Quoting Quiverfull: Measuring Reactions?

Quoting Quiverfull: Measuring Reactions? February 21, 2014

by the Duggar girls, Jessa, Jinger, Jill and Jana about their upcoming book in People Magazine

The young Duggar women also detail in the book the difference between dating and courtship, and why they believe it is important to get to know how young men they are interested in react in “normal family settings.”

“We want to get acquainted with a young man in a normal family setting, where we’ll be watching how he treats our brothers and sisters,” they write. “We want to see how he reacts to normal family events, such as Josie accidentally spilling her milk in his lap, Jackson unintentionally ruining his board game or Joseph trouncing him in a basketball match.”

Jana, Jill, Jessa and Jinger also focus on self-esteem and how important it is to “accept the girl in the mirror.”

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 and Spiritual Abuse 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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  • Madame

    Of course you want to know how your future life partner is going to be around your family. That’s plain common sense. I also agree with “accepting the girl in the mirror”.
    What I don`t understand is why there has to be a book about all this.
    I wish these young women would go out and pursue their real passions in life.

  • Nea

    If it’s true that these girls curl their hair because their dad likes it, then neither he nor they have learned to accept the girl in the mirror. So there’s glaring problem #1.

    If you are only with a guy in front of your whole family — and he knows that your father is the defining vote — then you only know what he’s like when he’s trying to impress your father. Glaring problem #2. You have NO IDEA and no guarantee that he will treat you at all well when you’re alone — and in this system, there’s no way of finding out until too late.

    Special after special, we watch the Duggars carefully prepare their children… to be fed to their god, whom they call Jesus and I name Moloch. That whole TV show is a slow child sacrifice, consuming their children’s very lives and futures.

  • Perhaps they can’t,because neither their dad nor future husbands have told them what they should be passionate about?

  • Want to know how a guy will react in a “normal family setting”? Then marry him and create a family with him. There is literally no other way to find out. Not by bringing him around your family, not by spending time with him and his family. Any of those situations are different than the “normal family setting” of everyday married life (assuming you both want and can have children).

  • My point is – it creates a false sense of security to assume that by having a guy meet your family you know what type of husband and father he will be.

  • attackfish

    You have NO IDEA and no guarantee that he will treat you at all well
    when you’re alone — and in this system, there’s no way of finding out
    until too late.

    This so much. And what the heck is with this idea that it’s an either/or situation? Either you date and have no idea what a prospective partner is like in normal family settings, or you court and have no idea what the prospective partner is like with you alone. Plenty of people who date have family dinner with a prospective partner and their families.

    I love my parents. I am lucky to have great, loving, intelligent parents whose judgement I trust, and I take it into account when they say that someone I’m dating or forming a friendship with creeps them out. I also trust the judgement of my siblings and many of my friends the same way. I like to make sure that anyone I’m interested in meets my family and friends so that I can see what people who aren’t gaga for them think about them. I’ve also met almost all of the families of the people I’ve dated. Heck, even when I was in the closet in high school, I ran my girlfriends by the house to see if my parents liked them, I just said that they were friends, not girlfriends. Lots of people who date do this. Probably even most. That’s why we talk about “meeting the parents” for the first time.

  • attackfish

    This. A real creep can snow your family just like they can snow you. (Though more eyes are always a good thing, since it increases the odds that someone will spot them). Also, while you can never know until the two of you have a family together, if your prospective partner has a family that they’re close to, go visit them too! See how they interact together. Why is it just “How does a boy interact with the girl’s family?”

  • Independent Thinker

    From what I can see they are permitted to be passionate about campaigning for Rick Santorum.

  • Nea

    Either you date and have no idea what a prospective partner is like in normal family settings

    ?? I considered having a date along with “hangout with friends” and “hanging out with my family” part of the dating process, as was meeting his folks. So I did have some idea of what he was like in normal family settings. It’s not that I didn’t want my father’s and mother’s advice!

  • attackfish

    I’m not sure what the question marks are about, and am worried I expressed myself unclearly. The words you quoted in italics are my analysis of the views of the courtship adherents. I agree it’s not true and used my own experiences dating and introducing my romantic partners to my family and friends as an example of how those views don’t hold up to the way most people date.

  • “Though more eyes are always a good thing, since it increases the odds that someone will spot them.”

    True enough. I guess I put this general idea in the category of “things that may or may not be a good idea and/or applicable to you.” I’ll admit I always bristle a bit at the idea that family approval should be a make-or-break thing, because I know how that would work in my case. I could bring home St. Joseph for a husband and he wouldn’t be good enough, so my family’s opinion isn’t terribly useful.

  • attackfish

    Oh absolutely. Below, in a reply to NeaDods, I talked about how lucky I was to have wonderful, loving parents whose judgement I trust, and that I listen to them when they tell me someone creeps them out the same way I listen to the friends of mine whose judgement I trust. People whose family for one reason or another (abuse, bad judgement, no one is good enough for my child syndrome, whatever) is unsuitable for use as an extra set of eyes should never be under obligation to use it. People whose family is suitable should never be obligated to use it either, of course, but some of us want to.

  • Saraquill

    Considering that this family believes that one’s fertility is directly proportional to how much G-d loves them, and they constantly have cameras on them, “normal” does not apply.

