Friday, January 28, 2011

Duggars and Dichotomies: One of These Things Just Doesn't Belong Here

This one is for you "mythoughtis" :)

I've been thinking a lot about some things the Duggars say, yet their actions don't quite match up with those said beliefs. We all have those moments, no one's perfectly able to live out their religion in complete and total perfection, if we were, well, I think life on earth wouldn't quite be what it is today. However, since the Duggars have chosen to put their faith as a main part of their TV show, it's fair game to point out things that don't mesh.

1) The Meeting of Dolly Parton - I have no problem that they met Dolly Parton. My problem is how they met Dolly Parton. Jim Bob has gone to great pains to urge us to remove all "worldly" music and TV from our homes that can influence our children. Dolly Parton has been a professional singer for decades. She was a chart topper when both Jim Bob and Michelle were growing up and still watching TV and listening to the radio. In their interviews they claimed not to have known who she was. That right there bothered me. Fine, so they didn't know who she was (ok they are from the south and don't know who she is??) and they are taking their family to go meet her? They indicate that they are somewhat aware that she's a TV/singer personality of some type. Here is the problem....shouldn't they, as concerned parents done some research before exposing their young children to a TV personality? And after such research, is she really a personality that they would have approved of? Yes Dolly has done some gospel singing, but does her entire body of work speak of what the Duggar family stands for?

2) The Girls' Beds - I've mentioned this before in another thread, but this particular point got lost within the main point of the other thread, so I'm going to be more specific here. When they built the house they live in, they had five girls. As they finished the house they had a sixth girl. As they decorated the girl's room, they decorated with five designer matching beds. When the room is panned across during episodes of the show, there doesn't seem to be any room left for adding more beds, at least not more beds that match. The only reason I say this is because these beds all have each girl's name lovingly written across it. Why does this seem like such an issue? Every time someone asks (and they ask and ask and ask) why do you name your kids with "J" names? The answer is 'because we never knew how many we'd have and we didn't want anyone to be left out.' Well granted they didn't know they'd be having three more girls (after the sixth) making a total of nine, but for a family who repeatedly tells the world that they don't like their kids to feel left out, these younger girls are going to be left out of their own room. Their older siblings have matching beds and they don't seem to. Obviously there is going to need to be some rearranging of furniture, some possible use of bunk beds (perhaps the single versions of these actually convert to bunk beds, who knows?) but clearly, not every Duggar daughter will be treated equally.

3) The Gun Picture - This has nothing to do with the actual gun, the owning of guns, the shooting of guns or the possession of guns. I don't care one way or another as I previously wrote about. The point I'm making here is this: What it does have to do is the loving and friendly personas they try to uphold? Again, it's not the guns themselves, it's the pose John-David is making. There is nothing "Duggar-like" about that pose. If he'd just been casually standing there next to a couple of guns, no big deal, but the pose is so...well...non-Duggar, I just don't get it.

So those are the few that come to mind as I write this. As I've been examining those in myself, I have to say, I think it may have to do with who we are as we grow and try to change--try to become "better" people, yet is it really possible to change our innate being. In all truth Jim Bob is a salesman, therefore the Dolly thing was all about salesmanship. Do I have answers for all three? No I do not.

As for the dichotomy that Mythoughtis pointed out in me, well I did try to answer it. Yes I do dress modestly and cover my head. However, I must correct you, I do not cover my head for modesty, I cover my head as a reminder of my faith--that there is someone above me--much in the way that Jewish men wear kippot (yarmulkes.) I am not Chassidic. Chassidic women do cover their hair for modest reasons. And as I admitted, lately I have been more lax on the head coverings, I've been using different coverings, not covering completely--using bandannas so the ponytail sticks out, using hipster beanies etc. Why? I don't have a concrete answer for you, but perhaps I cannot change who I am, while I am living the best orthodox life I can, perhaps deep down I'm reform. While I know that's not exactly true, because I am more conservative than that, I do question myself--someday perhaps I will find an answer--or maybe it's because i can't change who I am deep down, lazy.

You also mentioned my offhand comment about an actor young enough to be my son. Well, he's of legal age. Before my husband I was dating men in their early 20s. Why am I telling you this? To justify my comment? No, not at all. To brag? Probably a little. Actually it's because deep down you can't change who you are...I am who I am and I tend to live my life as an open book.

