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Author Topic: 19 kids and counting....pregnant again!
DDDaysh
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I was the oldest of 6 - so I get the big family thing, and there are some benefits. 6 isn't all THAT big either. Still, being the oldest, I got a pretty decent dose of that parent/sibling factor. My parents were no where NEAR as bad at "assigning" me
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DDDaysh
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I was the oldest of 6 - so I get the big family thing, and there are some benefits. 6 isn't all THAT big either. Still, being the oldest, I got a pretty decent dose of that parent/sibling factor - and that's without being assigned a kid.

Babysitting on occasion is one thing, but how is it fair to expect a sibling to get up with a crying child in the night?

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Christine
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Assigning a kid to an older sibling doesn't bother me so much on the "fairness" score. Children have been asked to do all kinds of things to adapt to and support the family structure, even if it was not something they chose. Case in point: farmers kids working on the farm for like, all of history.

I know in our modern style of child rearing we have this idea that "children should be children" and to a point, I agree, but I also know that children can thrive under bigger expectations.

The problem I see with the assigning of kids isn't that workload, then, but rather it is the absence of the parent responding to those needs. High order multiples, for example, are highly susceptible to attachment disorders and while as far as I know, none of these kids were born at the same time, they all do have to compete severely with many, many others for the attention of a parent.

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sarcasticmuppet
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In the whole "what will happen 200 years from now" discussion, unless all of the 20 children are completely on board with their parent's level of quiverfull ideology *and* have the biology to back it up (along with any potential spouses/partners they might have), I kinda imagine it'll even out over the long run.

I only say that because in my large family experience (six kids in my family), almost none of the siblings are even close to approaching my parent's numbers. The most kids born by a sibling is my sister at 3 (and she's not having any more). My husband and are considering potentially having 4 at a maximum, and even that's not a sure thing. Factors like careers, education level, biology, and a myriad of other things are essentially evening things out with subsequent generations.

The Duggar parents did something that worked for them, I highly doubt it would work for everyone, or even all of their descendants. You'd be surprised at how well evolution will even the odds. Maybe their weird upbringing will make them unmarriageable, or something.

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Fractal Fraggle
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I just went to their website. I had heard of them before but just never paid any attention. There are a lot of things that struck me as just plain weird, but I think that's only because they live a lifestyle that I would never choose for myself. But I'm glad that they're debt free and that their kids don't appear to be turning into serial killers or junkies.

The one thing I really don't like about their website is that they blame getting pregnant while taking the birth control pill for her subsequent miscarriage. I've never heard of this being a side-effect of the pill, but I'm not a doctor or medically trained. (I did a quick google search and it seems not to be a side-effect, but again, I'm not a doctor).

I don't mind if other people decide that they're going to let God decide how many children they'll have (as long as I don't have to do the same). But I don't like the idea that there's this mis-information out there. Early miscarriages happen, usually regardless of what the woman does or does not do. It bothers me that someone else might come along and read the website, and think that her miscarriage happened because she had the audacity to use the pill to space her children according to her own abilities and desires.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Fractal Fraggle:

The one thing I really don't like about their website is that they blame getting pregnant while taking the birth control pill for her subsequent miscarriage. I've never heard of this being a side-effect of the pill, but I'm not a doctor or medically trained. (I did a quick google search and it seems not to be a side-effect, but again, I'm not a doctor).

Afaik, the known effect of birth control pills is the suppression of a certain hormone, causing ovulation not to occur. A possible side effect is an decreased likelihood of implantation of a fertilized egg, but an egg that fails to implant is not distinguishable from an ordinary menstrual cycle. Actual spontaneous abortion or miscarriage are not at least much talked about side effects of BC medications.

Besides, it strikes me as a bit strange for someone to have been on BC (which is after all a drug intended to alter your body chemistry) and then become indignant about their bodies acting in a way they had not foreseen or hoped for.

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andi330
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If they're Quiverful why was she on birth control? That's contrary to the philosophy. Even the Rhythm Method is contrary to the Quiverful philosophy.
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Synesthesia
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She used to be on it. Maybe they weren't totally quiverfull then.
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andi330
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Never mind, just read the site, it was the miscarriage that inspired the decision not to use birth control. If they like their life that's fine. However, it's a shame that they were given incorrect information by their doctor. In fact according to this article, while you should stop taking the pill once you know you are pregnant, studies have shown that there is little to no evidence that miscarriage is linked to conceiving while on the pill. In fact, it may reduce the chance of age related miscarriage, and speed up conception time once a woman stops taking it.

