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Josh, Anna and the Ms 16: The sins of our fathers


samurai_sarah

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Re: not feeling sorry for Josh about what happened when he was a teenager:

Where to begin... I am angry and beyond frustrated that he was not held accountable under the law, the law of the state, and the law of the land.

When my son was accused of molestation, there was NO QUESTION but that he was going to answer to the law. They pursued it until he went and spoke to detectives. They pursued it until he got a court date. They pursued it until he got into counselling. And then We pursued it until he was declared "at low risk to reoffend".

THIS is what makes me furious. Josh Duggar is an american citizen, same as my son. He should have been held accountable same as my son was. HOW is it that he is held above the law?

My son said it and I'm sure Josh Duggar thought it, too: he knew then that what he was doing was wrong. Somehow, Josh escaped the consequences of his actions.

I don't feel sorry for him at all. I don't feel sorry for him in what may or may not be down the road for him, for his horrible parents, or for any of his family. 

. And FTR I didn't feel sorry for my son when he was going through his counselling.  

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I don't pity Josh for molesting his sisters. I do pity him for being raised in a cult. Much like I don't pity the guy who beat his girlfriend black and blue and is now sitting in prison, but I do pity him for being raised in a home where he watched his father beat up his mother on a regular basis and was never taught how to be a decent person or a productive member of society. That doesn't mean I like him or feel sorry for him.

Maybe it's just an issue of semantics, but 'pity' is a very specific thing for me. It doesn't necessarily (or even usually) equate to love, affection, sympathy or forgiveness. 

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Serial killers are different, I find. They're a whole different class because they would prey upon your sympathy. I cannot look at Paul Bernardo or Robert Pickton without my skin absolutely crawling. For Josh Duggar, I feel a mix of disgust and sadness. I wonder what he could have been if his family was different. Otherwise, the choices as an adult are your typical religious hypocrite. Still falls in the category of "Would he have done it if he could have had a normal life?" 

It's the same for people who are stuck in a cycle of poverty and crime. It's hard to break and there are not a lot of resources for them. Sympathy for the person but a dislike for where society has relegated them to. 

The Stanford Prison Experiment tells us that we are extremely complex and you don't know what people are capable of. 

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While I can see HOW Josh ended up doing what he did, I cannot sympathize with him. I grew up in a similar fashion to him, and while all three of my older brothers turned out similar to Josh, especially the oldest, us three girls DIDN'T. Josh, nor my brothers, were not predestined for a life of debauchery. The other Duggars, and me and my sisters, are proof of that. Just because you came from dirt, doesn't mean you have to wallow in it. 

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I'm not going to jump back into this discussion, as I said everything I had to say back when the scandals first hit, BUT:

I have to voice a very strong "what to fuck" with regards to the person who said that cheating on your wife is pretty much just as bad as molesting children. Yes, cheating sucks. But it is in no way comparable to child molestation. I can't even begin to find words for how much this view horrifies me.

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1 minute ago, JillyO said:

I have to voice a very strong "what to fuck" with regards to the person who said that cheating on your wife is pretty much just as bad as molesting children. Yes, cheating sucks. But it is in no way comparable to child molestation. I can't even begin to find words for how much this view horrifies me.

I must have missed that because I didn't see anyone say anything like that, but wow. I'm not sure in what universe cheating on your spouse would be comparable to molesting children...

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22 minutes ago, singsingsing said:

I must have missed that because I didn't see anyone say anything like that, but wow. I'm not sure in what universe cheating on your spouse would be comparable to molesting children...

Quoting from other threads is annoying, but I just went back to find it for you. @Escadora wrote:

Quote

Personally I don’t think Josh is a risk to his children as far as sexual abuse goes, as his current behaviour seems to be the pursuit of grown women (hardly much better, people who cheat make me sick too) though if he and Anna use physical pain as punishment/’training’, then obviously he’s a risk to them in that way, and I don’t think he should be separated from them. But I think anyone’s pity is wasted on him, in much the same way that the notion of hope for people like Solomon Anderson to break free of PP’s brainwashing, and for Nurie Rodrigues to find a husband who’s not the same level of crazy as her mother is wasted.

So yeah. Cheating is  hardly much better than child molestation? WTF.

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The V-Day breakfast plates Anna made for the kids are great, creative, beautiful and fun. She has always struck me as a really good Mom, like she genuinely loves having kids and interacting with them and doing things with them. A kind, calm and gentle soul even...too bad she got saddled with the deadweight that is Josh. I really hope they don't beat those kids - I don't remember her ever suggesting as much and neither she nor her parents struck me as the type but then what is the type really?

The kids all look great and are growing up to be more attractive than I would have thought as babies. They take more after her. It's nice not to be reminded of Josh every time I see one of them (not their fault).

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What a cute post! I'm glad Anna feels confident enough to go back to social media. 

I do wonder where they live now, looks like a rather small apartment (?) with at least 4 doors leading to the other rooms straight from the living room.

