bad TV, Dress codes, Duggars, slut shamers

More Duggar deception– “Nike!” No “defrauding” allowed!!!

Yesterday, I was watching more old episodes of the Duggar family’s reality show, when I came across an episode from about 14 years ago or so. In that episode, little Joy Anna Duggar was at home in Arkansas, watching her parents and sisters (Jessa, Jinger, and baby Jordan) on The View, with several of her brothers. Suddenly, she nonchalantly got up and blocked the television.

A producer asked what Joy Anna, who was probably about ten or eleven years old at the time, was doing. Grandma Duggar was looking after most of the Duggar kids while Ma and Pa, and two of the big girls, who usually had child rearing duties, were away in New York City. Grandma calmly explained that Joy Anna had been trained to prevent her brothers from seeing females who were considered “immodestly dressed.”

This was a weird episode anyway, as James Duggar was running around singing “In the Sweet By and By…”

The producer asks Joy to explain why the boys aren’t allowed to see women who show skin, but she’s clearly at a loss as to why that was wrong. I remember watching this episode back in the day and not thinking too much of it, given that they were fundies. This was long before we knew what a perverted creep Josh is, and what he had already done to his sisters– including little Joy Anna– by that time. But now that everything has come out about the Duggars, I see this particular episode in a different light. In some ways, it’s kind of horrifying. The hypocrisy and deception is astounding.

Below are a few screenshots I took of this episode. The pictures reveal a lot, but the video reveals even more. We’ll see how long the above clip stays available.

As the Duggar girls try to explain the idea of protecting the boys from “de-frauding” to the male producers, the shot then pans to Michelle Duggar, who explains that the boys, as they grow into manhood, need to learn “self-control”. Then she says “Their eyes are the door to their hearts. And if they can’t control their eyes, they’re gonna struggle with ‘other things’.” Indeed… and that truism has become especially clear in the last six weeks or so.

When this episode aired years ago, I thought Michelle’s explanation seemed reasonable enough, although I wasn’t onboard with the whole “slut shaming” attitude the Duggars seemed to have. But now, I watch and listen to this, and I wonder why Joy Anna, who was at such a tender age and clearly had no idea of why she was being tasked with protecting her brothers from “filth” on TV, should have had this duty to shield her brothers from temptation. At this point in her life, Joy Anna had already been victimized by her brother, Josh, from whom her parents did NOT protect her! Why weren’t Ma and Pa Duggar more diligent in protecting their own daughters from their eldest son’s obvious lack of self-control?

I guess by 2009 or so, Michelle Duggar knew that at least one of her sons had a problem with being unable to control himself. So, instead of handling that BIG problem herself, with Jim Bob’s and a qualified mental health professional’s help, the parents relied on their children. Also, it seems to me that if the boys need to learn “self-control”, they shouldn’t have to rely on their sisters hiding scantily clad women from them on TV or out in public. The won’t always have “minders” around, will they? And why should little girls be asked to “mind” their brothers, protecting them from other females? This should NOT have been their job, at all. Especially not when they were as Joy was in the above clip.

If “self-control” is what the Duggar parents really wanted to teach, then they should have taught their sons to control themselves without their sisters help… and without acting as if a woman dressed in a revealing outfit is something they need to be shielded from. Simply teach boys to control themselves and behave appropriately, without all of the theatrical bullshit designed to show everyone what “great” Christians they are for going to these ridiculous lengths to be “pure”.

Of course, by now, we all know that the above shenanigans were 100% ineffective bullshit anyway. At least in the case of Josh Duggar, one of the boys didn’t learn self-control, nor did it matter that one of his victims was well-trained in the art of protecting her brothers from sensual temptations. It’s a real tragedy that the Duggar daughters had to help raise their own brothers, even when it comes to teaching them to keep their eyes and hands to themselves. But, at least some of the brothers seem to have turned out alright.