There are links to the studies on the site, and before someone gets on me for using an about.com article, they have a medical review board made up of 12 doctors who approve and review their medical articles.

Edit: Of course, this was years ago, probably back in the early 80's. Maybe the side effects weren't as well known then.

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Christine
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The only way in which the birth control might possibly be said to cause a miscarriage would be that if ovulation is not properly suppressed while on the pill and an egg becomes fertilized, the effects of the BC pill may also cause it not to implant. But in this case, you'd never know it because you'd just have your normal period. I've never heard anyone suggest the pill causes real miscarriages.
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Samprimary
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I was really interested to recently find out about this stuff involving Bill Gothard, the guy who runs a sort of cult of personality style scriptural adherence program, and who is the primary source of the Duggars' life rules for themselves and their children.

A big part of it is apparently, essentially, lifetime male dominance fostered on women. The dress code is required, and the girls are to remain under their father's supervision until they are pretty much given away for marriage.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by andi330:
Never mind, just read the site, it was the miscarriage that inspired the decision not to use birth control. If they like their life that's fine. However, it's a shame that they were given incorrect information by their doctor. In fact according to this article, while you should stop taking the pill once you know you are pregnant, studies have shown that there is little to no evidence that miscarriage is linked to conceiving while on the pill. In fact, it may reduce the chance of age related miscarriage, and speed up conception time once a woman stops taking it.

There are links to the studies on the site, and before someone gets on me for using an about.com article, they have a medical review board made up of 12 doctors who approve and review their medical articles.

Edit: Of course, this was years ago, probably back in the early 80's. Maybe the side effects weren't as well known then.

You could absolutely prove that BC can't cause a miscarriage, beyond a shadow of a doubt, and I still think she would refuse to use it.

Afaict she feels she had to endure divine retribution for using birth control.

-----

I come from a family of six children, and I absolutely adore all my siblings. But I'll be surprised if any of them make it to six themselves. My older sister has two and she just hit 30. My wife is 24 and we don't have any children yet, we will soon, (no she's not pregnant.) [Wink]

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Synesthesia
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Not to mention really strict parenting that borders abuse.
I can't stand Gothard. The man doesn't even have kids!
At least when OSC says, go get married and have babies he's actually married with kids, so he's not being a total hypocrite about that and you can respect him as a result.

quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
I was really interested to recently find out about this stuff involving Bill Gothard, the guy who runs a sort of cult of personality style scriptural adherence program, and who is the primary source of the Duggars' life rules for themselves and their children.

A big part of it is apparently, essentially, lifetime male dominance fostered on women. The dress code is required, and the girls are to remain under their father's supervision until they are pretty much given away for marriage.


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andi330
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The family rules are creepy and a little contradictory. For example, you are supposed to find reasons to praise others, but you are also supposed to decline said praise. I suppose this is an attempt at teaching humility. I think it would be better to simply say thank you, or give some form of praise back to the other person. Another rule is to never raise your voice to yell. I know this is a large family and therefore they would want to avoid fighting, but heads up! Families are supposed to have arguments. People are supposed to shout at each other sometimes. Why? Because that's what people do. Never being allowed to express your anger isn't healthy.
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Fractal Fraggle
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
You could absolutely prove that BC can't cause a miscarriage, beyond a shadow of a doubt, and I still think she would refuse to use it.

Afaict she feels she had to endure divine retribution for using birth control.


I just went back and looked at their site and had totally missed that a doctor had told them that the pill had caused their miscarriage. I thought they had just jumped to that conclusion on their own. You'd think that some OB along the line would have contradicted that (unless she's going to the same one still).

However, I think you're right, BlackBlade. I think part of the "story" of their family is that they have to endure some sort of punishment (or at least wallow in guilt) because they were somehow to blame for that early miscarriage.

Oh well, I don't know why it bothers me. There's lots of misinformation on the web that doesn't rub me the wrong way like this does.

