Guess what, world? The Duggars revealed in an interview the other day that they are actively trying for a 20th baby. This is on the heels of delivering a stillborn, followed by delivering a micro-premie at the behest of doctors treating Michelle's life-threatening blood pressure condition. If you're the type to celebrate this baby news (and admonish the devil for planting dinosaur bones to trick us?) then you may not like my take on things. I was warm to the Duggars a few months ago, but the latest news of them trying for yet another baby sits wrong with me. I tell you what, let's do this interview style. You go ahead.
You: You have no right to judge another family! Freedom! America!
Me: Oh, yes, I have every right to judge. As a pop culture consumer, my opinion is not only welcome but desired and expected. The Duggars make their living off a television show that specifically flaunts their reproductive choices. Michelle Duggar was paid for the interview in which she revealed they are trying to get pregnant again. If she doesn't want to get her feelings hurt by backlash, she could always choose to live privately and you know, not make the contents of her lady parts the realm of public domain.
You: I thought you were pro-choice? Michelle is just making a different choice! CHOICES! THOUGHT YOU LOVED THOSE?
Me: I'm not advocating the government shut down the Duggar womb. I'm just a citizen without any power to limit Michelle Duggar's actual choices at all. On the contrary, women's right to choose is under attack by the GOP. For some reason it's totally cool for the Duggars to overpopulate and pollute by having 20 million kids, but just try getting an abortion in Utah.
You: Children are a gift from God.
Me: So why not take care of the 19 you already have?
You: As a person who suffered the loss of a baby, aren't you in some sisterhood with Michelle Duggar? How can you criticize wanting more children after a loss?
Me: Yes, I did lose a twin halfway through this pregnancy. If that baby had been a singleton, I would have delivered her stillborn on June 19. My family was torn up and still is from the loss. I had to watch my children cry and see the disappointment and sadness in my husband. Even though what happened to our baby was not related to my age or health, it still makes me wary of ever trying for another baby. My family has gone through enough. I couldn't put them through that again, especially if my life had been in danger and if the loss was related to my health factors. I need to be here for the children I have and so does Michelle Duggar.
You: Overpopulation is a myth.
You: The Duggars pay taxes and homeschool. They are good people with no debt!
Me: Oh, so many things.
1. Tax on a property in rural Arkansas is like a dollar a year. You don't even want to know what my property taxes are and I only have two kids at the moment. Where's my party?
2. What does homeschooling have anything to do with it? That they're not a burden on the public school system? What about the water supply? With 22 people under that roof, the toilet must flush 100 times a day. Add in the massive laundry and cleaning water and the food burden (meat eating is bad for the environment. I KNOW! Science makes me such an f'ing hippy sometimes!) and the Duggars are leaving a carbon footprint the size of Texas aka Michelle's bangs. Which I kind of love. Fun fact: the Duggar girls perm their hair. If the 20th baby is a girl, that's more boxes of toni perm in the dumpsters.
3. They even use paper plates! PAPER PLATES. Excuse me while I take off my shoe and bum rush the stage. Three meals a day, 22 people, that's oh, nearly 70 paper plates a day, nearly 500 a week, 24,000 paper plates a year. [Makes the face of The Scream] No wonder their name is Duggar because they should have dug a new landfill by now. Maybe they should change their name to The Chainsaws because the world's forests are being hacked down just to keep paper china under their tater tots.
4. Are they really the amazing people they purport to be? Some say they are guilty of child abuse.
You: It's really all up to God. I wouldn't expect everyone to understand.
Me: If everything is up to God, why don't they just open their mouths to the sky when they get hungry? The answer is because human actions have effects. We are responsible for what we try to make happen. The Duggars are actively trying for something that could be a danger or source of pain for the family they have. I can certainly understand taking calculated risks with reproduction in order to have a family in the first place or to give your children siblings, but a 20th sibling at the risk of death or suffering seems to do less to serve God and more to serve ego and the consumer appetites of the TLC audience.
Also, is this really about God or a culture war?
I don't mean to shame Michelle Duggar personally. Maybe she needs help for some sort of baby addicton. I know the feeling of wanting a baby and it's not always easy to make the best decisions for your family using the gift of reason when you want something so badly. She is entitled to her choices and her reasons, but as a pop culture phenomenon, we may as well discuss it. Like, what kind of potty-training ninja is this woman by now?
You: I'll see you in the comments.
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