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Duggar article in Washington Post


gustava

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I'm probably not going to respond to this article, but hope some of my fellow FJ'ers will. I just can't deal with the writer's lack of knowledge about the family, including that they are not Quiverful. Yeah, right.

 

 

FROM THE WASHINGTON POST

Choice means choice

 

Published: November 9

 

The right to choose cuts both ways

 

Michelle Duggar, mother of the famed Duggar family, is expecting her 20th child — and the Internet is not happy.

 

A glance at the comment section of the Daily Beast’s article reporting her pregnancy gives an idea of how our culture perceives her decision to have another child. It’s a reminder that we usually view the decision to have a large family, to reject contraception and, in many instances, to forgo a career, as anti-feminist.

 

Duggar is an extreme example of a lifestyle choice that challenges today’s feminist norms. But can we write off her choice as anti-feminist? Or is that a violation of feminism’s first principle: choice?

 

In 2009, Noreen Malone, a writer for Slate’s Double X, reminded her feminist readers that Duggar, then expecting baby No. 19, freely chose her lifestyle. She suggested, “The word choice, when we’re applying it to the reproductive sphere, often ends up getting defined too narrowly.â€

 

Much of the debate centers on the Duggars’ purported adherence to the Quiverfull movement, which essentially teaches that women should have as many children as physically possible and reject all family planning. In fact, the Duggars are not part of the movement but hew to their own religious beliefs. And notably, in The Washington Post’s own interview with the couple, husband Jim Bob said he leaves the decision to have more children entirely to his wife.

 

Isn’t Michelle Duggar living in accordance with her vision of a happy and fulfilling life? And how is that anti-feminist?

 

Somehow, somewhere, feminism became a dirty word for many women, in particular political and religious conservatives. Perhaps this is because somehow, somewhere, the feminist movement became co-opted by an extraordinarily narrow view of women, one as narrow as the previous view that a woman’s only place was barefoot in the kitchen.

 

Now, it would seem, the view is that a woman’s only place is at her desk, with a nanny at home watching her two children. She must support Planned Parenthood, or else she is complicit in the “war on women.â€

 

That view presents a woman who is opposed to abortion, eschews contraception, opts out of a career to tend to her children or has a large family as anti-feminist, oppressed and ignorant. Ironically, her choice makes her a second-class citizen.

 

Perhaps it’s time we revisit what feminism entails. Rather than label Michelle Duggar a disgrace to women’s rights, we can use her choice to discuss respect more broadly. All women suffer when society’s view of women is too narrow.

 

Ashley E. McGuire is founder and editor-in-chief of www.altcatholicah. com.

 

© The Washington Post Company

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Just take a look at the "mission" of the site this writer founded.

What does Catholic womanhood entail, and what are its implications for society? How are Catholic women, and women and men of faith more broadly, to navigate a society with such confusing concepts of gender relations?

These are questions that so many have had the chance to answer—so many, really, except Catholic women. For a long time, the media has had fun answering these questions for us. If you listen to them, we are oppressed, we want to be priests, we’re stripped of our “reproductive health rights.†But if you listen to us, we have alternative ideas.

She's nowhere near fundie level but she's definitely coming from a specific, pro-religion point of view. From a quick glace around the site it's clear this Duggar issue fits in well there, and she's using it as a way to expand her own ideas outside of the site and Catholic circles.

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I challenge the idea that this was really a free, informed choice. Bill Gothard uses emotional blackmail, surreptitious manipulation, and undue influence in his teachings to get people to sign over their own discernment over to him, and he does the thinking for people by way of his foolproof lists, etc. Then you have the dutifully following authority thing going on. I think that within these confines, Michelle (my age) chose her path. What were her viable choices within this bounded choice? In many ways, she is just a product of this system of thought, and true choice is basically unthinkable because it is confined to the list of what Gothard deems acceptable.

I don't know if Michelle was given the opportunity to go have a job outside the home or perhaps not marry. She apparently found a husband early, and it we know that from this system, women earn their primary sense of worth through outward signs of holiness or goodness. Michelle has certainly exploited this opportunity for herself and for her family's gain by her own choice, however. She's just doing what her spiritually abuse system happens to allow.

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JB saying he leaves the decision to J'chelle is ridiculous. They practice wifely submission so he is the one who ultimately chooses. Can you imagine her REALLY being able to say "Hey, no more kids. I decided." There are a host of arguments against that for them - what birth control could they use? Cutting off their fertility could cut off their cash cow, the tv show. Jim Bob wants more children. All he would have to say is "But..." to make her give in.

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Yes, choice is important. And yet they conveniently forget to mention the lack of 'choice' Michelle gives her own children.

Seriously.

Choice of college, choice of sexuality (yes, I know it's not a choice), choice of lifestyle, choice of hairstyle, even, choice of clothing, choice of dating or not, choice of friends, choice of where to live, choice of working.... I could go on forever

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JB saying he leaves the decision to J'chelle is ridiculous. They practice wifely submission so he is the one who ultimately chooses. Can you imagine her REALLY being able to say "Hey, no more kids. I decided." There are a host of arguments against that for them - what birth control could they use? Cutting off their fertility could cut off their cash cow, the tv show. Jim Bob wants more children. All he would have to say is "But..." to make her give in.

Not to mention, couples don't have the choice whether or not to become parents; that's God's job. So how would Michelle be allowed to choose? Birth control pill/ring/patch/whatever? Causes abortion. Tubes tied? That's permanent, and carries risks. Vasectomy? Do you really think JB would let a knife near his junk? Condoms? Those reduce feeling (or JB would use that bullshit excuse, anyway). Abortion? THAT'S EBILLL!!!!!1!111 No matter what way Michelle chose, it would be interfering with God's plan. And that's the whole point of Quiverful. Michelle has no say whatsoever in carrying children.