  • $66283444

    I’m still trying to figure out why we’re supposed to take relationship advice from people who haven’t been in relationships. I remember my perspective on dating before I started dating: reality was quite the wake-up call. Instead of the Duggar “girls,” a pro-courtship book should have been written by someone who did courtship and has been married for at least 15 years.
    On a side note, I’d read a book by Mary “Grandma” Duggar. I’m pretty sure she isn’t afraid to put Jim Bob in his place.

  • Allison the Great

    Personally I could never marry a man that has never been alone with me. The Duggar girls are not asking themselves the right question. Sure, their potential mate getting along with the family is great and all, but the thing is they’re not the ones who are marrying the guy . If I were them, I would want to get to know him and see if we get along when they rest of my family is not there, because I’ll be the one who is around him a helluva lot more than they are. I would want to make sure I like the man with whom I’d be sharing my bed. What if he puts on a front for the family and then he turns out to be a baby- beating, wife -raping sociopath like Michael Pearl. Shit, wasn’t Ted Bundy really charming on the surface? Look at all the fucked up shit he was doing!
    This “courtship” business seems extremely superficial to me. But then again, all fundamentalists marriages seem superficial to me. There’s no communications and they only care about legalism and having babies.

  • Allison the Great

    The fundie version of “accepting the girl in the mirror” is looking in the mirror, then pretending you see Jane Bennet and then you try to act like Jane Bennet whether you like it or not.

  • Nea

    The double question marks were supposed to indicate confusion, as I had mistaken those words for your opinion on the subject.

  • Nea

    Good point!

  • Nea

    I don’t know. If she could put him in his place, would she allow his pimping her grandchildren for the cameras?

  • attackfish

    Oh. Glad I explained then. Fundamentalists really like their false dichotomies.

  • texcee

    If I were a guy interested in any of these girls, I think I would run the other way as fast as I could once I realized that the whole damn family would be included in every part of my life from that point on.

  • tulips

    Let’s be even more frank re #1. The long curled hair is straight from Bill Gothard via Jim Bob Duggar.

    ETA: WRT #2 …they just can not be honest. Can not. Even when the truth sits there in plain sight laughing at us all for even taking their premise seriously. It has nothing to do with getting to know him in a family setting to see his reactions to ordinary everyday events. Nothing, and obviously nothing. No sane person including Jim Bob Duggar would assert that you really know someone you’ve only come into contact with during a job interview. It’s about the purity folks. If they’re alone he might touch her. Or they might have an unsupervised conversation. And then she’s damaged goods. And that’s that.

  • tulips

    They’re totally fine with all of those outcomes as long as it happens after the wedding and she keeps up appearances.

  • tulips

    I doubt she’d be spending her golden years working as an unpaid servant who doesn’t even have her own living space if the dynamics weren’t skewed.

  • tulips

    I don’t think it even matters. It’s just a euphemism/Christian jargon meant to take the edge off saying outright that she’ll be worth less if she’s alone with a boy.

  • $66283444

    She’s far from the only grandmother who lives with her family and cares for her grandchildren. In fact, my household includes a grandparent who helps with childcare. Is she an “unpaid servant”? No, she’s a part of our family to which we all contribute.

  • tulips

    Grandma does the laundry. All…of the laundry. And she sleeps in a room that attaches to the laundry room. Plush huh? So much better than living in her own home. Estimated about 15 loads of laundry a day. A DAY. Plus childcare. Plus assorted other domestic work she is clearly seen doing on any given episode.

  • Nea

    So… Jim Bob has his daughters doing what GOTHARD finds attractive in a young woman? Creee-py!

    If they’re alone he might touch her. Or they might have an
    unsupervised conversation. And then she’s damaged goods. And that’s that.

    Alas, I see your point. They’re not people, after all. They’re purity personified, to be handed over to their new owner to break in. (And I hate myself a little bit for typing that sentence.)

  • $66283444

    I will admit the guest room off the laundry is strange (the whole house is laid out weird), but she has her own income, owns property and is close with her daughter. She has options. If she’s there and doing such work, chances are, it’s her decision.

  • tulips

    Yes, the long + curled hair is directly idealized by Gothard.
    Correct…they are product not people. Can’t move the product if it’s viewed as potentially contaminated.

  • tulips

    Are we privy to her present financial circumstances? Her living arrangements are…questionable…to say the least. 90+ loads of laundry a week? I think…questions re exploitation are entirely called for.

  • $66283444

    On the show they’ve said she owns several properties (she and her late husband owned the home in which Josh and Anna lived), plus as a widow, she would be getting her husband’s social security. She held jobs (real estate and management jump to mind) and would be entitled to her own SS. Plus, she’s close with her daughter, so she has other options if living alone is not possible because of health issues, etc.

    I seem to remember laundry being a “jurisdiction” for the Duggar kids, so she’s not the only one doing the laundry, ironing, folding, etc.

  • $66283444

    I meant she wouldn’t be afraid to speak her mind in her own book and wouldn’t have to worry about Jim Bob doing the editing. Not sure there’s much she could do about him putting the kids on a TV show, though. Technically, they’re not breaking any laws.

  • Nea

    Eeeeeeeewwwwwwww. Does Gothard quote a Bible verse, or does he just have that much personal power?

    As for product… yeah. So very yeah.

  • Allison the Great

    That’s what’s so twisted about it. If he turns out to be an axe murderer, they’d blame the wife. Anything that goes wrong in the relationship, all of the man’s shortcomings is usually the fault of the woman.