Like you, I’m heartbroken by the Josh Duggar case, and by the continued support for him from his wife.
I noticed something that I shared on social media yesterday, and I thought it was worth a super quick post because I’m curious what my commenters think (and there were great comments on Facebook yesterday!).
As you all likely know, Josh Duggar was convicted of possession of child sexual abuse materials (I hope that it becomes normal to call it that instead of child porn; let’s all adopt the term like the Brits already have!), and will be sentenced on May 25.
His mother Michelle and his wife Anna, as well as some family friends, sent letters to the court in support of him.
To be clear–I’m very upset about Michelle’s letter and Anna’s letter. In no way do they admit that Josh did anything wrong. They seem to think that the fact that he blended in to the community means that he should get a pass at looking at materials which depicted the torture of children (and I’ll leave it at that).
Much has been said about that. But I just want to draw attention to something else.
I’ve been staring at this part of Michelle Duggar’s letter to the judge in support of her son Josh for a while, and thinking about it for a few days:
Michelle Duggar is a 55-year-old woman writing an official letter to a judge–and she doesn’t use a signature.
She prints her name and puts a “heart” over the i. This is how 12-year-old girls doodle.
She also seems to have perfected a “sing-song”, childish voice.
Have the Duggar women been raised to stay child-like? To never really grow up and take responsibility? Been so sheltered that they don’t even understand sexual abuse?
I just can’t get over this signature and I keep thinking about what it means.
Does this give us clues about why Michelle and Anna aren’t able or willing to see the truth about Josh? They’ve been so infantilized that Anna can’t picture actually raising her family alone? That they can’t picture what child sexual abuse material may even mean? That they’ve been so taught to not question the men that they can’t believe the men would do anything wrong?
I mean, what post-menopausal woman would sign a letter like that?
Why are women rewarded for staying child-like? And does this creep anyone else out besides me?
I just find it very strange, and I’m wondering if anyone else does too, and what you all think it means about fundamentalist Christianity!
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What do you think? How can we help women who have been infantilized? How can we stop this from happening? Let’s talk in the comments!
Sheila Wray Gregoire
Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum
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