Quoting Quiverfull: No Knees Seen Ever?

Quoting Quiverfull: No Knees Seen Ever? October 9, 2013

by Michelle Duggar from the official Duggar Family blog.

Thanks to Crushable for pointing out the original blog posting.

As a parent I would have to remind them, let’s not stand upside down on your head in that chair because you want to practice being ladylike. And they look at me with this puzzled looked like, what does that mean? I’ll explain, well, it means that you sit up, put your knees together and pull your skirt down over your knees.

Comments open below
QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • Sarah Henderson

    It’s never too early for a little dose of shame.

  • Me

    On one of the Duggar episodes the boys and Jim Bob ran a 5K… in khakis and jeans. Jim Bob kept explaining how the family viewed exposing the knees as “nakedness”, so they wouldn’t wear shorts. I still don’t understand how that meant they couldn’t wear track pants or sweatpants, but… it was the Duggars. I give up trying to understand.

    One of the girls whose name I can’t remember – she is around 14, or was last year – is the one I hope will break free. She was previously one of the “younger girls” but in an episode I watched last year was grouped with the older girls (Jinger and company) for an interview segment. Her body language was FASCINATING. The older girls answered the questions for all of them (“we believe, we think this”) and this girl wasn’t having any of it. And for a few shots, the way she was sitting caused her knee-length denim skirt to ride up slightly above her knees and you can’t tell me it wasn’t on purpose. In the next shot, she was sitting with her arms crossed and her skirt pulled down far over her knees, looking as though she’d been scolded for it off camera.

  • Madame

    I don’t have a problem with the bit that you quoted. I also teach my children (two boys and a girl) to sit properly. You don’t want them lying any old way on a chair at school (if you send them) or any other public setting where people are required to sit upright.
    I think it’s good to teach young girls how to sit when they are wearing a skirt. It can save them embarrassing moments at school (again, if you send them!).

    But I went over to the blog and read the whole piece. What’s her problem with a girl being a tomboy and climbing trees all day? Why should a girl be expected to climb less trees and run around less than her brothers?
    And what does that all have to do with God?

    My problem with the whole skirts, modesty, behave differently teaching is not the emphasis of behaving properly in different settings, but the spiritual connection. By default, Michelle Duggar considers that a young woman who wears jeans and climbs trees is less spiritual.

  • Saraquill

    I’m not sure what the first sentence has to do with the second.

  • Saraquill

    The knees together thing makes sense when its a short skirt and underpants, but what I don’t understand is that I got grief for having my knees wide apart when I was wearing pants, or a skirt with shorts. Not by QFers, but it perplexed me all the same.

  • $66283444

    I’m still trying to figure out how skirts and dresses are more modest than pants. I feel rather exposed when I’m in a skirt, and am always worried about the next gust of wind or walking up an open flight of stairs.

  • Brennan

    This is why I, to this day, am not comfortable in skirts. I was an active kid, and the minute I put on a skirt of any length, I would find something to do that would get me scolded. My immediate family is not fundie, but my mom’s older sister was, so when I was little, I wore all the hand-me-down prairie dresses to church (including bloomers when I was old enough to know that “showing underpants” was bad, but still too young to avoid it). Just the idea of having to think about how I was sitting and walking was so repellant to me, and that distaste stayed with me for a long time. I was lucky in that my parents never tried to force me to wear skirts anywhere but to church. Sadly, the hand-me-down prairie dresses kept arriving and the “dress up for church” rule stood until I was halfway through middle school and most of my friends were showing up to church in jeans.
    I now own a decent collection of modern and casual dresses many of which I think are quite cute, but I hardly ever wear them because it brings back all the awkward memories. So, when I hear about the Duggars or the LAF people forcing their daughters to wear nothing else and then scolding them for “immodesty,” I just cringe. When I was a kid, I lived in fear of my school instituting a uniform policy that forced girls to wear skirts, because how was I supposed to hang upside down off the jungle gym in that? (Looking back, this was a rather silly fear since I went to public school, but the public school uniforms debate was just starting, and nobody really knew what it was going to look like yet.)

  • Trollface McGee

    The thing about pants – is that in the Middle East, pants weren’t really worn by men or by women – the climate of that region means that thin, long, gowns/robes are preferable to keep one cool (also the practical reason people wore headscarves in that region). In Rome and Greece, pants were also not “man clothing” as men would frequently wear robes. So, when fundies use the Bible to say women shouldn’t wear pants, they’re again completely ignoring the historical context.
    I’ve always found pants more comfortable, and yes, if your kid is going to wear a skirt, they should be taught to be appropriate and I like appropriate – but I really wish they’d stress that instead of all this gendered “ladylike” shaming garbage.

  • texcee

    Growing up in the 60’s, girls were required to wear dresses or skirts to school. I was a tomboy, however, and got around it by wearing shorts under my dress so that at recess I could climb trees, play baseball, run and tumble with the best of them, and never show my underpants.

  • persephone

    My mother assumed girls had to wear dresses to school when I was a kid in the 60s. My teacher finally sent home a note that said that if I was going to continue wearing dresses to school that I needed to wear shorts under them, as I spent every recess on the monkey bars. After that I got to wear pants everyday.

  • Meyli

    I think you’re referring to Joy. I’ve always hoped she’d be the one to epically break free (and lead her siblings with her).
    She’s surrounded by boy siblings by age, I hope that bias of you’re a girl, don’t act like them eventually makes her think ‘fuck this I’m not doing this anymore!’

  • Theo Darling

    I don’t have a problem with parents teaching young children appropriate public behavior, but I DO have a problem with parents censoring children’s play in order to extract conformity.

  • aim2misbehave

    Same! It’s like, why is it “unladylike” or “immodest” for women to sit with their legs spread, but if a man sits so that his legs manage to take up the better part of 3 whole public transit seats, nbd, right?