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For Realz?: What Happens To A Queer Quiverfull?

duggars.jpg

The Duggars! The 18-child (picture above taken when there were only 17 of them), no-birth-control, "we'll have as many as God decides to give us" Quiverfull, fundamentalist Christian family on the Discovery Channel that everyone loves to hate! Did I mention the reason why the Duggar parents are Quiverfull believers is because they think that birth control is the same as abortion? Did I fail to mention that all the children's names begin with the letter J? (yielding names such as Jinger, Joy-Anna, and Jordyn-Grace?)

I must confess I can no longer watch this show (it was a bad combination of Mother Duggar's questionable home-schooling techniques, combined with the family recipe for Tater Tot Casserole) -- but I have totally been wondering about this: haven't studies shown that younger male children in large families are more likely to be gay? What's going to happen if one (or more) of the younger Duggar boys come out? The Quiverfulls don't appear to be very gay-friendly.

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Comments

43 comments have been made. Post a comment.

Being staunchly cf, I don't

Being staunchly cf, I don't see the point of having one kid, let alone 18.

I would be more annoyed by the Duggar family if they couldn't support the kids. However, I remember the Discovery special when they were getting their new house, and couldn't help but think about what a large carbon footprint they are leaving. I guess that doesn't matter to them, though. It's better not to "abort" (as in use birth control?) than to take care of the planet that their god gave them.

Sustainability fail.

re: carbon footprint. Seems

re: carbon footprint.
Seems huge.. I agree.
But when put in context, is their carbon footprint any bigger than that of approx. 8 average American couples with 2 or 3 children each?
I doubt that per person they use much more in the way of resources than the average American person does.
Not making excuses or even defending them in any way.. just saying that per person I don't see their use of resources as being too insane.

I agree that the Duggars'

I agree that the Duggars' carbon footprint is not larger than many other smaller families. I pointed out the reasons above.

Duggars and sustainability

Not to defend the Duggars, but to state the fact that in some ways their footprint is lower than even smaller families since they homeschool and don't drive the kids back and forth to school every day. The parents also are at home much of the time and don't drive to and from work. They drive to get supplies and work on projects etc. only. The other way in which they are good to the planet is that they never buy new clothes, but only recycled clothing and shoes from thrift stores.

A spin-off?

Johnny loves Chachi, maybe?

Statistically it's likely.

Statistically it's likely. However, in that kind of family I would expect a lot of denial and self-suppression. I expect there'd be a lot of anxiety and depression.

Denial, denial, denial

If any of the Duggar kids, male or female, do end up batting on the other side of the plate, I wouldn't expect a coming-out plotline on the reality shows — they would likely, as Anonymous says, feel the need to keep it hidden so as not to upset the Quiverfull status quo, which is all about (heterosexual) fruitfulness. I do someday expect to hear about one or more of them escaping their indentured servitude, moving to another state, and entering into a whole other life that has nothing to do with babies, denim jumpers, Bragg's Liquid Aminos (check the recipes on their site), or the letter J. I really hope there's a follow-up show about that.

 Also: How is it that they waited until number 17 to utilize "Jennifer"?

____________
Andi Zeisler, cofounder and editorial/creative director

Comments Policy: Like to hear it? Here it go!

I believe you've hit the nail

I believe you've hit the nail on the head, and I was thinking that this is exactly what happened to Anna's dad, Mike Keller. He's obviously kind of effeminate, and I would not be surprised at all if he was gay.

One of the things that

One of the things that annoys me about this family is that the older daughters basically have to spend all day caring for their younger siblings, especially considering that Mom is constantly pregnant. It doesn't seem like they get a lot of time to just be kids themselves.

And on a shallow note, out of all of those J names, Jinger has got to be the worst. Jinger Duggar? I'm sure it's difficult to keep coming up with creative names that all start with the same letter, but come on.

A baby-name book is always handy.

I just don't understand why someone didn't hand this woman a baby-name book, so she could see all the various J names and the variations for them. I have to agree with you, half of these names make me cringe. Jedidiah, will always remind me of Children of The Corn.

The comments on here are a little scary....

My understanding is that the Duggars are debt-free and self-sustaining. I cringe a little bit at the hostile posts that criticize their choice to not use birth control. They have a right to their beliefs. As far as having so many children, carbon footprint, blah blah blah, there are many worse offenders who pop out baby after baby and suck off the taxpayers in the process. Their lifestyle, not for me, obviously not for any of you, but you come off looking like hateful Christian-bashers; I don't see them doing anything bad, the kids seem educated and decent, and I haven't heard reciprical hate coming from them towards people that don't agree with their lifestyle choices. Aren't there really bad people that we could focus our negative attention towards?

