Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by ilovepaydays, Mar 11, 2013.
Is it the general sentiment here that having children when you're young is a bad thing?
Most people don't reach their potential.
Oh, but the Duggar girls don't even have a chance.
Neither do most people.
On the scale of "People Who Don't Make The Most of Themselves Because Their Parents Totally Screwed Them Up," the Duggar girls are doing pretty well.
I realize that in an ideal world, everyone's lives would reflect the values of the majority here--that life is all about getting a formal education, seeking self-fulfillment, and preferably living without religion at all--but it's not an ideal world . Isn't it for them to decide for themselves what self-fulfillment means? What is the difference between their parents telling them "This is how you should live in order to lead a good life" and everyone else telling them "This is how you should live in order to lead a good life"?
None of us create ourselves, no matter how much we like to think we do.
I don't think being religious precludes pursuing dreams and aspirations, developing a career or getting married at an older age if you so choose. I know religious women who have done all these things, or some of these things, rather than staying at home to look after their siblings while their mother has another baby that they will have to care for. The point most people here seem to be getting at is that the Duggar girls were never given a choice; they didn't choose their life, it was chosen for them. That's not to say they would have chosen college-career-marriage if they had other options, just that the decision doesn't appear to have even a been possibility for them.
Unless their parents have locked the children in the house every moment that they're not on TV, I don't think the girls have had any fewer choices than any child raised by strict parents, no matter what their religion. And in any case, none of the Duggar girls are married yet, are they? How do we know what they'll choose? And even if they do choose home, family, etc, who's to say it isn't their choice?
This is FSU. You know there is no such thing as a "general sentiment."
As some of you know, I have no problem with religion. Nor do I have any problem with childbearing in one's twenties (I had hoped to do it myself, only it didn't work out). But while I appreciate Prancer's point of view and think she expressed it well, I do think there are some spiritually abusive philosophies and practices that are part of the belief systems that the Duggars are associated with. When I say "spiritually abusive," I'm referring to things like coercion, degradation, and emotional blackmail -- to treating women and children as inferior and a means to an end. And as with most forms of abuse, while it's possible to walk away from them, it's not always easy.
(For those who want to learn more on the subject, Hillary MacFarland's book "Quivering Daughters" is a good place to start.
Yes. And that book is a very good place to start. As is Katheryn Joyce's Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement
I would also suggest reading about Michael and Debi Pearl's "No Greater Joy" ministries which is linked and recommended on the Duggar family's website. Their child discipline materials have been linked to abusive deaths of very young children. The Duggars use their "blanket training" method and who knows what else from their very abusive philosophies that include corporal punishment even for infants. I'm sorry, but child abuse is not a topic that I will say "live and let live" about.
And you know this how?
From the horse's mouth:
Scroll to the bottom of this article where there is a screen cap of the Duggar family website's links to materials by the Pearls:
On their current site this page links Vision Forum, ATI, The Botkin sisters' materials on "Stay at Home Daughters" and a number of other patriarchy organizations.
It has been a good while since we had the relativity discussion but I thought we had come to a consensus that it is a zero sum game to say we shouldn't be judgmental, or that we shouldn't advocate a particular viewpoint ...since that is also judgmental, or advocating a particular viewpoint. There is no way to pull yourself out of the equation and not be taking a position of proper behavior - even if you are advocating no position at all, that is still a position.
I don't know dippy doo about the Duggars but I think patriarchy sucks. And I am happy to say it.
Not exactly. Who are Lily and Ellie?
Whatever genuine exposure the Duggar children may have had to the world outside/beliefs other than their own, is likely under tightly controlled conditions; which makes the idea of real "choice" in the the matter, questionable.
You are very invested in these people being paragons of virtue, aren't you? Here is Michelle explaining how she does it:
Note that the first link quotes an interview with Michelle. Do you need her to come to your house and show you her "To Train Up a Child" book? It has great material in it about hitting kids with piping. Or there is the Botkin sisters' book and site recommended on the Duggars' own website which teaches young women to strive to serve their fathers, think like their fathers and perhaps come to the Vision Forum daddy daughter retreat where they can shave their fathers as an act of servitude. Or Debi Pearl's book "Created to Be His Helpmeet" which explains to women that if their husband abuses them it is because they are not submissive enough.