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The Rabbit
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I just want to point out here that there is a big big difference between having 5 kids (or 7, 9 or even 11 kids) and having 19 - 20 kids.

My parents have 7 children and I know quite a few families with more than that and one thing all the mothers tell you is that every child brings a significant increase in the work load and responsibility. The idea that once you reach a certain number, one more makes little difference is a total fallacy, at least if you are a good parent. Having the kids spread out over a wider age range makes it harder not easier as the demands of being a parent of teenagers or even adults often conflict with demands of parenting much younger children. Having 20 kids is at least twice as much work and responsibility as having 10 kids and having 10 kids is more work and responsibility than most of us could handle well.

I find it impossible to fathom that anyone could be a good parent to 20 children. There simply aren't enough hours in the day to be able to have personal individual contact with that many kids even if you had hired help doing all the menial work.

I also think its necessary to point out that there is a difference between teaching kids to have a good work ethic and exploiting them and this family seems to be exploiting their kids in a large number of ways (like putting them on reality TV for example). I don't think its in the least bit relevant that kids routinely did heavy farm labor 100 years ago or even once had jobs in factories at the age of 8. These kids aren't living in the nineteenth century or even a closed community like the Amish. They will grow up to live in a world where their peers will have had opportunities in education, sports, the arts and society that they could not have because they had responsibility for a baby in their teenage years.

The idea that these parents are bearing the full responsibility for these kids is just wrong. They are forcing their children to carry much of the burden.

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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by andi330:
People are supposed to shout at each other sometimes. Why? Because that's what people do. Never being allowed to express your anger isn't healthy.

No. There are healthy ways to express feelings that don't involve shouting at people. Yes, people do it, and no, it isn't the most horrible thing in the world, but there is certainly nothing unhealthy about trying not to yell at each other.
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Glenn Arnold
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While I don't think that "People are supposed to shout at each other sometimes," I do think that setting a rule to never yell is unhealthy. I know nothing about the Duggars other than what I've heard on this thread, but it seems to me that:

1, 19 kids is extreme even for advocates of large families.

2. The argument that they are "allowing themselves" to have more children, rather than trying to have more children, doesn't fly. It was rare before the days of birth control to have that many kids. And the fact of their procreation is the focus of their lives. This leads me to the conclusion that they are humping like bunnies with that specific intent.

3. I have nothing against large families in terms of family dynamics. Having siblings creates an environment where children have many opportunities to develop their social skills, and particularly, to develop a sense of self that is not as self centered as only children often are.

That said, what I can see of the Duggars' family dynamic is pathologically dysfunctional. Specifically, the parents seem to collect children, and then assign responsibility for those children to their children, rather than taking responsibility for them themselves. This is selfish and lazy parenting. The rule against yelling seems to me like a cultish discipline, largely designed to repress emotions that the parents would rather not think about.


BTW: My only reason for disapproving of large families in this day and age has nothing to do with family dynamics, it is purely based on the damage that overpopulation has on the environment. Even then, what I know of population models leads me to believe that artificially limiting family size is counter productive in the long run.

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Parkour
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quote:
That said, what I can see of the Duggars' family dynamic is pathologically dysfunctional. Specifically, the parents seem to collect children, and then assign responsibility for those children to their children, rather than taking responsibility for them themselves. This is selfish and lazy parenting. The rule against yelling seems to me like a cultish discipline, largely designed to repress emotions that the parents would rather not think about.
I agree with all of this. I watched some videos and am appalled especially with how the Duggars "envelop" their children and especially keep the women educationally sub-literate and docile, to be awarded away by the father as submissive awards.
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ketchupqueen
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Huh?

The men are just as educationally sub-literate as the women, and the women have a say in who courts them and who they marry ultimately. I am not sure how you got to that one.

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Synesthesia
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Read Quiverfull
Some may not... Especially when you got folks like Gothard who think people should have a tight tight TIGHT rein on kids and control just about everything...
Man, that guy burns my biscuits to put it mildly. He's totally warped.

quote:
Originally posted by ketchupqueen:
Huh?

The men are just as educationally sub-literate as the women, and the women have a say in who courts them and who they marry ultimately. I am not sure how you got to that one.


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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by ketchupqueen:
Huh?