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2 hours ago, JillyO said:

Quoting from other threads is annoying, but I just went back to find it for you. @Escadora wrote:

So yeah. Cheating is  hardly much better than child molestation? WTF.

Eh, you could parse those words for a while, but ultimately she said that child molestation is worse than cheating. Josh's adult misbehavior, while obviously not as bad as molestation, is still pretty bad (I would certainly consider that abuse as far as his relationship with Anna is concerned), so I wouldn't take issue with what she said.

I actually find it pretty horrifying how many people don't take cheating seriously and just brush it off as not that bad without considering how devastating it can be for the cheater's victims.

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15 minutes ago, nastyhobbitses said:

I see so much Priscilla in Mackynzie. And Mason is all Duggar. 

I agree. Mackynzie is GORGEOUS!!

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Cute kids and adorable breakfast. Hers is the second social media post of the day that encouraged me to up my meal creativity game for my kid. 

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2 hours ago, JillyO said:

Quoting from other threads is annoying, but I just went back to find it for you. @Escadora wrote:

So yeah. Cheating is  hardly much better than child molestation? WTF.

@singsingsing I'm tagging you too, because you asked about this and I thought I'd just clear this up. Apologies for the notification. 

What I said and what I meant to say were two different things, and I didn't do anywhere near a good job of trying to articulate what I meant, and - for that - I am truly sorry.  I did not intend to hurt anyone affected by molestation, or to belittle the consequences of it. The rest of my post before that had been about the dangers of molestation, and how I don't have any sympathy for those who do that. The point I made about cheating was a hasty add-on that didn't fit with the rest of it, and was a poor decision on my part.  I had intended it to be more a critique of Josh's character than his actions, but I can't deny how it reads. I would have been horrified to read that someone thought that cheating is on the same level as molestation too, and I definitely wrote that sentence in a way that made it look like that's what I believe. To clarify, that is not the case at all, but I do acknowledge that I wrote it as a sentence in my post.

I can really only apologise. Infidelity is a huge issue, the consequences far-reaching and awful, but it does not compare to the pain and generational suffering that molestation can bring on. 

I made poor word choices in my anger and attitude last night, and so I really would like to apologise to anyone that may have thought I was brushing their experiences aside or making light of a very serious and painful issue. If anyone doubts my intentions, I'd like to ask them to please read the rest of the post that JillyO quoted from, as much of a pain in the ass as it can be, because it's too long to quote here, and I think it conveys my feelings towards the issue of molestation on a more coherent level. 

Again, I'd like to offer up an apology. I'll take more time over my posts in the future and be sure to say only what I mean and believe. It was irresponsible of me to post about such a sensitive issue when I wasn't at my emotional best, and I'll make every effort in the future to be clear and convey my views as they accurately are. 

Thanks for bringing that up for me, JillyO, I totally understand the disgust you and other people may have felt when reading my previous post, and I hope you'll accept my apology.

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Thank you for the response, Escadora. I think you made your point much clearer this time. I certainly did not mean to take that sentence out of context, but I thought especially because of how strongly worded (and clearly heart-felt) the rest of your post was regarding child sexual abuse, that it was in particularly poor taste to say cheating is basically on the same level. However, I can certainly understand that sometimes we write things we don't really mean, especially in the heat of the moment, and I truly appreciate you clearing that up! :)

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5 minutes ago, Rachel333 said:

FWIW, Escadora, I understood what you meant, and especially given the rest of your post I think that one quote was taken out of context.

I'm glad to hear that some people did manage to wade through my word salad and understand what I was trying to get across, and I thank you for speaking up on my behalf. 

I think it's important for me, though, to acknowledge that - in context or not - that I did say something that had the potential to cause emotional harm to some people, and to take responsibility for that.

I also don't want people to believe I would downplay molestation based on a very snipped quote of something I had written after a deeply personal (yay for anonymity) condemnation of those who molest. I try to be levelheaded and impartial, but with some things I just can't be.

(really, though, thank you, I do appreciate it) 

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@Escadora when I read your words I understood what you meant, and I didn't take it as inappropriate or making light of child molestation at all. :) But thank you for your very level-headed and clarifying response.

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8 hours ago, Carm_88 said:

Serial killers are different, I find. They're a whole different class because they would prey upon your sympathy. I cannot look at Paul Bernardo or Robert Pickton without my skin absolutely crawling. For Josh Duggar, I feel a mix of disgust and sadness. I wonder what he could have been if his family was different. Otherwise, the choices as an adult are your typical religious hypocrite. Still falls in the category of "Would he have done it if he could have had a normal life?" 

It's the same for people who are stuck in a cycle of poverty and crime. It's hard to break and there are not a lot of resources for them. Sympathy for the person but a dislike for where society has relegated them to. 

For those interested in psychopaths and serial killers, I would like to recommend this fascinating, lengthy read from The Atlantic about children with psychopathic traits and the ways they are trying to integrate them into society, following intensive therapy and detailed regimes: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/06/when-your-child-is-a-psychopath/524502/ Incredible, informative, horrible (in terms of topic), weird read, but I highly recommend it.

