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Why TLC Gives Me Such a Headache

Why TLC Gives Me Such a Headache

zummpfThere are three kinds of people in America: those who aren’t interested in traveling, those who ARE interested in traveling, and those who want to see the world. What is the difference between the latter two? Allow me to explain myself.

One can travel for the sake of saying they’ve been somewhere. One can travel to a particular place with a tourist group to add the location to their Facebook…

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Growing Up Duggar: An Extended Book Review and Analysis from a Clearly-Biased Person By Red Whirlwind

A Brief Prologue From the Reviewer:

So, I‘m not exactly one to objectively review a publication of this…err….caliber. I’m a neo-pagan, a non-virgin, and a staunch feminist with left-leaning political philosophies living in sin with her atheist boyfriend, with a history of actively campaigning to get Marriage Equality for same-sex couples in my home state of New York (one of the bluest states in the country) and known for her deep-seated fear of anything related to pickles or giant head-flowers. Nevertheless, I find that perhaps this might just be a fun project for the next week or so, reviewing the latest tome in the Duggar Cycle of Quasi-Devotional Autobiographies: Growing Up Duggar: It’s All About Relationships, by Jana, Jessa, Jill, and Jinger Duggar. What do I expect? Honestly, nothing but a good laugh from time to time…maybe a brief rage against the misogynistic dogma these poor girls were indoctrinated with and hope to indoctrinate the reader with.

Most of all, I expect my hopes that one of these young ladies will break free of the glass house they live in to be smashed to itty-bitty pieces.

I will post the review in parts, mainly because I am a TL;DR type of girl. I have the feeling I will have a lot to say about this particular publication. Any bitching/corrections/complaints can be emailed to

I dedicate this review to WTFFundieFamilies, a tumblr blogger whom I follow…pardon the semi-pun…religiously. Keep up the fundie-following, because you feed my weird and uncalled for fascination with the Duggars, Bateses, and Co.

So, without further ado…

Growing Up Duggar: It’s All About Relationships (A Review/Analysis)

Introduction: “Greetings”

Song I Listened To While Reading This Chapter: “Here It Goes Again” by OkGo

The first few paragraphs are, while a little bit of a cliché, aren’t half bad, and even flow pretty well. The girls express why they wrote this to begin with (other than to line their parents’ and TLC’s pockets), which was to reach out to everyone who emailed them with questions or requests for advice. Apparently, there are some lost girls in this world who resort to emailing the Duggar children with their life quandaries.

Dear Gods and Goddesses of Asgard, save us.

There’s a brief ‘who we are’ bit, which caught me off guard, because for every mention of each of the four girls in this section, there are two-to-three mentions of their parents, leading me to believe that maybe this might be a bit more painful to get through than I imagined at first glance. Of course, there was a lot of mentions about their ministry activities and their claims of devotion to God and Jesus while simultaneously disobeying Jesus’ exact words (see Matthew 6:6).

This book, they explain, discusses how they view the world: in terms of relationships, which I guess is a pretty interesting way to look at life. We are social creatures, after all, and one can hardly expect to get through life without exploring some sort of relationship with themselves, their families, friends, and fellow humans. They then explain that they also plan to dive into their ideas of relationships with the outer world, such as their country and their culture. Oh boy howdy, those should be a riot to look at.

At the very end of the intro, though, was where the full force of what I am getting myself into hit me. To get an idea, let me copy the whole paragraph for you, verbatim:

“You’ll see that the lengths of the chapters in this book vary a bit—but every chapter is divided into short, easy-to-read segments. You can read as much or as little in one sitting as you like!” (GUD, page XVI)

And when there are no more pages in the book, it means that there is no more to read! Usually, if a sentence stops at the end of a page, it means you have to flip the page over with your hands in order to finish reading the sentence on the other side!

Good googly-moogly, ladies. Please understand that not every woman on Earth has the collective IQ of paste! I do, in fact, know how to read a book, thanks. In fact, I do it frequently. I may have even taken a few classes on reading in that place I spent four years at called college.  

So far, we know there’s no hope for Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger, that their parents probably wrote more of this book than they did, and that they believe their target audience (pre-teen and teen girls, I’m assuming) has an average of a second-grade reading level. This will be a trip…


Chapter One: Your Relationship With Yourself

Song I Listened To While Reading This Chapter: “Dancing With Myself” by Billy Idol

Ok, so I got the masturbation innuendo joke out of the way so we can get serious.

