communication, complaints, Duggars, LDS, politics, religion, YouTube

Sometimes it’s okay to be a “karen”… but we really need a new term for that!

Guten Morgen, y’all. Two more days before we jet off to Norway. I will probably bring my laptop with me, but I don’t know how much or how often I will blog. I expect to be busy, and I may not have the best Internet access. And anyway, it probably would be a good idea for me to take a break from blogging. Maybe it would improve my outlook on things.

Yesterday, I recorded a couple of new songs. I think they turned out pretty nicely. I mainly did them because I felt like it. Singing makes me forget my troubles and helps me express my creative side. It literally makes me feel physically better to sing, especially when what I’m doing turns out nicely. This week’s songs are pretty good, if I do say so myself.

I got a comment on one of the songs from someone I “know” from the Recovery from Mormonism messageboard. I have been actively avoiding that site since March, when we lost Arran and I had an unpleasant interaction with a couple of people on the board. Although it certainly wasn’t the first time that had ever happened on RfM, I was feeling a bit “fed up” with being disrespected by total strangers. That was kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I decided to take a break from ex Mormons for awhile. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be back to RfM, since there are a few people on that site that I find insufferable and it’s hard to avoid seeing their posts. I did need the break, though, because I was finding RfM a toxic place to be at a time when I couldn’t handle the toxicity. Still, it was hard to stay away from that site at first, since I’d been lurking there for about twenty years. After a couple of weeks of concerted effort, I did fall out of the habit of wanting to visit RfM. I won’t say I completely forgot about the site, but I did find other places to go, and other things on which to focus my energies.

Anyway, I figured that since I got a comment from a prominent RfMer, someone must have mentioned me there. And, because I was feeling pretty strong yesterday, and because I’m about to go on vacation, I decided to take a peek. I noticed that someone did, indeed, link to one of my new songs on YouTube.

One person said they’d thought of me recently, which I found kind of surprising. I don’t think I was one of the more popular posters on RfM, especially recently. Mormonism means somewhat less to me now, even though Bill’s daughter is still a very active member of the church. I used to blame Mormonism a lot for Bill’s situation with his ex wife. I still think she misused the church in her parental alienation campaign, and some of the church’s policies facilitated her ability to do that. However, I no longer feel as angry at the Mormons, because ultimately, it was church members who helped Bill’s younger daughter get away from her abusive and manipulative mother.

On the other hand, although I no longer really care as much about the LDS church as I used to, I have noticed a lot of traffic on an old book review about an ex Mormon that I reposted here, on this blog. I had originally posted my review of Lynn Wilder’s book, Unveiling Grace, on Epinions.com. There was a time when I read and reviewed a whole lot of “ex Mormon lit”, and I had a huge list of book reviews with brief synopses and links to full reviews. When Epinions went defunct, so did many of those old reviews that I worked so hard to write. But I did manage to preserve some of them through the magic of reposts.

I reread that book review yesterday and thought it was pretty good. I guess the book’s author has launched a somewhat new Web site. She’s an evangelical Christian now, and thinks that people who are LDS are deceived. I disagree with her, but I respect her right to share her views, and I appreciated being given the chance to consider and express how I felt about her story. And lot of people do agree with her opinions, even if I don’t. That is certainly okay… especially in supposedly free thinking countries. Unfortunately, I don’t think the United States will be considered a free thinking place for much longer.

Which (finally) brings me to the title of today’s blog post…

I have never made it a secret that I don’t like the trendy “karen” moniker. I think it’s a very stupid and tacky thing to take someone’s first name and hijack it, turning it into an insult. And the “karen” insult now gets thrown around “willy nilly”, to describe anyone who has a complaint, whether or not it’s valid. You don’t like someone’s take on things? Just call ’em a “karen”. I think it’s a lazy, unfortunate trend that ultimately isn’t going to lead us to better places. Silencing people who speak up about issues, whether or not we agree with their viewpoints, is not productive. Moreover, it kind of goes against the spirit of freedom, doesn’t it? Aren’t we supposed to feel free to express ourselves?