I read that Jeremiah Duggar is now planning to marry Hannah Wissmann. Their engagement was posted on People.com. I don’t know much about Jeremiah, except that he’s Jed’s twin, and he likes to play chess. Or, at least that was claimed on one of the old episodes. He’s seems quieter and less cocky than Jed is. To me, Jed seems very smarmy, destined to pick up the political mantle where Josh left off when it became obvious that he wasn’t as good as he claimed he was.

I don’t know much about Hannah, except that I think she’s pretty, and I read that she comes from a very large, musical family. I saw the obviously staged engagement photos, in which she appears to be surprised, yet wears a long, pale pink gown that is reminiscent of the pink dresses all the sisters and in-laws wore when the Duggars were expecting a bumper crop of girls in late 2019 and early 2020. She probably raided the Duggar laundry room. In any case, she obviously knew he was going to propose, yet still acted “surprised”. Jer is also wearing what looks like sneakers with his suit. I guess that’s not a big deal, although it surprises me that he’d get dressed up for an obviously staged photo shoot, but wouldn’t bother to wear dress shoes. Go figure kids these days.

Anyway, I wish them luck. Jer doesn’t seem too obnoxious, as Duggar males go. And at least he’s been well protected from “de-frauding”, right? And he knows to dutifully bow his head when he hears someone say “Nike!” At 26 years old, Hannah is also probably not that meek and submissive, although she did grow up “fundie”. So we’ll see what happens. At the very least, it’s a somewhat happy distraction from Josh’s jailing, and Jim Bob’s political failing…

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condescending twatbags, Dress codes, modern problems

Wanted: The Perfect Nanny…

When I was in the second grade, our class put on a presentation of Mary Poppins. My part was “Narrator #3”. Story of my life. I remember that as we prepared for that play, we learned songs from Mary Poppins. One of the songs we learned was called “The Perfect Nanny”.

“Adorable, well that’s debatable, I’d say…”

Here are the lyrics:

Wanted a nanny for two adorable children
If you want this choice position
Have a cheery disposition
Rosy cheeks, no warts!
Play games, all sort
You must be kind, you must be witty
Very sweet and fairly pretty
Take us on outings, give us treats
Sing songs, bring sweets
Never be cross or cruel
Never give us castor oil or gruel
Love us as a son and daughter
And never smell of barley water
If you won’t scold and dominate us
We will never give you cause to hate us
We won’t hide your spectacles
So you can’t see
Put toads in your bed
Or pepper in your tea
Hurry, Nanny!
Many thanks

Sincerely,
Jane and Michael Banks

It seems like a lot of people are taking it upon themselves to apply for the position of “nanny” these days. And I’m not talking about working with children, either. I’m afraid that being behind a computer screen emboldens a lot of people to lecture others, particularly about their personal choices.

This morning, I read an interesting article about top dressage riders protesting the use of helmets instead of top hats in competition. I was interested in the article, because I used to own and show a horse myself. My discipline was “hunt seat”, which required the use of a hunt cap. In the 1980s, a hunt cap was a hard hat covered in velvet or velveteen. When I first started riding, they didn’t all have chin straps. After a few years, harnesses were required. I pretty much hated them, but eventually got used to them. People who rode Western had cowboy hats with no protection.

Me, a long time ago, showing my horse at the State Fair of Virginia. I wore a velvet hunt cap with a loose fitting harness that I found oppressive at the time. God, I miss having a horse!

These days, riders wear huge bulbous helmets that look more like something you’d see on a motorcycle. I’m sure they have saved people from catastrophic, life altering injuries or death. But they are aesthetically less appealing and may or may not be very comfortable to wear. I don’t know if they are or not. I’ve never tried one on, myself. I do kind of miss the look of the velvet hunt caps, even if they aren’t as safe.

Awesome dressage done in top hat and tails.

In any case, a large number of expert dressage competitors hate the helmets. They don’t want to wear them. They have sent a petition to the powers that be, demanding that they be allowed to keep their top hats for the highest echelons of competition.

And a more recent performance with the rider wearing a helmet.

