Another Duggar baby is on the way!

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by ilovepaydays, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    How do you know the people here who are against patriarchy and are bitching about the Duggars wouldn't be bitching about anyone from those faiths if there was a thread about their reality tv show?

    Well, not "Muslims" because that's like saying "Christians". Muslims run the entire spectrum. But hardcore, fundamentalist Muslims.
     
  2. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    For me, that's like saying I would rather get stabbed in the back than shot in the face.



    Who knows? Lines are always arbitrarily drawn and accepted either through consensus or through traditional forces in power imposing acceptable limits of behavior. I just think just arguing that everyone is influenced by their family value system and by society's value systems does not necessarily negate people's criticism for the way the Duggar's raise their daughters if the viewer reads or sees something about them that for one reason or another (petty or "legitimate") is totally offensive to their sensibilities.
     
  3. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    :lol:

    I doubt it.

    Although a post that explains what it is likely the Duggar girls would say if asked something, followed by:

    Is a little :confused:.

    Yes. For you, that is exactly right.

    And that is why these discussions about the Duggars are so frustrating for me, because all of you look at the way the Duggars live, picture yourselves there, and shudder.

    It's not that you shouldn't shudder. It's that you need to realize that you are shuddering for yourself. The reason that all of you are so concerned about the Duggar girls and their lack of choices is that you assume that if they had a choice, they wouldn't live that way--ergo, they must not have a choice. And you see their lives in terms of restrictions and servitude and endless, endless dreariness, and don't understand how they could see it differently.

    At 16, the Amish are given the opportunity to experience a little taste of the world if they want it. It isn't much of a taste of the world in most cases (regardless of what you see on TV), but it is a taste. And then they are asked to choose--should they stay or should they go? About 90% of them choose to stay. That makes no sense to most of us; why would anyone want to be Amish? We do understand the 10% who leave. Yet the Amish rate themselves as very happy with their lives. Most of us? No. One of the primary sources of anxiety in the modern Western world? According the mental health professionals, it's all our choices. We all like to think we prefer our choices. But we don't really know, as we've always had them and are culturally conditioned to believe that we should prefer it that way, in spite of the stress it brings us, because it gives us autonomy and independence and possibly self-actualization and those are things that are valued in our cultures. We don't know anything else, either. We like to think that we are this way because we created ourselves this way. But what else have we ever known?

    I am working with a group of African students right now. Some of them love it in the US; they can't get enough of modern life and love the speed, the convenience, the peace and the health care and everything else. My American students get that, because those students value the same things the American students do.

    But most of my African students want to go back to Africa. They don't like it here very much. And my American students don't get that at all--why would anyone want to go back to Africa, with its AIDS, its endless civil wars, its terrible life expectancy, its poverty and disease, its widespread abuses of women? They are especially baffled by one who spent eight miserable years living in refugee camps. But the African students will say that they want to go back because, for all its flaws, Africa offers them things the US does not. The American students don't get this at all--they don't see how there can be enough advantages to outweigh the negatives.

    Statistically, some of the Duggar kids will leave. Maybe even most of them. But whether they leave or stay, they are still culturally removed from you to the point that you cannot just put yourselves in their place and assume that they see their lives the same way you do, or would if only they had a "choice." But there will be Duggars who leave; the choice is there. Yes, yes, it's very hard to do; you don't have to tell me. But it's still possible. And if life gets untenable enough, they will leave. But you are kidding yourselves if you think they only stay because they don't realize there are alternatives (of course they do) or they don't know that other people live differently (of course they do, unless they have the IQs of cows). But if you can't look at them and see why they might prefer to live as they do, why do you think they would, if they could, look at you and see your way as superior?
     
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  4. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I think most people realize they're projecting their own values into the Duggars situation, which is true for almost everything else where people make judgmental statements.

    It's hard to fight that because you really are shaped by how you are raised and how you learn to evaluate the world around you when one grows up. One would hope they're being as objective as they can when evaluating a different sort of life style. However, my point with the degrees is that it seems that there are certain things most people would agree that a modern society shouldn't accept like allowing a society that has indentured servitude or slavery (both things being legal at one point in time and partially justified by claiming that those servants and slaves were happy where they were among other reasons). Of course I do think we, as a people, do accept slavery (or at least extremely cheap labor) in some respects but this isn't the right thread for that conversation, and it is a reflection on my more leftist views.