I agree with you, Anonymous

I agree with you, Anonymous above me. If one of their children turns out to be gay, so be it. It's their business. They indeed have a right to not practice birth control, their children seem very well taken care of and happy.

If you want to criticize someone for having a hoard of kids, criticize Nadya Suleman. She had 14 children, all with IVF, without a partner, and on food stamps. She can't provide for her kids and she doesn't have a partner to help her. If you're going to criticize someone for having a boatload of kids, criticize someone who can't take care of them, not just because you disagree with their religious beliefs. Now if they were marrying off their daughters at age 14, it would be legitimate.

That being said, I really don't understand the point of the original post.

The point is that there is a

The point is that there is a damn good chance one or more of these kids is going to turn out to be gay, and the brand of religion this family follows thinks homosexuality is evil. That poor kid is going to go through hell when he starts figuring out who he is.

Ok, but how is that anyone's

Ok, but how is that anyone's business but theirs?

You don't even know if any of those kids are going to be gay. Besides, why does it matter? You don't know how individual families deal with it. Even people in non-religious families condemn being gay. My boyfriend's father, who is not religious, told him that he if he's gay, to not even bother to be a part of the family anymore.

I guess I just don't see why we should be concerning ourselves with a "what-if" scenario, and something that is none of our business. I just don't think it's something to even talk about or worry about.

If one of those Duggar kids does come out as gay, then talk about it, but don't speculate just because it's a large family.

First off, did it ever dawn

First off, did it ever dawn on you that your boyfriend's father is a moron?

Secondly, why not talk about the possibility of the a Duggar being gay? There's no problem discussing it. Homosexuality is a fact of life, not a terrifying secret.

Gay people aren't as uncommon as you seem to think. You know way more gay people than you think you do.

The Duggars look happy,

The Duggars look happy, sure, from the highly scripted reality show version we see (the reality show, incidentally, being what allows them to be self-sufficient), but as has been said above the older girls are forced to take care of the younger girls. They are essentially being taught to be submissive domestic servants; if you care about equality, you should understand the reason for criticizing that. The point of the article was that while the Duggars look happy and cheerful on the outside, if a kid goes off-script, they are likely to face severe penalties.

Let's not forget that the word quiverfull refers to the idea of the children as arrows, weapons with which to spread conservative Christianity. Nadya Suleman has no desire to take away my freedom, so I'd rather criticize the Duggars. See how that works?

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Agreed. I see no reason to

Agreed. I see no reason to condemn the Duggars. Their lifestyle is one that most of us wouldn't choose; so what? I expect better than this type of judgmental, holier-than-thou attitude from Bitch.

agreed

the o/p seems like just hanging a pinata and inviting hits. Not interested.

The Duggars have opted to

The Duggars have opted to make their choice and life public, therefore inviting criticism as well as adulation. I don't feel sorry for them (though I do for the kids).

As far as I can tell, the main concerns of most critics (including myself) are not that they are Christians, but they are Christians that are having as many children as the mother's body can manage in order that the children become the arrows in God's quiver. That metaphor isn't pleasant to me—and it tells me that they are clearly in favor of pushing their beliefs on others.

Other than that, the carbon footprint is undeniable as is the loss of childhood for those children who much care for their younger siblings. Nevermind the poor kids that have special needs, get lost in the shuffle or have to face issues of sexual identity in such a conservative setting.

Take note: Opinions expressed are those of their respective authors, not necessarily those of Bitch. Dig?

I totally agree with you. I

I totally agree with you. I also don't agree with the Duggars' choices in religion or lack of birth control, but they are not alone in it -- many Catholics feel the same about that. That is their choice and yes, there are much worse parents to be hostile toward. The Duggars provide for their children and show them patience and love -- a lot more than many families i know with 2 children.

Breeding Behavior

i think that we need to step back and realize that all we are doing is criticizing women for their breeding behavior. Patriarchy forces people to constantly monitor women's breeding because it used to be important for men to know that the children that their wife had were theirs. We always feel the need to judge how other women control their lives. There are some real issues both with the Duggar family and with Ms. Suleman, but it is not up to us to judge them and critize them. We need to look at the structures that force women into these impossible situations and attack them rather than each other.

In oranges and in women, courage is often mistaken for insanity.

In oranges and in women, courage is often mistaken for insanity.

Agreed -- "breeding" shouldn't be income dependent

Thanks for this reply, it's right on. If we start making judgments about people's choice to have (or not have) children based on their income, we're coming dangerously close to being on the flip side of the choice coin. I don't agree with either the Duggars or Nadya Suleman's choice to have dozens of children, but I don't think one is more right than the other based on how much money they have. I question their motives, I disagree with their perspectives, but I'm not going to start saying that we should limit how many children someone has based on their income.

