Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Possums --- Duggar Style

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35 comments:

Autonomous said...

Blueberries and clam chowder? I hope that is meant seperately, not mixed.

Springdale, Arkansas, eh? Right up the street from me. If they can afford the kids I'd say "whatever" but I'm betting they raise a heavy tax burden. Seems kinda silly-if the husband wants some action and the wife says no, is that sinful for stopping the pregnancy?

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Blueberries and clam chowder? I hope that is meant seperately, not mixed.
Yes. :) Sorry - I can see how that would sound really unappetizing.

Springdale, Arkansas, eh? Right up the street from me.
Please say you'll go do recon on the Duggar fam for me?? LOL

If they can afford the kids I'd say "whatever" but I'm betting they raise a heavy tax burden.
I know that they claim to live a "debt free" lifestyle....but, that's with donations from large companies (and help from the production companies that film them). Example: Their 7,000 sq. ft. house was a three year project that the parents had the kids building. TLC stepped in and finished the house (which was FAR from being finished), gratis. Plus, since JimBob runs a church in over 1/2 the home space, he can write it off. Grrrr. I'm sure he pays taxes, but I'm also guessing that the tax burden is greatly reduced by the number of dependents and the slightly shady distinction of using your home as a church.
Seems kinda silly-if the husband wants some action and the wife says no, is that sinful for stopping the pregnancy?

According to the Quiverfull mentality; Yes. She would be committing a sin by denying her husband the right to try and impregnate her.

Psychodiva said...

Possum #3's goal is admirable :)

Quiverfullers are just plain weird- it may be ok for them now in a healthy world but imagine what it was like back when obygyn was not so good and mothers often died in childbirth. Also the white supremacist movement supports this (in white people only of course)

PiGuy said...

My daughters watch their shows on TLC and I cringe every time they do.

I want to say it shouldn't matter if they can afford it. But, as has been noted, they probably couldn't without the help of TLC, WholesomeWear, and their other corporate sponsors because it's certain that god isn't ponying up any cash!

The worst part to me is that they're all kept together and at home so that they have no idea what the real world is like, the one outside the Duggar compound. They're missing out on so much and not likely to become free-thinking, rational citizens. They seem nice now but I'll wager that a few will one day step out and then become angry at the world in which they've been made to live.

Poodles Rule said...

I am not sure it should ever be considered ok to have more kids than you can actually pay attention to. I also don't think it should be the responsibility of the quivers to build the irresponsible saps a house. The kids didn't ask for that life, it is the parents choice.

Being from Utah I am pretty used to seeing and being around "quivers" they are very popular among the mormons. When I was a child my best friend was the eldest female among a quiver (12). Her dad was always at work, and her mom was always at church activities, so guess who actually got to raise the quiver? Yep, my friend. I think it is horribly wrong and irresponsible to have so many kids (and spend so much time at church) that you NEED to have your older kids (girls, it's their job you know) raise the younger ones.

I also blame enteties that enable these people by giving them support of any kind.

Anonymous said...

I see no problem with the girls not wearing pants as long as they are above the age of 18.
Oh, you probably meant they have to wear skirts or dresses.
Nevermind.

Kazim said...

Possum #1 might want to rethink one of her career goals. As our illustrious president reminded us, too many ob/gyns aren't free to practice their love with women around the country.

Lynn's Daughter said...

Sometime back in the 80's when I was a fundie I was well rehearsed in this "quiverfuller" mindset. I have three kids and then realized that 1) I am a private person who 2) does not like to share. I don't like being at home, and I think people with large families should be willing to be at home. So, after the third one, I went to a clinic to get a tubal ligation, as the local Catholic hospital did not allow it on their premises.
It scares and depresses me that fundies are having such large families, they are populating the world with intolerant and ignorant children. It's an effed up situation, since the people that SHOULD be having the largest families are not because they realize that the world's resources are infinte. Your kids are gorgeous, by the way.

Natalie said...

Well, as an infertile I find it supremely depressing that people can just keep popping out kids whenever they want. We'll be damn lucky to get just one kid.