So Mythoughtis, I hope this finds you well. I would welcome getting to know you better as I have a feeling you have the wrong idea of just who I am. Please feel free to email me ...any of you


  1. I think we all have our weaknesses. Dolly Parton may have been someone Jim Bob and Michelle listened to in high school but stopped when they started discussing what they felt they should cut out of their lives for their childrens sakes etc. I don't recall them saying that the two of them didn't know her but rather that the kids didn't. And if the kids did they only knew about her promoting reading etc. I actually remember her saying this with the nervous laugh she uses when she's not sure how to respond.

    As far as the gun pose, yes it's weird and I have no response for that one. For the girls room. I have an idea that maybe the designer picked those beds and not really the duggars? Maybe the girls liked those beds and they didn't have enough of the appropriate sizes? It's annoying when unable to ask the famiky because as you have said many times, we don't know what is cut put. We just know things seem weird. And sorry for any typos. I'm on my phone and it doesn't let me see everything properly. Like you I have no real answers just thoughts.

    And I'm perfectly ok with you saying you had a sex dream. It's a normal human response. And Judaism is very much about what you are doing and how you aere living your life. Not about what you think in your head. Or at least that's what I learned while getting my minor in Judaic studies :-). Keep on being you!

  2. Actually, Michelle's response to "who is Dolly"...she clearly had no clue...she was asking the questioner back...ummm she's a singer? or something? was so obvious that Michelle didn't know who she was....and someone of her generation, even someone that doesn't listen to the music---c'mon...everyone knows who Dolly is...IN THE SOUTH????!!!!!...that just floored me...either that and i hate to admit this, she was pretending not to know who she was...

  3. OK people... I really enjoy reading your thoughts on the Duggars and their life. However, do we really need to pic apart every little thing they do? Don't we all make mistakes? Don't we all let our hair down once in a while? Don't we all make decisions that aren't quite wise sometimes? For all we know there could be a perfectly reasonable reason behind all of these things. Or maybe they were just mistakes. I sure wouldn't want someone to look at my life and judge that closely!

  4. way to miss the entire point of the post Stacey *golf clap*

  5. No, I got it. I just don't think it was worth it, that's all.

  6. yet you felt it worth it enough to comment upon? you should find a better use of your time darlin' just proved a dichotomy of your own life....

  7. Hey Stacey. Nice blog you have. I don't feel the Duggars are being picked apart here. We are just trying to figure them out.

    "For all we know there could be a perfectly reasonable reason behind all of these things."

    That's SO true...which is why the Duggars are SO darn interesting! :) They tend to leave us scratching our heads most of the time. You said you don't want people looking at your life and judging you that closely. Well, I'm sure someone, somewhere is "looking" and "judging" you at this very moment...well you do have a blog. I'm sure the Duggars are very aware of people "watching" them closely. If it really bothered them, then they would have pulled the plug a long time ago. Just trying to make a point. :)

    I sincerely believe Michelle knew who Dolly was! Sorry, I know some folks are gonna get mad at me. We have to remember Michelle has NOT always worn black hose and ankle length skirts. But then again...maybe she didn't listen to country music when she was a teen. Well neither did I...but I still knew who Dolly was.

    The gun photo is very "non-Duggar". That's why I like it! They have said that they are not perfect. Well this photo is proof. I'm not saying I want them to get caught doing horrible things. I just enjoy seeing things...that surprise me. Just never pictured them hunting. I live in the south as well, and seeing a gun is like seeing someone wearing a baseball cap.

    Marybeth your dreams are VERY interesting. Thanks for sharing! Hehe. :D

  8. Great topic! And I think you got the point across very well. They say one thing and do another. I'm from the midwest, a few years (less than 10) older than JB and Michelle, and trust me, Dolly Parton was a well known country singer back then. They should have known who she was, and could have found out details easily enough.... amd should have if they really cared about who they were exposing their children to.

    Mary Beth, I don't know much about the Jewish religions, and I find your posts about it educational. I get your point about head coverings. But, I don't get any reasoning about lengths of sleeves and skirts other than for modesty. My point about the sex dream is that discussing it is immodest IMO, which would be a dichotomy compared to the length of sleeves and skirts. And, I have a son that is Mr. Radcliffe's age, so any sex dream about him just gives me the heeby-jeebies. But, then the Duggars love to discuss conception, birth, etc at a level that the rest of us keep private, too.