    I guess my question is more about whether it is ever possible for one to make a judgment call about a certain society that seems oppressive or is it always a case of outsiders projecting their 21st century privileged views onto a community they do not try to understand. Do you think that there is ever a case when one can make a valid judgment call or is it always only a reflection upon the judging person's personal views? I guess we have to defer to the supposed oppressed group and observe how they feel about their own situation. I guess if they are happy or seem happy enough, we should just accept it as a different lifestyle.

    However, I can't help but then wonder how trustworhy are people's self-assessments of their happiness? Do certain peoples with certain experiences tend to underrate their happiness while others overstate it? Is there an absolute measurement of happiness or is it all a reaction to comparisons to others? It seems like the more exposure one has to seeing what others have, the bigger the chance that one will perceive their own life as lacking.

    This reminds me of a conversation a Professor and the class had at one time about arranged marriages. He was Indian and made a comment about arranged marriages resulting in much lower divorce rate and thus meaning that couples who were arranged are much happier. I responded with there is more to measuring happiness than looking at the number of divorces, and that the lower rate could be a reflection on the mores and culture of individuals and the opportunities that are available in case one does want to leave a particularly bad match. However, I also couldn't help but think about how much easier it would be to have an arranged marriage and be in a culture where it wasn't so easy to divorce or leave one's spouse because maybe it means you're much more dedicated to making the situation work. You'll adapt and the notion of love is pretty dependent on how one is raised to view that concept.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
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  5. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. If you're a woman who lives in a country that widely accepts forced marriages, and in which there's a risk of honor-killings for women who get divorced, it's disingenuous to claim that the low divorce rate is due to the arranged marriages.
     
  6. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    today on dr oz the duggars showed how they make homemade laundry detergent, pickles and baby wipes. and i was totally jealous that i am too lazy to do any of those things. even the pickles and the hardest part of that recipe is owning a big jar.
     
  7. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

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    I bolded the statement, and totally agree. Of course the kids have to know that there are alternatives - they have the experiences of being filmed. If that kind of environment doesn't point out how different the outside world is to your world, they would have to be blind. I imagine that there are plenty of people on that production stage who are willing to take any of the kids out of their "sheltered" environment for an evening or weekend and probably have talked to them about it.
    Having that many kids is not something I would have wanted - apparently they do. I wouldn't have had all my kids names start with a single letter. But then there are plenty of people who do (including my aunt/uncle).
     
  8. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    I can see how you would be confused. My supposition about how the Duggar girls would respond was based on my knowledge of similar people with similar beliefs (based on my reading about the Quiverfall movement) and how they think about life and what they value. It was not really a statement about the individual Duggar girls who I do not follow. But I know plenty of people who are in movements like this or who used to be and they definitely have a different approach to life decisions than what I consider to be the mainstream middle class American approach.

    Well, no, we don't ALL do this. That is what I am trying to say. Some of us have had enough life experiences that we get that not everyone in the world is just like us. Some of us have been born into limiting situations and got out so we know a lot more about their situation than most. Some are well traveled and/or know people from all walks of life and are able to put ourselves in other people's shoes. You are over-generalizing and painting everyone with the same brush.

    In fact, I think we actually are more agreeing that disagreeing. I do not think most of the Duggar kids are laying in bed at night plotting how to escape from their horrible existence, for example. However, I do think that most of them will leave when they grow up. But they will leave because that's what kids do. They grow up and move away from home and start their own families. They may move away from the Quiverfall movement when they do that but I doubt most of them will move all that far away from it, not nearly as many as people would like.

    Whether that's because they have no real choices or because they've been brainwashed or because they truly believe, I don't think any of us will ever know. Unless one (or more) of them writes a tell all! Now that would be interesting! :lol:
     
  9. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    I think they realize that they are projecting their values on to them when they say they don't like the patriarchy. That's one thing. What I am talking about it not projecting values, but attempting empathy, at least as far as people do.

    I think that such things are determined culturally more than anything else. If we as a culture do not accept slavery, then we outlaw slavery. Once that becomes the law, the only question is whether or not something objectively meets the definition of slavery.

    In terms of whether people can personally condemn behavior--sure. But to what end? I think you first need to understand address why that culture accepts practices you do not and understand what purpose those practices serve within the community. You will not understand that by talking about how you would feel if you were engaged in that practice. You are not part of the equation. Perhaps your way is better, but not because you assume it is.

