Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Television Tuesday--The Duggar Downfall

From Media Darlings to Social Pariahs
I'm not gonna talk about it,  I'm not gonna talk about it....okay, I'm going to talk about it. 

The Duggars. 

I have talked about them on various occasions. I've discussed how they irritate me in various ways, yet have found them fascinating at the same time. Should you have for some reason been living under a rock recently, the family is in the throes of an astonishing fiery crash, shattering any goodwill or support as more and more nasty details come to light that their eldest son, Josh Duggar, engaged in sexual conduct when in his teens towards his younger sisters (and an unidentified girl) that could be called molestation without any hesitation. This article on VOX provides a really solid summary should you desire to understand more before hearing my thoughts.

There is no excuse for it. The fact the family ignored the claims of the girls and didn't do anything for more than a year is even more horrifying. TLC is in a panic and has stopped showing reruns while it figures out what to do, simply looking indecisive while it sits around hoping the scandal somehow goes away. The rumors of spin-offs for the Duggar sisters or cousin Amy could still happen or be dead in the water. It's a mess, and the craziest thing of all to me is that some people have still tried to write the whole thing off and claim somehow everything is A-okay (Mike Huckabee, you're a moron).
Some tried the whole, "He was a curious kid," claim but when you're a teenager and fondling 4 year-old siblings that isn't curiosity, that's just abuse. Some have tried saying he repented, prayed about it, talked to the police, and sought help, but these are the same people who always are claiming how child molestation should be a capital offense and for some reason are ready to let Josh Duggar off the hook because he's been a Conservative darling, working as a lobbyist for a group that basically is dedicated to nothing more than saying how, "Homosexuals are a threat to our kids!" The irony hopefully isn't lost on everyone that meanwhile it turns out Josh was a bigger threat to his little sisters than any scary ol' lesbian would ever be. 

Oh, and that counseling he sought out was helping someone build houses, and the policeman his dad took him to simply gave him a stern warning and now is in prison for 56 years for possession of child pornography (and possibly just tried to kill himself). That is not a joke.
An excerpt of the official Duggar response.
To be fair to the Duggars, they have at least acknowledged what he did was horrible, inexcusable, and said they are, "So, so very sorry, now please don't cancel our show." That doesn't change the fact their very system of belief as sort-of members of the "Quiverfull" movement arguably fosters an environment conductive to sexual abuse and shaming the victims, but hey, they're sorry so apparently it's all good.

Should We Be Talking About This? Yes.
I was thinking of not really talking about this scandal, with one reason being I considered the idea of why should we force those girls to have these old wounds reopened, and should a private family matter where the statue of limitations has already passed anyways be discussed? Then I realized, this family hasn't been "private" since the mid 2000's when they became ravenous for publicity and didn't hesitate to exploit their immense family for fame and fortune, so claiming we should leave them alone when their entire lives have been dedicated to screaming, "Look at us," is just silly. 

The girls do not deserve to have a painful past dug-up, but Michelle and Jim Bob definitely don't deserve to literally act holier-than-thou considering how expertly they buried this dark chapter in their family's history in order to further their own agenda of promoting the subjugation of women, persecuting LGBT individuals and belittling basically anyone who isn't white and Christian, really.

You are not forgiven.
Many people are happy to see this Duggar downfall, maybe too happy when one considers that some very real young women suffered abuse from someone they should have been able to trust--a much older brother. If there really is a question of if we should be talking about this, then the answer is yes, we need to talk about this. When you have a family that treats sex as something forbidden and wrong that can't be talked about, it is amazingly hypocritical for them to act like a sexual act that actually is wrong (sexual abuse) can just be prayed about and everyone's forgiven. Do you really think its a coincidence that some of most religious folk have such high rates of sexual abuse and dysfunction? Can someone honestly claim the Duggar's views have nothing to do with it when the plan for their religion when this occurs is to simply blame the victim and hope it goes away? You really expect us to let this go?


When you dedicate your life to telling everyone how they aren't as good as you, and do things like using your voice via robocalls to scare people about legislation that protects transgender individuals (to protect children, no less), I think that pedestal you've placed yourself upon is quite precarious considering what one of your kids did to the others in your family.

What's Next?
Do you think we still have the chance for a spin-off?
I don't know what the future will hold for the Duggar family. Perhaps the show will continue with Josh essentially, "Fired," from the family. Maybe the main program will be over and spin-offs will rise from the ashes of the Duggar's until-recently thriving empire. I suppose a lot is riding on the Fox News interview the family has coming-up (because of course Fox News), and maybe after more of the dust has settled TLC will quite waffling and announce just what they are planning to do about all this. 

Whatever happens, it is tragic to think due to the inaction of Jim Bob and Michelle five young women--four of whom were their own daughters--were harmed by their eldest son. It's sad and serves as another example of how often we like reality television, but as I've discussed before, don't like when it actually gets too real . We will see what exactly occurs, however.

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