Not at all. I wouldn't choose that lifestyle and think it's not a good way to raise children.
Of course it's a possibility. A probability? Maybe not. But it's not impossible.
What did your parents tell you to do with your life?
On FSU? I don't think that's ever happened.
And that's great of you and all; now tell me why the Duggars should agree with you.
PDilemma, thanks for detailing why I doubt that "choice" exists for/in families who practice this belief system.
I've never liked the way the Duggar parents force their four oldest daughters to act as unpaid full-time servants. Sure, it's common for kids to have chores, but this is far beyond that.
Essentially, you are asking me to make an argument for my position - perfectly fine. I believe gender equality is a superior position to patriarchy -
1) Based on an assumed a moral truth that women and men are equally free, and therefore should have equal ability to make their own choices about education, career and family. To restrict the choices of females to wife and mother, ruled by father or husband, denies any moral truth that women are created equal to men, and are created equally free, free to pursue options as they desire. Similarly, to limit the choices of males to bread winner and authoritarian denies their full agency.
2) Because promoting gender equality can promote economic growth, increased GDP, and improved social welfare. http://econ.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EX...theSitePK:7778063~contentMDK:22851055,00.html http://www.economonitor.com/blog/2013/03/gender-equality-pays-off-in-brazil/
3) Diversity in leadership improves creativity, problem solving, morale, productivity, etc.
Do I think that would change the minds of the Duggars? No, but that is only partly the point. Advocating for your ideas helps ensure those ideas won't die. Religions know evangelism works. They have been doing it for millennia.
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.
I was asking directly, not essentialyl, or so I thought.
And those are all good arguments, although they address the issue from a standpoint irrelevant to the Duggars.
So perhaps more to the point--in what way does it matter to any of your arguments that this one family does what they do--or even that people in their entire movement do what they do? All of your arguments (except the first one) were about society overall.
There aren't enough of these people to make any difference to society. There is no chance that their way of life will become dominant or will be imposed on the rest of us. There is no indication that their movement is becoming widespread.
So society will continue to develop as it will without the Duggars or their input.
As for your moral argument, one must assume that it is true in order to agree with it. Let us say that most of us assume that it is true. Do we have the right to impose that particular belief on everyone?
I'll bet the Duggar girls would say the same of their parents. Because your parents impose their beliefs on your every single day of your life with them--whether you realize it or not. There is no way to avoid it. I impose my beliefs on my children by living in the way that I think I should and raising them as I believe they should be raised. That's what parents do. You are your beliefs. It can't be any other way. If I believe that my children should make their own choices about their adult lives, then I am going to raise them that way--and impose upon them the responsiblity of making choices rather than choosing for them.
I've said enough about my childhood on FSU for you to know that my parents didn't say much of anything about what I should do with my life. My father molested me so, if he were to have put it into words, I guess he would have told me to sleep with him because my mother was a frigid whore and we were in lurve. Or something mentally twisted like that. My mother did her best but her life was falling apart and she was saving herself. So she was doing things like taking me to bars when I was 16 and taking me to hash parties when I was older so she could pretend that she wasn't abusing drugs and alcohol. Then again, a rising tide raises all boats, so I won't discount the boost her efforts to right her own life made in helping me escape from my childhood situation.
I told myself to get an education and get the f*ck out of there. My mother wasn't so far gone that she put any obstacles in my way and even helped me as much as she was able. My father continued to use us as pawns in his fight with my mother and his own sicknesses and contributed a grand total of $3000 towards my upbringing between the ages of 14 and 21 (and nothing after that, not even birthday presents) and tried his damnedest to ensnare me at every opportunity without much success.
So, yes, people can "get out" of all sorts of situations and throw off all sorts of upbringings but my sisters did not fair nearly as well as I did given the same situations and the same upbringing.
