Monday, September 7, 2009

Another hateful attack on Michelle Duggar

From a "mommyblogger" who evidently considers herself an expert authorized to condemn others:
I mean, 19 kids? 19?! . . . Is your uterus a baseball dugout? . . .
There's simply no way you can give each of those kids the personal attention he needs. . . . And using your older children as surrogate parents is a recipe for immature behavior down the road. You're robbing them of their childhoods by making them mini mommies and daddies.
Of course, some people hold you up like a goddess simply because you can procreate. You know, Michelle, earthworms can procreate. . . .
Please, Michelle, I beg of you; stop having babies. I know it's tempting to go to 20, but maybe you should just focus on the kids you already have. Mmmmkay?

One could spend a week unpacking all the malicious misconceptions in that one blog post, which bears the charming title, "A Letter to Michelle Duggar from Her Vagina," and whose author is -- what else? -- concealed by a pseudonym, "Christine."

Parents of large families have to put up with this attitude all the time in the Anti-Family Age, when the upper-middle-class suburban career woman with 1.6 children is celebrated as the belle ideal of "responsible" parenting.

Especially wrong-headed is the assertion by "Christine" that having the older children assist in caring for their younger siblings is "a recipe for immature behavior down the road." No only is there zero evidence in social science to support such a claim, it contradicts both common sense and mountains of anecdotal evidence.

Common sense tells us that children learn to act responsibly by being given responsibilities. Caring for younger siblings -- changing an infant's diaper, bathing and dressing a toddler, helping at mealtime -- is exactly the sort of responsibility that helps children develop confidence and maturity. A major reason that first-born children so often excel in leadership is precisely because they have the maximum opportunity to exercise in such supervisory duties from an early age.

Many parents today seem to believe that children are incapable of exercising any responsibility beyond "clean your room" and "make good grades." Yet anyone who has studied human society on a historic and global perspective understands that this "modern" attitude sets an absurdly low standard for children.

The idiot "Christine," in accusing Michelle Duggar of "robbing [her children] of their childhoods," shows how absurdly thoughtless the allegiance to "modern" parenthood has become. Like too many others, "Christine" evidently believes that an appropriate "childhood" should consist entirely of school and play -- a leisurely existence dominated by TV and videogames, the boredom alleviated by soccer practice and music lessons.

This is not a formula for maturity. Rather it is infantilizing, conditioning the child to expect a life of fun without meanignful responsibility. One strongly suspects that "Christine" herself had that kind of over-indulged childhood, which explains her haughty and insulting better-than-you attitude toward Michelle Duggar.

Granted, 19 children is a very large family, but the eldest of Duggars' children are now in their 20s and so far I haven't seen any evidence of the immature behavior" that "Christine" warns about. Until the reality-TV special "Duggars Gone Wild: Spring Break in Cancun" shows up on VH-1, my advice to "Christine" is: Shut your stupid mouth.

Visit the Duggar Family official site here.


  1. Christine=like Christ

  2. I attempted to leave comment at the Momversation link but the comment link won't load.

    Suffice it to say, it's always a bit jarring when women judge other women so harshly, and in this case, because one woman opts to bring another child into the world.

    Mind you, she is bringing another child into the world that she is economically able to provide for, able to nurture, shelter, clothe, discipline and train up in the way he should go.

    She will be bringing this child into a two parent family, a family very much in tact and one where parenting is taken seriously. If you have viewed them on tv appearances or their show, this is clearly a well organized family, well loved and seemingly quite happy with each other.

    So what's the problem?

    The problem is that Christine is a selfish woman who sees another woman's limitations exceeding her own. I would guess that however many children Christine has, she is at her limits with them and cannot fathom that another woman can not only manage more children but perhaps even do the whole child rearing thing far better than her.

    Women are a jealous breed of cat and nothing makes them nastier than another woman calmly and capably showing them up. Whether it's child rearing, or maintaining their figure, or simply being happy with the lot in life, these are simply unacceptable to a lot of bitter judgemental women and they cannot and will not graciously accept nor applaud another's success.

    Oh and Christine's comment about Mrs. Duggard needing a new hairstyle? Bitchy cattiness in it's glory.

  3. I think Christine's problem is that Michelle's husband is obviously crazy about her and Christine's (if she actually has a man) is probably hiding in the basement or tinkering in the garage.

