communication, Duggars, mental health, psychology, Reality TV, religion, social media, true crime

We need to be able to rationally discuss difficult topics…

*Trigger warning* Today’s post is on a sensitive subject that may be offensive to some readers. I’m tackling Josh Duggar and his abuse, as well as that topic in general, but I’m doing so in a way that I hope is objective and rational. Please proceed with caution or skip this post if you think this topic might be too triggering. If you choose to comment, please be civil.

Two days ago, I finished reading Jill Duggar’s book, Counting the Cost. I wrote a review of the book, which you can find by clicking here. I only shared my link on my own personal Facebook page, but I am a member of the Duggar Family News page and group on Facebook. Other people are now reading and/or listening to the book, and they are offering their opinions. This morning, I happened to read a comment by a woman who is now listening to the audio version of the book. She wrote:

So I’m listening to the book… And I’m at the part where the letter is found about Josh… First she talks about being on Oprah, which they weren’t because Oprah got word of what was going on with Josh. Second it seems like she was also angry about information getting out…. Here’s the deal I understand she was a victim… And I worked with a victims of molestation for over 34 years.. But it seems like she is blaming everyone but her parents for what happened with Josh… Maybe later in the book she changes her tune… But I’m finding it really irritating and wishy-washy.

To me, this comment, while kind of negative, was basically the poster’s genuine reaction to the book so far. Maybe it was her use of the phrase “here’s the deal”, that set off some people, but I noticed that some folks immediately jumped on the woman’s case for what she wrote. The first comment I noticed was this:

I haven’t read the book, but I think it’s not up to us to judge victims of sexual abuse for how they process it and whom they blame for it.

At this point, the above comment has 94 likes. When I first read it about an hour ago, it had 89 likes. People think it’s a good rebuttal. I guess I can understand why people like the comment. It seems very patient, victim edifying, and kind, while the original comment seems a little “judgey” and critical.

Personally, I am a little troubled by the rebuttal to the original comment, because there’s an element of shame to it. It’s basically a subtle suggestion to the original poster that she should just “shut up” and stop “victim blaming”. It’s as if the person who responded to the original poster thinks Jill Duggar will be reading her comment and feeling hurt by it. Maybe she will read it, though I doubt it. I’m sure Jill is feeling kind of overwhelmed right now, even though the response to her book by the public has been largely positive. Her family may be really angry with her right now, and their opinions will mean a lot more than some random person’s in a Facebook group.

If we assume Jill Duggar won’t be reading the critical, but honest, comment about how the reader thinks she was “wishy-washy”, maybe we can be more objective about the original poster’s opinion. While it didn’t occur to me that Jill was “wishy-washy” in her explanation about how she was victimized by her brother, Josh, I don’t think it’s a bad thing that someone else had a different take and dared to express it. I support allowing people to express their opinions without automatically being attacked or shamed for sharing their views. Maybe if people shamed and knee-jerk reacted less, more people would be willing to ask for help when they really need it.

Someone else wrote this– it came across as kind of angry, shaming, and judgmental to me, compounding the issue. Shouldn’t we encourage people to share their opinions, insights, and impressions?

As someone who ” worked with victims ” for 34yrs I’d like to think you would have more understanding and empathy.

No 1 victim processes nor deals with what has happened to them in the same way. Every single person eho has ever experienced this kind of trauma has every right to FEEL and PROCESS hiw they like.

Your statement is extremely ignorant considering the yrs of expertise you should have.

The discussion continued…

Jeez, it was just an observation. Why can’t people take a deep breath before popping off at strangers for simply commenting? This hostile response just shuts down communication and the sharing of ideas. Why are people so threatened?

The Duggar children were raised in a home where they weren’t allowed to dance because dancing might arouse sinful thoughts in other people. Jill wrote extensively about how the girls were all expected to dress modestly, so the boys wouldn’t be tempted by them. Jill’s mother, Michelle Duggar, told her daughters that she used to dress inappropriately “before she became a Christian” and that led men to think sinful thoughts. When she changed her “sinful” ways and started dressing more modestly, she became a “better” person by not causing men to “fall” into sin.

Jim Bob and Michelle made their daughters responsible for half the population’s thoughts and actions by telling them that they had to think of the men when they got dressed in the morning and in literally every move they made. They attached shame to their daughters simply for being who they are (beautiful, young females), giving them a duty to always have to think about the lustful thoughts of males. What a burden to put on their daughters and every other woman!

Jill further explained that her mother used certain kinds of music– mostly classical or religious– to train her children. When they didn’t do the right things, she would turn off the music, and the joy would stop. They learned to curb the natural desire to dance– move rhythmically to music– which is a source of great joy to many people and an art form. And yet, in spite of the fact that dancing was banned in their home, four of the Duggar sisters (that we know of) were still victimized by their brother, Josh. Josh went on to view illegal material on the Internet, cheated on his wife, and was accused of having very rough sexual relations with a sex worker.

Meanwhile, Josh was “punished” by having his head shaved in front of people in his community and being sent away to do manual labor for a family friend. Later, he got a stern “talking to” by former Arkansas State Trooper, Joseph Hutchens, a (presumably) former friend of the family’s. Hutchens is now himself in prison for sex crimes, having been sentenced to 56 years for child pornography charges.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar did NOTHING to help Josh with his obvious problem. They did NOTHING to help Jill or her sisters deal with the trauma of what happened to them. I think the commenter has a point– Jill does hold Jim Bob responsible for the financial abuse he perpetrated toward Jill and her siblings, but she doesn’t seem to realize that her parents failed her and her siblings in their responsibilities to protect their children from their oldest brother.

