The Duggars May Have Lost Their Show but The Toxic Culture That It Fostered is Still Going Strong
Josh Duggar’s crimes may have cost the Duggar Family their media empire but the toxic culture that it promoted is still going strong.
These hugely popular shows allowed the Duggars to spread their unique brand of evangelism. It was a media-driven attack against feminism and liberal ideals that were, according to the Washington Post, “based on strict adherence to divinely ordained gender roles and the refusal of bodily autonomy for children and women.”
Keep reading and we’ll get into it.
A Dream of an American Theocracy
Josh Duggar’s December 9 conviction for receiving and possessing child pornography may have very well destroyed the Duggar media empire and their apparent dream of an American theocracy. However, the dangerous and troubling ideology they propagated still holds strong in many parts of the country.
Over the years, their shows developed a misogynistic conception of domestic life that has always been a pervasive issue in America, albeit an underlying one. In such an America, a man’s home is his own little empire and any outside intrusion into it is shut down as government overreach.
This idea was once written into U.S. law under the concept of “coverture” which was a holdover from old British law which sought to categorize women as “covered” by the husbands. This meant, that once a woman was married, she ceased to have any legal rights.
They could no longer sue, claim legal property, or have any custody rights of their children. The principle also made it … wait for it … legal for a husband to force sex on his wife. You read it right – rape. Under such patriarchy, women would lose bodily autonomy as well as that of their children.
Josh’s Personal and Moral Failures?
This has long been a struggle for women in this country and abroad and the Duggar media empire may very well have set us back hundreds of years in the minds of millions of their fans. As they have helped to propagate the conservative, religiously inspired activism that has fostered such misguided endeavors as transgender bathroom bills and shutting down critical race theory. These sought to paint liberalism and the “radical left” as evil and predatory to children.
Finally, as Josh Duggar faces decades in prison, many in his political and religious community are speaking out. One such individual is his sister Jinger Duggar. Many have called him a “hypocrite” and a “sociopath” who merely “claims to be a Christian.” To them, his crimes don’t reflect on their way of life but on Josh Duggar’s personal and moral failures.
And, while Josh’s crimes are indeed his own, they shine a light on a much deeper cultural issue that denigrates women and children’s rights and encourages obedience to male authority figures – basically bringing home the once shocking ideals demonstrated in A Handmaid’s Tale written by Margaret Atwood.