When you're a single woman approaching your 30s, navigating nosy family members' inquiries about your relationship status can be majorly frustrating. But when you're 28 years old and still living with your super-religious parents and the majority of your 18 brothers and sisters because you're not allowed to move out until you get married? The constant speculation — and judgment — over your single status has to be the absolute worst. In a recent Facebook post, the Duggar family revealed that Jana Duggar's brothers sent her roses on Valentine's Day, according to In Touch Weekly, and while it was almost certainly intended to be a sweet and thoughtful gesture, not everyone is viewing it that way.
To some fans, the idea of a single woman getting flowers on Valentine's Day from her brothers seems like the definition of condescending, while others saw it as straight-up creepy. And honestly, it's not exactly difficult to see why — getting V-day flowers from your brothers because they knew no one else was going to send them to you is a special kind of soul-crushing, but it's also kind of weird to think boys should be raised to consider themselves to be temporary placeholders while their sisters wait for their one-and-only white knights. But even if Jana herself was down to receive the gift as nothing more than a loving surprise from her siblings (I mean, the roses were really beautiful, after all), hopefully we can all agree that she at least deserves better than to be treated like finding a husband is the most important thing she could ever do in life.
As an unmarried Duggar sibling, Jana doesn't actually have her own social media accounts — with the exception of Josiah, who opened his own Instagram account while he was courting his former girlfriend, Marjorie Jackson, in 2015, the only Duggars who have independent social media presences are those who have already tied the knot. But on Monday, Jana popped up on the Duggar Family Official Facebook page, in a post featuring a photo of the eldest Duggar daughter standing in the family kitchen next to a large floral arrangement, along with the caption, "Jana received SO MANY beautiful valentine flowers from her brothers on Valentine’s day!"
The post received more than 24,000 likes, but, as usual, it didn't take very long for concerned comments about Jana's apparent spinster-hood to start pouring in. Between users "[hoping] she gets a good Christian Husband," those musing that "God will send her that special someone when it’s time," and others commenting on her beauty (as though her lack of spouse would somehow make more sense if she were less attractive), it's the kind of cringeworthy conversation you'd hope Jana could at least ignore for her own mental well-being.
But this time, the fact that the flowers came from her brothers was also a sticking point. Although the romantic connotation behind sending Valentine's Day flowers made some commenters uneasy, there were many, of course, who saw the flowers as positive proof that the Duggar boys are being raised as chivalrous gentlemen. Yet, either way, once again, it's Jana who loses. After all, even if you support the idea of raising boys to give their sisters flowers, it still just reinforces the idea that, as a woman, it's the men in her life who determine Jana's value. (Was anyone concerned about the fact that Jana's also-single twin brother, John David, went without a romantic Valentine's Day gesture?)
In fact, the attention and speculation over Jana's relationship status has become so intense that pretty much any adult single male she interacts with is assumed to be a potential suitor expected to save her from being the one stuck taking care of her siblings while her younger sisters are off planning weddings and posting Instagram baby bump selfies. Though it's not the first time that rumors of a potential courtship have swirled around Jana (many fans are still holding out hope that she'll settle down with former NFL player Tim Tebow, according to The Christian Post), in January, Duggar family friend Caleb Williams took to Facebook to specifically shoot down stories that he was secretly involved with the 19 Kids and Counting star, according to The Hollywood Gossip, and wrote,
There has been speculation regarding a relationship between myself and Jana. Now to clear the fog and avoid any confusion ... Read my lips ... I am not dating Jana Duggar.
Given that even her platonic friends feel as though it's an intrusion to be under the public microscope in regards to Jana's love life, it probably isn't a stretch to say that Jana herself wants everyone else to just knock it off already. Maybe she is secretly pining for a husband, or maybe she honestly couldn't care less. But the constant commentary into her private life has to be beyond exhausting — if not entirely offensive. And, well, as much as her brothers may have thought they were doing her a favor by sending her a stock pot full of roses so she wouldn't feel forgotten on Valentine's Day, it probably wasn't the best way to help let the world know that Jana's private life isn't really anyone else's business.
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