Indeed, although reportedly Josh told his parents about his problem in 2002, when he was still about 14 years old and legally a child, his parents responded by having MORE children. Several of their youngest children are girls. Instead of dealing with Josh– trying to find him appropriate treatment and minimizing the risks toward their other children (and not making more victims)– the Duggar parents simply made more rules for everyone else to follow. The whole thing was swept under the rug, and the abuse continued– seemingly under the radar. Then, Jim Bob put his whole family on display for the world to see. Frankly, I’m shocked that the news about Josh’s abuse wasn’t made public long before 2015.

When I was earning my MSW, I had a professor who had done a lot of work with domestic abusers and sex offenders. He was very matter-of-fact as he talked to us about the clinical work he did before he became a professor. I remember him telling us that in a clinical situation, we must never react with shock or revulsion when someone talks about distasteful subjects. As therapists, it would be our job to listen objectively to those who came to us for help.

The professor explained that sexual preferences are hard wired. Those drives are very powerful and difficult to fight against– like eating, drinking, or sleeping. So, we must realize and understand that while it’s illegal and extremely damaging for people like Josh to act on their impulses, they truly can’t help themselves for having those urges. If we were to work with sex offenders or domestic abusers, it would be up to us to try to help them find ways not to be abusive. The first step in helping people with that problem is to not automatically be repulsed by them. That is how trust and rapport builds, and people can then feel comfortable enough to talk about their problems. That is how problems can possibly be solved.

To be very honest, at this point in time, I don’t think we have very many effective avenues of real help to offer people like Josh. Part of the reason why we don’t have more ways to help sex offenders is because people don’t want to talk about the problem. Instead of trying to understand where the deviance comes from and address it, we attack, revile, and shame the people who have these feelings. So they continue to suffer in silence until they finally decide to hurt someone.

Most people– if you ask them what should be done with a sex offender like Josh– won’t even think twice about it. They’ll say the person should be taken out and shot, or exiled to prison, or something extreme like that. It doesn’t occur to them that no one really wants to have these dark urges. It must be a terrible way to go through life, actually– having these highly taboo obsessions and not being able to act on them without great risk– maybe like having an intense itch that can’t be scratched. Complicating matters is that there are very few people who can be trusted to give them real help. If you are someone who has these obsessions, you can’t just go to just anyone and tell them that you have the obsessions without risking your freedom, your safety, or even your life. So there’s no real help available, and the person is left to try to deal with those thoughts and feelings in secret. Some of them are successful. Some commit suicide. A lot of others end up victimizing innocent people.

A lot of people also assume that they will never be personally affected by this issue. When they glibly suggest that someone ought to be taken out and shot for being a pedophile, it doesn’t occur to them that perhaps one of their loved ones or friends struggle with this problem. That’s because the vast majority of people would never talk about it with someone else. Another poster shared this thought, which I thought was very astute (bolded emphasis is mine– I’m sure someone whose child is a sex offender wouldn’t necessarily want to see them taken out and shot):

I am wondering if Jill just didn’t want to blame her parents. After all, they gave her such a “wonderful childhood” and she loved them with all of her heart. It’s easier to blame people that don’t really matter in your life, and aren’t immediate family.

As Bill and I were discussing this issue today, I was reminded of a professor I read about who had worked at Old Dominion University (ODU) in Norfolk, Virginia. The professor, whose name is Allyn Walker, is non-binary and uses the pronouns “they” and “them”. Walker was teaching sociology and criminal justice at ODU, and researching minor-attracted people (MAPs). They wrote a book titled Long Dark Shadow, which is about so-called minor-attracted people. Walker faced huge backlash due to their research of this topic. People at ODU were offended by the work Walker was doing, accusing them of “normalizing” pedophilia. I suspect the vast majority of people who had issues with Walker’s work knew very little about it and hadn’t been able to bring themselves to think about the topic rationally. Ditto to the reviews on Amazon about this book. I’ll bet a lot of the people who left one star reviews never bothered to read the book.

Walker’s work is about pointing out that not everyone with inappropriate thoughts commits crimes. It’s not a crime to think “bad” thoughts. It’s a crime to act illegally on those thoughts. Moreover, putting it on everyone else to avoid dancing, dressing “immodestly”, or otherwise behaving in ways that might cause other people to sin is not effective. We can see that by simply looking at what happened in the Duggar home. Worse, the girls were blamed for Josh’s sins, and “rewarded” with even more rules and restrictions.

Walker is providing a potential place for people with this problem to seek effective help and increase understanding of it so that fewer people are abused. Ultimately, their goal is an extremely valuable one for all of humankind. But instead of realizing that this is a problem that needs to be solved, people were reacting emotionally, judgmentally, and extremely negatively to Walker’s work and the book they wrote. They weren’t taking a moment to consider that being able to treat pedophilia safely and effectively is a good and valuable thing. It would be a good thing to be able to keep people out of prison, stop them from feeling like they should commit suicide, prevent them from hurting innocent children, and help them be productive members of society. As a result, Walker left ODU and is now at Johns Hopkins University. Ultimately, they may be better off– Johns Hopkins is certainly a more prestigious university than ODU is. But what about the criminal justice and sociology students at ODU? Are they better off that Walker left their campus?

Imagine what might have happened if, instead of sending Josh Duggar to dig a pond, humiliating him in front of the community, and shaving his head, Jim Bob and Michelle could have sent him to skilled and highly qualified people who could have helped him try to master and effectively control those dark obsessions and impulses. Imagine if, instead of acting like the abuse had never happened, Jim Bob and Michelle confronted it, and got help for the children who were victimized by their brother. Wouldn’t it be better for the entire Duggar family if Josh and his sisters could have gotten real help for this problem? How about Josh’s wife, Anna, and their seven children? What will it be like for Josh’s children when they decide they want to get married? Especially his sons!

