Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Psychology of Duggar Hating Part II: Looking Inward

When it comes to the Duggars there seems to be an "us and them" mentality between the fans of the show and/or family and those who don't care for the Duggars or their show. There is a strange phenomena wherein people who dislike the family and what they stand for watch the show regardless--I've never understood this, but it happens in many cases. For example, there are groups devoted to "hating" Rachel Ray, and the main past time of these people is watching Rachel Ray on television. I am not someone that can spend time watching a show I have disdain for, but apprently there are a lot of people out there who can and do. To be perfectly honest, I have trouble being polite and watching shows I don't care for--sorry Hubby, but you can watch the sci-fi shows on your own, I'd rather read a book. But either way, you have those who think the Duggars are great, or those who think the Duggars are horrible. There doesn't seem to be a middle ground.

In Part I we discussed some reasons why people may or may not like the Duggars. We learned some other reasons from people who are on the "dislike" side. Some of those reasons were: The Duggars make different parenting choices than the person thought was right, The Duggars are making money by being on a TV show (the person thought never said that was wrong, but a reason why it was OK to criticize them,) and one person appeared to not like them because s/he had read blogs from people who had left an upbringing similar to that of the Duggars and decided that all people from that lifestyle must be unhappy--to be honest it was hard to tell why that person disliked the Duggars as his/her argument wasn't very well-written or thought out.

Both people who replied for the "dislike" side did use the argument that "other people who's lives are similar to the Duggars" had lives that were somehow sub-par and therefore made the conclusion that the Duggar's children would be leading the same sub-par lives. Unfortunately, as Duggar fans, we demand some kind of proof that this is occurring with the Duggars themselves, not people who live like the Duggars. As for me, I am ONLY interested in any blogs or information straight from Duggar family members---other families that have no relation to the Duggars aren't proof of how the Duggar children are currently doing.

One kind of anti-Duggar we didn't touch on was the person who did grow up in a large family and now feels slighted by their upbringing. They look at the Duggars and project their own life onto them--usually without any correct or accurate information about the Duggar family--and assume that the Duggar children will wind up just like they have. While this is sad, it's not quite fair to the Duggars. At least know something about the family and the children before making assumptions.

So what is the point of today's post? By "looking inward" I thought that we could discuss those who are Duggar fans and what we can do when we encounter those who aren't. The first question I want to pose is why do the anti-Duggars get under our skin so much? I am the fan of a lot of different TV shows, but this is the only one I feel compelled to write a blog about or discuss at length. While I'm not sure why I am so pro-Duggar, I do know the main reason why I'm bothered by the anti-Duggar side. For me it's a matter of information. I have an innate annoyance of the spreading of misinformation. I suppose I just need to see the true facts out there for the world to see--I know that people may not change their mind, but if they are at least properly informed, they may see things a little differently--they may understand WHY.

I'm sure there are some people who see attacks on the Duggars as attacks on themselves. There are many MANY Duggar fans who share the same religious beliefs and the same beliefs on birth control. When someone comes onto a blog or message board and attacks those two topics in particular, I've seen many pro-Duggars come out in full force on the defensive side. I know that I fall into the birth-control belief catagory and I do often feel the need to voice a comment or two when someone makes a snide comment on the subject.

There are some Duggar fans who are just that--fans. Who of us wants to see something we care for trampled on? For that reason we will get our hackles raised and feel the need to defend our entertainment choice. I also think we have combinations of all the above--we want people to know who the Duggars are as we see them and why we choose to watch them, and why that's a good thing.

My next question is how should we respond? It depends on the attack, of course. Some people are just down-right nasty and want to raise up the ire of Duggar fans--why? Probably for fun. These people you just have to ignore and preferably block from your view. They will not be reasoned with or placated---they will only get meaner and nastier--that's part of their fun. Some people just don't have the right information and need some correcting, as it were--some even are polite enough to ask for the right news. To be honest, some I've just verbally smacked upside the head. I know it's wrong and not "What a Duggar Would Do," but I admit my weaknesses and being mean to anti-Duggars is one of mine.

How SHOULD we respond? We should probably either ignore them completely--something easier said than done--or kill them with kindness. When people show up hoping for a fight and don't get one, they'll usually go someplace else. However, that shouldn't be the reason we're nice, we should be nice because it's the right thing to do, regardless of the outcome. When sharing updates and correct information about the Duggars we should be polite and sincere, because it's the right way to act around people.

I think one thing we all need to remember as fans, and even as non-fans, is that the Internet isn't real life. As much as we want it to be and hope that it is sometimes, it isn't because a lot of times we don't truly know the other person we're talking to or debating with. Remembering that should make it easier to walk away from conflict---ask yourself if you'd get "this upset" and have this conversation in real life with someone you didn't know? I've received a few rude and hurtful comments as the writer of this blog--does it get to me? No, not really. For one, I can just delete them and they are gone. Two, they never have the nerve to leave their name--anonymous isn't someone that has any power over my self-esteem. And three, they aren't real--I've never had anyone speak to me like that in real life since junior high school, so I am quite confident that these adults wouldn't speak to me like this if they were face to face with me, and if they would, that just says even more about their character. Keep that in mind if you're feeling frustrated on a fan page, blog, or message board.

We all have our own personal reasons for loving or hating the Duggars. For whatever reason, those reasons have brought us together on the Internet and we have to find a way to live together in harmony. I think it can be done if cooler heads prevail.


