Michelle Duggar: Villain or Victim in '19 Kids and Counting' Son Josh Duggar's Sexual Molestation Scandal?

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Michelle Duggar has been front and center in the recent revelation on behalf of the media that 19 Kids and Counting son Josh Duggar sexually molested five underage females--four of whom are his own sisters--when he was a teen. Since word emerged about Josh's crimes, Michelle has been portrayed as a villain--and maybe that's how she should be portrayed. Clearly, neither she nor Jim Bob Duggar did what modern convention mandates is necessary when dealing with a sexual predator.

There's another way to look at Michelle Duggar, however, and that hasn't yet come up in the public eye. And do note, this is completely separate from the vile things Michelle Duggar has said about LGBT people in public. This involves her role inside the 19 Kids and Counting family only. Might she be as much of a victim--or at least somewhat--as the daughters Josh Duggar sexually molested?

Before fans of 19 Kids and Counting cry foul, just imagine what life is like behind the Duggar closed doors.

Jim Bob Duggar is the patriarch of the family, and in devout Baptist families--as the 19 Kids and Counting clan identifies--he is the head of the family because the Bible states that's how it's supposed to be. Women defer to their husbands in fundamental Christian households. Jessa Duggar's own father-in-law recently publicly supported Josh Duggar and the way Jim Bob and Michelle handled the who situation.

It was supposedly Jim Bob Duggar who discovered Josh Duggar's crimes and reported them to the police. The family then prayed and forgave Josh and went on with their lives.

Now, of course, everyone is wondering why on earth Michelle Duggar didn't protect her daughters? Why didn't she insist that Josh Duggar be removed from their household? Why didn't she take her daughters and flee?

Have you ever been inside a fundamental Christian household? This isn't simply a household where Jesus Christ is the center of the family's beliefs. Fundamentals have their own jargon, their own set of rules, and their own rather archaic (by many people's standards) ways of dealing with things that others simply can't fathom. And at the center of it all is the wife, who is to 'submit' to her husband.

Put in another context, just imagine all the articles written about women who don't flee their abusers. They stay because they are brainwashed into believing they cannot survive either alone or without their abuser. And while no one has ever said Jim Bob Duggar abuses Michelle Duggar, look at the dynamic of their relationship.

This is in no way meant to defend Michelle Duggar. It is simply meant to enlighten those who believe her job as a mother is simple--cut and dried.

It wasn't then and it likely isn't now.

Just because Michelle Duggar didn't flee with her daughters or remove her son from the family fold doesn't mean she doesn't love her family.

Michelle Duggar submits to her husband.

Jim Bob Duggar rules the 19 Kids and Counting roost.

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.