“Imagine that your parents are going to surprise you and give you a brand-new bike for Christmas. Two weeks before Christmas, they buy your bike and hide it in the storage shed in the backyard. But then the boy next door sneaks into the shed and borrows your new bike; he stunt-rides it up and down the back alley. “On Christmas morning your parents lead you out to the shed to reveal the special gift they bought for you, and as they open the door and say, ‘Surprise!’ they’re just as surprised as you are. You’re all shocked to see that the bike looks like it’s been thrown off a cliff. The front fender is missing, and the front tire is warped so it rubs on the frame. It’s dirty, the paint is all scratched and chipped, and the seat has a big rip in it. It looks worse than something you would have bought at a garage sale. “I’m sure you would still be grateful for the bike, and you would have fun riding it, but it won’t be in the condition your parents had hoped and dreamed it would be when you received it. You would miss out on a lot of the enjoyment they meant for you to have. “In that same way, we don’t want any boy (or girl) to come and steal your purity.” As noted by Michelle Duggar, on the importance of purity, especially for girls. This is the lesson her husband, Jim Bob Duggar, gave to their children. The message is clear. It is up to you to protect your purity, to maintain it. Without it, you are nothing but a soiled and broken thing, an object so desired when pure and shiny and new, but much less so when used, ridden and much less shiny. And women more so. Jim Bob Duggar preached to them, that a person, especially a woman, who is somehow not pure before marriage is undesirable, impure, dirty and disgusting. And the moral basis of this story is that it is up to the girl and woman to maintain her purity. Not let anyone touch it or take it. And that’s just scratching the surface. The Duggars built their brand on a slavish dedication to ideals of modesty and purity, keeping their children away from Unwholesome Influences, even to the point of shouting “Nike!” when the family was out for a walk in the presence of a woman who was immodestly attired, in order to get them to stare at their shoes. Women must be “modest” and “godly” and pure to attract a godly man. This is where their value lies. Chaperones! Courtship! Side-hugs only! Even hand-holding is off the table. Twelve years ago, Josh Duggar, the eldest of their sons, sexually molested at least 5 young girls in his home. Four of which were his sisters. The molestation went on for a fairly long period of time, even after he had admitted his actions to his parents. Nothing was done. They did not contact the authorities, nor did they attempt to seek therapy and treatment for their son. They also did not remove their son from the home, nor were the victims removed for their safety. Instead, Josh Duggar was allowed to continue to offend. A year after his parents were informed by Josh Duggar and by some of the victims, Jim Bob Duggar approached the elders of his church for advice. They correctly suggested that Josh needed therapy and help. Jim Bob refused. Jim Bob knew of this beginning in March 2002, when Josh was 14. Josh’s victims were children younger than him, and in some cases significantly so. For an entire year Jim Bob knew what was happening, but did not go to the police or seek treatment or outside intervention. In March 2003, with the incidents of molestation still occurring, Jim Bob said he and the elders at his church, to whom he had gone for advice, agreed that Josh should enter a treatment program. But when one of the elders at Jim Bob’s church suggested sending Josh to a legitimate treatment program, Jim Bob demurred, reasoning that Josh would likely be exposed to more serious offenders and that that was not appropriate for the nature of his offense. So instead of sending Josh to an actual treatment program, Jim Bob sent him to Little Rock for four months to help a family friend with some remodeling. When Josh returned in July 2003, Jim Bob took Josh to speak with a state trooper he knew personally about what had happened. The trooper gave Josh “a very stern talk” but didn’t file a report, reportedly reasoning that nothing needed to be done because Josh had already gone through a treatment program. Except of course that helping a family friend in Little Rock do some remodeling is not a treatment program. (The trooper who spoke with Josh was later convicted of child pornography.) The Duggar parents then effectively went above and beyond to protect their son from a police investigation, even refusing to hand him over for questioning and held out until the Statute of Limitations ensured his safety from prosecution. At no time did they attempt to seek professional help for Josh. But what of the girls? His very own sisters, some of whom were also his victims? No help was sought for them either. All Josh was required to do was to say sorry. Justice for being preyed on by their older brother was not considered. Their role was to remain silent about the whole matter. After all, this was their lot in life and it was expected that they remain submissive, meek and compliant. They adhere to a fringe Christian movement called the “Christian patriarchy,” which commands total female submission to men and limited education for women. The Duggars do everything they can to control their children’s minds, then brainwash them with misogynistic dogma. Josh Duggar grew up in this sexist milieu. He was told that women exist to serve men—to show them “submission,” “obedience,” and “reverence.” He was barred from seeking out any differing views about men and women. His mind was warped from childhood. Is it any surprise that, by the time he reached adolescence, he believed girls’ bodies were his to touch however he pleased? And like good little girls, they lived up to their parents expectations in that regard. It is interesting that in all of the discussions about Josh Duggar, very few people have commented on the girls and their rights and how their parents failed to protect them and instead, forced them to remain under the same roof as their abuser. They are submissive and meek. People often wonder about the notion of "rape culture" and what it actually means. Sadly, the Duggars and their supporters have set a very good example of what that term really means. When reading about this horror show of a story, one thing remained constant in the whole thing. The story focused on Josh Duggar and the excuses people made for what he did. From his being homeschooled and not taught about sex education, to his being so young and curious about sex that he saw an opportunity and took it while his sisters would be asleep or awake, to his apparently raging hormones. The comment sections in some of the more conservative online sites were awash with excuses for Josh. None more so than Mike Huckabee, who argued that Josh deserved for this to not come out and that he needed to be protected from the evil people who dared to question the morality of the family's actions. At no time do any of Duggar's supporters comment on whether or not Josh's victims deserve protection, nor do they comment on why their parents forced them to remain in the same house as their abuser and allowed the abuse to continue. No, the main concern for these people was that Josh was being maligned by the media.