    I do not like the Duggars' lifestyle, would never choose it for myself and would not raise my children that way. However, I do not see them as a threat to society, nor do I see the lives of their children as tragedies because they do not conform to mainstream expectations.

    In the overall scheme of things, are the Duggars better or worse off than most of their peers? I would call it a mixed bag; you might not. But I have to wonder what kind of lives some of you think most people live. And I am not talking about people in the developing world.

    Are you happy? How do you know? Would you like for me to be in charge of telling you if your answer is correct?

    Then why do my African students want to go back home? Why do the Amish decide to be Amish after Rumspringa? They aren't blind; they can see. They consider our lives lacking. It just never really occurs to us to think so.
     
  10. nlloyd

    nlloyd Active Member

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    For me, it IS important for us to evaluate conservative religious ways of life, precisely because the values religious conservatives perpetuate - if not the communities themselves - continue to have purchase within our society. Simply espousing a radical relativism (the notion that we all have and impart beliefs to our children and no-one can be sure which belief system is ultimately better), devalues the work women have done towards gaining more choice in our lives. It does a disservice to those of us (including you, I would suggest) who have moved beyond these communities (with all the sacrifice of community, family, faith community that may entail) in order to access a wider range of choices.

    I would argue that not all choices are the same. To take one example: conservative evangelical wives' biblically mandated submission to their husbands. I would argue that in this case, evangelical women do not really make that "choice" with a full understanding of the alternative. Not to submit to one's husband's authority, is to transgress God's Word. You might argue that these women have still made a choice, between their spirituality and what others see as their "autonomy," but until they have actually been able to explore the alternative - equal partnership with a spouse - that choice is not the same kind of choice as women who have.

    And then there is the issue of sexual orientation: I think that it is quite possible for some conservative LGBTQ religionists to believe that they have made a choice and are happy with it - the choice of celibacy. However, can they really know that that is the best choice for them if they have never had the chance to explore their sexuality? Again, I see this as a more restrictive choice than those who have explored the alternative and reached that conclusion.

    So, while I am all for building bridges between secularists/atheists and religionists, and spend much of my professional life doing this, I don't think that this process is best served by this kind of radical relativism. Yes, it is important to understand these religious traditions within their own frames of reference. This includes the fact that what appears to outsiders be a useful religious rationale for prejudice (sexism and heterosexism, for example) is actually part of an earnest desire to live lives pleasing to God. However to posit the notions that it is not helpful to evaluate belief systems that don't pose a threat to society, that all of us live under the illusion that we make choices when we are actually equally restrained by other kinds of belief systems, or that all choices are similar, is IMO helpful neither to understanding religionists - who don't see it this way - nor to the broader society.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  11. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    What if they don't want to explore the alternative? They ARE able to explore the alternative, and choose not to.
     
  12. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    I actually do think that it is helpful to the broader society to remind ourselves that our belief systems aren't this pure thing that grew up from free will and choice and that we have our prejudices and our blind spots too.

    I also think that understanding where they are coming from can be helpful. To us. Not to them because their agenda isn't to get along or to come to a common understanding but to assimilate as many as possible.

    I think for me it comes down to two things. When the cameras get turned off, are the Duggar children being treated in a way that CPS needs to be called in (because they aren't when the cameras are on I assume or people would have said so). And, is their belief system actually dangerous.

    For the first one, I don't know and I don't know how we'd know. I'd like to think that, if there was true abuse going on such as children being beaten, being molested, being starved, that someone around those kids who isn't in the movement would do something about it. I'd also think that there'd be signs and rumors and there doesn't seem to be.

    For the second, I think it's pretty clear the Quiverfall movement is one of those belief systems that isn't just foreign to me or that I don't agree with but that falls into the category of beliefs that society should consider dangerous. But they aren't the only ones and I suspect a few of you belong to some churches I'd take some issue with as well. For one thing, any church that teaches people that who they are is a sin is dangerous IMO. I also think that some of the teachings of the Quiverfall movement are perilously close to slavery and that that is dangerous and wrong as well.
     
  13. nlloyd

    nlloyd Active Member

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    I agree with you that it is important to debunk the myth of unimpeded free will and choice in any belief system, including secular and liberal religious ones; I just don't think all belief systems are equal in this regard or that it is helpful to represent them in this way. I also agree on the importantce of understanding religious traditions within their own terms of reference. With regard to this latter, I would actually argue that "freedom of choice" isn't the primary consideration for conservative religionists much of the time. Even by framing the argument in this way, we have imposed our own values on these communities. While the notion of freedom of will occurs in some of their doctrines, a far more appropriate category of analysis for these religionists is obedience to God. It is knowing God's will/Word and being obedient to that that influences day-to-day life, not what choices are available and whether they have explored them fully. The fact that God has mandated certain practices/beliefs renders "choice" less important.