Yes, I know that in a free society, a person is always allowed to react as they choose regarding someone else’s opinions, even to the point of name calling. I just think that it’s unproductive to issue a response that is intended to squelch freedom of thought and expression. Instead of having an honest examination and discussion, leading to considering whether or not the views have any merit, a lot of us simply call the person a “karen”, and call it a day.

I think we should be allowed to maturely examine and discuss all viewpoints, even the ones that are extremely unpopular or distasteful. Of course, people should do their best to consider the appropriateness of the time and place when they speak up. But sometimes, speaking out at an inappropriate time and setting is a person’s only opportunity to be heard.

This morning, I was in the Exploring Virginia Facebook group. Someone had shared photos of old coins he found while using a metal detector at a Civil War campsite. I own a few very old American coins from the 1800s myself. I inherited them from my dad. I don’t know where he got them, but he had them when I was a very young child. I was interested in the guy’s coins, since I had a few myself. Then I read the comments.

Quite a few people wrote that it’s illegal to take things from state and national parks. The guy hadn’t indicated that he got the coins from a park, so I have no idea where he actually found the coins (if it was on public or private land). The people who made the comments about the parks– maybe they were “party poopers”. But they were also labeled “karens” for speaking out about the laws regarding taking things found in parks. I don’t even think that was an appropriate use of the “karen” insult, as “karens” are supposedly middle-aged white women of means who act in an entitled way, and demand to “speak to the manager” over something considered trivial. There was nothing entitled or trivial about speaking up about laws regarding national parks. I guess if I were going to criticize, I’d say that the comments about “theft” from the parks were kind of negative, which was a pity in a group about the beauty of Virginia. But the people who made them weren’t being “karens”.

Note the rampant “karen” accusations… so pointless and unproductive!

But then it went further south, when someone brought up Joe Biden. Below is a sample…

Um… why does EVERYTHING have to be about politics? This was a post about Civil War era coins. I wish people would keep more of their political bullshit to themselves in discussions that aren’t about politics. Maybe that makes me a “karen”.

Another example of this “anti-karen” no complaining trend has to do with Christians. Over the past couple of days, Katie Joy on Without a Crystal Ball has posted two videos about reactions to the new Amazon docuseries, Shiny, Happy People. I get the sense that Jim Bob and company are terrified that more people within their repressive belief system are going to wake up to the truth about the IBLP and abandon the movement that keeps them in power and money. So, in response to the new docuseries, “pastors” within the IBLP movement– one of whom is Jim Bob’s son-in-law, Ben Seewald, are preaching about how it’s wrong to “gripe”, “complain”, or “whine” about problems in the church, or life itself. However… that message is one of “toxic positivity”, which is the idea that a person must be positive at all times, even when a situation doesn’t warrant it.

I dare say that being a child sexual abuse victim of one’s perverted brother is something to complain about! But these folks in the evangelical movement are saying that the abuse should be forgiven and forgotten and swept under the rug. As I have pointed out before, sweeping stuff under the rug will eventually make a mess that people will trip over.

Speaking up about being mistreated or abused is NOT being a “karen”. Being silent about abuse is not a sign of strength, and it isn’t helpful. These pastors in the IBLP are saying that good Christians turn the other cheek and maintain a “contented attitude”. But when doing that means submitting to being exploited and harmed, it’s simply WRONG, and it allows abusive predators to keep doing evil things to good and innocent people. It amazes me that, to these supposedly Christian people, Jill Dillard is “toxic” and “dangerous” for speaking up about being abused, but Josh Duggar deserves grace and forgiveness for doing the abusing!

Even people who follow Duggar Family News have criticized Jill for speaking out, claiming that what she and her husband, Derick, are doing is just a “money grab”. Well, first off– what the fuck is wrong with that? Jill and her siblings were exploited for YEARS by her avaricious father, who didn’t even deign to pay them for their work! People need to make money to live! Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar did NOT prepare their children to be able to have thriving and fulfilling careers. They were trained to be Jim Bob’s SLAVES! Most of Jill’s siblings are still practically enslaved by Jim Bob.

I have absolutely NO ISSUE with Jill making money off of her story. She totally deserves whatever windfall comes her way, especially since she and Derick had to live on food stamps for awhile, thanks to her greedy father. I don’t understand people in the USA– especially those who are Republicans and all about making money– calling what Jill is doing a disgraceful “money grab”. Isn’t that kind of the way of Republicans? Especially the Christians!