The men are just as educationally sub-literate as the women, and the women have a say in who courts them and who they marry ultimately. I am not sure how you got to that one.

Gothard's rules on courtship are, in fact, practically and in most real senses arranged marriage.

quote:
As an offshoot of Gothard's teachings on authority, Gothard teaches that young people must allow their authorities to determine whom they will marry, and that God can bless no marriage if it goes against parental counsel. In his booklet titled Establishing Biblical Standards of Courtship, beneath a picture of a couple riding bikes, Gothard writes: "Is this couple dating, or courting? The answer will have an important effect upon their lives, the lives of their families, and (if they marry) the lives of those in ever generation which follows. There is a definite and vital difference between courtship and dating. Unless this difference is understood and the principles of courtship are applied, defrauding and hurts can result, as well as lasting physical, mental, and spiritual consequences."

Gothard must view dating as an abominable sin if it can have consequences "in every generation which follows!" Courtship, on the other hand, "is a father's agreeing to work with a qualified young man to win his daughter for marriage " "the Lord has warned us not to follow our natural inclinations but to receive His precise guidelines for carrying out a Godly courtship."

...

Gothard argues that when a single person feels the need to have companionship, he or she is not being content with the Lord and " unless we are content with the Lord in singleness, we will not be content with another person in marriage." In other words, feelings of loneliness indicate a spiritual problem.

It must be emphasized again that in Gothard's system, under no possible circumstances is a courtship to be entered into without the consent of the parents. In his seminar Gothard says, "I'm firmly convinced that God never intended girls to turn down dates. He intended for their father's [sic] to." This principle applies equally to marriage. In Gothard's booklet Establishing Biblical Standards of Courtship, there is a page for sons and daughters to cut out, which is a covenant they sign with their fathers to " demonstrate your commitment to God's plan for courtship instead of man's philosophy of dating. "

The young person must say to his or her father, "I will wait for your full release before entering into marriage." The father, in turn, tells his daughter that "I will protect you from unqualified men." To his son the father says, "I will protect you from strange women." This covenant is "between a father and a son as witnessed by the Lord Jesus Christ," and must be signed by the child, the father, and the family's pastor.

http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/exposes/gothard/general.htm

That's what the Duggars follow. (lol at the end especially)

Stuff like this also drives the 'sub-literate' which I think of more as vocationally sub literate more than anything, because the women are trained specific to the purpose of being put into courtship by the father to become a stay-at-home mother.

[ September 20, 2009, 03:17 AM: Message edited by: Samprimary ]

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AvidReader
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The courtship/dating thing doesn't bother me. They're different value systems that don't compare well.

Dating means going out alone with different people trying to find someone you're compatible with. And maybe fool around with a bit. Courting means going out with supervision and trying to decide if you could spend your life with this person.

For a culture that values chastity and committment, courting makes sense. For one that values personal growth and experience, dating makes sense. Teens that court will probably marry younger than those who date, but having married the boy I fell in love with at 14, I don't see that as a blanket bad idea. I'm not sure how the courters get through the "immediately after high school crazies", but maybe mine was an extreme example of that sort of thing.

I can see pitfalls in courting. I can see pitfalls in dating. I'm not sure I see one pit being deeper than the other.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
The argument that they are "allowing themselves" to have more children, rather than trying to have more children, doesn't fly. It was rare before the days of birth control to have that many kids.
My parents have 7 children. There is a gap of several years between the fifth and sixth child and my mother was in her forties when my youngest brother was born. When she was in college, my sister who is the sixth child asked my mother if she was "an accident". My mother said "No, our first child was an accident, by the time we got to you we knew very well that if we weren't trying not to have another child, we were trying to have another child".
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by AvidReader:
I can see pitfalls in courting. I can see pitfalls in dating. I'm not sure I see one pit being deeper than the other.

Yes, but are you looking at Gothard's version of courtship? He literally demands that fathers choose who their daughters can marry, and that daughters go straight from subservience to father to subservience to husband.

I can definitely see one pit being deeper than the other because only one of the pits being talked about here mandate female subservience and arranged marriage.

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Darth_Mauve
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Is this radically conservative Christianity or Taliban Islam?

Is their a difference besides who you pray to?

