Although the Duggars are all about purity, sinful urges, and those damn side hugs, the men in the family are the opposite, which is surprising considering how weirdly prudish they seem about sexuality. Once the Duggar couples go through the usual steps they must go through to get married (courting, engagement, marriage), they quickly evolve from chaste hand-holding to fornicating like jackrabbits. Usually that's all fine and normal, but the Duggar men sometimes take things uncomfortably too far. And considering the Duggar women are taught to fully submit to their husbands, it makes the whole interaction even creepier.
We first noticed this icky trend while watching Counting On. In the episode, newlyweds Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo take a cooking class together. What follows is one of the most awkward and uncomfortable moments we've ever seen on the show. Jeremy goes a little overboard with the PDA while Jinger smiles and looks embarrassed. "It's getting hot in here," Jeremy shamefully boasts. Eventually, even the cooking instructor tells them to pipe down because, you know, it's weird and creepy.
Jeremy later explained in an interview that he had the touchy-feelies because he and Jinger were newlyweds, which we understand. But considering how the power dynamic between them is so unequal, it feels off. Jeremy is six years older than Jinger, has traveled the world, has had a real job, and has attended college. Considering that Duggar women are taught to obey their husbands and follow their rules, all this cutesy PDA just comes across as another form of patriarchal control.
And there have been other examples, too. Who can forget the time Derick Dillard had an uncomfortable PDA moment with his wife, Jill Duggar. It happened at Jinger's wedding while Jill, who was a bridesmaid, was exiting the ceremony with a groomsman. Derick, who wasn't even a part of the ceremony, jumped up from the audience, made out with Jill, and then whisked her down the aisle as if it were his own damn wedding! Fans were quick to call him out for his inappropriate behavior, and many called out his actions for being weird and possessive.
(Photo Credit: Giphy)
But probably the absolute damning example of inappropriate Duggar PDA comes from Jim Bob Duggar, who's pretty much the king of imposing cringe-worthy moments onto his poor wife/victim, Michelle Duggar. During an episode of 19 Kids and Counting, Jim Bob turned an innocent day of mini-golf into something X-rated. While Michelle leaned forward to swing a golf club, Jim Bob leaned behind her and started humping her! "Am I turning you on?" he then gruffed into her ear. We know it sounds like the plot of a bad Kindle romance novel, but it actually happened. Michelle laughed but looked clearly embarrassed, as she had every right to be.
But despite all these glaring examples of blatant disrepect done to the Duggar women, many fans seem to think it's "cute." Considering how pure and strict the Duggars are during the courting phase, all the kissing and hugging is seen as a nice reflection of the family finally being allowed to partake in things that average folks get to do. And although we believe that's true for the most part, there are two types of PDA here. There's the Joy-Anna Duggar "I love my new hubby" type and the Michelle "this is awkward, but I can't say no" type. And considering the Duggars believe that husbands should have power over their wives, we think it's time to start calling all this Duggar affection what it really is: control. And sorry, but men being weird and controlling with their wives isn't cute — it's creepy.