Anyway… I’ve ranted for awhile now, so I guess it’s time to close this post. I just wanted to point out that sometimes it should be perfectly okay to complain. No one should fear being called a “karen” for speaking up about legitimate issues, even if speaking up does spoil someone else’s fun. That doesn’t make someone a “karen”. But “karen” is a stupid insult, in any case, and it needed to go out of style yesterday. People should be allowed to complain if they feel so inclined to do so. And then we can all determine for ourselves if we believe their complaint has any merit. We can’t make any progress if everyone acts like things are always “hunky dory”, when they’re clearly NOT!

If you want to see someone who epitomizes the stereotypical “karen”, you can watch the below video… I wouldn’t call her a “karen” myself, because I hate that term. But she sure is acting like an entitled bitch.

Dreadful…

Have a good day, y’all.

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Duggars, narcissists, poor judgment, psychology, religion

Ben Seewald is currently in the dog house. History shows it’s a familiar place for him.

Well… I thought I might have a non Duggar topic for today, but all I can think about this morning is that clip I saw of Ben Seewald and Jim Bob Duggar interacting at Jill and Derick Dillard’s 2014 nuptials. And since I’ve recently been watching videos about body language, I think I’ll just go with what’s in my head this morning. In a manner of speaking, writing about Ben Seewald is kind of a change of pace. I don’t usually pick on him. I’ll try to be gentle.

A little mood music for this post. It’s inappropriate and rude, so be warned. This song is stuck in my head.

Here goes…

Yesterday, I wrote a post about how Jim Bob Duggar is facing a “difficult season”. His eldest son, Josh, is sitting in the county jail awaiting sentencing for his crimes against children. He lost his bid to run for an Arkansas Senate seat. And now, his son-in-law, Derick Dillard, who is married to his formerly beloved Jilly Muffin, is slamming him publicly on social media. Derick Dillard had some very “choice” words for his wife’s father. I shared them in yesterday’s post, but for the sake of simplicity, I will share them again in this post.

Dayum, Derick… tell us how you really feel!

The other day, I wrote another post in which I commented on The Transformed Wife’s assertions that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are “very good parents”. Now, I don’t agree with that at all, and you “regulars” probably already know why. I’ve explained many times why I think the Duggar parents are frauds and grifters. They have been using their children to bankroll their hypocritical “fundie Christian” platform for way too many years. I think a lot of their “Christian” ideals are put on for the cameras. Christianity serves as a facade for what I believe is really Jim Bob’s narcissistic mini cult. Today’s post about Ben Seewald highlights an example of what I mean.

In the post I wrote two days ago about Jim Bob’s and Michelle’s alleged “very good” parenting, I included a video of Jill’s and Derick’s wedding episode on 19 Kids and Counting. When that video originally aired, I remember being absolutely floored as I watched Jim Bob, Derick, and the rest of the male part of the wedding party getting dressed. There was a subtle incident in that episode that I think pretty much sums up Ben’s relationship with Jim Bob and, quite frankly, his wife, Jessa. The interaction I’m referring to happened very quickly. It was so fast that a lot of people probably missed it. I haven’t seen anyone else bring up this incident prior to today. But, to me, it speaks volumes…

Anyway, here’s what happened. Jim Bob and Michelle were watching everybody getting dressed for the wedding. They both spotted Ben Seewald, who was, at that point, just “courting” Jessa. Ben was wearing a black tie. Michelle Duggar was wearing an absolutely hideous silver dress that I think makes her look like a fish. Not surprisingly, Michelle bragged about getting that dress from the clearance rack. It’s obvious to me why that dress was on clearance. Michelle then commented that Ben needed to iron his necktie. The tie, which appeared to be cheap and made of polyester, was a bit rumpled. Jim Bob agreed with Michelle…

I remember trying to find video of the above incident some time ago. I knew it was in Jill’s and Derick’s wedding episode, but I kept missing it. It’s very easy to overlook this interaction, since it lasts just a few seconds. However, given what has happened to this family since 2014, I think this incident is quite profound. Below is a YouTube video of the wedding episode. You can see this ridiculous and cringeworthy interaction for yourself at around the 41-42 minute mark.