    So, if we really want to understand these communities on their own terms, we need to examine our categories of analysis. I think this is what is happening in this discussion, to some extent, when people argue that all belief systems place limits on people's freedom in some way. However, I think that to take this argument to its logical conclusion, one would have to argue that "choice" is not necessarily an important component of an individual's happiness or of the wellbeing of societies. That argument can and has been made, but I think it presents quite a slippery slope when individuals with these freedoms argue that those without them may be better off that way. They may PERCEIVE themselves to be better off, but they may not be. I am arguing for the importance of "outsiders" having the right to make this distinction and making it (just as conservative religionists make it of "outsiders"), rather than simply saying, "who are we to impose our values on these communities/belief systems if they seem to be working for their members/adherents?" Of course, taking this position does not entail coercing religionists to change; the latter is a futile and misguided venture. However, in order to allow for the possibility of change within belief systems, and to safeguard the gains societies have made in opposing religiously-based discrimination, one has to make the critique.

    While I understand the argument that these critiques are only really necessary when the communities are engaging in dangerous practices, I don't think this is the best ground upon which to make the argument for the importance of critique (as opposed to a relativist acceptance). For me, it is important to start the work of understanding and evaluating these religious traditions long before this. Not because I think I can change them, nor because I want to impose my own belief systems on them (a futile venture, as I say), but 1) to ensure that there is a critique of the limits they place on individuals' freedoms out there as part of the broader social debate and 2) as part of a process of enabling those who want to leave to see and understand why that may be the case. How individual religionists negotiate the latter change is obviously up to them; it is not, nor should it be, a case of simply adopting a "secular" set of values or of having these values imposed on them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  14. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    I already argued that upthread. It's why I disagreed with Prancer that the Duggar girls would say the same thing about their parents as Zemgirl (or some other poster) said about theirs and how they were raised.
     
  15. nlloyd

    nlloyd Active Member

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    Yes, you did. I wanted to take that argument one step further by suggesting that not only are there different types (orders) of choices offered to the Duggar girls and Zemgirl, but that the Duggar parents probably don't see "choice" as a priority; their belief system places more emphasis on obedience to God. The relativist argument should be conducted on those grounds, rather than on the issue of choice. In other words, if you want to argue that there is no difference between these communities and more secular or theologically liberal ones, it is necessary not simply to say that the young women in both sets of communities are given choices, but to argue that "obedience to God" is as effective a safeguard to individual happiness and the wellbeing of societies as freedom of choice. Those comments were addressed to the general discussion; my apologies if they appeared to be addressed to you.
     
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  16. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    I don't think Prancer was making a relativist argument. Could be me, but I see Prancer as critiquing the lack of internal consistency in various arguments being made, and that being missed over and over by people responding to her.
     
  17. nlloyd

    nlloyd Active Member

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    Well, this is the part of the discussion to which I'm referring:

    I see this response as relativist:

    Here it seems to me that the argument is being made that the two belief systems are similarly valid in that both entail the imposition of parents' beliefs on their children. Differences in the kinds of beliefs being imposed on the children is neglected for an emphasis on the fact of their imposition.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  18. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    I think that's a misread. There's no claim to equal validity, but rather the necessary mechanisms by which all parenting occurs. That's not a relativist argument, it's a structural one.
     
  19. Whitneyskates

    Whitneyskates Well-Known Member

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    Josh and Anna will be moving to D.C because Josh has a new job! Working for the Family Research Center, an organization that is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Those Duggars are such kind folks.
     
  20. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    First of all, it's the Family Research Council, not Center. Second of all, Duggar merely met with them -- he hasn't been hired yet. Third, if you want to talk about "hate," you might recall that Floyd Lee Corkins II saw Family Research Council on that SPLC list, went there, and shot security guard Leo Johnson -- a good man whom I happen to know personally.

    Those Southern Poverty Law Center people are such kind folks.
     
  21. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    How is the SPLC responsible for that man's actions? They published a list of groups that fit under their definition of "hate groups." Did they tell Floyd Lee Corkins II to go over there and shoot someone?