I've watched a few of their shows. I think it's admirable that they are able to take care of themselves - at least they do try to be a family and "educate" the children (in their own way). It's better than some families I've seen, you know?

But I agree that people should not be sponsoring these families. And that it's pretty sad that a) the older children have to act as parents most of the time and b) that none of them really have any idea about the outside world.

Katie said...

First of all, your kids are beautiful and have some impressive goals! You should be proud. :)

As for the quiverfulls...holy shit they're scary. I've never been a huge fan of large families to begin with, and these are just creepy. Beyond that, any conviction taken to that kind of extreme is very unhealthy for everyone involved. The wife is subjugated and controlled (as a feminist I don't know if it's more sad or disgusting) and the kids can't possibly be treated as individuals if there are that many!

I also have major problems with any parents who shelter their kids from everything outside of their ideology. You can't shelter kids for forever, and once they are finally exposed to the real world I can't imagine them being equipped to handle it. I think the prime example of that is Amish kids on Rumspringa--they don't know how to control themselves outside the confines of a closed, religious community. You have to trust your children to be exposed to the real world, to understand what's good and what's not, and to develop self control--with the parents' guidance, of course, but ultimately kids have to do it themselves.

Then you have the whole issue of population...ugh. I'm adopted (and very happy and proud of it) and I have no desire to have biological children. If my husband and I do decide to have kids, we want to adopt--there are so many kids who need a good, loving home. Population is out of control, and I don't want to contribute! I don't have a problem with people having biological children, don't get me wrong! It's just not the choice my husband and I plan to make.

Ok, so long comment...sorry. Summary: these people are scary and depressing to me. It seems so unhealthy for everyone, and I just don't understand. How egotistical is it to think that god is micromanaging enough to keep an eye on your womb? Oof...I'm going to go be an independent, atheist, childless woman now just to try to get this out of my mind! Excuse me while I make decisions without consulting my husband....

Calladus said...

I knew a quiver family while I was in the Air Force. He was young (well, so was I, but I outranked him) and he was... odd. Not old enough to be strange - but definitely off.

He got her knocked up "in sin" at the age of 16, so they immediately married. An abortion or adoption was just not an option for them.

As soon as he graduated he joined the military to support the family.

I met him when he was 23, and he already had 3 kids and one on the way. I remember joking with him that after 4, he could get a vasectomy (I think the military would pay after so many kids.) He was horrified at the suggestion and I ended up apologizing for it.

He was also depressed about his marriage. She was the only girl he'd ever dated, they lost their virginity together, and they didn't really get along. He always seemed to be convincing himself that he was in love. I remember him telling me that his marriage was based on a sin.

I asked him how many kids he was going to have, he said, "As many as we can."

smellincoffee said...

Holy wow, there are more people in that family than there are at a typical Wednesday night service at my old church.

Betsy said...

PM, your kids are adorable, which you already know. I am always impressed with how intelligent they are.

Our church wasn't necessarily a "quiverfull" church; I think the largest family was 8 kids; mine was 6; my oldest sister has 6 already and wants more. (To keep her company when she's old...) BC was taught against, but I think most families ignored it; including my family.

I have 3 sisters and none of us were allowed to wear pants - yes, it means skirts! - until I, the youngest, was 16 and threw a royal fit. Skirts even in Ohio winters with 2 feet of snow.

I usually say as long as people aren't knocking on my door asking for help supporting their kids, have as many as they want, but most can't afford it, or if they manage their kids are eating Aldi food and dressing in Goodwill their entire lives. And of course no college savings (if college is allowed) at all. I think it's important to be able to pay attention to each kid too and I doubt these families can.
And with all J names, who can keep them straight?!?

Maggie Rosethorn said...

You have beautiful kids, Pmomma. Lovely to see them. How proud you and their father must be of your beautiful, intelligent, loving and loved kids.

The quiverfuls scare me a lot, but then, I live around a lot of strict Jewish groups (nonXian quiverfuls) where the girls marry at 16-18 and pop out the kids on a regular basis. At least, most of them breastfeed so the kids are about 2 years apart or so generally.

Matt D. said...