Fun times.

Now… the other day, I briefly mentioned this “necktie” incident, but that was before Derick wrote his Facebook post slamming Jim Bob for being a verbally abusive and manipulative liar, and a complete hypocrite. After Derick posted his strongly worded comments that directly called out Jim Bob, Ben came back with this rather “bitchy” and passive aggressive rebuke that sort of indirectly calls out Derick for being “rude”. He claims being “rude” is being “weak”. I don’t know how Ben finds the nerve to call Derick “weak”, when he can’t even address him by name and has to hide behind the Bible… and he literally lets their father-in-law lead him around like a dog while they’re on camera!

Um… don’t you think Derick has the right to be rude to Jim Bob, given what happened to his WIFE, Ben? Where are your balls? In Jim Bob’s dog house? Or in Jessa’s purse?

I don’t usually pick on Ben too much, although I remember thinking, when he and Jessa started “courting”, that Jessa could do better. He seemed so young, immature, and, frankly, kind of wimpy. I thought Jessa would go for someone a little more assertive. But hell, I don’t know Jessa or what turns her on. I have noticed that she tends to be snarkier than a lot of her sisters. It seems pretty clear to me that in spite of Ben’s alleged biblically “superior” gender and his supposed role as “protector” and headship, Jessa is the one who rules the roost. And you know, that’s fine, if that’s how it works best for them as a couple. But I do think that Ben made a fool of himself with the above post. He clearly lacks a spine and perspective.

Remember this, Ben? (and Jim Bob)

Instead of calling out Derick in a straightforward way, using his own words, Ben relies solely on scripture and a “bitchy”, peevish tone. He seems to have completely missed the point, hasn’t he? Jim Bob is partially responsible for the fact that Josh Duggar was allowed to abuse his sisters and a babysitter, along with God only knows how many other young females. Jim Bob, supposed headship, protector, provider, and megadick almighty, did not live up to the role that he claims is so important, according to Bill Gothard’s principles. Jim Bob failed to lead and protect his own family in his own household. Then Jim Bob had the nerve to try to inflict the rest of Arkansas with his spineless, self-serving, misogynistic and money grubbing agenda by running for public office, which thank God he did not succeed in winning.

And now, following his father-in-law’s toxic example, instead of standing up to Derick in an assertive way, Ben Seewald snivels, passive aggressively hiding behind Bible verses, and not directly addressing anyone in particular. But we all know he’s throwing shade at Derick for speaking out against Big Daddy Duggar. I can practically picture Ben’s pissed, humiliated facial expression captured in the screenshots above, as I see him posting the above rebuke to his brother-in-law.

What the hell, Ben? Where are your priorities?

Ben is supposedly studying to be a pastor. He works for Jim Bob. He lives in a house owned by Jim Bob. It’s too small for his growing family, but instead of going out and getting what he needs, he relies on Boob and sticks up for him when another son-in-law justifiably criticizes Jim Bob. Ben needs to grow up and reclaim his balls. He needs to get a life, “leave and cleave”, and stop being such a goddamned bitch, doing it “doggy style” for Jim Bob. Even if he doesn’t agree with Derick, Ben should own up to it and address Derick directly, like a man.

I’m not the only one who has noticed how wimpy Ben Seewald has a tendency to be. It’s being discussed in the Duggar Family News community. Katie Joy has also tackled it, although I started writing this post before I listened to her video. I pretty much agree with Katie on this. Ben has missed the point, and he’s totally calling out the wrong person. Ben doesn’t want to piss off Daddy Duggar, because Daddy Duggar is bankrolling his lifestyle. But what a yucky way to have to live! Who wants to kiss Jim Bob’s ass for the rest of their lives? Derick clearly is more mature and courageous than his brother-in-law, Ben, is. I think if Boob had tried to lead Derick by the tie, Derick would have knocked the hell out of him. Maybe he would have done it verbally instead of physically, but he would not have let Jim Bob treat him like that.