One thing that stands out in that article is that some children seem to exhibit psychopathic traits, as far as we can tell, "naturally." They don't experience empathy; they are callous; they are aggressive; they are indifferent to punishments; they are unemotional.

But there seems to be both nature and nurture at play.  To quote from the article: "Researchers believe that two paths can lead to psychopathy: one dominated by nature, the other by nurture. For some children, their environment—growing up in poverty, living with abusive parents, fending for themselves in dangerous neighborhoods—can turn them violent and coldhearted. These kids aren’t born callous and unemotional; many experts suggest that if they’re given a reprieve from their environment, they can be pulled back from psychopathy’s edge.

But other children display callous and unemotional traits even though they are raised by loving parents in safe neighborhoods. Large studies in the United Kingdom and elsewhere have found that this early-onset condition is highly hereditary, hardwired in the brain—and especially difficult to treat."

None of this is to say that Josh is a psychopath whatsoever.  It's interesting to note the similarities he shares with some others: "growing up in poverty, living with abusive parents, fending for themselves." It can help provide a bit more context for why some children grow up to be colder and crueler. And it's important to note that our political choices help determine the kinds of environments in which poverty-stricken children will grow up. There is a real, cumulative effect to being treated like trash, and that effect harms our society (ALL of us) in incredibly negative ways.

I'm one who feels some limited sympathy for Josh in his early days.  He was such a smug golden child, and apparently he did try to get help by confessing to his parents.  Asking for help when you know you need it and know you cannot help yourself is one of the hardest things to do.  And his parents blew that off for their version of Jesus.

For that reason, I have to hold JB and his dipshit mate responsible, in part, for Josh's actions.  Ultimately, of course, Josh is the molester who chose his path.  However, his parents were the ones who thought the fox was fine in the henhouse, so long as the proper prayers were prayed before he was left there unattended. In my mind, there is no way to declare JB and M as either innocent or naive; they wanted to protect their son, and they did so at the expense of their daughters (and the daughter of someone they knew well).  They shielded him from the law and allowed him to continue to shine as their golden child, and their ultimate response to repeated sexual molestation was to find a willing fundie maiden to be his lifelong mate. That was their ultimate solution.

As an adult, Josh owns all his shit.  His parents stunted his growth, his education, his prospects.  Despite all that, he was able to get a well-paid, highly publicized position with an allegedly Christian group. He chose to continue to live a lie and seek out other sexual encounters rather than honestly communicating with his wife. His choices are his own.

  But it's important to also note how many distinctions in Josh's case that we can note and account for, when far too often the public can dismiss similar information (about childhood factors, about limitations begun in childhood and exacerbated with age, etc) when the suspected criminal is a person of color.  

Sadly, we've all grown up in racially segregated cultures (please prove me wrong, anyone from any country. Please).  The vast majority of us have some kind of implicit bias already existing in our brains.  If you'd like, you can take a number of free Harvard quizzes about your potential implicit bias against any number of groups: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

Because the sad fact of it all is that most of us, again, have some kind of implicit bias. So a lot of people who can dig into Josh's sordid, fucked up history in the cult and find sympathy for him, will later come up with nothing for a Black teen who has made similar mistakes.  Again, these mistakes are often horrific, but it's worth noticing where and why and how our sympathy ends.  Far too often, our sympathy ends with different skin color/cultures, and it's important to keep pushing beyond such arbitrary boundaries.

I'm a big fan of restorative justice (though certainly not an expert on it).  The idea is that those who've caused harm need to take accountability for their actions, and work honestly and with great difficulty to try to repair that harm, insofar as it is possible.  It is completely true that not everything can be completely resolved, but restorative justice allows for a path for those harmed and those who've done the harming to try to create justice and order in the wake of violence and pain.  Here are a few links on such projects: http://restorativejustice.org/restorative-justice/#sthash.UNqz2wt3.dpbs

http://restorativejustice.org/restorative-justice/about-restorative-justice/tutorial-intro-to-restorative-justice/#sthash.iKtP5oar.dpbs

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/magazine/can-forgiveness-play-a-role-in-criminal-justice.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/02/opinion/erica-garner-black-families.html

Far too often, our empathy extends to those who look like us and share our racial attributes.  And also far too often, people fail to extend such empathy to those of a different racial and historical background. If you look at young Black boys who've also fucked up horribly with the same sympathy as you observe Josh Duggar, good show.  But if you have a subtle, unconscious, or unknown bias against Black young men or other people of color, it is very much worth examining your own prejudices and biases. Too many of us wander around without acknowledging or noticing our own blinders, to the detriment of others.  

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Just wanted to say Meredith is so cute in those photos. Those expressions!

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Mack looks like both Anna and Johannah. Meredith is so cute. And Marcus looks very like Michael.

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19 minutes ago, artdecades said:

Mac looks like Johanna to me

Johanna is Josh as a 12 year old girl.  Poor child.... children.

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