The Quiverfull Movement. The term and its precepts used to be fairly obscure. They have gotten quite a lot more exposure in recent years thanks to TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting reality show.
That show — and the Duggar family that stars in it — has been held up as an example of moral purity and model behavior for all. The kids in the Duggar family are forbidden from expressing affection for people they are courting — or even engaged to — beyond “side hugs” and chaperoned social activity.
The Duggar family, and 19 Kids and Counting, has received lots of press and tabloid attention for the novelty of not kissing before marriage. In one case, the couple chose to not even kiss at their wedding, but capitalized on posting pictures of themselves kissing later.
Mama Michelle Duggar has called LGBT folks “child predators” and taken down any pictures of same-sex couples posted to their Facebook page requesting pics of couples kissing.
The Duggars: a family where kissing before marriage is a sin but molesting young girls is a juvenile mistake #CancelTheDuggars
— jade (@expressionalx) May 22, 2015
The family touts its religious principles in all this. But what is Quiverfull?
Vyckie Garrison started her website “No Longer Quivering” to tell the story of her “escape” from the Quiverfull movement. She describes the Quiverfull teachings this way:
Quiverfull ~ is the idea that truly godly families will “trust the Lord” with their family planning. Children are viewed as unmitigated blessings (“As arrows in the hand of the mighty man, so are the children of ones youth, happy is the man who hath his quiver full of them”) and as such, the couple is willing to have as many children as the Lord chooses to bless them with. Artificial or chemical birth control such as the Pill or IUDs are equated with abortion ~ the sin of murdering your own offspring.
Garrison does specify that Quiverfull is not a denomination, and that “those families which are involved are not required to ascribe to any particular doctrinal beliefs.”
But some are looking at the totality of the Duggar’s moral and religious beliefs — including their Quiverfull leanings, their opposition to rights for LGBT folks, and what some see as the subjugation of women — for clues about Josh Duggar’s actions.
The Duggar's are against civil rights for women and the LGBT community but incestuous child molesting is apparently A-OK NO MORE DUGGARS
— Leslie Grossman (@MissLeslieG) May 21, 2015
Quiverfull is also called the Christian Patriarchy movement. According to one ex-adherent, some women who were considering marriage were once asked, “Are you ready to do the most vulnerable thing that a woman ever can do and submit yourself to a man, who you are going to have to follow in his faith, who is incredibly imperfect and is going to make mistakes? Can you do that? Can you call your husband ‘Lord’? If the answer is no, you shouldn’t get married.”
Michelle Duggar once said, as a tip to a happy marriage, that women should “Say yes to sex, even when you’re tired.” Her rationale on this was, “Anyone can fix him lunch, but only one person can meet that physical need of love that he has, and you always need to be available when he calls.”
For this to be a top tip from Michelle Duggar, some say that it reveals that her husband Jim Bob does indeed come home seeking sex from her, even if she is tired. He knows she will “submit.”
Some ask whether being raised with this kind of view of women as subject to men may have influenced Josh Duggar’s young mind to have his way with five girls. Might being raised in this environment have also influenced how his sisters reacted to his abuse? Might it still?
Don't know why anyone is suprised that the Duggars covered this up: Patriarchy means putting the needs of a son over multiple daughters.
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) May 22, 2015