For more on this…

Again, I really don’t know what the dynamic is like between Ben and the rest of the Duggars. It almost seems like Ben should have taken Jessa’s last name, though. He’s definitely showing signs of submission, which is not necessarily a bad thing, even in a man. But I do think that if one is submissive, one should embrace that and OWN it. Ben’s attempt at being “manly” by calling Derick “rude” is PATHETIC. Either man up and be assertive, or keep being a submissive lap dog. If I could, I would say this to Ben…

Ben– for God’s sake, your WIFE was molested, as a young girl, by her brother in Jim Bob’s house. And Jim Bob did NOTHING to fix the problem! Look at where Josh is! Maybe if Jim Bob had gotten his son arrested as a teenager, he might still be in jail. Or, maybe if he’d hooked Josh up with a therapist, Josh might still have offended. But at least he would have TRIED!!!! Ben, why the hell are you defending Jim Bob? He didn’t defend your wife– his own daughter– when it was clearly his responsibility to do so, under your own religious beliefs! Derick may be “rude”, but at least he cares about his wife, and he clearly LOVES and protects her. That’s a real man who doesn’t do it “doggy style”.

I have repeatedly stated on this blog that abuse thrives in secrecy, especially child abuse. I know it goes against what a lot of people think of as “polite behavior” when other people air their “dirty laundry”, but abusers THRIVE on people who don’t want to make a scene, upset the apple cart, or rock the boat. Abusive people demand that their victims be silent and keep their secrets. They use shame and humiliation to keep their victims down so they can continue to manipulate, exploit, and abuse others. Jim Bob is clearly very narcissistic, and Ben has signed on as one of his “flying monkeys”… or, perhaps he’s more of a lap dog. Either way, it’s pathetic, and it will eventually lead Ben down the road to ruin. He’s following a loser, and the loser will not take him anywhere worth going.

People who speak out against bad behavior may seem “rude” and obnoxious. I have been called “bitter”, “petty”, and “snotty” myself, for calling out certain abusers in my life and writing about them in this blog. However, I’ve also noticed that fewer people try to abuse me because I simply don’t tolerate it anymore. I would rather suffer or cause someone else some embarrassment, than tolerate abuse, exploitation, and disrespect.

Being an abuse victim is unhealthy and unworkable. If not being silent means people like me less, so be it. I’d rather have genuine people in my life who have real regard for me, than someone who just hangs around because I keep their secrets and do their bidding.

It seems to me that Derick Dillard has similar opinions to mine, when it comes to showing and receiving basic respect. Good for him for being a real man, instead of acting like another one of Jim Bob’s lap dogs. And may Ben find and CLAIM his balls very soon, instead of just playing with them when Jim Bob and Jessa give him permission and hiding behind posting passive aggressive Bible verses on Facebook.

And here’s a link to Red Peters’ hilarious album that provided the “mood music” for today. As an Amazon Associate, I get a small commission from Amazon on sales made through my site.

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Duggars

Another Duggar has wed… Make way for Jed and Katey!

But this time, it seems like it was done on the down low. Jedidiah Duggar, who was being affectionately called “Twin Bed Jed” last year, as he unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the Arkansas State House of Representatives, has married the former Katey Nakatsu. Their wedding was an outdoor affair that took place in Arkansas, with scores of people in attendance. Jed’s twin brother, Jeremiah, was his best man. Katey’s sister, Lauren, served as maid of honor.

It hasn’t escaped my notice that this pair got married the day before Easter. Maybe it’s because Jed’s ready to “give rise” to a sex life. Or maybe he’d like his political aspirations to be “reborn”. He might be taken more seriously in the political arena if he has a home and a family, right? Especially if his wife is beautiful, which Katey certainly is.

Pickles, who runs the Duggar Family News page and group on Facebook, says that the vows the pair exchanged were traditional and full of what she calls “misogynistic” and “submissive” crap. I am not surprised, and I’m sure it won’t be long before they start having babies. Below is a screenshot:

As my college friend, Chris, would say… “R” (R stands for ROTTEN)

I don’t know much about Katey, except that she’s originally from Arizona, and her family recently moved to Arkansas, much like Lauren Swanson’s family did before Lauren married Josiah Duggar. I did read that Katey’s dad is fond of the letter “K”… or so it appears, as his name is Korey; his first wife’s name is Kim (she’s Katey’s mom); and his second wife’s name is Kerry. Also, Katey apparently has a half-brother who is gay and has his own hair salon in Los Angeles. If that’s true, I think it’s cool. The Duggars need more diversity in their clan.