  9. mythoughtis, thank you so much for getting back to i said, it is in some instances for modesty's sake but as i also said, it's comfortable to me--whether or not that comfort is from the modesty, i can't honestly tell you--because this form of dress is new to me--the long sleeves, for instance is something i've only been consciously doing for the past 2 years--where as the skirts are something i've been doing consciously for the past 3 years....and no, i don't quite understand it myself other than my Rabbi's wife assures me it's what we're supposed to do---like Christianity, (remember i was raised in the Presbyterian church) that was often the answer as well....but i have found that as i get older, covering up is more comfortable to me likely because of my aging and the way my body is changing--reverse vanity perhaps? i truly haven't analyzed it that much...i will tell you that lazyiness could be a factor again (see i'm honest about myself) because that comfort is also due to the fact that elastic waist skirts just feel good and are easy to wear--it's like wearing pajamas to be quite i miss tight jeans that are uncomfortable to sit in and binding? no i don' i miss worrying about sitting in a mini-skirt (i sold over 20 of them on ebay) no i don' i won't pretend to be overly pious about dressing for modesty's sake....i like the way i dress because as i said, it's comfortable to me and it does "mark" me for my religion, especially when we're living abroad

    as to mr. radcliffe...did your son appear naked on the west end stage in london? if so, then he might expect to have women (and perhaps men) of many ages dreaming of him...if not, i wouldn't worry too much...(yes we were living in London when he was appearing in Equus)

    and i do understand if you don't want to email, i was just extending the hand of friendship and understanding as i was worried that perhaps we'd gotten off on the wrong foot, as it were :) ...i have not always been an Orthodox Jew...I have not always KNOWN i was a Jew (well on some level I did, even as a small child) but once I found out I attended a reform temple, so this is all new to me, being married to an Orthodox husband and practicing ...i do not want this to sound that i am being forced into this way of life, because obviously, i speak my mind and tend to do as i wish, regardless...

    but when i said that the Jews aren't chaste, what i meant was, we celebrate sexual relations between married couples, it's not a "forbidden" or naughty Christianity seems to make it out to's a Mitzvah to make love to your wife/husband...G-d wants you to celebrate your marriage with love making...and yes, we talk about it...even the reform Jews that aren't married don't freak out about couples doing the "double mitzvah" on shabbes (it's a double mitzvah to have sex on the sabbath) ....a mitzvah is a "good deed" before i hope that clarifies anything i may not have said distinctly

  10. and as for discussing a sex dream....i'm not a nun...i'm human and a female and i live :) i have joys and experiences and i share...i also have a sense of humour that borders on the sarcastic...guess what? i have a vibrator too!

  11. OMG! Marybeth you are crazy! I almost spilled my soda on my laptop laughing at you. We just have no clue where a conversation will lead. There's a lot of serious "stuff" going on around the world right now. It has troubled me. But you made me laugh. Sometimes a smile isn't enough. A good laugh is so much better! :D

    I still say JB and Michelle knew who Dolly was...

  12. Ok, TMI there!

    I have found that I also dress more modestly as I age (higher necklines, lower skirt length)... but I'm not giving up my jeans for anyone! I really don't have a problem with the Duggar dress code, other than I think they go overboard (tops under tops),skirts always (rock climbing?), and I think they discuss it way to much when they claim to be self-effacing. Christians normally celebrate the grace of God, and also celebrate the fact that they don't have to follow the old testament rules to be saved any more. But conservative Christians seem to have fogotten that.

    Daniel Radcliffe will always be type-cast for me as Harry Potter (8 films will do that). And, I feel sorry that the Duggar girls will never get to read the books or watch the movies (witchcraft, especially hated in the Conservative Christian movement, they don't even dress for Halloween)

    I am not a conservative Christian. I have attended Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian (my favorite), but I don't attend at all now(long story, still believe, but don't think I need an intermediate). I do drink (less as I age, puts me to sleep. no fun in that), don't smoke (personal preferance there), overeat (love Chocolate), hate exercise.

    In your early topics, I felt you gave the Duggars a pass, but over time, you seem more comfortable discussing their quirkiness. So, whatever 'wrong foot' you felt, I'm still posting, aren't I?

  13. i admit i have not read the harry potter books, only because that genre isn't of interest to me...i tried and got lost in the middle somewhere...tried watching the movies and kind of walked around and did stuff and fast forwarded and well....yeah....but we did have a mind to see Equus in London but Zephyr came early so i never did get a chance to see Little Harry Potter's wand...