I think the key as to whether you can get out is two-fold... it's easier to get out of a neglectful situation than it is one where there is a lot of control and your environment is carefully filtered. I spent most of my childhood both reading anything I could get my hands on and watching anything I could watch. That opened me up to many ideas and expanded my world considerably. Knowing that other people didn't live like we did helped me get through many bad times and gave me the tools to escape. The other thing that helps is personality. I am driven and I am stubborn and I have supreme confidence in my own judgment. All of those things help someone break from authority. In fact, they make breaking from a situation like the Duggars inevitable. But not everyone is like that.
And speaking of having supreme confidence in my own judgment, to answer your other question:
The Duggars should agree with me because I am right and they are wrong.
I would be surprised if they would say that. I think they would say something like their parents told them to make sure their life was open to God's Will or something like that. Being open to options -- all options -- doesn't seem to be valued in that belief system. What is valued is being submissive. Guys are submissive to God directly and gals are submissive via their menfolk.
I honestly don't remember you saying a lot about your childhood. Your adulthood, children and husband -yes. But not your childhood.
Of course, one's values are definitely influenced by one's upbringing (whether it be prescribing to your parents' values with some variation or rejection of it due to your reaction to it). However, aren't there degrees in which one's "free will" (if it exists) is severely limited or even oppressed?
I would be because it would be most unusual for them to feel that any of it was forced on them or that they had been told to believe X and so that's what they did. It would also be most unusual for them to have not questioned the lives they lead or to have simply accepted that everything their parents say is true. I know that most of you operate on the assumption that this is the case, but I think it is highly unlikely. No matter how sheltered they are, they still know that they do not live like other people and it would be weird for them to not wonder why.
Their perception of what their lives are like and your perception of what their lives are like are likely two very different things.
Sure. And where are we going to say that line should be drawn?
Last point first, I am not sure anyone said we have a right to impose something on someone. People are just complaining.
To the rest, my initial post specifically said I don't know anything about the Duggars but I dislike patriarchy. And you asked me to argue my posiition, so I did. But as to why the Duggars matter, I think being on television indicates they are fine having the discussion - they likely even want it. So I am all for having the discussion on the topic. I realize some are all bent out of shape by people complaining about reality TV stars, but I don't feel your pain.
But I didn't say they felt forced. I said that the way Zemgirl looked at life "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)" was foreign to their way of thinking. The idea that you try to do well in school so that you have a full palette of options open to you because "you can be/do anything if you set your mind to it" is just not the focus of that way of life, as you well know.
It's not about your will and your choices and maneuvering yourself into a position where you can take your pick from the smorgasbord of life. It's about listening to the minutia so you can see secret messages from the Big Guy telling you what He wants you do to and having the humility to do it even if it's not what you want to do.
I think, if they were asked this question, they would say something like "My parents taught me to make good choices so that I would have an easier time finding the right guy to provide for me" (i.e., staying pure) instead of "My parents wanted me to go well in school so I could go to any college I wanted and get a good job when I got out." And instead of saying "My parents wanted me have a lot of options" they would say "My parents wanted me to have the humility to submit to God's Will and not grow up to be arrogant and Godless."
I haven't actually got a perception of their lives as I have read nothing about them and never watched their show. (I'm not the one who wanted them to have a nose piercing or a mohawk. Though I think piercings and mohawks can be cool so I'd be on board with them getting some.)
I just don't get why the Duggars inspire so much dislike. How different are they really from the Amish or the Mormons (who have had TV shows about their lifestyles) or Hadasic Jews or Shakers or Muslims when it comes to passing their beliefs on to their children and attemtping to live those beliefs?
Unlike some posters here, I have watched the Duggars show and I find their lifestyle interesting from the point of organization and family dynamics. I find myself watching them the way I'd watch a National Georgraphic series on the Lost Tribes of Borneo or Animal Planets' Meercat Manor. I also know that I'd rather watch the Duggars and their parade of babies than the Kardashians or Lindsey Lohan or the Jersey Shore nutjobs.
Somehow I think if people in this thread were enrolled in Prancer's writing courses, they'd mostly flunk