According to Dressage Today, the petition reads:

“The top international dressage riders would like to make a formal demand to the FEI to keep the option to use the top hat in international competitions for Seniors. There has never been a serious accident at an international dressage competition, and the riders believe there is no reason to change that for senior competitors at CDI4*/5*, Games and championships on Grand Prix level.

“The top hat is an essential part of the identity of dressage. The dresscode makes us unique and we feel very strongly that the top hat remain as optional to use, but only at the highest level of competition. For awards ceremonies, the use of protective headgear can remain mandatory.

“It should be noted that there are other disciplines that are not required to wear helmets, and we feel that this inequality is not warranted. We urgently request that the FEI add this matter to the agenda for the next General Assembly, and change the rule accordingly. We believe it is the right of each individual rider to choose between the use of a top hat or protective headgear. This right cannot be revoked.”

As I have written several times in my blog, I’m not a big fan of people telling others what to do. I hated seatbelts when I was growing up. I’m not too fond of them now, but I comply with the law because it’s easier and because if I don’t, the car and Bill both turn into Pat Boone. I could choose not to comply and probably get the stink eye from Germans… and maybe a stiff fine.

Same thing goes for face masks. I hate them, but I comply with regulations. And I truly hope that either an alternative is designed or the COVID-19 virus is vanquished enough so that they become unnecessary. I find the masks depressing and uncomfortable and I can’t wait to see them gone. I don’t put masks in the same league as seatbelts and helmets. In any case, I don’t presume to tell other adults what to do. Nobody likes a lecture, and lecturing people is mostly a waste of time, anyway. All they do is piss off others.

I had to go read the comments on the Facebook post about the top hats. It was like reading another article about mask protesters. People were saying things like, “Wear the damn helmet!” And the other side came back with, “Don’t tell me what to do!”

I’m sure it makes people feel better to tell off those who aren’t following the rules. Personally, I like to think that adults are capable of making their own decisions. I feel this way about voting, too. I may completely disagree with your choices at the polls, but I figure you have your reasons for voting the way you do. I doubt a lecture from me is going to change your mind, and it’s none of my business anyway. I wouldn’t want you to lecture me about my vote… and as someone who sometimes votes third party, I sure have been on the receiving end of a lot of those kinds of comments.

I can see why dressage riders like their top hats. Maybe someone will come up with a design for a top hat that is safer than the old version, yet provides the same aesthetic. I do miss the velvet hats in hunt seat. They looked very elegant compared to the big helmets of today, although I will admit that the helmets are easier to keep clean and probably last longer because they can withstand the elements better. In that sense, they’re more practical, as well as safer. But I don’t begrudge those who like the old way. They have their reasons for feeling that way, and they should be heard without being ridiculed, insulted, or shamed, as long as they present themselves in a respectful way.

If you’re being rude as you present yourself, then all bets are off when it comes to the response you’ll get. That’s why I felt okay about telling that guy to go fuck himself after he accused Bill of being a “bad person”. If he had not been insulting first, I would not have responded in that manner… or at all, for that matter.

Just like Jane and Michael sing in their song about the “perfect nanny”, people don’t like to be scolded and dominated, nor do they like to be force-fed things that are unpleasant, even if it’s “for their own good.” I think it’s best to let people draw their own conclusions and hope they’ll make the smart choice.

Time for breakfast…

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Dress codes, slut shamers

Pulling ’em off…

Yesterday’s post about leggings turned into quite the Facebook debate. My Italian friend says he thinks women wear leggings to turn on men. This was his comment.

It is a pointless discussion. Wearing leggings is part of an evolving mating ritual. If there were no men, there would be no leggings. It is just a strategy to attract the attention of men. In an era of increasing sexual availability and stimulation, clearly strategies must evolve and become more extreme, hence the dismay of an older woman who used older, milder strategies. In parts of the world, the sight of a bare female foot is sexually arousing, while here in Germany a pretty woman sunbathing naked in the park might just go unnoticed. Same with men: if you can afford a red Ferrari, you might say you do it for the love of cars, but you know it is part of a mating ritual. Approaches vary, same old story. The only observation I can make is that perhaps one woman in 1000 looks good in bare leggings. All the others, who believe that revealing more of their mediocre body might increase their mating chances, are sadly deluded. A woman of class, who has more to offer than just attractive anatomy, migh wear leggings, but only under a skirt.