  14. most likely i'm feeling a disconnect with the Duggars because i can't watch the's hard to remain hard core and supportive when i haven't seen them since the season they were in Little Rock...but i think the reason that they continually talk about it...over and over and because a) they are constantly asked about it by different people when there always happens to be a camera in front of them, so those of us who have watched the show see it over and over....(those of us who have watched the first 4 seasons--those are the 4 i've seen)....and because they are on TV in general..i have a feeling if people would stop asking them the questions, they wouldn't talk about know what i mean?

    and i will admit that the past few days have taken a toll on my mood and my posts may have reflected that attitude---i've been arguing with anti-semites about the situation in Egypt and the effect it could and might have on Israel...*sigh*

  15. The Duggars chose for a fee $$ to show their lives open for crticism, it is like being at a CARNIVAL, THEY CHOSE TO BE THE cOCONUT, it is for us to knock em down where they deliberately make false or wild statements.
    Frankly I think they are full of it and fake as their pseduo beliefs and never a real statement as to their income some investment properties, I did the math and it does not add up, they sponge of the our Tax dollars with food stamps, declaring property as a place of worship etc.
    Lets get rid of all these tax deductions, and according to a US Poverty study Jib Bobs income minimumly be $150000 on what he said, and thats assuming free gas , no fees for their vehicle paid for by the business etc

  16. Yes, I agree that it seems like they are being asked the same questions or are being asked things that have already been discussed. Seriously by now...EVERYONE should know who they are and what they are all about. There are a few countries who don't have a clue, but I believe half the world does.

    What's it like knowing...that people ALL OVER the world know your name and birthday? :)

    Name a country that you would like to visit with your family? Why? :)

    Have you thought about doing mission work in other countries? :)

    How do you keep up with world events? Newspaper or your parents talking about it? :)

    These are just a few positive questions I would like to know. I was very disappointed about the "questions" that were asked 2 seasons ago. I also thought the older girls were purposely gone so they wouldn't have to answer any uncomfortable questions. Well...that's ok because I would have done the same thing to avoid being put on the spot.

    Marybeth, I like how this blog is more "level". At least to me. If there is something you talk about it. If you don't still talk about it, but not in a mean way.

    Daniel Radcliffe is someone the Duggar girls might never know. Doesn't it "fascinate" you all that there are kids growing up not familiar with famous pop culture? We are not teens, but it is very clear we know who Harry Potter is. And let's not forget Marybeth's beloved...Edward! :D Hehe

    There are a lot of kids who weren't around during the Beatles and Elvis era...but they still somehow know who these people are. My oldest sister and I knew Michael Jackson when he was "chocolate brown". By the time my 2 younger sisters came along...he was much lighter and looked totally different. They just didn't believe the same guy in Thriller is the same guy in Smooth Criminal.

    At least my sisters knew who Dolly was....

    Sorry, I'm just not gonna let that go.

  17. My children growing up in East TN know who Dolly is...

    She sent them free books when they were younger. She has a thing for butterflies, and she has these two neat parks in Pigeon Forge. Oh and she has a horse show that they get to see very now and then when mom has the money (Dixie Stampede). (I asked them from the 17 yr old down)

    If pressed hard they MIGHT remember she is a singer, (they think the music at the parks is old and boring) I highly doubt, they even know she did a few movies, and I know or a fact they have no idea who Kenny Rodgers is, or any of the other singers with concert halls all over Pigeon Forge.

    I saw no issues in the fact that The Duggars or the Duggar kids knew nothing or next to nothing about her singing career, they did on the other hand know what to me were the important facts: Dolly is a Christian, who has spent the last 20+ years trying to bring literacy to a rural community, and has, through hard work and lots of famous friends, revitalized an entire community and economy.

    If not for Dolly and Dollywood (it was a Silver Dollar City like the one in Branson the Duggars go to, till she bought it and revamped it) and the other business she pulled into the area, Pigeon Forge would still be a strip less than a mile long full of T-shirt shops on the way to Gatlinburg. Now it runs from almost the interstate all the way to the mountains putting thousands of people to work, and bringing in MILLIONS each year in revenues.

  18. I have NO issues with the kids not knowing. But I do with their parents not knowing. Well...then again, JB didn't exactly say. Sorry I do and I just can't help it!:) I'll get over it eventually.

