I’ve written very little about the whole Duggar thing with the son and his sisters. I’m much more concerned, honestly, about the toxic theology and ideology that the family pushes, which would be true regardless of this latest sensational story. Here’s a perfect example, from a 2011 book they published:
We believe that a man’s physical drives are excited by what he sees, and it is defrauding for a woman to wear clothing that accents her body, instead of bringing attention to her countenance. Defrauding means “stirring up sensual desires that cannot be righteously fulfilled.” We know that certain desires are a normal part of adolescence and adulthood, but as much as possible, we want to help our children to learn to have self-control over their desires. And we don’t want to defraud others. The Bible tells us not to be a “stumbling block” (Romans 14:13. So we choose to dress modestly.
There’s just so much wrong with this. As always with fundamentalists, the burden is entirely on the woman not to tempt the man, never on the man to control his own actions (not his desires). There’s nothing wrong with a man seeing a woman, regardless of how modestly or immodestly she dresses and feeling sexually aroused, but they certainly can control what they do about that. This treats men as sexual automatons who have no control over themselves at all.
But it equally treats women as nothing more than temptations for men. What about a woman’s sexual desires? They are treated as if they don’t exist. In this twisted ideology, men have sexual desires and women are just sexual objects, not independent people who have their own sexuality and their own feelings. Women can look at men and be just as sexually aroused, but there’s never any attention paid to how men dress, only to how women dress. All of this is really about controlling female sexuality by locking it away and pretending it doesn’t exist.
Oh, and they have no idea what the word ‘defraud’ means either.