Why is it not up to us to

Why is it not up to us to judge and criticize? Why can't we judge and criticize while looking at the outside structures and forces that have led them to the decisions they have come to? I've been hearing a lot of people saying we can't, as feminists, criticize women like Ms. Dugger and Ms. Suleman for their reproductive choices. Just because I believe women should have the ability and right to make these sort of reproductive decisions doesn't mean that I believe they are moral or ethical decisions.

We're looking at people who have manage to market their ever-expanding family (and no doubt are able to maintain financial security at least partly due to this fact), and perhaps keep having children in part to stay in the public eye. When watching the show, it seems that for the female children especially, their lives are filled with caring for the younger children and housework--no doubt preparation for their futures are wives and breeders.

I could criticize the Dugger's parenting all day, but as parents who have invited the public into their private lives, I don't think they should be exempt from it. Reading their family website is disturbing, these are people who believe that birth control is the same thing as abortion, and made their decision to never use it after blaming Michelle Dugger's miscarriage on the pill. They thought it was completely impossible to get pregnant while on birth control.

Really, I can't watch this show either, anymore. When I used to watch it, my friends and I used to joke about how badly we wished their kids would all turn out to be raging homosexuals. In reality, it would probably be a sad, repressed life for someone whose parents would never accept them and would think that they needed some sort of Christian intervention to turn them to "God's Path" or whatever.

Reply

No One on here is knocking the Duggars for their Christianity or their ability to sustain themselves, but it's the "Hidden Motives" that we are questioning!
Personally, I think it's disgusting that Mrs Duggar is treated like livestock and constantly barefoot and pregnant! Having 19-20 children cannot be healthy for anyone... Over-Doing anything whether it be alcohol, spending, eating, or having children is nothing more than an over-compensation for something else!!
I do; however, love the morals and values they teach their children!! I too would love to see one or two of their children come out gay, I wonder if they would still "love others" or be hypocrites??!!

Except that she wants to have

Except that she wants to have that many children. Don't talk like she's being forced to bear this many children. That's, quite frankly, insulting to her. As feminists, we celebrate all women's choices, no matter if we disagree with them. I also don't think it's anyone's business to decide what is healthy and what is not. ts

Yes, but does she have the choice?

People in the Quiverfull movement take much of Biblical Scripture at face-value. They believe that a wife is to obey her husband's wishes and not question his choices. How do we know that it was her choice? She's just the "helpmeet." Honestly, each time I see a clip of the woman, she looks completely spaced out. It's like she's a Stepford Wife or something....

I think they're doing us a favor

Here's how I see it:

1) The populations of developed countries are shrinking and ageing; this has an adverse economic, political, and cultural effect. Therefore, people in these countries who help bring the average number of kids above 2.1/couple are doing us all a favor.

2) If they were a family living in a trailer and thir kids were gang members, I'd understand your concern that they're just reproducing crime and poverty. However, this family looks exemplary: the kids are well behaved, get educations, work, and are not a burden to society.

That hardly makes a difference

Developed country or not, the world's resources are finite.

Carbon footprint

Regarding the Duggars having a huge carbon footprint. It's not so if you consider each individual. They all wear used clothing that is then handed down and down till it's not longer useable. They purchase used vehicles. They make their own environmentally friendly washing detergents and soaps. They recycle their laundry water. They do have a huge home but tit doesn't cost more to heat and cool than it would if they only had a few kids. They are completely debt free and don't rely on the public purse for any of their income. It's not like they have new clothing, shoes and handbags every time they go out the door as you would see on some of the other so called reality shows where the women are so false and Botoxed.
This is a very lovely family. I don't agree with their religious fundamentalism but defend their right to live the way they believe is right by their own conscience.
If any of their kids does happen to be gay (statistically very probable) I hope they will be loved and supported rather than forced to deny and pretend to be something other than the way God made him. Suicide is rampant amongst young gay men who are afraid or oppressed by their families. My "gaydar" has already identified at least one of the boys as probably gay - hint, his name begins with J.
I'm a little obsessed with this family and love watching them on TV and Youtube. I do wish the gorgeous daughters were allowed a little more freedom though than just the expectation that they will be wives and mothers. Girls can have so many choices in their careers nowadays than back in the 1950's which seems to be the era these lovely girls are stuck in. I'd love to see at least one of them get proper schooling and a college education and make a choice of a brilliant career. Ah but I may as well try and catch the wind.

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i agree

Agreed. I see no reason to condemn the Duggars. Their lifestyle is one that most of us wouldn't choose; so what? I expect better than this type of judgmental, holier-than-thou attitude from Bitch.
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The Duggars

The Duggars family is harmonious and pleasant.

For Realz?: What Happens To A Queer Quiverfull? | Bitch Media

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