Thursday, May 28, 2015

Do media critics of the Duggars need professional help?

As if it's not enough that the Duggars have to face humiliating public scrutiny over their oldest child's sexual misbehavior as a 14 year-old, they now have to suffer the indignity of having to listen to advice about how they should have handled the problem from people whose sexual values differ little from those found in a common barnyard.

There are houses of ill repute with higher standards of sexual behavior than the people now giving advice to the Duggars.

Take the case of Salon magazine, a tawdry little liberal online publication, whose advice to the Duggars is to seek "treatment." Here is Kathleen Furin, wagging her moralistic finger at the Duggars and waxing eloquent about the "experts":
Keeping children safe from abuse is the purported goal of a number of institutions throughout the country. Yet clearly the Duggars – both the young girls who were victimized and Josh, the perpetrator — fell through the cracks on this one. What’s most concerning is that it is possible that this is not an isolated incident within this religious sect, and that many more children may be at risk. 
The greatest concern here for all of us should be appropriate treatment for the perpetrator and the victims, who seem to have been forgotten by both their parents and their brother. You can probably chalk that up to their uber-patriarchal, women-hurting, woman-hating belief system. But society should have an interest in stopping this type of abuse regardless of who is doing it (looking at you, powerful white men), and stopping this type of abuse requires treatment. It isn’t safe or healthy for any perpetrator to not seek appropriate, evidence-based, clinically effective treatment. Nor should any child, regardless of his or her parents’ religious beliefs, have to be subjected to this type of abuse, so it goes without saying that the girls should also receive the best treatment available.
Any time you hear someone touting something as "evidence-based" or "clinically effective" you should grab your family and head for the basement. Every failed idea ever proposed was hailed as "research-based" or "based on science." These are among the most abused expressions in the English language.

Every time someone has a moral failing, we haul out the celebrity shrinks and act like psychology is some kind of hard science that can solve all of our behavior problems. Just take Josh, put him on a couch, and subject him to a battery of questions to see if maybe his questionable behavior can be traced to something that happened in this childhood.

Oh, wait: His questionable behavior is what happened in his childhood. Never mind.

Now just to put Salon's advice into perspective, consider the following recent article titles in the magazine and then ask yourself who is in need of treatment:

  • Your sex number is your business: The intimate secret your partner has no right to know: How many people have you slept with? It's usually a misleading figure, and one we have every right to hold close
  • The “secret” to female e*********n: How all women can experience it: Explosive orgasms are understood to be a uniquely male phenomenon. That doesn't have to be the case
  • “Unwilling v****as make me really uncomfortable”: Sensitive men draw their ideal v****as: Who doesn't want to hear a dude say something like, "I accept the v****a however it appears"?
  • Intimacy after the “call girl” years: How sex work changed the way I have sex: Playing the part of a sexual object had given me a feeling of control. Now I'm learning how hard vulnerability is

Getting advice on how to handle sexual misbehavior from Salon magazine is sort of like getting advice on kindness from Atilla the Hun, or integrity from J.R. Ewing.

People who clearly have some kind of sexual psychosis have no business giving advice to other people on how to cure their sexual problems.


Anonymous said...

Everything you cite from Slate concerns CONSENTING ADULTS. Not someone molesting children.

Singring said...

You forgot to bleep out one of the vaginas. What kind of sicko deviant does that?

Martin Cothran said...


Would adult incest be okay then, since it involves only consenting adults?

Martin Cothran said...


Thank you for pointing that out. Took care of it. Thank you for helping to improve this blog.

Rob Mattheu said...

The Duggars need professional help. And I'm betting soon a lawyer.

Rob Mattheu said...

Can you provide some insight on how creepy the homeschool movement is? It appears there's a reason the Duggars wanted to keep their kids away from contact with others. It's scary how many people (including the Quiverful and homeschooling advocate below) would defend abuse rather than explore how much damage it can do.

Martin Cothran said...


Do you have some basis for your generalization that the whole homeschooling movement is creepy because of what one member of it did?

Martin Cothran said...

Or maybe your just sore about homeschoolers being so inordinately successful in national spelling bee competitions and having higher average standardized test scores than public school students?

Rob Mattheu said...

You're correct. Shouldn't paint homeschooling with a broad brush. There are many reasons to home school, only one of which is to keep your child hidden away. That said, there are many stories from homeschooled kids, and the above examples are creepy in the extreme. Certainly there should be oversight and review of all homeschooled children to make sure they are safe and are meeting some minimum standards of education.

Can you point to your homeschool data so we can see what we're talking about in regard to test scores?