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AvidReader
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I have no idea how Gothard does it. I know on the show, the Duggars meet other families that believe similar things to them and spend time together. When Josh decided he was interested in Anna, he asked permission to see her. Chaperones were assigned, and the kid talked about trying to discern if she would be a good wife. She told him she didn't want to get married before she was 21, so he waited for her 21st birthday to ask her. It was pretty sweet.

While it's not what I chose for myself (cause we'd have killed each other) I don't see a problem with the way it's presented on the show. If Gothard advocates super restrictive arranged marriages, they seem to have departed from his theory. The Duggars' version of courtship seems to be healthy, just from a different culture.

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Glenn Arnold
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As I said before, I'd never heard of the Duggars before I read this thread. Where are they getting their notoriety? Is this on mainstream TV?
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BlackBlade
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I don't think it's a safe assumption that the Duggars believe absolutely everything word for word that Gothard says. They may follow everything to the letter, but if people started quoting verbatim statements by Thomas S. Monson and said that I obviously believe every single word in the order in which it was said, I would say that's very unlikely.

Further I would not say this is the equivalent of arranged marriages. Dating and courtship are still a component of marriage in their family. If their child said, "No I don't want to marry them," as far as I can tell they would respect that decision. When the child has determined they want to date/court person X it then falls to the parents to inspect the person and make sure they cut mustard.

Not saying I completely agree with the practice, but I do not think it's the same as giving a way a 12 year old girl to a 40 year old man, and allowing him to marry her in order to pay off a debt. It's not even the same as telling an 18 year old girl who, where, and when she will marry.

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ketchupqueen
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quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
Read Quiverfull
Some may not... Especially when you got folks like Gothard who think people should have a tight tight TIGHT rein on kids and control just about everything...
Man, that guy burns my biscuits to put it mildly. He's totally warped.

quote:
Originally posted by ketchupqueen:
Huh?

The men are just as educationally sub-literate as the women, and the women have a say in who courts them and who they marry ultimately. I am not sure how you got to that one.


But that post was specifically talking about the Duggars.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by AvidReader:
If Gothard advocates super restrictive arranged marriages, they seem to have departed from his theory.

We can't say they are word-for-word followers but the requirement for female subservience is there and has been confirmed, and the duggar wedding that was engaged upon did follow the practices of swapping male dominion over the woman.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Further I would not say this is the equivalent of arranged marriages. Dating and courtship are still a component of marriage in their family. If their child said, "No I don't want to marry them," as far as I can tell they would respect that decision. When the child has determined they want to date/court person X it then falls to the parents to inspect the person and make sure they cut mustard.
How many people do you know with "arranged marriages"? I have quite a few friends from cultures where arranged marriages are still common and this (what you describe the Duggars doing) is actually very close to the reality in most arranged marriages. The western stereotype of a father who forces his daughter to marry a man twice her age or sells her to pay off a debt are far from the norm. Most parents want their children to be happily married and do their best to arrange matches with that in mind. Most people are given the opportunity to meet and discuss the possibilities before their marriage is "arranged". Very few parents would demand a child marry against their will and fewer children would comply. Its very common for a son or daughter to go to a parent and suggest they are interested in marrying someone. Then the parent goes to the other parent and discusses it. Then the two partners have a chance to meet and discuss it.

The funny thing is, that the people I know who have "arranged marriages" are often very satisfied with the system and very critical of the western approach that leads to so many divorces. My friends from these cultures enter marriage with a different attitude and different expectations. In many ways, their attitudes are much more healthy. They are more likely to view love as something you actively choose to do rather than something you fall into and out of.

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ketchupqueen
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*nods* Have you seen Arranged? Good movie. [Smile]
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rivka
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Heh. I was about to recommend it.
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0Megabyte
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Rabbit:

Too much eros, not enough agape, perhaps?

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kmbboots
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I don't have a problem with parental guidance and "logistical support" when it comes to marriage. I do have a problem when it crosses the fuzzy line of being a transfer of property - the property being the bride - no matter how benevolent the owners.

I am also a little bugged by the situation where women go straight from their father's house to their husband's house. I, personally, think that living on one's own is as useful and enriching experience for women as it is for men.

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Mucus
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I don't know how obvious this is and I may be Captain Obvious for pointing it out.

