Every member of the Duggar family (Yes, those Duggars) has to follow more rules than ordinary people follow. Well, not to suggest that the Duggars are extraordinary. They aren't. They just believe that their faith means they have to follow "extraordinarily" strict rules. They also believe that by sacrificing clothing, activities and experiences the rest of us follow, this makes it more certain that they'll get to Heaven.
Back to those rules. It's not only Mama and Papa Duggar and their kids who follow these rules—it's also the spouses of the Duggar kids. Which brings us to Josh and Anna Duggar. This begs the question: Why, if Josh expects Anna to follow these rules, plus a few others he threw into their marriage, doesn't he have to follow the rules? Just a few short years ago, everyone in the U.S., if not around the world, learned that, when Josh was a teen, he sexually molested five girls, including two of his own sisters. Blech! After he and Anna wed and had four children, the world found out that Josh, who had professed his sorrow for inflicting abuse on his sisters, had signed up to AshleyMadison, which is a website that encourages married people to meet up with other members and cheat on their spouses. Oh-kayy. Let's get onto those rules for poor Anna.
15 Josh Controls The Money
Money is tight. Nearly everyone gets that. But Josh controlling ALL the spending? Is he the only one who knows where their family is financially? How much money is invested for their retirement? How much cash is socked away for emergencies? Does he alone create the budget and make sure it's adhered to? Wow.
Sure, it's understandable that Josh would be so strict with money. After all, being the oldest of 19 children, he began to realize just how tightly his parents budgeted their finances. He and his siblings earned a whopping 3 cents per chore! Wow, don't blow all that at the 5 and Dime!
Here's where it gets excessive. Josh doesn't give Anna enough money for her to go on a "me day" spending spree. She can't splurge on a mani-pedi or buy herself new clothing. Even worse, she, as a supposed adult, has to ask her husband for permission to do anything she wants to do! Oh. Ooops. In the fundamentalist sect the family belongs to, adult women aren't adults. They're children who need to be led by the nose.
14 There's No Such As Social Media 'Passwords'
After Josh put the wedding band on Anna's finger and they returned from their honeymoon, he probably held his hand out. "Passwords, please." Anna would have been excused for giving him a puzzled stare. She probably wasn't aware that, in the Duggar clan, all the kiddos give Mama and Papa their social media passwords.
Josh being Josh, he probably brought this rule into their marriage as well. He would have felt perfectly entitled in expecting that Anna would have handed her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat passwords over, no questions asked. Again, while she's an adult woman, she doesn't have the privilege of owning her own mind and making her own decisions.
No, Josh gets to log onto her accounts and view everything she's posted: "Hey, Anna, this one makes me look a little skeezy. Delete it." Not even a please! So, if an Instagram post makes his pudgy face appear even more pudgy, he apparently has every right in their conservative world to tell her to take that image down. Wow.
13 Wearing Pants Is Never Allowed
Women and girls in the non-Duggar world wear pants every day. They protect the legs when it's cold. When females are doing work that means they could suffer injuries, pants protect their skin. That means nothing to Josh Duggar or his parents. Women. Don't. Wear. Pants. Period.
Well, Anna may have broken that rule already. When she was spending time with sister-in-law Jinger, Jinger was wearing. . . pants! The scandal! If this is true that Anna wore pants, clearly she was able to ignore, for once, Josh's dictum on wearing pants. Yes!
In a photo posted to Jinger's Instagram page, she and another woman have been photographed from the rear. Because of this shot, it's difficult to say who the second woman is, but from her build, it could be the shorter Anna. The two were in Little Rock, Arkansas, visiting the Arkansas State Capitol Building.
Not only did Anna potentially break Josh's no-pants rule, she defied it when she put tiny jeans on baby Meredith, the youngest daughter. (Yes, according to Mama and Papa Duggar, even very young Duggar girls are to wear only dresses.)
12 Talking To Other Men Is Sinful
"Okay, everyone ready to go to the store? Anna, got your blinders on?" No, that's not a question that Josh asks he wife, but it may as well be. Because, he has decided she isn't allowed to talk to any other man that isn't his father, her father, his brothers or their brothers-in-law.
"Male friends" for the Duggar women aren't in their lexicon or lives. Anna is allowed to serve (and service) Josh and Josh only. She can serve Josh, her dad and father-in-law coffee or another beverage, but that's all that's allowed.
What about texting other men? No way! Uhh-uhh, never! This means that, if Anna, poor soul, is sitting in the doctor's office waiting room while Josh is undergoing his annual physical, Anna is supposed to keep her eyes cast down toward the ground. (Remember the supposed blinders?) She can read the Bible or hopefully a newspaper. She can take care of their childrens' needs, but nothing else.
11 No Hugging From The Front
What?! You mean. . . none of the Duggars are allowed to give front-to-front hugs to non-relatives? But, why?
Again, it's an archaic rule Mama and Papa Duggar have created and Josh took it into his new home with Anna. Even though the couple has only five children, the older ones may be at the stage of wanting to hug each other or their parents' friends.