  1. I have to own that when someone gets the facts wrong, I instinctivly want to correct them. I also share that recently I saw a poster who recieved those facts in a nice and friendly way become more and more interested in the show and the history of the family. In my opinion all new posters should be given that environment.
    However I am equally aware of the posters who frankly want to incite drama. They do not seem to be interested in facts, and if given - those facts do not seem to be retained and you see the same factless points being made on the 'alternative' facebook page.
    Once it has become clear that a poster is not interested with an interaction that is anything but flinging insults back and forth, I think ignoring them is the best option. If the comments are upsetting or offensive then blocking them will solve that.
    Some people clearly enjoy debate, some people enjoy provoking and hurting. There is a difference.

  2. Well I think this is real interesting & see that's it I don't believe there is "two sides" or fans & anti-fans. I never really tuned in to watch the show but rather turned it on as a background noise until the next program came on. There are many things that I love about the Duggars & their way of life but I don't necessarily agree on everything. I think when it comes to bashers someone does need to speak up even if it's only to point out their hate mongers etc. I do think the trolls eventually need to be put on block because they're just fueling a bigger rise, but the internet while it's virtual isn't necessarily not real life... There are real people on the other end of these computer terminals with real life feelings. This is the reason when certain topics on the Duggars are attacked people come out swinging because they personally identify with those things & have been insulted &/or are hurt emotionally. Many hate grops gather online in real life & they fuel & inspire each other. I've said in the past that Michele Duggar is a much better person than I because she's got a lot more patience & never has a cross word for people, but truth of the matter is I don't agree with never having a cross word or at least setting people straight. I think words can wound people & when someone is verbally attacking they need to know they're being hurtful. When I see an injustice I have to speak out &/or act on it. The fact that Anna's BIL had spoken aroubt the "snarky" means family members DO in fact read the horrible things said here online by people. Saying that someones father "looks like a child molester" is hurtful & I would *have to speak out & at least say that*. Now if me giving them some words back shuts them up then better yet..... But to sit quiet IMO is condoning that hateful behavior. When I hear/see a horrible sweeping generalized comment about an entire group of people like "the Amish" I feel a need to speak the same as if someone was to make an anti-semitic comment. It's not my religion but that's beside the point because people are allowed to practice the religion they choose. And again the trolls doing it for entertainment purposes still contribute to a bigger thing. They're all bullies & I can't sit quiet to bullies.

  3. This is exactly why I enjoy reading your blog! I don't necessarily agree with everything that the Duggars do, but I think they're a great family who genuinely love each other. I will never understand why, if people disagree so strongly with so many things about this family and their lifestyle, do they continue to watch the show and snark about it.(and in some cases, not just snark, but be downright mean and hateful) I used to read a certain Duggar site every day, until it got to the point that I would get so upset that people could say such mean and hurtful things about a family. It seems some of the posters over there watch just to pick apart every little minute thing, and can find nothing good to say about anything. It just angers me, but if I try to respond, none of my comments get posted. I try to come across as nicely as possible, never single out any certain person, but I guess I break the rules somehow, so I just gave up trying to get my point across to anyone over there. I actually found your site by clicking on your profile at that other site, and now I've been checking on you everyday, and it's so refreshing to read level-headed opinions and thoughts about the Duggars, even if the subject of the conversation is something you or a commenter may not agree about. Cooler heads do prevail here, and I thank you for giving me a place to keep up on the Duggars.

  4. I've said many times that I LOVE to hear from both sides. To be honest...I've actually learned a lot from everyone on this blog. In fact I've also learned from other blogs just how CRAZY some people are! These are the same people who are convinced the Duggars are the crazy ones.

    I try to stay clear of arguments, but even I get my undies in a bunch when people are discussing "courting" or "submission". So far those are weak topics for me.

    I agree with MaryBeth about using "facts" or proof. I'm always looking for facts. :)
    If anyone is interested, I found some pictures of Jana and JD in Southeast Asia. Looks like they are having a great time. Hope the Duggar fans enjoy! Hehe.


  5. something that has just occered to me is that for some of these negative posters I wonder if it isn't the Duggars they have so much against as much as the fan. Some seem to have real anger that we fans believe not only that the Duggars are nice people etc but that many of us have a handful of similar beliefs as the Duggars. Whether it is the creationism, or the traditional roles demonstrated or the birth control/quiverful question, there does seem to be some posters who feel angry that we have been hoodwinked.

  6. I think a interesting note is that now that it's clear it isn't a complete bash fest here the real haters no longer post....

  7. i haven't held back any comments, except for ones directed at me personally (apparently i'm fat) ...not because i don't want to post them, but because they aren't directly related to the topic at hand, and i mentioned that in "there are no rules..." ...if people want to call me names they are welcome to email me privately and do so...but since no one has, i'm guessing they think it'll be more fun if the comment shows up here, which it won't...
    i've also held back a few on the "circumcision" piece because a few comments were made directly towards other posters, and they weren't kind...i specifically ask that people don't do that...

    a few "haters" have posted here and joined the discussion, which i'm welcome to...because debate is always healthy and fun...but they leave when they get hit with truth and other opinions they can't absorb...so in most cases, we are a duggar loving site :)

  8. "...but they leave when they get hit with truth and other opinions they can't absorb...so in most cases, we are a duggar loving site :)"

    That's what I mean, it isn't just a complete bash fest here. We all talk differences & things we don't always agree with. We don't have to agree on everything & that's what a debate is about.

  9. I just want to say that I love the Duggars. They represent what being a Christian is all about. Religion aside, they really promote honesty, integrity, peace and love and this is what ALL people should strive to do. I believe in dressing modestly, waiting until marriage to have sex, and women having the CHOICE to be stay at home moms. They support their kids on their own and the family is well rounded. How can anyone hate that unless they are envious deep inside?