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There's a big difference between the way we "pro-choicers" snark on Michelle for her life and the way the "pro-lifers" (including JB & Michelle) act.

We don't agree with their choice to have a 20th child. We think it is a dumb and dangerous idea that could leave 19 other kids motherless. However - we do *not* think that haveing 20 children should be made illegal or that Michelle or JB should be compelled to be sterilized.

They, on the other hand, are against choice; for themselves, for their children and for their neighbours (e.g. campaigning against the liquor store licence) They vote based on their religious views and largely based on only one or two political issues.

These actions affect others.

Our snarking at their stupidity affects no one.

I think we would, by and large, defend their right to make stupid choices. I hope they would defend our right to free speech. But I might be hoping for too much.

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And, call me a cynic, I think most people are more upset about the close call last time and apparent disregard for the potential of leaving 19 other children without a mother (even one that pawns off her job on the older daughters) than the lack of choice Michelle has.

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JB saying he leaves the decision to J'chelle is ridiculous. They practice wifely submission so he is the one who ultimately chooses. Can you imagine her REALLY being able to say "Hey, no more kids. I decided." There are a host of arguments against that for them - what birth control could they use? Cutting off their fertility could cut off their cash cow, the tv show. Jim Bob wants more children. All he would have to say is "But..." to make her give in.

Either way, these people have a plastic edge (aka, hypocritical).

It is clear that Michelle gets to do whatever it is that she wants. It seems pretty clear that JB gets what he wants, too. What is that? Sounds like mutual submission to me (GASP!). They do what they want and they accommodate one another. They tell the world that they follow mutual submission, and they probably do believe that this is what they are doing because they tell themselves that this is what they're doing. But ultimately, any two or more people have to cooperate, and that's what they do.

It will be interesting to see how they do cope when the money and popularity stop flowing in. To a certain number of people and regardless of what happens, they will always be idealized and idolized, but the money will eventually stop. The birthing will stop, and Michelle will have to surrender that status as prize breeder to one of her daughters or perhaps to Mrs. Smuggar. Will Michelle then try to micromanage the others? Will she start a different career, also within the confines of the expectations of ATI? Maybe she'll renounce it all and write more books. People will buy them.

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There's a big difference between the way we "pro-choicers" snark on Michelle for her life and the way the "pro-lifers" (including JB & Michelle) act.

We don't agree with their choice to have a 20th child. We think it is a dumb and dangerous idea that could leave 19 other kids motherless. However - we do *not* think that haveing 20 children should be made illegal or that Michelle or JB should be compelled to be sterilized.

They, on the other hand, are against choice; for themselves, for their children and for their neighbours (e.g. campaigning against the liquor store licence) They vote based on their religious views and largely based on only one or two political issues.

These actions affect others.

Our snarking at their stupidity affects no one.

I think we would, by and large, defend their right to make stupid choices. I hope they would defend our right to free speech. But I might be hoping for too much.

This! You pretty much summed up my thoughts about this article (and the writer's lack of critical thinking skills). We may snark on the Duggars, and debate about the whole fundie/quiverfull lifestyle, but I can't imagine any of us dragging Michelle to the nearest abortion clinic.

And as it was stated, Michelle may of had a "choice" but her children don't, and that's what truly makes me sad. Sorry, but I don't buy into the notion the Duggar children are over-joyed over their lot in life, especially the girls.

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The Duggar family with their brain-washing reminds me of the "newspeak" in the novel 1984 where certain words were eliminated. So the general populace had to way to actually express their displeasure. They could say "Big Brother is ungood" but then would run out of words.

This is how the Duggar kids are. They are inarticulate and suffer from fundy related illiteracy. Their words are closely monitored. Everything that is approved of is either "neat" or "awesome" or "a blessing". Unapproved things are ungodly. that is all.

Choice in that family? It's a joke.

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That article is a joke. The mainstream papers never do their research on the QF movement or Gothard. I agree with others Michelle doesn't believe in reproductive choices for other women or for her children. I hate how some people idolize Michelle or look at her as inspirational.

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There's a big difference between the way we "pro-choicers" snark on Michelle for her life and the way the "pro-lifers" (including JB & Michelle) act.

We don't agree with their choice to have a 20th child. We think it is a dumb and dangerous idea that could leave 19 other kids motherless. However - we do *not* think that haveing 20 children should be made illegal or that Michelle or JB should be compelled to be sterilized.

They, on the other hand, are against choice; for themselves, for their children and for their neighbours (e.g. campaigning against the liquor store licence) They vote based on their religious views and largely based on only one or two political issues.

These actions affect others.

Our snarking at their stupidity affects no one.

I think we would, by and large, defend their right to make stupid choices. I hope they would defend our right to free speech. But I might be hoping for too much.

The bolded X10,000. Are we appalled? Yes. Do we actually want anything done to stop her? NO! It's absolutely her right, just as it's ours to comment and criticize (don't even get me started on the "we shouldn't criticize" nonsense) seeing as they feel the need to show every damn detail to the world. Except the minor details of the crazy religious group of course.

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Who is saying that Michelle should be forced to not reproduce?

I am pro-choice. I want for every woman to make her own reproductive decisions. But that does not mean that I have to approve of them. I can still think they are stupid and making the wrong choice. I can think that 20 children are too many the same way I can think that someone who has had 15 abortions needs to get on the Pill. We are allowed to have opinions.

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