As everyone else has affirmed, the possums are adorable. :)

As for the Quiverfulls, I'm a bit torn. On the one hand, I favor personal freedom and responsibility - and if they want to keep having kids and they're able to properly care for them, then I really can't object.

On the other hand, I'm not convinced that they can properly care for all of those kids.

I also feel that there are some simple, beneficial, principles to consider:

First, before taking an action - consider what would happen if everyone took that same action. If everyone had 17+ kids, the population (which may already be problematic) would certainly expand at an unsustainable rate.

Second, what is the motivation behind the action? These people aren't having kids because they love kids - they're having kids because they feel that it's their duty.

What better way to combat the increasingly secular society (especially if those people are socially responsible and tend to have fewer kids) than to reproduce at a faster rate. It's a not-so-subtle attempt to win control by attrition.

Perhaps we should point out that, while the Bible does encourage them to be fruitful and multiply.. 1 x 1 = 1, not 17. :)

Virginia aka Ginny said...

Cute little Grace...I don't doubt for a second she wants to be in charge! lol

Vincent said...

To a degree, I bet she is.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Cute kids alright.

As for quiverfulls. I think its socially irresponsible. If they were truely doing gods work there are 100's if not 1000's of needy orphans.

Then ,however, Pa Duggar could get his rocks off as much though.

Reading Infidel at the moment and Fundamentalist Islam is as bad. A woman must submit to her husbands desires even if she be riding a camel at the time.

You said Chowdah (chow daar)tee hee

Shar said...

If you can pay for your children and can give them proper care, I don't care how many you have.

However, I couldn't imagine caring for that many children in regard to their needs as individuals. As my mother-in-law said, "I can't imagine knowing all of them very well... and the kids do all the housework anyway!"

The idea of needing buddies to look after one another is painful to me. I can't imagine that people with an exceptionally large family properly and giving the children the attention they want and deserve.

It's almost like they are collecting the children as some sort of godly achievement. I have no doubt they love their children, but I still have doubts as to how well they really know them as individuals. Or how much they really think of the kids as individuals. The kids do most of the chores (well, the girls cook and clean at least), look after the younger ones. Mom's job is to be an overseer and homeschooler. It doesn't feel right to me as a family, though that could simply have been the filter of a documentary altering normal behavior (ha).

I'm afraid for the Dugger children when they hit adulthood and they have to rely on dad for a job or to find a spouse, and then have to live in a brand new world they really aren't prepared for, though that has less to do with quiverfull and more to do with this particular family. Though, who knows, maybe they'll be just fine and I'm being presumptuous.

I don't begrudge large families, but I do cringe when I see kids raising each other in places where a parent should be raising them. Chores and helping out are one thing, completely running the house and parts of the family for mom is another.

Granted, I feel that the basis for quiverfull is rather sickening, and, well, values women not on their merits, but on their efficiency as a baby machine. It's the same sort of twinge I feel when I see a family that is large simply because dad wanted a son, and he ended up with five daughters first.

Rachel said...

Oh, I love this. I, too, have an unhealthy fascination with the Duggars. I watch the TLC shows. Maybe it's because I was an only child, maybe it's because I long to be so organized and structured, or maybe it's because I fantasize about having a brood of my own to do all my housework for me!

Religious beliefs aside, I really could care less how many children a family chooses to have, as long as they have the means to support them emotionally and financially. I think that the 'sponsorship' that the Duggars recieve is a luxury that most quiverfull families don't enjoy. I wonder how the average quiver manages to make ends meet.

I am a member of a moms group with one or two quiverfull moms. I've heard one say with a chuckle "Oh, birth control is fine with me, in a few generations, we'll far outnumber the liberals...". *shudder*

Atheist in a mini van. said...

My money is on Jinger (pronounced Ginger,...not Jing-er) to leave the fold and write a tell-all book, in ten years.

I completely agree with everyone who said, "no one should tell anyone how many kids to have." But, the Duggars ARE having kids as if it's a contest to have the biggest quiver. And, I can't get behind having THAT many kids, just to farm the baby off to a buddy at five months old so that Ma can get her uterus back to baby making. Vagina - it's not a clown car!