Just imagine. This probably restricts displays of affection toward family friends and friends who are age-mates of the Duggar women. In fact, the only physical contact allowed between a Duggar child who is courting someone is a side-to-side hug, with arms slung over each others' shoulders. And that hug is to be only fleeting, so as not to engender "those feelings." After all, if a girl's chest touches her boyfriend's chest, it's just too tempting, right? That's. . . kind of ironic, considering that Josh availed himself of his sisters' and a sitter's privates while they were sleeping.
Yet, it's a rule he's brought into his own home with Anna and their five children. Even worse, they are probably going to enforce that rule with their own kids as they get older. Ugh. The hypocrisy is sickening. But maybe. . . .
10 Not Allowed To Play Co-Ed Games With The Kids
"No, you cannot play hide-and-go-seek. We don't allow boys and girls to play games together." Wow. Whether this rule was developed before the world learned of Josh's indiscretions with his sisters and some other young girls, we don't know. These kids' games include Hide-and-Go-Seek. So, there's no picking someone as "it," counting to 10, 20 or whatever, then dashing around to look for fellow brothers and sisters.
Instead, the Duggar kids must be thanking their parents that there's so many kids. At least the girls can play the games together, as can the boys. Just not. . . together. Josh has made this one of his family's rules as well. Ironically, it's for the same reason, even though he was outed as having abused five young girls several years earlier.
Whether this rule was created as a reaction to the Josh molestation revelation and scandal or not, isn't known. Maybe it's been in play ever since Josh became an older brother. It's sad, though. Instead of being taught to see siblings as partners in fun times or as loving brothers and sisters, they are being taught that, "Oh, you can't trust any boy, whether he's your brother or not."
9 Must Please Josh's Needs
Hoo, boy! Josh must have loved bringing this rule up in their discussions! Anna has no say at all over when they'll be cozy between the sheets. Nope, that's all up to the hubs. At first, that may not have bugged her too much. But after child #2, #3, #4 and especially #5 came along, she might have resented it a little. Well, maybe a lot.
Especially after learning about the molestation accusations and the Ashley Madison accounts, Anna would have been completely supported by her tribe of women for saying, "No way!" The 'honey, I have a headache" dodge won't work with him.
Pretty much everyone remembers the video that Mama Duggar made, where she discussed how married women have to meet "those needs." She compared them to a wife making a tasty lunch for her husband. "Only you can meet his needs, so say, 'Yes, sweetie, I am here for you." Ah, so that's how the 19 junior Duggars came to be! Oh, let's not forget that Mama also said women should be "joyful" when meeting their husbands' needs! Yeah. That headache, achy back, upset stomach and just plain tiredness don't count.
8 Can't Be Friends With Unwed Moms
Mama and Papa Duggar didn't allow their daughter, Jill, to help out Anna's sister, Susanna Keller. Because Susanna was pregnant without the benefit of marriage. Which meant that unwed Jill would have caught those nasty "sleeping with a man before marriage" cooties.
Seriously! That is exactly the decision the matriarch and patriarch made! And again, Josh set this rule for his own family's household (note, Anna has no ownership here). She can't decide for herself who her friends will be. Josh gets that privilege. And it's all on the faulty belief that women can't make decisions for themselves. Again, this reeks of irony and hypocrisy. Because Josh has some pretty sinful cooties of his own. But let's not even factor that into this. Because he's The Man. Poor Anna is "but a woman," meaning she is second-class, inferior and unable to make reasoned decisions for herself.
Okay, so. . . Josh being the decision-maker and head of the house, did he decide whether Anna could spend time with Susanna or not? If he said she couldn't, she would have every right to stand up and say, "Well, I'm helping her because she needs my loving help as her sister."
After all, what's more Christian? Calling someone else a sinner and withholding the assistance they need? Or forgiving them of their sin and helping them? Plank in the eye, meet speck.
7 The Beach Is A Forbidden Place
"Whew, it's hot! Why can't we go to the beach?" Because Mama and Papa Duggar decreed that going to the beach and, even more, dressing in swimsuits, is sinful. Even worse, the Duggar women can't slip into something light and white (or light-colored) even if it is a dress. No, they have to keep wearing those heavy denim skirts.
So, while the Duggar women, including Anna and every other woman who's married a Duggar son, tries to stay cool, here's what Mama Michelle has to say about this rule: "It's just too hard for the guys to try and keep their eyes averted." Oh. Well! In short, what she's doing is blaming the "guys'" lack of self-control when they are confronted by a woman who's scantily dressed. Which is exactly what most of society does to girls and women who've been assaulted sexually. "She was wearing a miniskirt. Her top showed everything!" Loosely translated, the Duggar clan and a segment of society is saying, "Awww, poor guys! Your self control is as thin as a Kleenex. Go ahead! Go out there and let your impulses loose! It's not your fault. You're just a guy."
6 No Dancing, Please
None of the Duggars are allowed to dance. Not even Mama and Papa Duggar. Again, Michelle has a theory about dancing and its negative effects on young men and women. Naturally, Josh has brought this rule into his marriage.