We, as a society, need to be able to talk about these tough subjects. But we need to be able to do so without shaming people who bring up views that aren’t necessarily mainstream. I, for one, commend Allyn Walker for doing the work they’re doing. We’ve got to do better than just sweeping this problem under the rug. Automatically condemning people for simply having inappropriate obsessions and speaking up about them doesn’t solve the problem. Those people need real help, before they turn into someone like Josh Duggar… who, I think, is exactly where he ought to be right now. In her book, Jill wrote that when Josh first came to Jim Bob and Michelle, he was very tearful and remorseful. She said that he’d apologized to her many times. By the time he was facing a federal judge for his crimes, Josh was acting like the whole thing was no big deal and his crimes were no more significant than a parking violation! He’s become callous and cruel, and he will never be safe to walk the streets as a free man.

Wouldn’t it have been so much better for everyone if Josh could have been helped by someone qualified when he was still a child? I think so. And I agree with the original poster who inspired this post that Jim Bob and Michelle certainly share in the responsibility for what happened to their children… and what is now happening to their reputation. Perhaps Jill isn’t yet ready to face that fact, and I agree that we shouldn’t judge her for that. I’m sure she has a lot of processing to continue to do, and it will be ongoing for the rest of her life. But the original poster also wasn’t wrong to express her opinions or her observations about Jill’s book.

I wish more people would stop being so intent on correcting other people’s opinions and impressions. We all have different takes on things, and being willing to hear other voices and rationally discuss other perspectives is one of the best ways to learn about and expand our understanding of all things… even if we ultimately don’t agree with the other person’s viewpoint.

Please note, however– this does NOT mean that I think we have to argue until the argument is somehow “won” by a particular side. In this world, there are a lot of things that don’t have a “right” or “wrong” answer. Sometimes agreeing to disagree is good, too.

I am considering reading Dr. Walker’s book. I may or may not review it, if I do decide to read it. I simply think Dr. Walker’s work is brave and important, and it needs further discussion by people who are willing to set aside their emotions and communicate rationally and objectively. I’m not sure if my blog is the right forum for that… but I do think Dr. Walker’s book should be given a fair chance.

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controversies, expressions, language, law

Repost: For the love of God, look it up!

And now I’m reposting this article that appeared on my original Blogspot version of The Overeducated Housewife on December 23, 2018. It’s a follow up to the previous repost– a rant about people who misspell HIPAA and insist that it’s actually spelled HIPPA (wrong). Again, this is mostly as/is, and all info was current as of 2018, not 2023.

Apologies to all.  I’m going to continue yesterday’s rant a little bit.  I know it’s petty.  I know a lot of people don’t care, and are more concerned that we get the “gist” of what people are referring to when they write “HIPPA” instead of “HIPAA”.  Frankly, I take a different view.  Knowledge is power.  I hate to toss around trite sayings, even those created by great authors like the late Dr. Maya Angelou.  But she was right when she said this:

Sage, gentle words from a great writer.

I don’t tend to use this quote much myself, mainly because the original wording has become bastardized into something that sounds kind of self-righteous and condescending.  Often, people who use this quote say or write something like this:

There’s a real difference in tone between these two quotes.  The second one is actually a modified version of the first, but comes across as kind of obnoxious.  Some other people simply write or say, “When you know better, do better.”  It’s akin to the people who shriek “Educate yourself!”

Another blogger, name of Mom, the Intern, does a much better job ranting about the bastardization of this particular quote than I can at this hour.  I recommend checking out her post if I’ve piqued your interest.  

The point is, while I don’t generally like telling people to “educate themselves” and don’t want to sound condescending and self-righteous, sometimes I feel compelled to advise other people to “do better”.  And that is what happened right after I opened my eyes this morning.

Those of you who read yesterday’s post may remember my admittedly long-winded rant about how many people on the Life is not all pickles and hairspray Facebook page repeatedly misspelled the acronym, HIPAA, as they each declared their expertise about this law.  I got to the point at which I felt like I had to be “that person”, and I posted this:

It’s HIPAA, not HIPPA. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. 

Although I knew very well that I was right about the way the acronym is correctly spelled, I did take the time to look it up, just to be sure.  It’s embarrassing when you try to correct someone and turn out to be wrong yourself.  I have done that before and learned from the experience.  When you have Google at your fingertips and a quick Web search takes a matter of seconds, it really pays to double check.  I also knew that my comment would annoy some people, so I wanted to be prepared for that.  People don’t like it when you correct them.  

Not surprisingly, there were others, like me, who had been suffering in silence.  At this writing, at least nine people “liked” that I posted the correction.  One person even went as far as to thank the first person (not me) who had correctly spelled the acronym, though didn’t call it out that people were getting it wrong.  

Also not surprisingly, I got one “who cares” response and another that claimed I was wrong.  The “who cares” response came from the page owner.  Frankly, I found her attitude disappointing, especially since members of the press follow her page.

Whatever, most of us know what it means. That’s the important thing.

I strongly disagree with this mindset, by the way.  There are good reasons for the concepts of “correct” and “incorrect”.  Words have meaning, and when you change words, you change meaning.  It can be as simple as conveying a different mood than was intended, or as serious as completely changing the message imparted.  See the above Maya Angelou quote for an example on that concept.