I also worry about the odds. Odds are, one of those 17 kids will have a serious mental or physical health issue. These people do not have insurance. They pay as they go. They "count on the Lord" to provide all of their needs. Ok. So, what if J#17 is born with a congenital heart defect? Are they going to rely on the Lord? Probably not. They'll make it a television special and pimp the kids out for freebies and sympathy. They've done it before.

I won't even touch the odds on homosexuality. Would they accept that "gift" from God? Probably not.

The Jiffy Pop hair also needs to be addressed. With seven females, and all that hair, there's probably a hole in the ozone over Arkansas.

The food - did anyone check out the recipes? Yeah...it's pretty obvious that nutrition is not a priority. Is it fair to do that to 17 kids?

I think what gets me most is the "God will provide" mentality. It extends beyond the Duggars, I'll admit. But, who has seventeen children with the attitude that God will provide (and no back-up plan)??
Sorry for the rambling... lots on my mind today.

Shar said...

The food - did anyone check out the recipes? Yeah...it's pretty obvious that nutrition is not a priority. Is it fair to do that to 17 kids?

The only thing I remember from the last time I went through a Duggar interest phase, was that damned tater tot casserole. "Dad's favorite," or something like that, and it consisted mostly of tater tots and canned cream of mushroom and chicken soup. Gah! Pa Duggar is going to get himself some hypertension, methinks.

Though, I suppose, when you have that many kids and your preteen girls are doing all the cooking (to be good wives, I'm sure), processed casseroles and the like are much easier to mass produce than better stuff from scratch. It's also cheaper. Sad that a good portion of America eats the same way, really.

I won't even touch the odds on homosexuality. Would they accept that "gift" from God? Probably not.

No, they will send little Jimmy or Jenny to an ex-gay ministry. Jesus will fix little gay Dugger. It's too much to hope they would just accept their child or even let them escape.


I also really want to give them the benefit of the doubt and hope that they have a savings plan somewhere. Not that the kids are likely going to get to go to college, but I want to hope that there is something there helping to pay for the medical expenses of birthing the kids and in case something goes wrong. I know I'm likely wrong.

If they just shrugged about their finances with a non-saving attitude, everyone would think they were highly irresponsible, but saying "God Will Provide," makes it okay to some people, sweet even, though it's exactly the same thing.

Except, with all the media attention from having many children and the religion aspect, they'll be able to get enough funds through public sympathy and guilt.

It'll just take one Discovery Channel special, just one message on the website or newsletter, and I'm sure donations will pour in for poor baby Dugger with the medical condition.

God Will Provide, indeed.

If only all Quiverfulls could be so lucky.

But, really, what are they going to do when they run out of J names? I mean, their nice set will be ruined!

Poodles Rule said...

PM
Vagina - it's not a clown car!


My favorite I have heard... It's a uterus, not a pez dispenser.

HA!

erin said...

You know that a Duggar style introduction would be more like, This is, um...#4. He likes, um, eating? I think?

Oh, Ma Duggar and her clown car uterus. ♥

erin said...

Also, FREE JINGER!

PerpetualBeginner said...

I get concerned about the emphasis the Duggars and many like-minded families put on conformity. Not only do the kids not get much chance to individuate, it would be seen as a bad thing if they did.

I may be misremembering, but I seem to recall a reporter talking to one of the middle Duggar boys and making a comment on how much conformity the family has and getting a response along the lines of "Oh, no we're nothing alike! My brother '?' likes hamburgers best, and I like Mac 'n Cheese best."

Hound Doggy said...

If these people want all of the kiddos why don't they do the foster care thing. That way they might actually be helping society rather than overrunning it.

aiabx said...

I recall an anecdote from Robert Graves' autobiography "Goodbye to All That". Two of his uncles were the Anglican and Catholic bishops of some Irish town. The Catholic uncle had a large number of children, and the Anglican uncle was giving him a hard time about it.
"Blessed is he with a quiver full of arrows" responded the Catholic uncle. The Anglican uncle ponders for a moment and replies "The ancient Jewish quiver only held six".