  4. It occurs to me that Christine is the one with maturuty and socialization problems.

  5. There was a great article in the Atlantic once by a kid who had been one of 14; it pretty much screwed all of them up in some way. On the whole, I'm against families that big (six, in fact, seems close to sanity's maximum).

    On the other hand, did they ask my opinion? They did not, and neither did all those families or single parents or crack moms or whoever, who are doing a perfectly fine job of screwing up just one or two kids. So really, what business is it of mine or Christine's?

  6. I know lots of only children who were selfish, immature brats because Mommy and Daddy gave them everything the demanded.

    Conversely I know lots of large families where the kids are polite, mature, and responsible.

    This 'individual attention' notion is crap. How many parents with 1 or 2 kids plunk them in daycare for 8-10 hours/day and see them for only a few hours in the evenings or on the weekends? Kids with siblings grow up to learn it's NOT all about them, but about caring for others.

    I thought liberals were all for us being "our brother's keeper" Apparently not if they're actually one's brother.

  7. As the 4th of 5 kids I not only appreciated the caregiving my elder siblings gave me, I firmly believe it made them better, more responsible adults. They are very impressive individuals, ans our bonds are very strong as a result.

    As an aside, anyone who presumes to lecture me with an "Mmmmkay?" appended to said lecture runs the serious risk of having a flathead shovel smacked against their noggin.

  8. The Duggars seem to be a wonderful family, plus, unlike a certain single mother with fourteen children, my tax dollars do not support them.

  9. But the liberals don't seem to mind the large families that many muslims have.

  10. Question Authority (ask me anything!)Mon Sep 07, 07:51:00 PM

    U.S. ur-feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton had seven (7) children and she herself was raised in a family of eleven children.

    Just something for today's slacker feminist women to think about, that's all.

  11. Okay, they've gotten to eighteen over the last twenty-five years, apparently with a minimum of marital, financial or family drama. Another baby's going to make that much difference? Really? Seriously?

    I'd personally worry less about the Duggars and more about Nadya and the Suleman octuplets
    here in Southern California. Poor kids. They're going to get FUBARed, aren't they?

  12. Amen Anonymous @7:29 PM.

  13. The community I hang around with sees large families as a virtue; thus, I see families with more than five children routinely, and more than ten children are not uncommon.

    In some large families, the children are hooligans who overtax their parents' resources (cause or effect, I do not always know). In other large families, the children are extremely well-behaved and demonstrate enviable skills at organization, relating to each other, and general competence at life. As ever, the parents are the critical variable.

    Every situation is different, but I think the children benefit more often than not.

  14. Women are bitches.

    I could leave it at that but...women are a special breed of mean—especially to each other. If Michelle Duggar and company are happy with their lives, what difference does it make to me or any other woman for that matter. I think it's excessive but I'm not going to go out of my way to condemn her choices. Some folks would applaud her efforts and see her as a shining example of a fine christian woman bent on bringing as much love into this world as her body will allow. It's her choice.

  15. As the mother of a mere 5, I have to say...We're raising adults. People like Christine are raising children. I think we all know how that will turn out.

    But to the larger point, the hatefulness directed to the Duggars blows me away and I don't think it is confined to the left. Large families are somehow a threat to other women. It reminds me of the reaction I got when I homeschooled the kiddies. My choices were immediately taken as a slam and an insult to other women by their mere existence.


  16. Lana, it's because you are - merely by your personal choices - making a judgment call on women who did not make the same choices.

    It doesn't matter that you don't verbally judge or articulate anything - you don't need to, your actions have done it for you.

    Of course only works one way because if you were to flip it around and assume their choice of public education was a judgment on you, they'd think you were a weak woman, insecure in her parenting and lacking in self-determination, etc.

    Double standards abound within our gender.

  17. As child 5 of 9 (7 brothers and 1 sister), I found the "motherly" duties asked of me to be a training ground for life. It was great knowing first hand that life was not fair. I was prepared for what came my way.

    If fate had been kind, I would have opted to have as many as possible. Stupid fate!

  18. Wow, Christine is a regular little Joan Rivers isn't she?

  19. I admit, the thought of 19 kids seems a bit unhealthy (I tend towards the nursing perspective) but in all honesty, who are we to say that she should or shouldn't have any more kids?

  20. I think the pro-abortion types can't stand to see someone value children.