But then, someone who obviously did not take a second to look it up, posted this:

GRRR… it pisses me off when people are so very sure that they’re right when they’re clearly wrong, and it would only take a moment to check. I did edit my response, only to add that last bit about why it matters.

Maybe my being irked about this makes me anal retentive.  We all have reasons for being the way we are.  I am compulsive about words (and a number of other things, but that’s beside the point).    

On the other hand, it’s irksome when someone tells me I’m wrong when I know I’m right.  Not only did I know I was right before I posted, I actually took the time to look it up before I commented.  And with just a quick Web search, the commenter insisting that “HIPPA” is correct could have spared me from feeling the need to insist that I’m right, and advising them to look it up.  I don’t enjoy looking anal retentive and holier than thou, and yet, I couldn’t bring myself to let this slide.  

I can see why commenting on this makes me look picky and annoying.  But then, I find it annoying when people claim to be knowledgeable about something, yet don’t even get the terminology right.  Especially when all they have to do to verify is a quick check on an official Web site, like the one run by the Department of Health and Human Services.  Am I less entitled to be annoyed than the next person?  I don’t think so. 

I also think that the whole HIPAA argument, as it pertains to John David Duggar’s potential hospitalization, is mostly irrelevant.  The fact is, the people involved in John David’s medical care are beholden to HIPAA.  Friends and relatives who might spill the beans about his alleged hospitalization are not.  Either way, I personally don’t really care if he was in the hospital.  If he was, and the show’s producers and/or Boob want the public to know about it, it will probably come out in a forthcoming episode of the super boring show, Counting On, or it will be covered by People magazine.  

I know it’s just Facebook.  I know I probably need professional help, or at least a life.  I just felt like I needed to get this off my chest. Thank you for indulging me, and, for the love of GOD– look it up!

Then watch this hilarious video…

And here are the original comments from that piece in 2018:

AlexisARDecember 23, 2018 at 9:24 AM It’s a good strategy to look something up before correcting someone whenever it is practical to do so. Anyone’s memory can have a brief malfunction. Looking it up first saves a person the indignity of looking very silly.

Sometimes when one is working in a group setting, as in for presentations, someone in the group is insistent upon spelling a word incorrectly when doing so would make everyone in the group [and not just the person who insisted upon the incorrect spelling] appear ignorant. Most of us have phones with Internet access on us almost all the time now, so it’s not so hard to do. A lady in the city where I lived from the ages of nine until sixteen still hates my mom because my mom insisted that “potato” did noy have an “e” on the end (the lady was apparently plenty old enough that she should have remembered the Dan Quayle debacle, which even I know about, and it happened before I was born) when they were creating posters for a PTA-sponsored event. I wasn’t a big fan of Dan Quayle after the fact, but that particular fiasco was the fault of whatever teacher incorrectly spelled “potato” on the list of words to be used for the spelling bee. 

I find it somewhat outrageous that anyone would claim expert status or expertise concerning a set of regulations commonly referred to with an acronym when said person knew neither the correct spelling nor the words represented by the letters of the acronym. The fact that these people are citing laws that are likely irrelevant to the disclosure of John David Duggar’s recent hospitalization lends further credence to the idea that the HIPAA/HIPPA “experts” aren’t quite so knowledgeable as they claim to be.

Misspelling an acronym that is the subject of a debate is not the same as committing a typographical error when typing the word “because” in the same argument. I think the point went over Pickles’ head.

  1. Thomas WikmanDecember 23, 2018 at 12:20 PM There is nothing wrong with correcting people’s mistakes, especially if they insist that you are wrong. I don’t mind it. People who mind need to learn to take corrections the right way anyway (humbly and appreciative).
    1. knottyDecember 23, 2018 at 2:53 PM Right. I would rather be corrected than keep making the same mistakes over and over again.
  2. dleDecember 23, 2018 at 2:19 PMOh, I am with you 100% on this. People can think I’m a nitpicker all they want, but the seemingly small details matter. And if people can’t get the small things right, that really makes me inclined to question anything else they have to say. I am so tired of hearing people refer to the FAFSA form for college aid by calling it the FASFA. And there is an animal shelter in my area called SICSA (Society for Improvement of Conditions for Stray Animals), yet most people call it SISCA….geez people!! 
    1. knottyDecember 23, 2018 at 2:54 PM Yeah… you’d think they could get five little letters right, especially when they are claiming to be an authority.
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Duggars, healthcare, law

Repost: It’s HIPAA, not HIPPA, for God’s sake!

I’m reposting this article that appeared in my original Blogspot version of The Overeducated Housewife on December 22, 2018. I’m mainly reposting it because I have an older post that linked to the original on Blogspot, and that blog is now private. I’m mostly leaving this as/is, so please keep that in mind. What was written in that post was current as of 2018, not 2023.

This morning, I read an interesting little tidbit on the Duggar Family News: Life is not all pickles and hairspray Facebook page (not to be confused with the Facebook group by the same name and run by the same person).  It seems that “Pickles”, who has sources in the Duggar family and regularly breaks Duggar gossip before it hits the press, got the news that John David Duggar, newly married to his wife, Abbie, was recently hospitalized.

Pickles states that the information she got was unconfirmed, but “seems reliable”.  A poster on the page chastised Pickles for sharing what she feels is personal information, particularly when the news is unverified.  It wasn’t long before a debate about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) started.  Poster after poster quoted their credentials as to why they know that law intimately.  Over half of them referred to the law as “HIPPA”.