    BTW, the FBI uses that listing and other resources that SPLC provides for research on hate crimes throughout the country.
     
  22. Whitneyskates

    Whitneyskates Well-Known Member

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    Yes I did hear about that, and I am very sorry for your loss, but that can't be blamed on the SPLC. The FBI publishes a list of most wanted criminals, if someone killed one of them because they saw their name on the list, would that be their fault? Of course not.
     
  23. nlloyd

    nlloyd Active Member

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    I'm not sure that it is, actually. It's important to situate that part of the dialogue within the context of the broader discussion, which was not simply about parenting. The discussion commenced with Milanessa arguing for a "live and let live" approach to the Duggars and Japanfan asking her whether there were "any situations of racism, misogyny, exploitation, and injustice that she would give as an exception to the rule." Milanessa answered that there were, but that this wasn't one of them. Ziggy suggested it was, because the Duggars were exploiting their daughters and that their patriarchy and misogyny limited the daughters' potential. Prancer then argued that most people don't reach their potential and that all people are the products of the belief systems of others (and of parents in particular).

    It was within this context that Prancer suggested that the Duggar girls would say their parents had given them choices much like Zemgirl's parents had. She also argued that all parents hold particular beliefs and impose these beliefs on their children regardless of their belief system. The Duggar parents have a right to formulate their values and pass them on to their children, much like any other community, and therefore we, who do the same, have no right to criticise them. (In this discussion, the "live and let live" approach included desisting from criticism.) Similarly, because both sets of parents gave their children "choices," it was not acceptable to criticise the Duggars.

    This is, for me, a relativist approach. It depends on the notion that because there is no absolute truth, the perceptions of individuals/communities - in relation to their communities - are all of equal worth. The Duggar parents have one belief system that they impart to their daughters, the Zemgirls have another; the Duggar parents perceive "choice" in one way and Zemgirls' parents perceive it in another way. Ultimately, though, each belief system is equally valid because it is valid to the individual community. The validity of the belief system to the community exempts it from criticism in a relativist approach. I am arguing that while, by definition, these belief systems seem valid to the communities, they are not and should not be exempt from thoroughgoing critique.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  24. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    Again, I think you missed the crux of the argument, and are basically creating a fictive opposing view in this discussion in order to pursue a personal agenda (arguing against relativism).
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  25. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    :lol: You two are reminding me of grad school and why I said let me study the dead people and not do cultural.
     
  26. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    And yet you are offering nothing to the discussion yourself.
     
  27. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    Um, I do not believe in cultural relativism, or at least not to the idea that all things are equal in all ways. I think a lot of people here are aware of this--snoopy even alluded to this somewhere back in the thread. I have certainly argued against it enough in the past.

    That is part of my issue with criticism of the Duggars, actually; that cultural relativism is applied rather freely by posters in other contexts, but not in this one.

    The idea that people can't criticize the Duggars is rather :confused:. Of course people can criticize the Duggars. People can criticize anyone and anything they want. But the criticisms made should, at least in my mind, have some sort of logical consistency to them.

    In terms of the Duggar girls and their choices, what I responded to was this:

    They did not tell me to do anything other than to make sure I leave myself a variety of options (=do well enough in school). Other than that, I made my own choices and if I ever wanted their advice, I asked for it. Certainly they never imposed their beliefs on me.

    And I stand by my assertion that the Duggar girls would say the same--that their parents did not impose their beliefs on them, but that they have chosen to live this life.

    They may change their minds about that; they may even lie about it now. But an important part of belief systems involving subjecting yourself to God's will is that you must CHOOSE to subject yourself to God's will or else it is pointless. God knows what is in your heart. If you are not sincere, then your subjection is worthless.

    So I would be surprised if the Duggar girls did not say and believe that they have made the choice. Most people here would say they have not because they can't. I do think there is truth to that, but not because the girls are unaware that other choices exist. I find that argument completely :confused:.
     
  28. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    Well okay, I didn't realize that is what you were saying. I agree with you then. I am sure the Duggar girls who believe in God and their way of life do believe they have chosen that just as we all believe that we have chosen our own beliefs.

    I was making a different point. What I think some people (just some, not everyone in the thread) don't realize is that not everyone approaches life the same way and thinks of choice from the same perspective.

