I have never, even once, seen that Duggar TV show. In fact, I am not even sure what it is called.
Now that that is on the table, moving on.
Yet- when I hear a lot of hate spewed at this ginormous family, I get this visceral reaction that I don't quite expect. I think that The Deranged Housewife nailed it on the head in her post. But....back to me!
I also admit to thinking a few less than kind thoughts about them. In fact, at playgroup recently we all chatted about this huge family, how it was an abnormal amount of children to have, how they possibly afford it and of course, if it is even safe to have that many children. But guess what- it still ticks me off when people slam them.
Here are a few reasons why:
1) I have a bigger than average family too.
Totally not even within the range of what they have, but my four kids and I get a lot of stares when we go out. People actually count heads and ask if we are shooting for a basketball team. Are they trying to be rude? Probably not, and it doesn't deeply offend me or anything. But- I think there is some serious anti-big family sentiment out there. From negative thoughts about the environmental impact to the idea that women are better off "working" than staying home; having more than two kids isn't exactly popular.
So I probably do take offense a little when people slam on them because they have a big family. I feel, just a little bit, what they have aimed at them constantly.
2) It is not actually fine to be cruel to people just because they are in the public.
Yeah- I know I am not famous. And yet- just because I have a stinking blog people think it is open season on being mean. Same goes for celebrities and of course for those sick punks who have reality TV shows.
Well, news flash folks- mean is mean. Yeah, that even applies to people who dare share part of their lives on the Internet, television, or in the movies. Do they realize that opens them up for criticism? Umm, yeah. Does cruelty get a free pass, a "What do they expect, they put themselves out there?" just because somebody puts part of their life up for others to stare at? I think not.
If you think somebody sharing their life with the public means you can through eggs at them, what are you teaching YOUR kids? Pretty sure this message is coming through loud and clear,
"We should be nice to people, unless we disagree with them. Then- go for the throat."
3) I go to church- like A LOT.
Yes, I am very religious. Yes, some people view my religion as being sexist.
Moving on past the fact that it is somewhat ridiculous for another to believe that they understand the basic beliefs of a religion better than those who ACTUALLY live it, why is it cool beans to kick people if they go to church?
Some of the hate this family gets seems more anti-religion in disguise than anything else. Do I think quiver full is a bit much. Well, yes, in fact I do. If I did that I would have twenty kids too. But I do love my religion. I do try to teach it to my children because I deeply believe it will make their lives better. People are allowed to disagree. I let them raise their kids any which way they please, even teaching them things that I whole-heartedly believe are wrong.
Let me do the same thing, and let the Duggars too.
4) I am screwing up my kids too.
I admit it. I am jacking up my kids. I find comfort in the fact that you are too. Yeah you.
I have a deeply held belief that all people do things that are wrong to their children, yes, even those who really try. I don't force feed them hot sauce and I don't hit them with hoses, but I will admit that there are certainly things that I am doing that are not the best. They are most likely the things I am least aware of, and the same goes for everybody.
So when people start throwing their feces at the Duggars because they are doing X,Y and Z wrong, I wonder what the world would say about them if their parenting (not all of it, just the interesting parts) was on a million screens a day. Think about that one for a minute....
Bathroom breakdowns.....dinnertime crazies........poop on the wall.....and your every reaction to it, preserved forever. I bet most of us would be appalled by what we saw of ourselves.
~So- even though I have never met them or seen their show, I think the way we react to them has more to do with US and our biases than THEM and the things they are doing wrong. They are just an easy excuse to think other people are doing things wrong that we are doing right. Which, though entertaining and cathartic, is not necessarily kind.