I can understand why people do this so often.  HIPAA, when said out loud, sounds like “hippo”.  It’s counterintuitive to spell it HIPAA, with two a’s at the end.  However, HIPAA is an acronym.  It’s not a typical word.  Then, there’s also the auto-correct we’re all saddled with on almost every electronic device these days.  The computer thinks it knows better than the user does, and will “fix” things that don’t need fixing.  But then, “hippa” is also not a real word in English, so auto-correct should not be an issue in this case.

I was amazed by the number of “experts” who kept misspelling the acronym that represents the law they claim to know so well.  You’d think if the law was so well burned into their heads, they’d know how to spell the acronym properly.

I myself learned a little bit about HIPAA when I was earning my master’s degree in public health.  My focus of study was on what was then called “health administration (HADM)”.  The program from which I graduated later changed the name to Health Services Policy and Management (HSPM).  I’ve noticed other changes, both in the Arnold School of Public Health and the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.  For example, when I was a student, both programs were strictly for graduate students.  Now, both programs offer bachelor’s degrees.  You can bet the people in those programs know which acronym is theirs.

Anyway, I know it sounds petty to be complaining about this.  God knows, despite having a degree in English, I don’t always do things exactly right when I write.  I guess it’s because the older I get, the more crotchety I become, particularly about petty issues.  I also think that when people claim to know something really well, to the point at which they qualify their statements with their credentials, they should be able to get a five letter acronym exactly right.  If you really know about HIPAA, and want me to believe that you know about it, then you should know that it’s not spelled “HIPPA”.

By the way, I doubt there are that many actual experts on the HIPAA law.  Indeed, have a look at the Wikipedia article about HIPAA.  It’s my understanding that HIPAA is a very complex piece of legislation that encompasses a lot of different areas regarding healthcare.  It’s not simply about your right to healthcare privacy; it’s also about taxes, application and enforcement of group health insurance requirements, fraud prevention, and a host of other things that I don’t feel like looking up right now.  So while many people do have to work within the HIPAA law, my guess is that they only know the part that specifically pertains to the work they do.

If I wanted to, I could provide screenshots of the “expert commentary” on the HIPAA law where self-described expert after expert refers to it as “HIPPA”.  I don’t feel like doing that, though, because it would mean my having to take the time to block out their names to protect their privacy.  I can’t be arsed to do that this morning, especially when anyone who really cares about this issue can simply check out the page.  The Duggar Family News page is open to all.  If this post were in the group, where one must be added by the admin, I might be more inclined to provide some cable.

As to John David Duggar and his possible hospital stay…  Well, honestly, I don’t care about it too much.  While I agree in principle that everyone is entitled to privacy, particularly when it comes to their healthcare, I also think the Duggars are public figures.  The adult Duggars who continue to stay in the “family business” kind of sign up for random people caring about why they’re in the hospital.

On the other hand, I personally believe that the Duggars’ fifteen minutes of fame probably should have been over a while ago.  I mean, they’re mostly famous for being fundie Christians and Michelle Duggar’s hyperactive womb.  A lot of what made them interesting, when they first came on the scene in the early 00s, are now relics of the past.  They’ve moved into the Tinkertoy Mansion, so we don’t see them all sleeping on top of each other like they did years ago.  The children no longer wear the frumpy, freakish, fundie uniforms they used to wear.  I mean, the girls still wear long skirts and flip flops, but they don’t wear the ugly homemade jumpers and lacy collared blouses.  The boys don’t wear the khaki pants and polo shirts.  A lot of the youngsters have graduated from the School of the Dining Room Table.  And some of the married women are now wearing pants and have piercings.

I don’t wish ill on any of the Duggars, per se.  I don’t even wish ill on “sex pest” Josh Duggar.  I just think that wondering why John David might have been hospitalized is a waste of time.  I’d rather wonder about other things, like whether or not there’s lint in my butt crack and bellybutton.  But that’s just me.

I just hope that if I’ve done one productive thing today, it’s to impart upon my readers that if you really want to seem knowledgeable about something, the first thing you should do is learn how to properly spell the name of your topic.  I don’t know about other people, but I have a hard time respecting a person’s so-called expert credentials about something when they keep misspelling its name… especially when the name consists of just five little letters.  But then, I’m also the type of person who gets annoyed when people write “breath” when they mean “breathe”, or “phase” when they mean “faze”, or “per say” when they mean “per se”.  To me, spelling is fundamental.  That’s why I’m still an overeducated housewife.

And below are the original comments from 2018. Here’s a link to the follow up post.

  1. AlexisARDecember 23, 2018 at 1:16 AM. I’m not tremendously concerned about John David’s hospital stay (real or imaginary) either, and neither am I an expert on medical privacy regulations beyond the common sense factors I need to know to avoid violating anyone’s privacy (in med school we had to pass shelf exams on the elements of HIPAA pertinent to us, but it’s mostly common sense), but unless the information concerning John David happened to have been disclosed without authorization by medical, insurance, or review board personnel with access to his information, would it be in any way relevant to HIPAA regulations?

    I’m still here for one more day before I return to the Great White North. Santa Barbara was gorgeous.
  2. RebeckahDecember 23, 2018 at 2:38 AM You’re right, Alexis — I’m a Homecare Aide and we have to know about the HIPAA privacy aspect (and pass annual tests about it too). If I were providing care in some way to John then I would violate his privacy (and violate HIPAA) if I told people about it. However, if is sister Mary Lou Who decided to share the news because she can’t stand the fact that he ate the last sugar cookie when she was 12 — well that’s just family for you. lol
  3. knottyDecember 23, 2018 at 5:50 AM. I couldn’t stand it, so I posted the correct spelling. Pickles’ response was “whatever”, which I find disappointing. Someone else flat out called me out and said I was wrong, which prompted me to provide a link to the law’s official Web page, proving I’m right. I know it makes me sound anal retentive, but I think people who want to act like they’re in the know about HIPAA should know the way to spell it. And I also got quite a few likes, so there’s the ego boost for that, too. Ha haha… I could use an ego boost.
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condescending twatbags, Duggars, religion, social media, stupid people

According to The Transformed Wife, I’m doing at least one thing right…

Here’s a disclaimer for the dense… This post is strictly tongue in cheek. Of course I don’t agree with The Transformed Wife’s dumb world views. However, I do kind of live my life in the way she’d approve of… well, except for my love of beer and raunchy movies. And there’s also the fact that I never managed to spawn.