But at least from a Chinese perspective, there is this thing called "arranged marriages" which in its modern incarnation involves either parents on both sides or a dedicated matchmaker, often enlisted by the male and female themselves. In this modern incarnation, the goal is pretty much to trim the list of potential candidates and find a good potential match. But the marriage is ultimately decided by the couple themselves after a (relatively short) getting-to-know-each-other phase.

There is also this thing called "arranged marriages" (at least in China, either illegal or pre-1950s or so) which can involve child betrothal and forced marriage without consent.

I think some like Samprimary and BlackBlade are referring to something like the latter while others are referring to something like the former, but two can be pretty different and almost deserve different names.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
I don't know how obvious this is and I may be Captain Obvious for pointing it out.

But at least from a Chinese perspective, there is this thing called "arranged marriages" which in its modern incarnation involves either parents on both sides or a dedicated matchmaker, often enlisted by the male and female themselves. In this modern incarnation, the goal is pretty much to trim the list of potential candidates and find a good potential match. But the marriage is ultimately decided by the couple themselves after a (relatively short) getting-to-know-each-other phase.

There is also this thing called "arranged marriages" (at least in China, either illegal or pre-1950s or so) which can involve child betrothal and forced marriage without consent.

I think some like Samprimary and BlackBlade are referring to something like the latter while others are referring to something like the former, but two can be pretty different and almost deserve different names.

Yes, this is largely the point I was trying to make. And while I obviously didn't live in China or India in the 1930s or even France in the 17th century, I strongly suspect that the majority of arranged marriages have always fit into the former category and not the latter. Although I know child betrothal was common in many cultures, I find it hard to believe that most of the uglier aspects of arranged marriages were ever all that common.

Based on what I know of human nature, the overwhelming majority of parents love their children and are sincerely seeking the best for them. Its hard to imagine that most parents would have arranged marriages for their children with out concern for whether or not the child would be happy in the marriage.

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Godric 2.0
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:

I am also a little bugged by the situation where women go straight from their father's house to their husband's house. I, personally, think that living on one's own is as useful and enriching experience for women as it is for men.

They should already know how to cook and clean - what possible benefit could there be to living by themselves?

[Razz]

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Belle
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It's the treatment of women as property to be handed off that bothers me too. I mean, if one of the Duggars girls say, wanted to go to college, get a degree, and then choose to focus on her career and never marry would she get support from her parents? Or, what if she wanted to marry and have kids but not give up her career?

While I think being a full time Mom is wonderful, I believe it should be something women choose to be. There should be other options available to them - I certainly want my girls to get college degrees and at least have the option of a career. One never knows what will happen - what if the husband dies? How is the wife supposed to support herself and her children? I want my girls to have the ability to choose - career, stay-at-home, or both like I did - I stayed at home until my youngest kids were school age then I went back to work.

It sounds like these Duggar girls don't get many options - they are raised to be wives and mothers and that's it. I have a problem with that, if it is true.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
... I strongly suspect that the majority of arranged marriages have always fit into the former category and not the latter. Although I know child betrothal was common in many cultures, I find it hard to believe that most of the uglier aspects of arranged marriages were ever all that common.

From what I understand, this is not the case.

The problem is that what we see as uglier aspects to the practice would have been seen as progressive at one point. For example, while child betrothal is illegal now and pushed to the margins of the provinces, at point it would have been practiced by the upper class as a virtue, in the sense of planning for the future and making sure the other side does not back out.

And while marriage for romantic love may be a common option now, from what I understand it would have been exceedingly rare back then. Rather, you play at romantic love with your second (or third) wife if you can afford it, and if you're really well off, you romance high-end prostitutes (which at the time occupied a much higher social niche than today).

But whether upper class or lower class, the first wife was to build a family, manage the household, and secure a future.

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Glenn Arnold
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quote:
My mother said "No, our first child was an accident, by the time we got to you we knew very well that if we weren't trying not to have another child, we were trying to have another child".
Well said. Smart woman, your mother.
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kmbboots
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I would, I believe, feel better about arranged marriages where the bride and the groom were treated equally in terms of choice.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
It's the treatment of women as property to be handed off that bothers me too. I mean, if one of the Duggars girls say, wanted to go to college, get a degree, and then choose to focus on her career and never marry would she get support from her parents? Or, what if she wanted to marry and have kids but not give up her career?