This chapter, essentially, was about self-esteem, and I deemed it appropriate to start off the book. I was able to get past the fact that the chapter was sexist as all get-out and assumed that every teen girl has issues with her appearances (also that she needs to look modest and girlish in order to be socially moral). I even expected it. None of it was overly offensive if you’re a fundie-follower and have come to expect it from the Duggars. They even had some decent points that took me by surprise, such as not giving the bullies in your life power by hating yourself. That’s actually legitimate advice young girls could use. You go, Duggar girls!

They also talk about how they even compare their appearances to their sisters’ sometimes, and how some jealousy can arise from those natural rivalries. Again, legit!

Then, things get Duggaresque pretty quickly. Jessa lists off ten things about yourself that God made you with and you should just accept cannot be changed:

1-      Who your parents are (if you mean bio-parents, ok)

2-      Who your siblings are (again, implying that only nuclear families exist)

3-      Your birth order (I’ll give them this one)

4-      Your nationality (so, immigrants and expats have somehow defied God’s order?)

5-      Whether you’re a boy/girl (saw this one coming from the family whose body chemistry is about 60% Chick-Fil-A)

6-      Your ‘mental capacity’ (in that case, I guess God hates JimBoob)

7-      The time in history you were born (all Time Lords and fanfic writers non-withstanding)

8-      Your physical appearance (So, God hates curling irons and self tanners?)

9-      How you age (again, does this mean Botox is Satanic?)

10-   When you will die (again, Time Lords don’t count…and neither do those pesky life-saving doctors for that matter)

By the Beard of Zeus, I hope they don’t do this list thing throughout the book. *Flips through book* Okay, let me make a quick call to my life-insurance carrier…

Then they list a bunch of ‘God made you’ stuff that I instinctually skimmed over.

The rebuttal section that follows, about improving the changeable factors, is where I had my first taste of Duggar-induced rage, and this is because it is here they discuss how important it is to be as skinny as possible. They start by bullshitting about how their mother provides them only with healthy food (picked fresh daily off the tater-tot-casserole trees, of course). But then they use Michelle as an example of how, apparently, gaining forty pounds after bearing nineteen live children and two stillborns is unacceptable.

Ok, forty pounds after nineteen children is not only normal, it’s pretty fucking good. According to, the average mother retains 40% of her pregnancy weight at least a year after giving birth. Let’s assume Michelle, who is rather short and was pretty fit-looking in her wedding photos, weighed about 120lbs before she began fulfilling her one purpose in life. A woman for her build should probably healthily gain about 30-40lbs with a first pregnancy. This would mean, assuming she is the average woman (ha, shut up), she was at about 160lbs at Josh’s birth. 40% of that is 16lbs, so a year after Josh she should’ve been at 132. Then, Michelle became pregnant almost yearly after that until about five years ago. If simple math was to be applied to the statistics we see before us, raising each ending weight exponentially, by the time she gave birth to Jinger, Michelle would have already doubled her pre-pregnancy weight.  Average in a bunch of factors like exercise, blah blah blah…yeah, you get the message, even if my math is far off. Forty pounds retained after nineteen children is praiseworthy, not shame-worthy.

Then again, applying logic to the Duggars is like trying to apply physics to a Michael Bay movie.

So the rest of the chapter fat-shames Michelle some more, and then goes into how the girls like to style their hair and dress in a manner that would make the Amish look like cage dancers, but I was too busy reeling from the section where Michelle’s own daughters are fat-shaming her. I actually feel pity for this woman, who came out claiming she was bulimic. Granted, being bulimic myself, I highly doubt DuggarLand’s concept of bulimia ties into the standard medical definition, but even so, it was distressing for Michelle, so I guess its’ relative in their case. Regardless, how must it feel to have your own children telling you to go to Weight Watchers when you aren’t that overweight to begin with (and after 19 kids, she practically should be the poster woman for post-baby dieting). It’s really awful. I feel for Michelle.

That concluded the chapter. I’ve had enough for now. Next time, we’ll go over the Duggar daughters’ perspectives on relationships with parents and siblings (oh, kill me). 

…and about to be hit by a tractor-trailer in 3…2…

To Vintage or Not to Vintage?

To Vintage or Not to Vintage?

I will be the first to admit that I’m pretty selfish. Sometimes I stumble across a postcard that I myself don’t want to part with. About a year ago, I got this gorgeous, genuinely vintage postcard from artlover.


It got me thinking about how someone could willing send a gorgeous, rare card like this one to a complete stranger halfway around the world, let alone allow it to be tainted with stamps,…

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