It's no secret that the Duggar family has some ... interesting rules. They're rumored to be a part of the super conservative Quiverfull movement, a contingent of Christians who shun contraception (would explain all the kids). But aside from the "have lots of babies" stuff, the Duggar family rules are kind of insane, and super strict. Everyday is a party in the Duggar house! (Just kidding, it's not, parties aren't allowed.) Now, I realize of course that every family is different, and as such, every Duggar is different! We've seen some of these rules broken over the last year or so. Noses have been pierced, pants have been worn. One Duggar couple even waited a whole year after getting married to have a baby!
But generally speaking, the Duggar family rules apply to everyone. And they seem to be part of the fabric of that family. I imagine that with a family of that size, rules are necessary. But when you really dig into the Duggar family rules, something becomes very apparent. These aren't rules meant to keep the day-to-day stuff running smoothly. These are rules meant to shame and control the women of the Duggar clan. Nearly all of the rules here apply to the daughters instead of the sons. Long live the patriarchy, I guess.
Jim Bob and Michelle often accompany their kids on dates, to keep things from becoming inappropriate. This is especially true for the girls, because apparently being in the company of men puts them in moral danger (maybe they should've chaperoned the girls around their older brother, just sayin'). What makes this especially weird is how the courting process works in the Duggar family. These kids aren't going on dates with randos. Every date is a step toward marriage, and the potential partner has been vetted by Michelle and Jim Bob. So they would presumably have gotten the stamp of approval?
Jana Duggar is the oldest of the Duggar girls at 28, but she's (GASP!) not married yet. She's not even engaged! Which is why you won't find her on Instagram or Facebook. Because apparently social media is only for the marrieds. But like, how else is Jana supposed to find a potential spouse?! Someone needs to get this girl on Tinder or Bumble and open up an entire world of possibilities. It tickles me to no end to imagine Jana swiping left on a bunch of wholesome Arkansas church boys while no one is looking. Stay single, Jana. You're on the path to freedom!
Apparently, Ben once joked to Jessa in a text message about giving him a ring. Then Jim Bob jumped in and put a kabosh on that with a smiley face emoticon and everything. Mom and Dad are cc'd on all text communications, because for all the trust they put in their lord, they don't seem to trust their own kids one bit. But having your parents snoop on all your texts has got to be annoying. What if you want to send a funny meme or a gif? We all know that those sometimes say the words we need to say better than we could. Something tells me the Duggar kids don't send a lot of these memes.
Keep your chests to yourselves, Duggars! Full-body hugging isn't allowed until you're good and married. Awkward side-hugs only, because everyone knows that frontal hugs lead directly to kinky sex. This is one of those rules that just seems ... unnecessary? They're never alone together. They can't even text or talk on the phone without supervision. They're going to get married, for crying out loud (all dating leads to marriage in the Duggar fam). So what's the big deal about a regular hug? It's OK, Duggars. It is possible to hug without being overcome with unclean urges and feelings.
Not even after they turn 21! Duggars don't drink or smoke, which is probably the least-weird rule they have. Lots of people refrain from drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. But it does beg the question: how to these Duggar kids ever rebel?! I mean ... do they rebel? Is that a thing that happens? I wonder if there are a few Duggar kids we've never met who couldn't quite follow the rules so they're kept out of the public eye. Like a daughter with a pixie cut who smokes weed or a son who doesn't want to marry a girl. Like The Man in the Iron Mask, but for Duggars. I'd read that tell-all, just sayin'.
Gospel music only for this purity clan. Modern music and dancing is for heathens and whores! It's hard to imagine a bunch of youths who don't listen to the radio or make dance party playlists on Spotify. Like, what's the point of being young, then? It's like they're born, they're toddlers, and then they're olds who never got a chance to live and enjoy life. Music is good! Dancing is fun! One can totally listen to music (even clean music) and dance a bit and not fall into the ways of sinners and heathens. Such a weird rule, to be honest.
The Duggars practice an extreme form of modesty, so the women are required to be covered from the neck to below their knees. That means no swimsuits at the beach or pool, and they try to avoid activities or events where people will be wearing swimwear (because then the menfolk would be tempted to look, and we can't have that, now can we?). Michelle recently caused quite a stir when she posted a picture with her knees showing, if you can believe it. I have to say, it's pretty hot in Arkansas in the summer. Gotta be uncomfortable to swim in a bodysuit.
Nope, even conversations between engaged couples are monitored by Ma and Pa Duggar. Not sure what they're afraid will be said between consenting adults who are already planning on getting married, but again, they don't seem to place a whole lot of trust in their children. It just seems so weird to give these kids (and yes, some of them are still young enough to be called kids) the immense responsibility of getting married and starting a family, and still not trust them enough to talk privately. What are they so worried about?! I bet there's a Duggar code, so they can vent about their parents to each other and their significant others.