Hidey ho, y’all. It’s Wednesday again. I’m trying to keep smiling, because tomorrow Mr. Bill goes off on another lengthy business trip. I’ll be sitting here alone in my “mansion”, twiddling my thumbs. But I can at least smile a little at one thought. According to The Transformed Wife (aka Lori Alexander), I’m doing at least one thing right in life.

It’s no secret that I don’t get out much on my own. It’s not because I can’t go anywhere. I have a car, money, and three nice cities I could easily explore if I had the inclination. When I was a younger woman, I probably would happily hop in the car and go downtown for shopping, tourism, lunching, or whatever. I might try harder to make local friends to hang out with, too.

But the older I get, the less interested I am in killing time in places where I can spend a lot of money or get into trouble. 😉 I’m also sad to report that I’m not very good at making real friends. In this nomadic military/contractor lifestyle, one tends to see a lot of people come and go… and not everyone can take my personality. At almost 51 years old, I won’t be changing it for anyone. I mean, I could try to change it, but that would probably mean I’d wind up with depression again. So, I gotta be me.

Bwahahaaha… I may belch, fart, and cuss like a truck driver, but I love my husband very much. I am also a damned good cook… however, I have trained Bill to do the cooking. I did teach him a lot of what he knows, though… 😀

What this means is that I stay home a lot. I’m often barefoot, too. I’m not pregnant, and never will be, because I’m about to turn 51. But I do stay in the home and try to keep up with basic housekeeping tasks. Today’s chore is washing the sheets, which are currently in the dryer (edited to add: Now they’re done and on the bed). Since I washed the duvets last week, I’m just doing the sheets today. That’s a treat for me. Since I made music videos yesterday, I never got around to practicing guitar. By the way… today is my third anniversary of guitar playing. I’m not a great player yet, but I’ve mostly been teaching myself, with help from Fender Play.

Too bad I never had kids. But I can take heart. By The Transformed Wife’s standards, I’m doing okay. For about twenty years, I’ve avoided most of the places on her list of evil places in today’s featured photo (screenshot). Her list is incomplete, though. I noticed someone in the Duggar Family News Group mentioned that The Transformed Wife left off the one item that made it most possible for women to leave the home… SHOES! Yeah. Let’s ban shoes for the ladies. That’ll keep ’em home!

The Transformed Wife has got to be one of the world’s biggest hypocrites. It’s not like she lived her life in the way she says women should be living theirs. She condemns social media, yet she gets her message out via social media. She says women shouldn’t work, yet she writes books and blog posts. She has quite a few books for sale on Amazon. Weirdly enough, they seem to get a lot of high ratings… I did read the one star reviews from Amazon raters on one book. I was surprised to see that quite a few were written by people who apparently had studied the Bible and, apparently, took Lori seriously enough to actually buy her drivel. I was expecting to see more comments from the more modern ladies who complain about her in the Duggar Family News group.

I’m sure it’ll come as no surprise to my readers that I certainly don’t agree with Lori Alexander’s thoughts on the best way to live. I think her advice is problematic for many reasons. The main reason it’s problematic, though, is because it’s unrealistic for the vast majority of people living in the 21st century… at least in countries where there’s a high standard of living. Most families with children can’t survive on one person’s paycheck. Aside from that, a lot of women want to work. They find fulfillment in having a career. There is NOTHING wrong with it, nor is there anything wrong with NOT having children. Not everyone is a believer in Christianity or other religions, or Lori’s warped, extremist interpretations of Christianity. She is certainly not an expert on Christian living, either.

I will say this, though… I’m impressed by Lori’s ability to get people to pay attention to her. She has managed to sell books, in spite of not being a particularly skilled writer (in my humblest of opinions, anyway). Even though a lot of people are mocking Lori, she has managed to carve out a niche… a purpose, if you will. Maybe her purpose is to amuse, or maybe it really is to inform or instruct. But nobody has to follow her advice or agree with her opinions. I mainly just find them hysterically funny and way out of touch with reality. Maybe they should scare me more, though, since there does seem to be a vocal minority of Christian extremists who are longer on fire power and dogma than they are good sense and decency.

I’ve heard that Lori doesn’t allow a lot of trolling on her social media accounts. Many Duggar Family News members have posted on her Facebook page and reported that she promptly blocked them. However, a quick look at her page right now shows that some people are getting their derisive messages out to the masses. Here’s a comment one person made… Edited to add: I guess that was an old page that she abandoned. The links in the first and next paragraphs are to her current page. Too bad. My hopes have been dashed! I’m keeping the below image, though, because I did learn from it.

Well, at least I learned a new word by looking on Lori’s (fake) page…

Below is a screenshot from Lori’s current page. Isn’t it interesting that she’s posting this on social media? Does she do it from a computer, a tablet, or a phone? I’m so curious.

I guess Lori still doesn’t mind if women read and write, as they give up their cars.