    And definitely there have been studies that show that people don't actually really want so many choices. :D I run into this my job when I try to tell my business clients that UI designs that are completely flexible and let users do things in any order with tons of choices are not necessarily easier to use. They don't believe me because "everyone wants choices" even though there is tons of evidence that they don't. This is a trivial example (web UI) but it expands out to every aspect of our live IME.

    I think the issue here about choice runs into a tricky balance between giving people the benefit of the doubt that they have freely made their own choices -- we'd all be quite indignant if some stranger came up to us and told us that we didn't really freely come to our belief system but had been brainwashed into it (as I think you are getting at) -- and knowledging that some people can be brainwashed and that some religions and are actually set up to do just that.

    I think people look at Quiverfall and see it as such a system and therefore reject the idea that anyone raised in it could come to those beliefs if they had free choice. But adults join Quiverfall too. Are they all fools who were tricked? Is it a cult with a charismatic leader and everyone in it a pawn of that leader? There are certainly aspects of the group that meet that criteria but, unless there is a lot going on that we don't know about, it doesn't meet it enough that I'm willing to stage an intervention and rip those kids out of there "for their own good."

    At least not at this point with what I know right now.
     
  29. nlloyd

    nlloyd Active Member

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    Prancer, let's see, then, whether we can agree on the crux of this debate. For me it was Ziggy asserting that a "live and let live" approach to the Duggars was not adequate because the Duggar parents' patriarchy and misogyny limited their daughter's potential. He and others suggested that it was necessary to speak up against religious misogyny. You argued in response (and I found this a little :confused:) that few people reach their potential (as if the prevalence of a negative phenomenon renders its remediation unnecessary). You then argued that the girls had choice, including the choice to leave their families, just as Zemgirl's parents gave her choices about her future.

    I stand by my argument that not all choices are equal. The Duggar girls' choice is far more limited 1) because the stakes are so high (to "leave" or to deviate from their parents' teachings is to risk the loss of their family, faith, and faith community) and 2) because in making their "choices" they are not able to explore the various alternatives - as someone like Zemgirl might do - the stakes entailed in such experimentation are too high.

    Your argument seems relativist to me because you see the choices as similar - each community offers choices - and you do not evaluate the choices themselves.

    What I really take issue with, however, is women who leave conservative religious communities, gain a new set of freedoms, and then argue 1) that the leaving was "easy" and any/all could do so, 2) that because it was easy, conservative religious women have a set of choices that is similar to those of other women, and 3) that it is thus not necessary to speak out about the way women are treated in these communities. For me this trivialises the misogyny faced by these women, the efforts of their peers who leave the community to challenge that misogyny (which, in the interests of full disclosure, is where I am situated in this argument), and the efforts of feminists more broadly in countering all forms of misogyny, religious and non-religious. I think it also trivialises the importance of their faith to these women. The choice is difficult because it is a choice between their faith as they know it and value it and the pursuit of potential in ways deemed contrary to it. I am thus not talking about the initial choice (for or against God), but of the kinds of choices the girls, like Zemgirl, have in early adulthood. Again, for me, relativism creeps into your argument when you assert that those choices are equal and do not undertake an evaluation of them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  30. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    I agree with that.

    That's pretty much it, although I would add that there is also a rather tricky balance between arguing against the patriarchy and arguing that we know what is best.

    I did not argue that all choices were equal. My point was that people overestimate how many choices they actually have and underestimate the choices available to the Duggars.

    You may take issue with whatever you like, but I have never said that leaving is easy, nor would I. If you are referring to what I said in SS, did you also read the part where I said that many people who leave engage in extremely self-destructive behavior out of guilt and self-hatred? Does that sound like I think it is easy?

    If so, for the record: Leaving is very hard. It involves a lot of painful questions and agonizing over your own self worth and what you truly believe. It requires you to risk giving up everything you have known for something you don't know. You will have to walk away from your friends; you may have to walk away from your family. You may have a support system when you go, but you very likely will not. And you will probably find out that it's not all that great when you do go, which you suspect before you get out but don't know for sure. I could go on if you need further demonstration of my understanding of the dynamics here and will if you request it, but I think that will do.

    So again, I never said that it was easy. What I argued against was the idea that it is impossible, that it couldn't happen, that the girls cannot walk away. They can. If they want to (which is key) but do not, it is not because they don't have a choice, but because what they would have to give up will cost them more than what they think they might gain. And that IS a choice, even if the range of choice isn't what Ziggy or Zemgirl have.