Christmas is a-ok in the Duggar house, but keep that demon holiday away from them, please and thank you. Who needs black magic, witches, and sorcery when you've got Jesus? The Duggar family rules take all the fun out of life, if you ask me. No hugs. No music. Can't text or talk without supervision. And the little ones can't even get dressed up and go door-to-door for candy! Halloween is such a big part of a kid's life, it's a shame they aren't allowed to participate. Would be kind of cool to see what kind of homemade costumes the Duggar family could come up with, right?
Midwife Jill was once banned from helping a relative through labor and delivery, because she wasn't married when she got pregnant. So much for those Christian values. It seems to me that the Duggars would be all over helping wayward souls. Isn't that prime converting territory? And, as someone who knows what it's like to be a mom, you';d think that Jill would have been more than happy to help someone who's about to embark on the hardest journey of her life! Also it was a relative, not some random person off the street. I guess the Duggars aren't so charitable when it comes to helping people who don't follow their Duggar family rules.
If it ain't got that ring, don't touch that thing! And by thing, we mean hand. They can't even hold hands. You know how it goes: hand-holding leads to boob-hugs, which leads to bumping and grinding on the dance floor to gangster rap, and then suddenly all the good Duggar girls are working the pole for tips. Tale as old as time. I feel like the way someone holds hands says a lot about them as a person. Are they an over, or an under? Do they cup, or intertwine? Do they have sweaty palms?! So many important factors that can be determined by a little hand holding. Plus it's sweet and innocent.
Michelle once told Today that women need to be available to meet their man's needs whenever he wants, because "Anyone can fix him lunch, but only one person can meet that physical need of love that he has, and you always need to be available when he calls." They get to say no when they're riding the crimson wave or recovering for childbirth, which if you're a Duggar woman, is all the goddamn time. So at least they get that time off? My god, it's got to be exhausting to be a Duggar woman. So many Duggar family rules! So much childrearing! And just when you sit down to rest, your husband wants to get laid. Go away.
This "rule" was never more clear or maddening than during Josh's molestation and cheating scandals. Through it all, wife Anna stood by his side, and they even added a couple of kids to their brood. A source close to the family says, "Divorce is not even something that will be discussed." Lovely. So once you marry into the Duggar fam, it's for life! Apparently the Duggar family rules haven't been modified to account for stuff like the husband molesting his sisters or trolling for ass on cheating websites. You just grin and bear it, Duggar wife. Because molesters and cheaters regularly rehab themselves, right?
Jim Bob wants dads to protect their families by removing "worldly" or "sensual" content from their lives. Not sure exactly what constitutes worldly content, but we're guessing they don't do a lot of science and current events lessons in their homeschooling. Bibles and family-friendly board games are cool, though. And listen, there's nothing wrong with being involved in your child's education and supplementing it as you see fit! But, as you can from the Duggar family rules we've discussed so far, this family has some pretty strange standards. Something tells me the lessons they use in their Duggar Home School don't include stuff like gay rights and women's liberation.
Not sure if it's an actual rule, but they sure don't seem to use it! Most of the Duggar girls are pregnant within a year after being married off, and Michelle (despite difficult pregnancies, premature deliveries, and a stillbirth) has said she leaves her reproduction in god's hands. Seems ... risky? Selfish? Exhausting? One of the tenants of Quiverfull is procreation, and followers eschew all forms of birth control, including natural family planning. Children are "unqualified blessings", and the more the merrier. If they use birth control, they're rejecting god's blessings. It doesn't matter if you can't manage another child, or even afford another child. Gotta receive that blessing.
This dumbass rule has to do with modesty, too, apparently. Not sure what is immodest about wearing pants, but Michelle and Jim Bob "frown upon" the girls wearing anything but dresses and skirts (that go past the knee, obviously). It would seem to be that pants would be more modest? They don't have to wear skintight jeggings or (gasp!) leggings. You can find loose-fitting pants that would work. But nope! The implication that the Duggar women have legs and crotches and butt cheeks is apparently too scandalous. But a couple of the Duggar ladies have since bucked this rule, stepping out in jeans and whatnot. Fight the power!
So this is a strange addition to the Duggar family rules. Apparently, in the wake of the revelation that Josh molested some of his sisters, rather than tell their sons NOT TO MOLEST GIRLS AND WOMEN, Ma and Pa Duggar just banned hide-and-seek between sexes. Makes sense. That's a big ol' house for all those kids to be roaming around in, and with the older kids marrying off and moving out, there's no way they're always supervised. It's sort of like preventing fires by taking away the wood but not the matches. What a weird way to deal with a very serious issue.
We're guessing Josh is to blame for this weird rule, too. God forbid you just teach your sons to respect women and keep their goddamn hands to themselves, right? Older Duggar brothers aren't allowed to babysit the younger Duggar sisters. Christ on a tricycle. Just ... teach your sons that their sisters (and ALL WOMEN) are to be respected, valued, and not molested? Seems far easier than trying to limit how much time sisters and brothers spend together. We joke about it, but it's literally teaching to fox to just find another way into the hen house, rather than punishing the fox for trying to get in.