Huckabee, Beyonce, the Duggars and Objectification

Amanda Marcotte compares Mike Huckabee’s inane comments about Jay-Z and Beyonce, which he continues to defend, to his constant support for the Duggars. She eloquently points out that it is the Duggars, not Jay-Z and Beyonce, who turn women into sex objects alone.

If you want to talk about someone who objectifies his wife, it sure as shit isn’t Jay-Z, who treats his wife as a professional and a colleague and his equal. It’s Jim Bob Dugger, who treats his wife like an object put on earth to make babies for him. That is what “objectification” means: Reducing someone to an object and denying them agency or having value outside of how you can use them. I realize people use it to mean “thinks someone is sexy”, but those people are wrong. Sex is a good thing and thinking your spouse is sexy is key to a healthy marriage.

No, objectification is about reducing someone to an object. And thus, few celebrities are more objectified than Michelle Duggar, who belongs to a religious cult that teaches that women should have no agency whatsoever when it comes to how their body is used, because they are objects to be owned and controlled by their husbands. They are not allowed to decide when to have sex or when to have children. Only the man who currently controls them is allowed to make that decision. Their father owns them until marriage, denying them the autonomy to decide to have sex if they want. After marriage, their husbands own them, and the decision of when to have sex is solely the husband’s. They don’t hide this, openly explaining that a woman is obliged to have sex whenever the husband wants it, regardless of how she feels, because—being an object—her feelings don’t matter. Since they are not allowed to use birth control, this also means they get pregnant not when they want to, but strictly according to what the husband wants. Their bodies do not belong to them. They are objects to be used by men. Sort of sex-and-breeding appliances, if you will.

That’s what objectification looks like.

Bingo.

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  • wreck

    Besides, given the choice, which one would you rather boink?

  • raven

    it is the Duggars, not Jay-Z and Beyonce, who turn women into sex objects alone.

    They aren’t sex objects. They are breeding stock. Self propelled baby factories.

    I’ve never understood why the Duggars are interesting except in a stupid white people doing stupid things way.

    Reproduction isn’t hard. Even my cat could do it. In fact, one of my cats did do it before I got her. We aren’t talking a major talent here.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    raven “Reproduction isn’t hard.”

    Still, it’s good advice to practice. And warm up first. And stay in shape. “Jumping jacks before humping, Jack”, my sex coach used to say. I could’ve gone pro, if I hadn’t shattered my ankle. And the ref didn’t even call a foul! Come on!

  • tfkreference

    I was concerned about my daughter’s watching the Duggars until she laughed out loud during the Duggars’ visit to the Creation Museum. “They think the Earth is only 6,000 years old – how dumb can you be?”

    At least she’s getting the right message.

  • jd142

    @3 I wish we could moderate comments so I could boost yours.

  • Sastra

    It’s Jim Bob Dugger, who treats his wife like an object put on earth to make babies for him. That is what “objectification” means: Reducing someone to an object and denying them agency or having value outside of how you can use them.

    I’m going to argue a bit with this. Oh, not with the main point re “objectification” but at the husband she names: Jim Bob Dugger. He’s only a proxy for the real culprit. The objectification of human beings starts with God.

    Michelle Dugger would heartily agree. Her body does not belong to her, her life doesn’t belong to her. They are both nothing more than objects to be used by God for His glory. If Jim Bob Dugger came out and announced he was an atheist then he’d lose all his power and control, automatically. The system is set up that way (as Amanda Marcotte knows, of course.)

    Yes, it looks like Jim Bob is using his wife — and so he is. But in this case the religion is the controlling bully. Jim Bob might normally be a sweet and considerate husband at heart — doesn’t matter. He objectifies his wife because she’s already an object, as is he. Neither one can escape their role, or their role in glorifying their role. Human beings have no agency or value outside of how God can use them.

  • colnago80

    Re raven @# #2

    I’ve never understood why the Duggars are interesting except in a stupid white people doing stupid things way.

    The Duggars are a textbook example of white trash.

  • colnago80

    Gee, Huckabee’s comments are almost as inane as Marcotte’s comments on the Duke Lacrosse players were, even after it had become obvious that the case was a crock of shit. One Nifong for Marcotte.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    He objectifies his wife because she’s already an object, as is he. Neither one can escape their role, or their role in glorifying their role. Human beings have no agency or value outside of how God can use them.

    Yeah, that’s the cover story alright. And it actually makes things worse. By denying their own agency, the patriarchs evade any moral accountability for their obviously selfish and domineering behavior. And by getting the women to willingly agree to such an unfair system, they eliminate any possibility that it might be reformed against the men’s favor. Quite a racket they got going.

  • nrdo

    Yeah, without a more intimate knowledge of the Duggars as a couple, it’s impossible to know to what extent the husband is just following his own prescribed role. I have heard of cases in which Christian fundamentalist husbands dislike the role of “owner/master” that they are expected to play. So out of an abundance of caution, I would hesitate to accuse any one person specifically.

    But it’s obvious that the relationship roles dictated by fundamentalist religions are objectifying and in the majority of cases, the men are quite happy to have the license to be selfish and controlling.