Mama Duggar believes that dancing helps young men and women to experience and release bad, evil feelings in said dancers. Also, those feelings dancers experience fly right in the fact of the family's conservative beliefs. Not that Anna, Josh or anyone else would act on said feelings and do the horizontal mambo there on the dance floor. (Well. . . maybe Josh.)
So, this is what the "no-dancing" rule means for individual Duggars. If anyone in the family has a talent and an urge to dance, they can't. This means the world loses out on the experience of seeing a truly talented dancer, no matter their last name, on the dance floor. Ever. Anywhere.
5 Same-Sex Babysitters Only
Okay, this is exactly like shutting the barn door after the livestock escaped and ran onto the highway. Yes, I'm referring to Big Brother Josh, he of the molestation and Ashley Madison scandals.
So, let's see here. . . Nineteen children of both genders. This means the oldest can't babysit their younger siblings of the opposite genders. The irony smacks me in the face when I think that Josh has actually established his parents' rule in his own home! Wow! They have three boys and two girls. This means that, as the little ones get older, the boys can't watch over the girls and vice-versa.
So, what's to happen if Josh and Anna want to go out to Cracker Barrel? Hire two babysitters, one to watch the girls and the other to watch the boys? *Head-scratching begins* Can Mama and Papa Duggar come over to watch the littles? Or does poor, overworked Anna have to give up any pleasant time away from five young children. (Not getting into how pleasant a date would be with Josh, after everything that's happened in the past three years.)
4 Nope... Can't Hold Hands Either!
Oh, well, after marriage, holding hands is okay. We don't want to tempt young, unmarried couples before their big day! Yes, this is yet another rule Josh has made singlehandedly. Actually, he brought it over from home.
While he and Anna can hold hands now that they've married, do they? That's hard to say, but I would guess that it's Anna who put the kibbosh on holding hands with Josh. "Why would I want to touch hands that have touched kids or. . . those women?" Can't really blame her.
There's a big problem with that rule. Physical contact, including hand-holding, arms around waists, chest-to-chest hugs and yes, even kissing, enable couples to know whether they have that chemistry necessary to add to the love between them. It's like, when they get married, they get to do all of these things. . . but they don't know how! Worse, they don't know if they're going to be a good match. . . well, you know.
3 Divorce Is Forbidden (Obviously)
Poor Anna. She has been humiliated so many times! First, she found out he'd abused five little girls. That was bad enough, especially since the couple already had at least one daughter of their own. Next, she, along with everyone else, learned that her own husband took on the role of hypocrite, piously saying one thing, then turning around and doing the opposite. Some of those cheating activities may have been criminal, as well.
In the everyday non-Duggar world, wronged spouses can and do file for divorce after learning what Anna Duggar learned. Oh, but she can't even think the word, much less say it. Even though staying married to Josh means he can assert his husbandly rights, to take a phrase, she has to worry about certain diseases. Did he contract them? And is she at risk of contracting them as well? Even more important, he has full and easy access to each of their daughters. That alone is a bone-chilling thought. But, he set the rule and she has to follow it.
2 No Reality Television... Wait What?
This is completely ironic. The Family that Appears on TV Together has no televisions in their homes. Nor do they sit down at the end of the day to relax with some wholesome cartoons or Disney movies (yes, keeping it G-rated). They don't even watch their own program!
Beginning with Mama and Papa, the original "19 and Counting" kids/adults weren't allowed to have a television in the house. So, this proscription has extended to the various married Duggar childrens' marriages and homes. What's the rationale for the TV ban? According to Mama Duggar, too many "worldly influences" would potentially infect their innocent, godly minds. (What are "worldly influences?" If they got televisions, they could presumably decide what shows their kids could and could not watch, amiright?) Yet. . . .
Thinking about this, it seems that the Duggars as a group/family don't want to hear or see what the general public thinks of them—they probably sense it's not too good, especially after the Josh molestation kerfuffle and their muddled handling of his behaviors.
1 Everyone Gets An Invite To The Wedding
"Everyone in our neighborhood is coming to the wedding, Anna." "Oh. . . but. . . okay." Secretly, Anna thinks of the few people she dislikes and really doesn't want at her wedding. Still, Josh is the head of their family-to-be, so his word is rule. What is this, the 50s? The 1850s?
The reasons for inviting up to 1,000 people to a Duggar wedding are legion (as are the guests). Of course, in their Arkansas town, the Duggars are Big People. Famous. They own their own businesses and companies. They've been on television for so many years, so they're almost royalty.
When I planned my guest list, I invited family (everyone, but knew that some couldn't attend) and friends. I invited friends I was close to, not the girl who bullied me in third grade. Maybe Anna would have appreciated having that same privilege, no?
Thinking about the reception (no dance, remember?), the amount of food for such a large crowd must have been mind-boggling. How many pounds of meat? Veggies and potatoes? Punch? And the wedding cake had to be massive!
Sources: therichest.com, babygaga.com, sheknows.com, dailymail.co.uk, duggarfamilyblog.com, eonline.com, The Hollywood Gossip, pinterest.com, Extra, Daily Mail, theinquisitr.com