There's a Georgia woman named Jessica Kirkland (gotta love those GA girls!) who, like many moms out there, thought about Anna Duggar in the wake of the Ashley Madison scandal – not so much about about Josh Duggar, the guy who keeps screwing up his marriage. She wrote this on Facebook, which has gone viral since:
“I know everybody is laughing about this Josh Duggar story. Oh, a DUGGAR on Ashley Madison, it’s so rich! I wish more people would talk about Anna. I normally keep things light on Facebook, but let’s talk about Anna. Let me tell you: Anna Duggar is in the worst position she could possibly be in right now. Anna Duggar was crippled by her parents by receiving no education, having no work experience (or life experience, for that matter) and then was shackled to this loser because his family was famous in their religious circle. Anna Duggar was taught that her sole purpose in life, the most meaningful thing she could do, was to be chaste and proper, a devout wife, and a mother. Anna Duggar did that! Anna Duggar followed the rules that were imposed on her from the get-go and this is what she got in reward- a husband who she found out, in the span of 6 months, not only molested his own sisters, but was unfaithful to her in the most humiliating way possible. While she was fulfilling her “duty” of providing him with four children and raising them. She lived up to the standard that men set for her of being chaste and Godly and in return, the man who demanded this of her sought women who were the opposite. “Be this,” they told her. She was. It wasn’t enough.
What is Anna Duggar supposed to do? She can’t divorce because the religious environment she was brought up would blame her and ostracize her for it. Even if she would risk that, she has no education and no work experience to fall back on, so how does she support her kids? From where could she summon the ability to turn her back on everything she ever held to be sacred and safe? Her beliefs, the very thing she would turn to for comfort in this kind of crisis, are the VERY REASON she is in this predicament in the first place. How can she reconcile this? Her parents have utterly, utterly failed her. Think of this: somewhere, Anna Duggar is sitting in prayer, praying not for the strength to get out and stand on her own, but for the strength to stand by this man she is unfortunately married to. To lower herself so that he may rise up on her back.
As a mother of daughters, this makes me ill. Parents, WE MUST DO BETTER BY OUR DAUGHTERS. Boys, men, are born with power. Girls have to command it for themselves. They aren’t given it. They assume it and take it. But you have to teach them to do it, that they can do it. We HAVE to teach our daughters that they are not beholden to men like this. That they don’t have to marry a man their father deems “acceptable” and then stay married to that man long, long after he proved himself UNACCEPTABLE. Educate them. Empower them. Give them the tools they need to survive, on their own if they must. Josh Duggar should be cowering in fear of Anna Duggar right now. Cowering. He isn’t, but he should be. He should be quaking in fear that the house might fall down around them if he’s in the same room as she. Please, instill your daughters with the resolve to make a man cower if he must. To say “I don’t deserve this, and my children don’t deserve this.” I wish someone had ever, just once, told Anna she was capable of this. That she knew she is. As for my girls, I’ll raise them to think they breathe fire.”
Like she said, it seems that everyone seems to want to focus on Josh – but not moms like Jessica. As a mom of a daughter and stepdaughter, I can totally relate to this. My mind goes directly to my girls and what I would do in situation like this. Would my daughters even BE in this situation because of how I raise(d) them?
There's love. There's forgiveness. And then there's being a doormat, y'all. There's a distinct difference. Young women need to be raised to understand the difference, otherwise their sense of self is at stake.
If there's one thing I was raised with – and I was raised in a household where I had a solid Christian foundation, mind you – it was to become a strong, independent woman who always had a backup plan. Now, I know that the Christian faith teaches us women to be devout women, eventual wives and mothers (if that's the path we choose) – and I am those things. But my husband knows that if he treated me with disrespect…if he abused me or continually put me (and our children) in an unhealthy environment, I wouldn't tolerate it, and I'd eventually leave. It's as simple as that.
Since I left my parents' home a loooooooooong time ago, I've been self-sufficient, and I always will be able to take care of myself and my kids. I am with my husband because I love him and want to be with him, not because I need him in any way. And that's how girls in my house are raised to love men. My husband knows this, and I believe that makes a big difference in a marriage dynamic. I think it's important to teach our daughters to love their husbands because they love them, not because they need them for some sort of security. I've seen girls do that in my lifetime, and it never ends well. They may stay married, but no one ends up truly fulfilled.
It makes me sad, because I feel as though you can be a devout Christian woman, and you can also be strong and capable and independent. I see those women every day. I work with those women (hi CJ and RedDawn! :-)). I'm raising those women.
The only thing I disagree with in Jessica's rant is the "breathe fire" part. After the molestation stuff and then THIS? I would've just kicked Josh square in the nads, taken my kids, and gotten the heck outta dodge. Because enough is enough. And fire is a bit dramatic for me, anyway.
But I'm old school like that.