I wonder what Lori would think about my marriage. This year, we’ll celebrate 21 years. It’s mostly been wonderful, in spite of my complaints about Ex and what not. Bill and I are a very good match, and I know I’ve been a good wife to him. It has nothing to do with religion, though. It has to do with mutual respect, regard, compatibility, and sincere friendship. Bill and I want the same or similar things, and we both work hard to achieve them together.

Well… I know a lot of people would like to see Lori Alexander banned from Facebook. I wouldn’t go that far. I think it’s kind of sad that she sees women as second class citizens who need to be totally submissive to their husbands and pumping out babies. But that’s just her opinion, and obviously, some people agree with her opinions.

Part of living in a free society is allowing people to have and express their views. Those who want to shut her down are not much better than the “Taliban-esque” folks who want women to be barefoot, pregnant, handmaid-like wives. So, while I am not a fan of her viewpoints, you can count me among those who do not want to see The Transformed Wife canceled. I just hope those who pay attention to her on a regular basis have the wisdom to realize that a lot of the ideas in what she posts are unworkable and unrealistic, particularly in first world countries. And it’s not likely to lead to true happiness or productivity. Just my two cents… Maybe Lori wouldn’t think I was doing right, though, since I was “selfish” when I was younger and wasted time in graduate school instead of having babies…

But then, it’s probably better, by her yardstick, that people like me don’t breed. 😀

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celebrities, mental health, narcissists, royals, YouTube

Somehow saying, “For God’s sake, LOOK AT ME!!!!!”

Regarding today’s featured photo… Did you know that you can buy fake pregnancy tests on Amazon.de that always come up positive? This is supposed to be a “practical joke”… Seems like they could be used for more nefarious purposes, too…

“Well, howdy there, Internet people…” to quote Beau of the Fifth Column. I hope you had a pleasant President’s Day. I was really struggling with writer’s block yesterday, so after I posted about our delightful Sunday dinner at a German castle, I reposted a couple of articles from 2018. I thought I might come back and write something new later, but Bill and I ended up hanging out with sweet Arran. Arran has lymphoma and has been on chemo since October. The chemo is no longer working quite as well as it was, and I fear we will have to say goodbye to him before much longer.

I dread saying goodbye to Arran. He’s been part of our lives since January 2013, and he’s an incredible dog. Losing him is going to hurt a lot. But, on the other hand, I look forward to not having to worry about canine cancer so much for awhile. We do still have Noyzi, but he’s still fairly young. I also want to go on vacation, and that’s harder to do when your dog is getting chemo. I guess the main thing I feel, though, is that this is part of life. Prolonging the inevitable isn’t productive in the long run.

Aside from hanging out with Bill at home, which we probably wouldn’t have been doing if not for Arran’s cancer, we had a fairly uneventful holiday weekend. I noticed a lot of scuttlebutt about pregnancy rumors. There’s talk that Meghan Markle might be pregnant with her third child. Some people never believed that she was ever pregnant with Prince Harry’s children, Archie and Lilibet, let alone with another baby now. There’s an especially icky rumor that Meghan “lacks the necessary parts” to have babies. I’m not sure I believe that. But then, it’s not really my business.

One of many sources claiming that a new Sussex could be on the way. Looks like H.G. forgot the “S” on this video.

Lots of people on H.G. Tudor’s channel are commenting about this “news”. I do remember Harry had said that he would only be fathering two children, due to his concerns about the environment. People are commenting on everything from Harry’s claim that he only wanted two children, Meghan’s “real” age, and how she might actually be older than 41 (sister Samantha has said Meghan is, in fact, 41), to claims that Meghan had a hysterectomy years ago, supposedly due to her having had multiple abortions.

I don’t know how true any of that is… Actually, even though I am not a fan of Meghan’s, I find the constant speculation about whether or not she still has all of her female parts, fertility (or lack thereof), real parentage of her children, and her “actual age” kind of disgusting. I think that kind of mean-spirited speculation only gives credence to the Harkles’ claims that people are being “evil” to them. It’s probably best to just ignore them… give them what they claim they want– PRIVACY.

“Stop looking at us!” Yeah, yeah, yeah…

But, of course, the Harkles won’t go away, and we keep seeing them in the news. I will admit to being part of the problem, since I read Harry’s book and reviewed it on this blog. I also read and reviewed Tom Bower’s book about Meghan and Harry. They are kind of fascinating, in a trainwreck sort of way. I don’t know if Meghan is pregnant. I don’t actually care that much. What I think is interesting is the commentary about why the rumor may be circulating– perhaps even at Meghan’s hands.

A pregnancy rumor might help people forget about South Park’s devastating and scathing episode about them…

H.G. Tudor’s commentary regarding the narcissistic uses of pregnancy is especially interesting to me. Because, as he rightly points out, Meghan being pregnant right now would be fortuitous timing, as King Charles III is about to be coronated. A potential new Sussex could possibly make the adults in the British Royal Family more interested in reconciliation with Harry and Meghan.

Personally, I think Meghan and Harry went too far with the British Royal Family and are desperate to maintain ties. Talk of gestating a baby, real or imagined, is one way to do that. It could also explain why Meghan hasn’t been out and about so much lately.

Well, I suppose time will tell. People on H.G. Tudor’s channel are already saying that Meghan will eventually have a “mythcarriage”. Clever turn of words that is… and I suppose it’s pretty plausible. It would garner attention and public sympathy, too. But maybe she won’t. Maybe she really is pregnant. While it’s not as common for women in their 40s to get pregnant, it does happen. Sometimes, it even happens by accident. But, as I’ve never been pregnant myself, I don’t really know.

