the entire book is about her realising how stupid and childish those are. Elinor in Sense and Sensibility criticises how men get to choose their partners but women can only accept or decline. And as for Pride and Prejudice, Lydia and Wickham are a cautionary tale for any who think they should marry the first person they're attracted to, or that policing sexuality is good for anyone involved (Wickham's practically forced to marry Lydia so that any of her sisters have a hope in hell of being financially stable); Elizabeth's friend Charlotte Lucas marries the only man who asks her because, at 27, she has no other hope (said man, by the way, had a rather funny-yet-creepy scene in which he proposed to Elizabeth and believed her refusal to be modesty, not outright disdain); and the most memorable couple, Elizabeth and Darcy, only fall for each other after having the opportunity to spend time together and get to know one another. The common theme here is that these books portray fundie-type social situations and values, which were common in Austen's era, and show how fucked up they are.

Sorry, pet peeve of mine. Did I mention I did my dissertation on Austen? :lol:

Sidenote: Some scholars do maintain that Austen was socially conservative, and in a way she was, but my perspective is that she shows women finding agency in a world that is set against them, rather than having women fight openly against their constraints.

ETA: Given the number of fundies who *do* read Austen, and the fact that neither Dim Bulb nor J'Uterus is particularly known for intelligence or critical thinking, I think your point still stands, as I'd have thought if either of them was remotely interested in their children reading they'd have asked around for recommendations or something and decided Austen was a good fit.

Growing up I read heaps of classical literature. I grew up with Austen and I still love her now. I also read 'Heidi', 'Little Women' and the 'What Katy Did' series. These books would probably fit their beliefs (I'm a little undecided on Little Woman because of Jo- moving away from home to work as a governess while she's trying to become a published author.) especially the Katy series. The first book is about a Tom Boyish girl who gets injured and as a result learns to be 'the Angel in the House'. She becomes the embodiment of 19th century woman's virtues! Which are practically fundie woman's virtues.

Alba, your dissertation sounds fascinating. Was it undergrad or postgrad? We only do thesis/dissertations in post-grad here or honours which is an extra year, which is good because I double majored.

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Janes Heir

I've not read East of Eden, but I'd disagree that Pride and Prejudice mirrors fundie morals. I mean, the world it's set in does, but like all of Austen's work it's critical of that world. I really hate how fundies appropriate Austen as some kind of paragon of their values, when in fact her books criticise those very values. Fanny in Mansfield Park is the SAHD (well, unfavoured niece) who chooses her spouse herself, rather than based on her father figure's recommendations, and he is horrified when she fails to marry the man he thinks she ought to. Jane in Emma is, until she marries, stuck as a governess as it's the only option for her to earn a living, and it's described as a rather grim living (again, rather like being an SAHD). Catherine in Northanger Abbey has romantic notions (Miss Raquel reminds me rather vividly of Catherine) and the entire book is about her realising how stupid and childish those are. Elinor in Sense and Sensibility criticises how men get to choose their partners but women can only accept or decline. And as for Pride and Prejudice, Lydia and Wickham are a cautionary tale for any who think they should marry the first person they're attracted to, or that policing sexuality is good for anyone involved (Wickham's practically forced to marry Lydia so that any of her sisters have a hope in hell of being financially stable); Elizabeth's friend Charlotte Lucas marries the only man who asks her because, at 27, she has no other hope (said man, by the way, had a rather funny-yet-creepy scene in which he proposed to Elizabeth and believed her refusal to be modesty, not outright disdain); and the most memorable couple, Elizabeth and Darcy, only fall for each other after having the opportunity to spend time together and get to know one another. The common theme here is that these books portray fundie-type social situations and values, which were common in Austen's era, and show how fucked up they are.

Sorry, pet peeve of mine. Did I mention I did my dissertation on Austen? :lol:

Sidenote: Some scholars do maintain that Austen was socially conservative, and in a way she was, but my perspective is that she shows women finding agency in a world that is set against them, rather than having women fight openly against their constraints.

ETA: Given the number of fundies who *do* read Austen, and the fact that neither Dim Bulb nor J'Uterus is particularly known for intelligence or critical thinking, I think your point still stands, as I'd have thought if either of them was remotely interested in their children reading they'd have asked around for recommendations or something and decided Austen was a good fit.

You, Madame (I presume?) are a Janeite after my own heart -- a fine antidote to the fundies whose unintelligent admiration of Austen is more insult than praise. What aspect of Austen was your dissertation on?

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alba

Growing up I read heaps of classical literature. I grew up with Austen and I still love her now. I also read 'Heidi', 'Little Women' and the 'What Katy Did' series. These books would probably fit their beliefs (I'm a little undecided on Little Woman because of Jo- moving away from home to work as a governess while she's trying to become a published author.) especially the Katy series. The first book is about a Tom Boyish girl who gets injured and as a result learns to be 'the Angel in the House'. She becomes the embodiment of 19th century woman's virtues! Which are practically fundie woman's virtues.

Alba, your dissertation sounds fascinating. Was it undergrad or postgrad? We only do thesis/dissertations in post-grad here or honours which is an extra year, which is good because I double majored.

It was an undergraduate master's :lol: It's not uncommon in Scotland, but I don't really understand it :P

You, Madame (I presume?) are a Janeite after my own heart -- a fine antidote to the fundies whose unintelligent admiration of Austen is more insult than praise. What aspect of Austen was your dissertation on?

Madame. Well, technically mademoiselle :P

The dissertation was on women, unsurprisingly. I compared Austen's portrayal with Mary Wollstonecraft's in her novels. My argument was basically that Austen criticises society while showing ways to work within it, but Wollstonecraft argues that women can't work within it. For instance, Austen's happy endings are marriages to men the women love, which in many cases provides them with financial security, but in The Wrongs of Women Wollstonecraft has a character who left her abusive husband and started a business, and he finds her and literally takes the bed out from under her because, by law, all her belongings are his. Both women would have agreed that the patriarchal culture in which they lived was harmful, but Wollstonecraft was more radical and cynical.

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mebeforee

I don't think they make reading a priority, which bothers me a lot as there are more than a few children in the family who I think would really enjoy it if they had a chance to read stuff that was actually entertaining. But I recently went through the Wisdom Book parent supplement, which suggests reading and goes over what's covered in the curriculum, and the only non-religious books they had were a few books by Dickens and Moby Dick. Seriously, I can't imagine a worse way to expose these kids to secular writing, since these can be extremely tedious and difficult even for adult readers, much less high school age and younger. I imagine that's why they include them. Dull that curiosity early.

I don't think they would go so far as to disallow talking animals, though. Like someone said, they discussed watching Bambi. They also like (and participated in an episode of) that Life on the Pond radio show, which I think has anthropomorphic animals as the main characters.

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