    Yes, Dolly is more than blond wigs and boobs. She has done great things for her community and has never forgot where she came from. She is a beautiful person and a living legend. The Duggar kids were very lucky to meet her. :)

    Oh, and I realize children can grow up happy and normal without having a clue about modern, pop culture. I figure someone would eventually call me out on that. It is still very interesting to me. :)

  19. See, Angie (i love you by the way and it's been too long since we've talked) ....gets my point...Jim Bob and Michelle did NOT lead the sheltered lives that their kids led, they watched TV and listened to popular radio when they were growing up--OK Jim Bob went to a Christian High School, but still, growing up in the south during the 70s and early 80s, there is no POSSIBLE WAY they could not know who Dolly Parton was...granted, Jim Bob's little interview didn't say he didn't know, but Michelle was clearly vague and she pretty much was trying to say she didn't know who Dolly was. I just don't believe that. That is my point.

    My other point is that for a family who insists we guard what influences we introduce our children to, shouldn't they have known BEFORE going on the trip? I have no problem with Dolly, Yes she has done fabulous things for her home town, she's done fabulous things for literacy and for the world in general. She's a marvelous talent and she's great. I'm not at all anti-Dolly....the point here is that on their website Jim Bob urges us to remove all worldy music and influence from our homes--well Dolly is a popular singer and does still STILL chart on the country TOP 40. So all I'm saying is that to admit on tv that you're about to introduce your family to a popular singer that you don't appear to know---that's the exact opposite of what you are urging us to do.

    Before the trip was planned or while it was planned they should have researched it so when she was asked she could have said "well Dolly was an actress and singer in the 70s and 80s and still occassionally has a chart topper but she also has some fabulous charity work with literacy and has built up her home town into a fabulous tourist attraction creating numerous jobs and industry." ....instead of the blank nothing we got

  20. Love and hugs back at ya Marybeth! Been a slow day, so I'm able to blog a little.

    Dolly is a famous "performer" and this is what helped her become the person she is. The SINGING is what people know 1st about her. I had no idea there were urges from their website to remove all worldly music and influences from our homes. I understand why for "their" home...but why for ours. I'm gonna have to get back with you all about that. I will have to think long and hard about my response I'll be choosing my words very carefully. I don't want to be negative but I DO NOT agree. The word "all" is only 3 letters, but it is a HUGE word.

  21. Yes, Dolly is a great humanitarian. And, she is great singer, and a great business person.

    But, the Duggar didn't know any of that either, since they didn't know who she was. supposedly. But, since they are all about 'not putting garbage in the kids minds', which is their reason for not watching TV, they should have researched her before they went.
    If they had, they would have discovered the blonde wigs, the very low cut Nike outfits, the very much 'defrauding' concept going on, etc, etc. They didn't care enough to do the research, and they didn't even show them discussing any concerns about Dolly's attire with the kids after the fact. So I guess the Duggar girls should feel comfortable dressing like Dolly as long as they do the charitable events that Dolly does?

  22. Yes mythoughtis...EXACTLY my point! :)

  23. well i just went to their website and it's changed all used to have this open letter to men from jim bob on how to be a better husband....and one thing was urging you to remove all worldly influences (music and tv) from your home, reading the daily proverb, pray with your family...ask your wife for forgiveness (i can't remember exactly why), ask your children's forgiveness (same thing)...basically you're starting your family over this whole "new" way....but that's disappeared....fascinating....

  24. They DID know about the literacy program.

  25. BTW Marybeth the Duggar episodes are up on youtube, search for the name of the episode and you'll find them.

  26. Hey Cyn. :) Yes they DID know about the literacy program and that's a good thing. Maybe their grandma mentioned to them about Dolly being a singer at some point. Dolly is a "singer" who supports a literacy program. Just trying to make a point.

    Does anyone, recall if Michelle forgot who Kirk Cameron is?

  27. Playboy and Hugh Hefner donate massive amounts to children's charities....something tells me the Duggars won't be visiting the mansion any time soon...

  28. Where are you?? Missing your commentary!

    Mrs P

  29. As a Jew by Choice, your comments about always knowing you were Jewish on some level, even when you were very young, completely resonated with me - I grew up feeling exactly the same way. Thanks for being open about your experiences. I feel less alone now! While we may have completely different views on the Duggars, I really enjoy reading what you have to say.