Many of my female friends chimed in that attracting men is not the reason they wear leggings. I was the first to tell my Italian friend that a lot of women wear them because they’re comfortable. Quite a lot of my friends agreed with me that they like leggings because they are easy to wear. So my Italian friend came back with this comment.

But you all miss the point: the article was about young women wearing tight leggings with nothing on top, basically something like a pantyhose, therefore very revealing, not comfy. At that age, EVERYTHING is about the opposite sex, both for boys and girls, as it is understandle due to the hormone levels mother nature burdens us with for reproductive purposes. Or it’s been such a long time you have all forgotten?

More debate ensued after I wrote this.

Leggings are comfortable whether you wear a skimpy top or a long one. They’re stretchy. I will grant that not everyone can pull off wearing leggings and looking good in them, but that kind of thing is in the eye of the beholder. I’ve never seen leggings that are like “pantyhose”, either.

Another friend wrote this.

I disagree about not everyone being able to pull off leggings. If you think you can pull off leggings, you can. Doesn’t matter what size or shape you are. Wear them with gusto!

To which I replied:

Well, that is a matter of opinion. You’re welcome to yours.

Let me reiterate. I basically think people should wear whatever they want. I may not like what a person is wearing. I may not think what they’re wearing is flattering or attractive. But I will absolutely defend their right to dress their bodies in the way they wish. My viewpoint is my own and it’s one of many opinions. I don’t claim to be right or wrong.

Here are a few pictures I found on the Internet that make me think that not everyone can “pull off” wearing leggings. Again, just my opinion.

That looks painful. Image: Pinterest
Actually, those look like tights. Image: Pinterest
An oldie but a goodie. These just blow my mind. Image: Facebook
Bet she does. Image: Pinterest

Just because I don’t think these leggings look so great on the women who are wearing them, that doesn’t mean I don’t think they have the “right” to wear them. I don’t think wearing them in public is wise, but certainly a person should be able to wear what they want to wear “with gusto”, as long as they aren’t at school, church, or work, where there might be a dress code of some sort… or perhaps not.

Some people think dress codes are stupid. But uniforms are a form of identification. Police officers wear uniforms so that citizens can identify them when there’s trouble. Medical personnel are easy to spot by the way they dress in a medical setting. Hell, I wore a dirndl at Busch Gardens because that identified me as an employee. The dirndl added to the ambiance of the fake Germany, where I was working at the time. I have heard that the costumes have been phased out, but people who work at Busch Gardens still wear uniforms so they can be identified as employees.

I also think that dress codes aren’t a bad idea in a school setting, as long as they are equally enforced. It is distracting when a person comes to school wearing a t-shirt with swear words all over it. It is disruptive when someone dresses in a way that is impractical or unsafe. Moreover, school is preparation for the work world. I would hope a person wouldn’t go to a job interview wearing leggings that reveal the message that he or she “gets around”. Maybe you are able to do your job while wearing purple leggings that announce that you “get around”. But it’s not very professional or appropriate to wear that attire at work if you’re dealing with the public. If you want to walk around town with those leggings on, I guess it’s not such a big deal… except you might end up being made fun of on social media. But I can always avert my eyes, right?

Bottom line… wear what you want to on your time. Leggings aren’t always about trying to pick up men. Some people do find them very comfortable. I would hope most people who find them comfortable would select them in the right size and made with fabric that adequately covers the subject. But I suppose even that is in the eye of the beholder… and nobody really cares about my opinions, anyway. Bwahahaha…

In other news: Yesterday, I ordered us a lawnmower. It’s a robot, which means I might not have to mow. I can sit on my ass and watch the mower cut the grass while I drink beer. I tried using a robot vacuum. It was hard to get used to. Hopefully, this will work out alright. I’ll take a video.

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