Jessa Duggar Upcoming Appearance at Christian Conference Angers Many in Wake of Josh Duggar Sexual Molestation and Ashley Madison Scandals

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Jessa Duggar is set to speak at the Southern Women's Show in both Birmingham, Alabama and Charlotte, North Carolina this fall. The Christian conference is designed to empower and entertain women in the areas of fashion, fun, family life, and more.

In light of Jessa Duggar's brother Josh's recent scandals, however, some women--and men, too--aren't sure the former 19 Kids and Counting star should be on the roster of guests.

Jessa Duggar is married now, and it seems hubby Ben Seewald will be on hand as well to sign autographs. The couple is expecting their first baby on their first wedding anniversary--November 1st.

You guessed it! Jessa Seewald from TLC's 19 Kids and Counting will be joining us at this year’s Southern Women's Show Birmingham! Jessa will appear on Saturday, October 10th.

Posted by Southern Women's Show Birmingham on Monday, July 13, 2015

The Southern Women's Show Birmingham posted about Jessa Duggar's upcoming October appearance. Some of the commenters on the post seemed a bit disturbed that she was among the guests.

One commenter wrote, "I wonder if Jessa will answer questions about the molestation cover up? Why her husband doesn't have a job? Why she's traveling this late in her pregnancy? Does she plan on "blanket training" her son (beating baby until he/she submits to the rod)? Just asking."

The Southern Women's Show Birmingham quickly ran interference, replying, "Thank you Susan Payton for your comments and your interest in Jessa’s appearance. As you are probably aware, Jessa and her sister Jill are partnering with TLC and child protective organizations, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) and Darkness to Light, to raise awareness and offer assistance to families dealing with similar issues. The documentary will air sometime later this summer and many of the questions regarding their abuse will be addressed at that time. The question and answer session during her appearance at the show is open forum, however; we are hopeful that public inquiries are appropriately respectful regarding this important and sensitive subject. As an advocate for such victims, The Southern Women’s Show supports these endeavors to shed light and spark hope for the many children & families in need of support."

Another commenter chimed in, referring to Jill Duggar Dillard and Jessa Duggar Seewald's interview with Megyn Kelly after Josh Duggar's first scandal went public.

"Jessa and Jill outright lied in the Kelly interview. Said "we were asleep and didn't know we were abused". This is NOT what their testimony says in the police reports. #blankettraining," the commenter wrote.

Jessa Duggar Seewald has a very special message for Southern Women's Show fans!

Posted by Southern Women's Show Charlotte on Monday, August 24, 2015

A commenter on Jessa Duggar's message ahead of the Southern Women's Show Charlotte left the following comment on the organization's recent Facebook post.

"This woman was made a victim of sexual abuse by her parents cultist lifestyle. Now she seems to be fully willing to perpetuate the same mistakes and cult lifestyle as an adult. She has my sympathy as a victim but absolutely none of my respect as an irresponsible, willfully ignorant adult."

Southern Women's Show Charlotte replied, commenting, "Sarah Elizabeth, Cindy Cormier-Canfield, Linda L Beran-Miller, Debbie Furner, Erika Araneda, Mia Mort, Jan Sacks, Rebecca Elizabeth Hunt - Thank you all for your comments. We understand that sometimes the special guest(s) appearing at the show may not appeal to everyone, which is what the Southern Women's Show is all about ... we aspire to bring a variety of programming, features, shopping and events to appeal to a variety of tastes. There is truly something for everyone. We hope you'll decide to join us after all on Friday or Sunday."

A man got in on the comments, too, writing, "Too bad Southern women don't understand the many struggles women have been through to achieve their status in the 21st century. The Duggars live a Patriarchal Biblical lifestyle which represses women. Featuring one of them as a speaker hurts women everywhere. Shame on you."

A woman named Jennifer chimed in with, "I can't believe that a Women's show in 2015 would even consider giving this person a forum to continue to spew her bigoted hatred and her outdated view on women's roles in both the home and in the workplace. You couldn't find someone who actually has something to say that can contribute to the betterment and advancement of women?"

Josh Duggar's wife, Anna Duggar, has made news a lot lately--especially since Josh admitted to having two Ashley Madison accounts, being addicted to porn, and cheating on Anna Duggar. Yet the former 19 Kids and Counting family--as well as Anna's own parents--say she won't leave her husband. A porn star and stripper has even come forward, claiming Josh Duggar cheated on Anna Duggar with her--and that the sex was rough.

This commenter believes Jessa Duggar shouldn't speak at the upcoming conferences because the Duggar women--including Anna Duggar--can't lend insight into how 21st century women live.

"As a survivor of childhood sexual assault and considering the decades it has taken me to come to terms with the crime that was committed against me, I am highly disappointed in your choice to invite Jessa Duggar (or any of the Duggar women) to your upcoming event. The Duggars can provide no useful information to any women who are seeking progress. Their religious agenda is hell-bent on taking women back to the 1920's, where women have no voice, no power; and whose sole purpose is to sexually service men and have babies. The Duggar women are the antithesis of everything you espouse," the commenter wrote.

Do you think Jessa Duggar is a good choice to encourage and represent women at these Southern Women's Conferences? Or did the conference management perhaps secure her appearance long before either of Josh Duggar's scandals made news?

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.