What About the Girls?

Thoughts on the Josh Duggar scandal

I’m sure that all of you have heard about Josh Duggar’s (TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting”) alleged molestation of young girls (including his sisters). The alleged acts occurred when he was a teenager. He is now 29.

I don’t watch “19 Kids and Counting,” not because I have anything against “reality” shows, but I do have something against parents who put their kids on reality shows. “The Amazing Race”? Fine. “Survivor”? Okay, too, in my book. Those shows feature adults who have chosen to be there. The Duggar kids have no choice. I don’t watch shows where children are exploited for profit.

I have, however, read a few things about the scandal currently surrounding Josh Duggar, and I wonder why it’s all about Josh Duggar? Don’t the girls he molested warrant our concern? And the concern of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Josh’s parents? From what I can gather, it seems like all they cared about was not letting any of the unfortunate actions of their son leak to the public. As a parent, I can understand that, but what about their daughters? Don’t they count?

According to the various stories, Jim Bob took Josh to State Trooper Joseph Hutchens, who was also a personal friend, so that he could give Josh a “stern talk.” Incidentally, Trooper Hutchens is serving time in prison for child pornography. The “stern talk” was all the “counseling” Josh received. All he had to do was say that he regretted fondling underage girls and that’s that. Josh moved on with his life, got married, had kids, got a nice job. He didn’t even quit his position as executive director of the Family Research Council’s lobbying arm until the allegations were made public. So, evidently, as long as the alleged groping was secret from the public, it was okay for Josh to work for the Family Research Council. Huh?

And what about the girls? How are they doing?

Apparently the Duggar parents, their church and State Trooper Hutchens covered up Josh’s actions. It appears that everyone has failed the girls in this unfortunate situation.

Did they receive counseling?

I have to wonder if the girls (maybe because they’re female?) are less important than Josh in this scenario. I’ve never been molested, but I do know women who have been assaulted or molested or groped and they often carry deep shame, hurt, guilt and fear as a result. What did Jim Bob and Michelle do for the alleged victims?

Wouldn’t the victims of such a crime feel marginalized and insignificant if she saw that her molester got off with a “stern talk”? No punishment. Wouldn’t the victims feel hurt that their own parents protected their son over them?

I’m not an expert on child predators. I can’t say much about that. I hope Josh gets the help he needs, and I hope that he recognizes how lucky he has been to be able to state that his actions were just a childish mistake, and then wash his hands of it. Yes, there’s public embarrassment, but eventually the public will be focused on another salacious story and Josh will be forgotten. Josh Duggar can move on.

But what about the girls?

Categories: Editor’s Blog