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#75346 - 04/21/06 06:47 AM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
dazey
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 941
Loc: Edinburgh, Scotland

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The reality is that "secular" people are just as likely to be arrogant or "holier-than-thou" as religious people
mashenka, can I just question why "secular" is in scare quotes there in the same way as "holier-than-thou", while "religious" is allowed to stand as a proper word? While I agree with you that attacking people merely for aspects of their lives which aren't mainstream is wrong, I think you're coming a bit too close to doing the converse. I live a wholly secular life; I am an atheist, in fact. I'm not mainstream, I try not to be judgemental, and I am pretty fed up with people assuming I'm anti-religious and intolerant because I'm ecologically aware, a lesbian and an atheist.

I was uncomfortable with some of the inital tone of this discussion, too. Why should young women be expected to reveal their bodies if they want to swim? What does the discomfort with that aspect of their lives say about what we expect from people's appearances? There's an element of body judgementalism in condemning people for not "making the most of" their appearance, but why should that be an aim for anyone?

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#75347 - 04/21/06 08:13 AM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
Auroranorth
Ching Shih


Registered: 03/30/05
Posts: 318

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Dazey, my objection to the swimsuits is that they look like throwbacks to the Victorian Era. It feels like they're making a production out of swimming. Also, I note that there's no male equivelent. So, the girls are required to be bundled up and the boys can wear anything.
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#75348 - 04/21/06 09:47 AM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
carrotbat
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/01/03
Posts: 238

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To be fair to the concept of the swimsuits, though not that particular site, there are other sites out there that sell modest swimwear for both sexes. The boys' ones, however, pretty much look like shorts and a (non-see-through-when-wet) t-shirt.

(I don't have any links off the top of my head, unfortunately -- I imagine they came from TWoP.)

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#75349 - 04/22/06 12:48 AM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
mashenka
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 222
Loc: NY

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"Secular" was in quotes because it's a blurry concept. They weren't "scare quotes" by any means \:\) I've just never heard of anyone refer to themselves as "secular." I've heard "agnostic" and "atheist" which are more clearly defined concepts. So there was no inherent judgment in putting "secular" in quotes but letting "religious" stand on its own.

I have to say that as a swimmer I struggle myself with the idea that I can never go on a mixed beach (i.e. any beach in the US) in a bathing suit. Sometimes it makes me uncomfortable; other days it makes sense. (Most days I just want to rally for single-sex beaches). I think ultimately we all do what makes us comfortable. And we can't assume anything about another person's comfort level, which is I think the main reason I found this discussion so weird. So they don't *want* to wear a bathing suit. And other people do. Who cares? Does it really matter?

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#75350 - 04/22/06 06:45 AM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
dazey
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 941
Loc: Edinburgh, Scotland

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Auroranorth, I do see your objection to the sexism inherent in the difference, and I agree with you: I would be quite upset if my daughter (when she's older) felt she had to cover up in order to be decent. But I just see going for the actual appearance of the girls as not really the point - it's the reasoning behind it, and perhaps the terms in which they're encouraged to dress that way (though I don't know, not having seen the programme) that's a problem.

mashenka, you've really never heard anyone describe themseves as secular, or as a secularist ? There are a lot of us out there.

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#75351 - 04/22/06 08:27 AM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
LaSalleUGirl
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 1895
Loc: Philadelphia, PA, USA

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 Quote:
I just see going for the actual appearance of the girls as not really the point - it's the reasoning behind it, and perhaps the terms in which they're encouraged to dress that way (though I don't know, not having seen the programme) that's a problem.
I like the way you put that, dazey. It pretty neatly encapsulates my feelings about the entire situation.

For what it's worth, I've never heard anyone I know describe her/himself as "secular." I found some interesting problems with the definition of that term, but I'll take them over to the Verbivore so as not to hijack this thread \:\)

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#75352 - 04/23/06 10:21 PM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
Mara2
Ching Shih


Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 383
Loc: Canberra Australia

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Dazey, thanks for enunciating what I was trying to say before and having no luck with - like so many things in this world, I think it's how something is done, rather than the thing itself that people take exception to.

I think being in Australia (I'm not sure whether it's a myth that we are the world's most secular country, but we certainly have one of the lowest rates of attendance at formalised worship) I can't quite grasp the front and centre position religion takes in public life in the US. Whoever the canny producers were who picked the Duggars for a doco did well in putting together something that would become a lightning rod for discussion!

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#75353 - 04/24/06 12:58 PM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
may14
Ching Shih


Registered: 04/23/06
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While I do think this family carries things too far, I think the reactions here are also a bit too extreme. I am coming from a very religious Jewish family, never wore pants, and never associated with secular people. I was not home schooled, but I attended a religious school where everyone believed in the same things, and almost everyone came from a big family. And yes, I would like to be a stay-at-home mum and the idea of 16 children does not faze me much. I think that my religious, all-girl school gave me a much happier upbringing then most kids have.
To be sure, we were not that sheltered: I do own a radio and an internet connection, though we donít have a TV. But, apart from social skills, I donít think these children miss much. All the ugliness in the world is best spared from them as long as possible. My friends are all well-adjusted young women, though they did not read about rapes and murders as children or teenagers.

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#75354 - 04/24/06 08:21 PM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
mashenka
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 222
Loc: NY

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Thanks, May14, for articulating the problem so well. Since I've only gotten into Judaism recently, I was afraid I might be idealizing -- it's really good (and encouraging!) to hear this kind of perspective from someone who was raised religious.
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#75355 - 04/24/06 09:04 PM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
boom
GrŠinne ni Mhaille


Registered: 04/24/06
Posts: 2

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It is really unbelievable to me to read how fired up people get about this family! Very interesting to read all of your comments and perspectives.
I will say that I watched the show and while their lifestyle would not be my choice in lifestyle, and I CERTAINLY wouldn't have 16 children (two is plenty for me), I admired a good deal about their family dynamic.
Homeschooling sounds scary and cult-ish to those who don't know much about it...and while I would not choose to homeschool my children, I know plenty of families who do it and their children are some of the most intelligent, well-rounded and well-mannered I have ever met.
It did make me sad at times, to see the older children "raising" the younger ones. I think they will gain PLENTY by having a support system of siblings around them; they will have a closeness with their siblings for a lifetime...long after their parents are gone. But I wonder how much personal attention each child gets from his/her parents. How much physical affection? \:\(
That really is the only part that disturbed me. This family carries no debt, lives economically, raises intelligent and kind children, and seems to be happy together! With the dissolution of family in our day, and the lack of good manners, and good education (in our public schools!!) I think this family is doing a lot of things RIGHT.
The overpopulation point...I don't know. I have more of a violent objection to babies being brought into this world (in staggering numbers) by parents who have no jobs, who do not prioritize their children or their education, who have no home, no means to provide health care or basic hygiene for their children, etc. etc. THAT, to me, is offensive.
And so is the tater tot casserole. But bless their hearts...16 children. I have kids, and they probably would LOVE themselves some tater tot casserole. Yikes.

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