They would most likely be extraordinarily disapproving. Your standard Gothardite holds that women are not to go to college. They are to be married off, do housework, and care for the children they are to have.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
It's the treatment of women as property to be handed off that bothers me too. I mean, if one of the Duggars girls say, wanted to go to college, get a degree, and then choose to focus on her career and never marry would she get support from her parents? Or, what if she wanted to marry and have kids but not give up her career?

They would most likely be extraordinarily disapproving. Your standard Gothardite holds that women are not to go to college. They are to be married off, do housework, and care for the children they are to have.
I find this aspect of the "quiver full" movement far more disturbing than people having 20 kids.

Mormonism doesn't go to anywhere near that extreme, but it does place a very strong emphasis on motherhood and its importance. That emphasis is certainly stronger within certain Mormon subcultures than others, but the basic premise is not simply a cultural tag along.

I know many LDS women who are deeply conflicted about having desires, interests and abilities that take them out of the home; I know others who struggle with guilt because they aren't satisfied being stay at home moms and women, like myself, who struggle with being childless in a culture where children and motherhood are considered so important. Being intimately familiar with these struggles in my own faith, I have very deep concerns about the well being of women who are raised with much more severe and extreme ideas about appropriate women's rolls.

I know that some women are very very happy being stay at home moms and some women want nothing more than to be mother to many children. But these women are somewhat exceptional. Women aren't baby making machines. We are sentient beings, individuals with desires, interests and passions that are strong and diverse and part of us. What happens if one of the Duggar's daughters has a talent and a passion for science or writing or music or dance or medicine? Will she be told that these desires are an unnatural perversion, that they are a temptation she must suppress? Will she be denied any opportunity to pursue those interests and develop those talents? Will she be shunned if she chooses to pursue those desires? What will happen if one of the Duggar daughters (or daughter's in law) turns out to be infertile after being trained her whole life to believe that child baring is a woman's only purpose?

These are very very serious concerns and it is naive to think that simply because a woman has been raised within this culture, she will not face those dilemmas. I think perhaps this is why I like Chaim Potok so much. He deals so well with the challenges that arise when an individuals natural proclivities conflict with the culture in which they are raised.

[ September 22, 2009, 05:23 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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millernumber1
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Sorry to add to the discussion so late, but there are several issues here that I feel rather intensely about.

1) I am the oldest of eight children. My family and I are conservative Christians. My parents and I believe in what it generally called courtship as a way to find a spouse. My siblings and I are all named according to a pattern. One of my parents is one of seven. My siblings and I are all homeschooled grades 1-12. My parents and I believe in biblically defined gender roles. The older siblings in my family generally have significant child-care responsibilities.

So, obviously, I'm fully in favor of everything the Duggards are doing.

2) I hate pattern naming. My parent's pattern slightly annoys me, but it is a complex one (following syllable numbers increasing, progressing through the alphabet, and name endings). But naming all one's children starting with one letter (or even, as another family I know, starting with A and moving on through the alphabet) bothers me. So does having all children dress alike - my family has encouraged our individuality in dress and interests. My parents really want every one of their children to get a college degree - male and female (so far, I'm in grad school, my sister has a two-year degree and is living by herself, and my next two brothers are in undergrad programs). I am very worried about the physical effects of having many children.

Thus, I must hate the Duggars and their ilk.

I think that there's a lot of unnecessary bile and unhelpful labels (creepy being one) being thrown about. While I obviously have concerns with a significant portion of what the Duggars are doing, I think these concerns can be articulated respectfully.

I want to have about five children (but only if my theoretical wife wants that many independently of my desires), because although I admire my parents greatly and think they are very good parents, I want to see if I can prevent my children from falling through the cracks as some of my siblings sometimes do. However, I think that even if there's only one child, they can fall through the cracks just as easily. I really think that in general, children not getting enough attention really depends on the maturity of the parents, not on the number of kids. Though obviously the number of kids does put a practical constraint on things.

I don't have the background to speak knowledgeably about the population "crisis," but my gut level response to all such "doomsday" claims is rather skeptical. Additionally, how does one know that one of these "irresponsibly" created children won't come up with solutions to many of these problems?