Moving on… I would like to write about another attention seeking woman who is currently being buzzed about in the Duggar Family News Facebook group. I’m writing about Jill Rodrigues. Now… I don’t actually write very often about the Rodrigues family, even though I recently got a nasty comment from someone who claimed I was condescending and hateful to Jill and David Rodrigues’s pregnant daughter, Kaylee. For the record, I mostly try not to be hateful– especially to or about people with whom I don’t have any personal dealings. I will admit, though, that I am human. Sometimes, the snark does slip in on occasion. And folks, when it comes to Jill Rodrigues, it’s kind of easy to be snarky.

Jill Rodrigues was reportedly born on November 3, 1978. That means she’s 44 years old. She has 13 children, with her husband, David. David was born on May 29, 1972, meaning he and I are the same age. I know that one’s 40s and 50s is not the prime time to be making babies, but modern medicine is miraculous.

Jill’s eldest child, Nurie, is married to Anna Duggar’s brother, Nathan, and together, they have two very young sons. Jill’s daughter, Kaylee, is also married and currently pregnant. Jill recently announced that her son, Timothy, is now in a “courtship” with Heidi Coverett. This is a lot of exciting news for the “Rodlets”, as they are sometimes called by fundie snarkers. Perhaps Jill was feeling a bit left out, as she posted this announcement on her Instagram, and it was shared in the Duggar group (I am not on Instagram myself, so I didn’t find this on my own).

I have taken the liberty of editing out the children’s faces in these photos…

Alas, it was not to be, and hopes and dreams are cruelly dashed as Jill announces a miscarriage of her 14th child…

Ahem… If Jill Rodrigues really was pregnant and has suffered a miscarriage, then I am truly sorry for her loss. I would not wish that on any woman, regardless of what I might think about them. And, to be honest, I don’t think about Jill very often, but I do see her get posted about a lot due to some of the places I frequent on the Internet. I don’t agree with the way she behaves. A lot of her behaviors set off my cluster B chimes, just as Meghan Markle’s do. But if she was pregnant and had a miscarriage, that is legitimately sad news for her.

It’s kind of interesting that this announcement came up as Jill was sharing other big news about her children. I know that when it comes to narcissistic types, sometimes it’s hard to let other people have the spotlight. Pregnancy can be very validating to a vain type of narcissist. Being fertile signifies youth, which might also mean a person is still sexually alluring and attractive.

I don’t find Jill sexually alluring. I’m not attracted to women, and I probably wouldn’t go for her even if I was, because she wears tons of makeup, is a fundie Christian, and sells Plexus. But, I do realize that biologically speaking, heterosexual men are naturally attracted to women who can still reproduce. So, claiming to be pregnant at age 44 could be a stab at trying to stay youthful and attractive.

Again, maybe she really was pregnant. I don’t know if she was, nor do I even really care, on a personal note. I just find attention seeking, narcissistic behavior very interesting.

On another note, many people in the Duggar group were commenting on how the little child in the photo is holding on to Jill’s pee stick with both hands. Will the child’s hands be washed after the photo op? One would hope so. Adding to the intrigue are the messages that were supposedly written by Jill’s already born children, comforting her after her loss. This message was connected to the above photos of the very small grandchildren holding Jill’s pregnancy test and announcing that they are going to get a new aunt or uncle.

Many people in the Duggar Facebook group speculate that, in fact, Jill wrote those “messages” supposedly given to her by her children. Again, I don’t know if she did or not, but even if the kids did write them, posting it on her busy social media pages, for strangers to see, does seem to be a very needy ploy for attention. I also know, from the posters in the Duggar group, that Jill doesn’t like it when people question her sincerity. She has a habit of blocking people who are “negative”.

I’m certainly not in the position of knowing whether the pregnancy claims regarding either of these 40-ish women are true or not. I know that some women can get pregnant naturally after age 40, but it’s not necessarily easy or particularly common to do so. I think the ones who get pregnant in their 40s probably had medical help of some sort. But that’s not the kind of thing that most people want to talk about openly.

Pregnancy can be a great way to stir up attention and buzz, though, especially when the mom is “older”. It’s kind of an old trick. I saw it somewhat often when I used to hang out in a certain online “pink” site for second wives and stepmoms. Certain women would announce that they would soon be hearing the “pitter patter” of little feet, only to announce a miscarriage later. Then they would “drink up” all of the attention from other women who were kind and sympathetic to their pain. I suppose if you think about it, the need for attention on that level is kind of sad and… painful. Especially for women who are of a certain age. 😉

Recently, I have been dealing with a little mid life crisis myself. Sometimes I do think about the fact that I don’t have children… and instead, I have dogs, who get cancer and die. :'( But, on the bright side, I don’t have to send them to college or get them fitted for braces. And dogs are an ever flowing fountain of love, loyalty, and regard toward those who bring them into their families and take good care of them. I have never regretted a single dog adoption… except for one, and that was an exceptional case. That dog never actually made it into our house, either.

I guess, if I feel anything sad about aging, it’s that I feel like I haven’t amounted to much and have disappointed other people. But that’s probably a futile and pointless thought, since when it comes down to it, most people are pretty fixated on themselves. So, at this point, it probably doesn’t matter too much. At least I managed to marry well, right? 😉

Anyway, if Jill Rodrigues is recovering from a miscarriage, I wish her all the best. And if Meghan Markle is pregnant, I wish her a happy and healthy pregnancy. If these two ladies are just trying to gin up attention, sympathy, and buzz, though, then I wish for them to find good mental health help. That kind of behavior is truly pathetic, and it has far reaching consequences for innocent people.

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