And don't worry about them outbreeding us. My leftiest friends are people who have been raised by fundamentalists, and rebelled.

robd said...

My girlfriend has 11 brothers and sisters;
however, that is just old-fashoned Catholicism.

It always reminds me of :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0kJHQpvgB8

Matt D. said...

You've been tagged by PZ:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/06/an_octet_of_vignettes.php

Carlie said...

I saw part of one of those TLC specials on them, and Pa was asked about affording college. He specifically said that something about how they would do college for the boys, and the interviewer asked "What about if the girls want to go to college?" and he just stared blankly. Then he said that they might, but he hoped they would have good husbands etc. etc. It was obvious that he had no intentions of the girls going to college, but had enough social skill to realize he really couldn't say that outright on tv.

mama_nomad said...

i am one of those diplomatic people who can really feel for all sides. so i totally get the whole tribal secure-your-peeps thing, when you take away actual modern realities, it feels biologically right to throw out the birth control just have lots 'o kids. BUT to cut your kids off the boob so you can ovualte again?? that makes no sense. it's not natural, dude.
but it is a darn good topic to discuss.


and ps cute kids. you should convince your daughter to be a midwife--it's much more fulfilling-lol! (i am laughing b/c i don't know you or your kid or oyur blog yet i am obnoxiously asserting my own adgenda. so i am going to go read the rest of your blog and see if i have greatly offended you:)

Atheist in a mini van. said...

BUT to cut your kids off the boob so you can ovualte again?? that makes no sense. it's not natural, dude.
but it is a darn good topic to discuss.

So much "word". I hate to let my inner boob-nazi come out, but that's probably one of the things that bugs me the most. *men might want to avoid the rest of the conversation* I b/f my kids until THEY were done and, interestingly, just like everything else they've done in life, they all were "done" at different times. But, generally, it was over a year for each (P#1 was so adheared to the tit' that she was still nursing when I went in for the birth of P#22). I thought she'd never be done and, in fact, I tandemed nursed for a week or so. But, she got tired of it once P#2 was there in competition. I think the altered flavor of the colostrum and "newborn" boob juice turned her off. But...ANYWAY- weaning a babe' at 5 months on the misunderstood preconception that you'll have a better shot at conceiving is lame.

As for P#1 being a midwife: if that's what she decides to do, I'll support her. :) I had doulas with my last two pregnancies, so she's seen the positives of having a physician AND a person focused on mom's comfort in the room during labor and delivery. If my health had been better, in general, and I had full term babies, I would've gone with a midwife. :)

Oh! It's pretty tough to offend me, so no worries.

Shadow Fan Gal said...

I'm one of those weird childfree people. Been that way since I was a little girl and thankfully have had both of my parents support me in the decision. My hubby's Catholic parents, on the other hand, wanted grands. Lots and lots of grands! Neiher hubby or I have ever wanted children or particularly care to be around them. Kudos to those who do, however. Just not our cup of tea. Do have to admit, PM, you've got a fine set of young'un's and seem to doing a great job of raising them.

In the Duggar case, it reminds me of the saying of 'all things in moderation'. I've heard there are some women who love being pregnant and Mrs Duggar strikes me as that. She loves babies, but has no use for them once they start growing up so she pawns them off to the older kids to raise them so she can get pregnant again. Hmmm, reminds me of a queen bee, ant or termite... just keeps reproducing and the workers (her daughters) care for the eggs/larva.

Another thing with large families, at one time they were considered necessary in rural areas as children were needed to help care for the farms, and childhood deaths were a bit more common. With the Duggar case, I'm not sure if having this many kids doesn't have a dual purpose: Religion and Guinness Book of World Records.

But that's just my opinion ;)

Wetzel Family said...

Beautiful kids!

In response to your statement

"Of course, the Duggars homeschool."

Please remember that not all homeschoolers are religious! And not all homeschoolers are sheltered from society.

I enjoy reading your blog. You come up with some really great topics.

Okay...back to lurk mode.

Sarah
(who is mom of two..and that is enough for her!!)