I also read that Boob gifted Jed a house. It’s a 2000 square foot home located just four miles from the Duggar compound and it has three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. I suppose that’s plenty of room for the Jed Duggar family to start growing. It’s bigger than the Seewald abode, which used to belong to Josh and Anna Duggar. Jessa and Ben Seewald have been in that house for several years now. They have three kids– two boys and a girl– and another baby on the way. But their house only has two bedrooms. I think Jessa’s husband, Ben, is trying to become a pastor. Well, it’s “past time” for the pastor to get bigger digs for his growing brood. But that’s just my social worker side coming out to play.

Jed’s wedding comes a month after his younger brother, 18 year old Justin, married the former Claire Spivey. I quit watching Counting On a few years ago, because it had just gotten too boring for me. However, I have noticed that the weddings aren’t getting as much pomp and circumstance anymore. Maybe TLC has finally decided to axe this show… or they’ve just relegated the Duggars to Discovery+, which I think is a pay per view service. I don’t know… I’m so far out of the loop over here in Germany.

I wouldn’t ordinarily write about this topic, but I can’t think of anything else to write about today that wouldn’t be snarky, petty, or bitchy. And since it’s Easter, I figure it’s better to write about a religious event. I suspect the latest Duggar wedding was held outside because of COVID-19, but I’m sure it was otherwise like any other Duggar event.

On another note… have you noticed how popular the name “Lauren” is these days? Or maybe it was popular twenty or thirty years ago. It seems like there are so many Laurens out there now… and Kaylas, too. I even have a cousin named Kayla. It’s like the name “Jennifer” in my era. I know personally about “Jennifer”, because that’s the name my mom gave me. I’ve always hated it, which is why I go by “Jenny”. I only like that name a little bit more, mainly because I’m more of a “Jenny” personality wise. Jennifer is too formal for the likes of me.

Anyway, the Duggar family has a lot of ties to Laurens. There’s Lauren Swanson Duggar, who is Josiah’s wife, Lauren Caldwell, who is Kendra Caldwell Duggar’s sister, Jessa Seewald’s middle name is “Lauren”, and now we have Katey Nakatsu Duggar’s sister, Lauren. Those are just off the top of my head. There are probably more Laurens in the mix that I’ve either overlooked or haven’t yet discovered, not that I’d take the time.

I have developed an unfortunate aversion to the name “Lauren”, much like I’ve developed an aversion to the name “Sabrina”. Sabrina is the name of my husband’s ex wife, who is a skank of the first order… (sorry, seems a little petty bitchiness has slipped in, anyway). Actually, calling her a skank is being quite nice, especially after what we’ve recently found out about her. But I digress…

I know some people think I’m being awful when I “trash” Sabrina. I’m sure it seems that way to anyone who doesn’t know our story. But trust me… if you only knew the backstory and the illegal and immoral shit she’s done, you’d know I’m being exceedingly kind when I refer to her as a “skank”. She really should be in prison. That’s neither an exaggeration, nor a joke. And Easter is a special day for Bill, because it was on Easter that she demanded a divorce while staying at Bill’s dad’s house, but didn’t actually mean to get a divorce. Happily, Bill took her up on it, and here we are, 21 years later. 😀 We’re living the good life!

Well, I truly hope Jed and his new bride are very happy together, and they have many wonderful years of wedded bliss. I pray that they don’t let Boob intrude too much in their personal business. And I hope that Katey’s first roll in the sack wasn’t too painful or messy. Sorry… there’s that petty bitchiness rearing its ugly head. Must be the onset of menopause working its devilish magic again. 😉

Happy Easter, everybody. And just to show that I’m not a total creep, here’s a video I made yesterday, starring Noyzi the wonder pup from Kosovo!

I love Beth Nielsen Chapman’s songs.

There’s a lot I’d like to rant and rave about… hence the recent protected post. I wish I could make it public, but a certain “Lauren” in my life has reminded me that there are a lot of literal creeps in the world who don’t want to try to understand. Anyone who’s curious and not a creep can always request the password.

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