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scholarette
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Biblically defined gender roles are awesome when you are a man. When you are supposed to be the subservient one, it is a very different view. Though to be fair, my husband wishes he was the stay at home dad- our agreement on that was whoever got a job that paid the bills worked- I tutor part time with Sylvan so that my resume won't have a large blank spot on recent work.
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0Megabyte
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Your gut level response probably doesn't take into account things like the historic need for the Green Revolution, and living conditions in non First-world nations.

Also, how does one know that one of those "irresponsibly" created children won't out-Hitler Hitler?

But little sniping of arguments I've heard a lot in the past aside, the problem isn't that people are feeling a dichotomous "you must be for them or against them!" thing as suggested by the meat of your post, but instead the fact that a lot of what these people do is disturbing to a number of people, while others find them strange but benign, and others don't feel anything negative at all, but even then 19 kids is a LOT.

Some people find their philosophy creepy. That's because it gets rather strange at times. Your own beliefs are probably something I'd consider creepy at times as well.

However, a key things are things like the post directly above yours, describing what can only be seen as worries about the potential flaws of the philosophy.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
It's the treatment of women as property to be handed off that bothers me too. I mean, if one of the Duggars girls say, wanted to go to college, get a degree, and then choose to focus on her career and never marry would she get support from her parents? Or, what if she wanted to marry and have kids but not give up her career?

They would most likely be extraordinarily disapproving. Your standard Gothardite holds that women are not to go to college. They are to be married off, do housework, and care for the children they are to have.
I find this aspect of the "quiver full" movement far more disturbing than people having 20 kids.

Mormonism doesn't go to anywhere near that extreme, but it does place a very strong emphasis on motherhood and its importance. That emphasis is certainly stronger within certain Mormon subcultures than others, but the basic premise is not simply a cultural tag along.

I know many LDS women who are deeply conflicted about having desires, interests and abilities that take them out of the home; I know others who struggle with guilt because they aren't satisfied being stay at home moms and women, like myself, who struggle with being childless in a culture where children and motherhood are considered so important. Being intimately familiar with these struggles in my own faith, I have very deep concerns about the well being of women who are raised with much more severe and extreme ideas about appropriate women's rolls.

I know that some women are very very happy being stay at home moms and some women want nothing more than to be mother to many children. But these women are somewhat exceptional. Women aren't baby making machines. We are sentient beings, individuals with desires, interests and passions that are strong and diverse and part of us. What happens if one of the Duggar's daughters has a talent and a passion for science or writing or music or dance or medicine? Will she be told that these desires are an unnatural perversion, that they are a temptation she must suppress? Will she be denied any opportunity to pursue those interests and develop those talents? Will she be shunned if she chooses to pursue those desires? What will happen if one of the Duggar daughters (or daughter's in law) turns out to be infertile after being trained her whole life to believe that child baring is a woman's only purpose?

These are very very serious concerns and it is naive to think that simply because a woman has been raised within this culture, she will not face those dilemmas. I think perhaps this is why I like Chaim Potok so much. He deals so well with the challenges that arise when an individuals natural proclivities conflict with the culture in which they are raised.

That's a very interesting look at it Rabbit. I often wonder how women feel inside Mormonism and some of its' Utah subcultures. I know it's pretty personal, but how have you dealt with not having children, I know it bugs you at times? Is adoption not an option?

Also, is there a chance in the near future that you would come back to Utah?

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The Rabbit
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Its a complicated story BB. Adoption is an option we have considered but there are a lot of complex reasons I don't really care to go into that we've never pursued it.

I wish I could answer your question about how have dealt with it. It is very personal and I'm never very comfortable talking about such personal things even with close friends. But it isn't just that, I don't really have any idea what to say. I don't understand it well enough to have the words to articulate it. I think perhaps I avoid exploring the question to avoid reopening wounds. Perhaps it is a that it is a thing that is still in flux. Some days I deal with it very badly, others I'm just fine. Let's just sayI have yet come to sufficient closure to be able to talk about it. Maybe someday, but not today.

There is a chance I might move back to Utah, probably not but there is a chance. It isn't in the immediate future but it could happen. We are much more likely to return to Montana.

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